Paddling Industry News

OR Paddlesports Preview

Once a year, industry bigwigs gather in Salt Lake City for the annual Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, where those lucky enough to attend can ooh and ahh over paddlesport manufacturers' new designs for the upcoming year. For those smart enough to stay on the water instead, here's a quick PL sneak peak of what the tradeshow cronies will see...

Oh Black Water, Keep on Moving

They call it “The Floateo,” where anything that floats goes. And pretty much anything goes anyway at the Black River Festival in Watertown, New York, one of the whackier, more festive river festivals in the country, kicking off the Whitewater King of New York race series...

Boardworks to Manufacture Badfish River Boards; Plus, a PL Q&A with Founder Zack Hughes

Boardworks Surf has a new fish in its SUP and surfboard school...a bad fish. The company recently announced that it will start making Badfish river boards, owned by Zack Hughes and Mike Harvey of Salida, Colo., taking the manufacturer from garage-maker to gargantuan. PL catches up with founder Hughes for his take on all things river Sup...

This Man Will Crush You

At 73, the czech-accented and bushy eye-browed Stan Chadlek will still crush you. As we speak, he’s heading back to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands for the fifth time, this time to paddle 250 miles around tidal-colliding Unalaska Island with fellow adventurers Rob Avery and Ron Monkman. Throughout the 24-day expedition, filled with treacherous crossings, he also plans to placate his thirst for finding ancient mummies. “It could be my last big trip,” says Chladek, whose book on exploring Central American caves will be released this June. “I think the French have done it in doubles, but no one has ever done it in singles...” PL caught up with him to get his take on all things Aleutian...

Clean Sweep: Jackson Family Nabs Nationals

Forget about the Jackson Five...call them the Jackson Three. The Jacksons -- dad EJ, son Dane and daughter, Emily -- won the overall title in five of six categories as the country’s best freestylers converged on the country’s newest whitewater park in Cascade, Idaho, for the USA Freestyle Kayaking Association’s National Point Series Championships July 8-9, 2011.

S2O Designs Reinvents Itself

S2O Designs company slogan is "Reinventing Whitewater". Now, the Boulder CO based company founded by Scott Shipley is taking a run at reinventing itself. Already hailed as the worlds premier design and engineering company behind the planets' most successful white-water parks, S2o Designs has hired new talent and launched a new website. Here's the press release.

Despite Hiccups, Montana Whitewater Championships Fly High; Point Series Now Heads to Cascade, Idaho

Despite high water giving organizers conniptions about holding a point series event for the National Freestyle Point Series circuit, the Montana Whitewater Championships went off with flying colors and freestylers to kick off July. PL checks in with organizer Kevin Brown on the success of the event and Brennan’s Wave, as the point series now heads to Cascade, Idaho, for the season finale...

Bebbington on Winning the Worlds…Special PL Q&A

When Great Britain’s James Bebbington won the gold at the World Freestyle Kayak Championships in Plattling, Germany, it marked the first time the title has migrated off North American soil. Inside: a special PL Q&A with the new champ, plus his account from Palm on what it took to bring the crown to the UK (Bonus Video: Bebbington's winning ride)...

Old Man River: Corra Takes FIBArk Crown

He’s nearly twice as old as the race is long, but that didn’t stop Durango's Andy Corra, 50, from paddling to his seventh title in the 26-mile FIBArk downriver kayak race on June 19, setting a record for number of wins in the 62-year-old race.

Dane’s World: US Teen Dane Jackson Wins Three Golds; Great Britain’s Bebbington Takes Men’s Crown

“See ya, pops, that’s for all the pointers.” That could well sum up a new Jackson dynasty as Dane Jackson, 17, son of four-time world freestyle champion Eric Jackson, dominated the International Canoe Federation Freestyle Kayak World Championships in Platling, Germany, taking home three Golds and a Bronze. Meanwhile, Brits Claire O’Hara and James “Pringle” Bebbington took the top crowns for the women’s and men’s division...

