Category Archives: Paddling Types

One Day Paddling Trips

PPA Lifestyle - Old Town Kayaks Image-175x182River trips allow you to discover waters, scenery, critters in the water and along the banks that you simply cannot experience from the banks.

Such experience does not require days of travel to get to the river, nor the commitment to multiple days on the water. We are all busy, and often find it tough to plan a river trip that requires a day of travel to the river and back home.

Most of us are fortunate to be able to find awesome scenery, fresh air  and as much  splashing and exercise as we choose.  if you are within an hour of a boatable, accessible river, lake or coast, you are within two hours of a put-in time and assurance you can be home for the evening news.   If you live in a city, chances are there are multiple options for getting on the water with an outfitter or on your own.

New York?  The East, Delaware, Mongaup, and Hudson Rivers offer easy day trips.

Detroit?   Join thousand of your neighbors who enjoy the nearby Huron River each year.

Oklahoma City? The Oklahoma River is now home to USA Canoe and Kayak and has become a hub for those new to paddling as well as training and competition.

Reno? The reinvention of the city in the early 2000s was catalyzed by re-engineering the Truckee River, now host to tubes, kayaks, and inflatables all summer long.

Mobile? It’s famous bay has been home to boats, paddling and fishing from john boats, and stand up fishing boats for decades.  Kayak fishing and Stand Up Paddling are as alive and well in this area as anywhere in the U.S.

Rafting near end of 2 miles of high quality whitewater in Columbus, Georgia
Rafting near end of 2 miles of high quality whitewater in Columbus, Georgia

Now, before your expectations climb out of reach, you may not find a broad variety of options close by, but there are probably more than you’d think.  In addition, the trend of finding recreational water near densely populated areas may be bringing new options to you soon.  Recent river restoration in Columbus, Georgia(a) is revitalizing its downtown.  The removal of dams on the Elwha(b) and Sandy(c) Rivers in Oregon that no longer served their original purpose has restored habitat for critters and  created recreation opportunities for residents.  Dam removal plans will restore rapids to a city whose name deserves them: Grand Rapids, Michigan(d).

Try our outfitter search service to find one of our members who is just waiting to introduce you a  day trip that may well create memories of a lifetime.

This article links to the following sources:
(a)Uptown Columbus – http://visitcolumbusga.com/outside/conquer_the_outside
(b)National Park Service – http://www.nps.gov/olym/naturescience/elwha-ecosystem-restoration.htm
(c)National Geographic – http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/us-condit-dam-breach-vin
(d)Michigan Public Radio – http://michiganradio.org/term/dam-removal

 

Stand Up Paddleboarding – Give it a try!

SUP in the Tetons. Photo courtesy of Jack's Plastic Welding
SUP in the Tetons. Photo courtesy of Jack’s Plastic Welding

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a great ways to get out and discover new ways to combine exercise and fun on lakes, rivers and open water. Fans of SUP love this option because it’s easy to get started on a stand up board. As with any other watercraft, contacting an outfitter who can show you the ropes and provide expertise on your first or early mini-journeys is a great way to get started.

You won’t be alone out there on your SUP.  According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation 2013 Outdoor Participation Report, 56% of all the first-time participants of outdoor activities in 2013 were to try Stand Up Paddleboarding.

You need only a few basic items to get started: your outfitter will provide all you need for a first time out. Check our Outfitter Search by Activity to find an SUP outfitter near you.

PPA SUP - NRS Czar_XUP 65x207
Czar XUP. Photo courtesy of NRS

Stand Up Paddleboard
They come in many shapes and sizes in both rigid and inflatable designs. The sizes range widely: it’s best to start out with one that is nice and wide, and therefore stable. Longer boards, like other boats, are likely faster so will make better time when paddling long distances. Shorter boards are likely more nimble and better for turning, surfing and paddling on moving water and whitewater rivers. When you visit an outfitter you’ll likely try a model or two they have determined good for first SUP experiences.

Werner Fiji SUP Paddle. Photo courtesy of NRS
Werner Fiji SUP Paddle. Photo courtesy of NRS

Paddle
Stand up paddles are similar to canoe paddles, but are much longer since you stand when using them, vs. sit while paddling a canoe. They are available in a wide variety of materials with a variety of blade and handle, or grip shapes.

