Paddling Gear

Nova Craft Canoes Offers New Whitewater Boats and Announces the Annual Frankie Hubbard Award

Nova Craft is bringing back the classic Ocoee OC-1 design in honor of whitewater paddler, competitor and boat designer Frankie Hubbard, who passed away in 2003. As a thank you to the family, the company will give a boat away to a young paddler every year, in his name.

South Carolina Boasts New 50 Mile Paddle/Camp Trail

The origin of the Swamp Fox 50 Mile Paddle/Camp Trail actually dates back to the Swamp Fox National Recreational Trail, which was developed in 1968. Much of the Swamp Fox National Recreational Trail was eventually incorporated into the Swamp Fox Passage of the Palmetto Trail, a project conceived in 1994 to establish a network of more than 420 miles of hiking and cycling trails connecting the mountains of the Upstate with the sea in the Low Country. Now paddlers have 50 miles of rustic camping to connect their tour of the lakes.

Bluesmiths: The Ultimate Board Short?

If you want to test out apparel made specifically for getting wet, it helps to do so on the manufacturer’s home turf. And if that turf involves surf, so much the better. Such was the case when, on vacation in Maui, we found ourselves Supping with Bluesmiths founder John Smalley, whose apparel line is making waves as fast as its wearers are catching them….

New Sea Kayaker’s DVD Guide to Rolling

In what is billed as the new standard in how-to-roll DVD’s, “This is the Roll,” provides technical demonstrations on some of sea-kayaking’s hardest moves. World-class instructors Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson demonstrate and teach the three most important Greenland style rolls for open water paddlers: The Standard Roll, the Reverse Sweep and the Storm Roll.

Keith Backlund, Paddle Engineer, Dies at Age 60

A master woodworker who constructed magnificent canoe and kayak paddles, Keith Backlund died on the evening of October 25 at the age of 60.

New Kayak Angler Paddles

With the introduction of the new Kayak Angler series of paddles, Bending Branches has raised the bar for paddle manufacturers yet again. These angler specific paddles excede all expectations.

Fluid Sit-On-Top Whitewater Kayak Hits Markets in 2012

The fear of being trapped in a closed-hull boat with a spray skirt is a barrier for may entry-level whitewater paddlers. Fluid hopes to eliminate that fear with their new sit-on-top whitewater kayak. Designed with hull characteristics similar to their top end whitewater kayaks, while providing superb stability and confidence, this new boat may make the difference for whitewater enthusiasts interested in learning to kayak.

PL Canoe Schwag Review!

What kind of schwag do you bring on a 60-mile canoe trip in the Canyonlands? Whatever is up to the task. PL (in company of 12 kids and eight “grown-ups," if you can call us that) whiled away the dog days of August canoeing Canyonlands National Park. And while we tested out a slew of canoes and paddles, we also put an array of accessories to the task, from newschool firestarters and firepans to SUPs and sleeping bags. Here’s the rundown...

Wilderness Systems Earns a Hat-Trick With Third Consecutive “Boat Brand of the Year” Award

Wilderness Systems remains king with third consecutive "Boat Brand of the Year" award. The entire outdoor retail community descended on Salt Lake City, Utah to celebrate at this year's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

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...

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.

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...

AIRE Cougar On The Prowl Again

While most cougars are known to prowl ski resorts, don’t be surprised if they start showing up a little closer to the river next season. AIRE watercrafts is bringing back their classic cataraft from the brink of extinction and reintroducing them into the wild...

Current Designs Gets New Look

Current Designs s getting more current. At least, that'sthe premise behind a new brand identity, logo and boat graphics...

Super-size Me

Paddling Life is on hand at this year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market tradeshow, to bring you not-in-the-industry folk up to speed on what’s going down. First installment: a look at products for the stockier set. Turns out that Morgan Spurlock, whose 30-day McDonald's diet documented the fast-food industry, isn’t the only one going super size. Paddlesport exhibitors are also banking on beefier consumers by churning out products that excel for XLs. Following are a few tipping the scales.

Two New Inflatable SUPs to Get Yer Stand-up On

SUPs seem to be all the rage, and inflatables are fast becoming the boards of choice for inland use, be it on lakes or rivers. Following are two new additions you'll find in the line-up, one from C4 Waterman and another from BoatstoGo.

The Bamba: Fluid Kayak’s New Fishing Kayak

Kayakers might soon be catching a whole lot more fish, thanks to a few Kiwis. After months of R&D, New Zealand's Fluid Kayaks has placed their dedicated fishing kayak into full production: La Bamba!

Hog Island Unveils New “Green” Sit-on-top Kayak

A small drift boat and kayak company in Northwest Colorado is going Hog wild. Tapping the burgeoning rec kayak market, rotomolded driftboat manufacturer Hog Island Boatworks has introduced a new eco-friendly sit-in-top kayak made from 100 percent recycled plastic...PL checks in.

Spring Shoe Extravaganza

When the river starts pumping, it’s time to break out your spring and summer wardrobe. For us here at PaddlingLife, that means living in one outfit: dry top, helmet, life jacket, board shorts and water shoes, be it booties or a full water shoe. The last of this list is what this review is all about. We beat the streets to find the best treats for your feet.

Palm USA launches Shopatron online store

Palm USA has launched a Shopatron-powered online store for Palm Equipment, Europe’s leading paddlesports apparel brand, to make it easier for customers to order product through regional paddlesport retailers.

A Very Convenient Truth

Al Gore is not the only global warming crusader. Three sea kayakers are in the middle of a mission to the world’s most desolate place, Antarctica, to call attention to rising-thermometers as well as Antarctica's first self-supported kayak expedition...

PL’s Random Goodie Bag

All sorts of things in life are random…acts of kindness, currents out of nowhere grabbing your stern, even hitch hikers bumming shuttle. To celebrate sheer randomness, Paddling Life brings you this month’s Random Goodie Bag, a sampling of gear and accessories that has come across our transom over the long winter months. Included in this indiscriminate line-up: Fluid’s newest surf kayak, Bomber Gear’s K-bomb spray skirt, and Wanderer Imports’ Maori Hei-Matua necklace for river-running juju.

Paddler’s Christmas Wishlist with pro Kim Russell

Christmas is here. And we’ve got a few tips for all of you last minute shoppers scrambling to get the right gifts for your paddling partners. We asked Bend, OR pro Kim Russell, 19, what she uses for gear, and what she’d give to the whitewater junkie in your life.

Werner Paddles awarded Manufacturer of the Year Award

Werner Paddles was honored to once again receive the Accessory Manufacturer of the Year Award presented by Canoe & Kayak Magazine. The award is voted upon by 384 retail shops and goes to the easiest accessory manufacturer to work with. Read on to find out how this 44 year old family business is continuing to excel.

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

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Beginner Kayak Fishing Tips!

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Team Dagger and First Descents Team Up For a Good Cause.

Dagger Kayaks is a company that wants to “represent everything that’s great about getting on the water”, while First Descents is a non-profit who is “committed to curing young adults of the emotional effects of cancer and empowering them [...]by experiencing outdoor adventure therapy and outdoor adventure sports”. Now the two groups have teamed up to raise money for the cause and provide likeminded paddlers with free schwag in the process…

Fluid, U.S. Distributor Part Ways

Effective immediately, Go Big Distribution will no longer distribute...