EJ Out at Worlds

Holy upset, Batman. In an uncharacteristic early bow-out, four-time world champion Eric "EJ" Jackson was ousted in the quarterfinals of the Freestyle Kayak World Championships in Plattling, Germany, five points behind Germany's hometown hero Martin Koll, who earned the last semifinal berth...

International Whitewater Hall of Fame Calls for 2011 Nominees Through Social Media

Paddling enthusiasts have always been connected to each other through various (sometimes unspoken) networks. With the onset of high-speed internet connectivity and websites such as this one (you’re reading this at www.paddlinglife.net in case you’ve forgotten where you are), that network of information has grown bigger, faster, and stronger. Now, paddlers are embracing social media networks like FaceBook as the primary means to connect with other enthusiasts.

World Freestyle Kayak Champs Come to Plattling

So the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and the Mavericks the NBA title. Big whoop. The real action is in Plattling, Germany, where 225 of the best freestyle paddlers in the world from 28 countries – including newcomers Slovenia, India, Argentina and Brazil – rip up a river-wide wave on the Isar River for the World Freestyle kayak Championships June 20-20. PL checks in, with a special look at who to watch for...

Gavere Claims Teva Mtn Games SUP Sprint Crown

Kayak? I don't need no stinkin' kayak. That's the sentiment that could be shared by longtime kayaker Dan Gavere, who showed his versatility in the stand-up world by winning the SUP downriver sprint race on Gore Creek at this year's Teva Mountain Games, edging out rival Charlie McArthur by 13 seconds...

The Paddling Enthusiasts Tri-fecta: Vail, Glenwood Springs, Salida.

If you’re a paddler and it’s the month of June, then we know you’re in Colorado. Last weekend (June 2-5) the 10th annual Teva Mountain Games wrapped in Vail and upcoming this weekend (June 11th & 12th) the newly christened Rocky Mountain Surf Festival goes for the full Polynesian in Glenwood Springs. So, what if you’ve got a day job and couldn’t make it to Vail or Glenwood Springs? No worries, FIBark finishes off the tri-fecta in Salida the following week.

Czech Mate: Lasko Ties Dawson in Teva Mtn Games’ Homestake Creek Race

How much is a hundredth of a second? The blink of an eye? A drip of water off a paddle blade? No one knows this better now than Honza Lasko of the Czech Republic and New Zealand's Mike Dawson, who careened down Class V Homestake Creek at the opening paddling event of the Teva Mtn. Games for an unfathomable tie for first place, down to the nearest hundredth of a second, finishing at the exact same time of 3:34:62. PL checks in with both to get their take on the photo finish...

Team Teva Dominates US Rafting Association National Championships in Oregon.

The water was cold, but the paddlers were hot. After a winter that was heavier with snow than usual Spring seemed reluctant to give up any of the goods. For the US Teva Whitewater Raft Teams competing in the 2011 USRA National Championships it was exactly what they trained for.

Dane Jackson Nabs Top Honors in Pro Debut at Paddling Life Invitational

The weather might have been a bit on the chilly side, but that didn’t stop some of the world’s best kayakers from putting on a sizzling show at the sixth annual Paddling Life Invitational on Monday, May 30, in Steamboat Springs, Colo. And in an event sponsored by Chaco Sandals, Rhino Racks, Rocky Mountain Remedies and Steamboat in the Summertime, it was 17-year-old Dane Jackson, in his first pro-category debut, out-dueling Nick Troutman to take top honors in the combo creek/freestyle extravaganza, with Australia’s Tanya Faux besting Emily Jackson to nab the top spot for the women...

Nova Craft Builds Yesterday’s Canoe With Tomorrow’s Technology

Nova Craft is a successful Canadian canoe company that builds traditional canoe designs using only the newest technologies available. According to a recent press release, Nova Craft has just created a craft so new it might be from the future.

The Perils of Big Plunges: Jesse Coombs Collapses Lung on Abiqua, Tyler Bradt Healing from Broken Back

While Jesse Coombs nailed Oregon’s 101-foot Abiqua Falls in March, it came at the cost of a collapsed lung. Ten days later, world waterfall record holder Tyler Bradt, who ran 186-foot Palouse Falls a year earlier, ran it and broke his back, sidelining him at least for the first half of the season. Yup... running waterfalls is serious business, where even the best are often at the mercy of fate’s hands. PL checks in with both Coombs and Bradt to get their current injury status and take on whopping waterfalls...