Leash
A leash is familiar to those used with surfboards, connecting you with a hook-and-loop closure strap at your ankle to your SUP. Since SUPs can be paddled on different bodies of water, regulations for wearing leashes vary, as well. Check with your outfitter or those who have paddled Stand Up Paddleboards where you are headed to learn the local requirements.

PPA Safety - NRS Vapor_PFD 78x101PFD (personal floatation device)
It is ALWAYS good practice to wear a Coast Guard approved pfd, even though they may not be mandated if you are within a swimming zone at the beach. There are many great looking, comfortable pfds designed for SUP paddlers.

Preparing for the Water and Sun
The weather and water conditions help you know what’s best to wear.  If it’s hot and sunny and the water is warm, shorts or a bathing suit may be fine, combined with a shirt  that won’t get in your way as you paddle. If the water is cool or cold, you should consider wearing a wetsuit or drysuit for you may spend a good deal of time in the water!

Remember to wear your favorite waterproof sunscreen and sunglasses, and reapplying sunscreen during the day.

A few strokes will give you confidence to get out to where you are going to paddle, maneuver when you are out, and back to your home base with confidence. Your outfitter or instructor should provide the basics of a Forward Stroke, Back Stroke and Forward and Reveres Sweep Strokes used for turning.

There’s plenty of time left this season to find an outfitter near you who can introduce you to SUP.  Have fun!

Kayak Angling: Freedom and Flexibility

Aleuts ishing,1450s. Source: http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/exhibits/elliot/elliott.htm
Aleuts ishing,1450s. Source: http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/

Fishing from kayaks is not new.  Native peoples discovered the effectiveness of seeking food from the water’s depths while floating on,  instead of standing at its edge, hundreds of years ago.

In the early 2000’s kayak designs that incorporated angling-specific seating and storage as well as life vests (personal flotation devices) and paddles suited to fishing started to catch up to instinct.  Today we enjoy countless equipment options for enjoying angling from water level.

PPA SitonKayak - OK Prowler CamoEach year unveils  destinations that were previously difficult to find or to reach with a motor boat or flats boat configuration.

Each year, thousands discover the nimbleness, tracking capability and storage that can comes along when you decide you’d like to try fishing by kayak.   Here are 10 Tips for the Beginner Kayak Fisherman as told by web-based blog YakAngler.

 

 

Canoeing: Family Fun that Lasts for Life

Photo courtesy of Johnson Outdoors
Photo courtesy of Johnson Outdoors

Get the family out on the water this summer! When considering the venerable canoe as your boat of choice, no better place to learn about their value and versatility than the folks who live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota!  Actually, there are 11, 842 lakes 10 acres or larger, and Minnesotans have been getting across and around them in canoes for a long time. This is what you’ll find from demonstrations offered iwith the Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources to familiarize fans of the outdoors with the fun of canoeing:

Learn paddling skills from experienced guides, while exploring some of Minnesota’s most stunning lakes and rivers.

Designed especially for first-time paddlers, so no experience or equipment is necessary. Through firsthand experience you’ll develop all of the skills necessary for a lifetime of paddling. Programs range from 2-hour basics on a lake to 4-5 hour excursions that cover basics and beyond. Safety tips, what to pack, and resources are covered.

Small group sizes mean you’ll get the attention you need to become a paddling pro in no time. Canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices are provided. Kids are welcome!   Learn more at this link.

Other states host canoeing, kayaking and other paddlesports introductory events on their waterways through DNR and state parks… and many of the programs are conducted with our outfitters!

 

 

 

River rafting … for more than just the day!

Middle Fork 03 007Many outfitters offer unique multiple-day river experiences by taking care of the ‘heavy lifting’ such as providing transportation to the put-in (where rafts enter the river) and picking you up at the takeout point; preparing meals; and, of course, offering expert paddling guidance whether your raft is being propelled by an oar rig or by you and your paddling crew in ‘paddle boats.’

Here is a blog post from seasoned river experts on the NRS Duct Tape Diaries blog who have logged many thousands of river miles, reflecting on the joys of multiple-day raft trips. There are dozens in the Western US where rural rivers have fewer access points, as well as a few wonderful trips in the East, 

Luxury or roughing it - tentIf you’d like to try a multiple day trip, our members can offer just the right option for you, your friends and family! Read Tips for Choosing an Outfitter, and then search for your outfitter by activity or location.