Diamond Anniversary: 10th Annual Teva Mountain Games June 2-5

Get ready to rock out your Rocky Mountain bling. 2011 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Teva Mountain Games (TMG). Diamonds are the traditional gift for a decade of mutual admiration, just ask your spouse. Not that you’ll find many athletes sporting jewels in Vail June 2-5; tradition flies out the window when there is a race to win. Besides, those things are heavy...

Spotlight: Ocean Kayak Founder Tim Niemier

Tim Niemier, 59, has always thought outside the box...or cockpit. It was in his garage in Malibu, Calif., in 1971 that he indented a surfboard hull to create the world’s first sit-on-top kayak. By the time he sold Ocean Kayak to Johnson Outdoors in 1997, nearly every kayak manufacturer worldwide had a sit-on-top in its line. Forty years later, the visionary’s light bulbs still burn at his Wild Designs firm as he tries to get more people out on the water...

Olympic Whitewater Course for 2012 Games in London Open to the Public

Allo, Gubnah! Ok, so our English accent needs work, but that’s OK; we’re still more than a year out from the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Games in London. The good news: paddlers don’t have to wait that long to take a run down the official Olympic whitewater course. The Lee Valley Whitewater Centre opened in April and allows anyone with £49( about $80 US) a chance to descend the same rapids as next year’s Olympians...

Whitewater Grand Prix Wraps Up with Dane Jackson on Top

Talk about a doozie of a douching competition. With six balls-to-the-wall events over two weeks, the first ever Whitewater Grand Prix wrapped up with a hair-raising Class V Giant Slalom event in Quebec. And while top-place honors in that event went to Evan Garcia, Dane Jackson’s third-place finish was enough to propel him to the overall victory stand...

Latest news

Middle Fork Salmon Blocked by Debris Flow

Planning a late-season run down the Middle Fork of the Salmon? You might want to change your launch site...
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Holy Surging Glaciers, Batman: Alsek’s Lowell Glacier Surges, Clogging Lake for Paddlers

Lucky enough to be heading to Alaska’s Alsek (only one of the greatest and most dynamic rivers on the...

Pyranha Ripper 2 Review Time (with Uber Sweet Vids!)

Want an inside peak at Pyranha’s Ripper 2 kayak? For that, we went straight to the source: North American...

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2022 World Paddlesports Festival Set for Aug 26-29 in OKC 

Call it a Festivus for the Restivus. With the ICF Canoe...

Boating and Bears: PBS’s Expedition with Steve Backshall Tackles Kamchatka’s Kronotsky

Modern-Day Explorer Ventures Deeper into the Unknown Season Two of...
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Paddlesport Industry Coalition Endorses Paddlesport Retailer Show for Madison, WI, Aug 29-Sept 1

Call it a blow to Outdoor Retailer and a boon for paddlesport retailers. A coalition of leading paddlesports manufacturers recently endorsed the newly formed Paddlesports Retailer as the industry’s official tradeshow, debuting Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, 2017, in Madison, Wisconsin...

Where’s Waldo (er…Woolsey)?

Kelley Woolsey has always been a surfer at heart. That’s why it was almost surprising to find him riding one wave for so long as the director of sales and marketing for Confluence Watersports, where he nearly single-handedly kept the company going through good times and bad. Paddling Life caught up with him between sabbatical surf sessions in Hawaii, Long Island, California and Florida to get his take on Confluence, the paddling industry and where the next wave might take him...

Special Book Excerpt: Brothers on the Bashkaus

Look for the much-awaited release this spring of former Paddler editor-in-chief Eugene Buchanan's Brothers on the Bashkaus by Fulcrum Publishing. His account of winning W.L. Gore & Associates first-ever river-oriented Shipton/Tilman grant to run Siberia's notorious Bashkaus River on rafts made from Cold War leftovers is for the explorer in everyone. Click here for special excerpt (visit www.fulcrumbooks.com for retail info or to buy online)