Being one of a handful of girls, in a largely male dominated company and in some ways industry, can be an interesting experience. It can feel like a “good-ole-boy” paradise at times, with all the goofing around and obsessing over the latest and greatest fishing gear to put on your kayak. But make no mistake, the ladies are here and we’ve got just as much enthusiasm about the rivers, lakes and oceans as those trouble making boys do.

I personally am an avid outdoorswoman, veteran backpacker, scuba diver, rock climber and San Marcos, Texas river rat. I am an Austin native and I can’t tell you how many summers I spent kayaking both Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin. You can catch me and my girlfriends out and about almost every weekend (when the weather permits), either snorkeling for treasure left by absent minded tubers, with our kayaks in tow or taking a short trip down to our favorite camping spots just for the heck of it.

I’ve recently had several questions about our “Ladies Night” seminars we’ve been hosting in our stores, as well as inquiries into any clubs around the San Marcos or Austin areas that cater to women — specifically with interests in the rivers that surround us. Let me offer some more information.

Ladies Night @ACK
Our Ladies Night seminars are designed to offer information about the gear you need and the places to go for outdoor paddling adventures tailored towards women. It’s an informal gathering of like-minded paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts and is open to all women of any experience level. Our next seminar is on November 16th, 2011 from 6-7pm at the San Marcos, Austin and Houston stores. Our focus for the night will be about picking out the right gear, whether you’re going fishing or just taking a trip down river. For more information about this event, click here.

Paddle Lessons and Guided Trips
For those looking to get take the next level and are ready to get out on the water I decided to do some research of organizations that I could recommend and so happen to come across a group that my fellow kayaking ladies should look into — See Jane Paddle!

 See Jane Paddle is a group led by experienced marathon paddlers and athletes, Debbie Richardson and Janie Glos. These ladies know what they’re talking about, being finishers of the Texas Water Safari as well as being a part of a women’s canoe racing team known as “The Hippie Chicks”. Their goal is to reach out to women who have a love of adventure and the outdoors but have yet to experience the joy of paddling. Their group offers women’s paddling clinics for beginners where they teach you the basic skills of paddling in a relaxed and very friendly environment. You can go alone to make some new friends or bring a bunch of your girlfriends with you, either way it’s a wonderful learning opportunity!

They also offer guided river trips on the San Marcos, Guadalupe and Colorado rivers. These trips are beginner friendly and complete with all the gear you need. You’ll be able to explore the natural beauty of the Texas river landscape and bond with ladies who enjoy this natural beauty as much as you do! 

Debbie and Janie are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable who want women of all backgrounds and athletic ability to share in the wonder and beauty of the rivers of Texas.

As a fellow river enthusiast, I couldn’t agree more with their philosophy and mission and encourage my fellow ladies who have, or have not been out on the river before to check them out. Who knows, you could find a new passion, or have a wonderful weekend adventure! Either way, it’s worth looking into.

Texas Outdoor Women’s Network
The group was created by Texas Parks and Wildlife to provide all women the opportunity to experience outdoor activities in a safe, non-threatening and supportive environment. The beauty of the group is that each one has members interested in a wide variety of outdoor activities including paddling! They have local chapters that you can specifically in Austin, Bastrop, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Rockport, San Antonio, San Marcos and Waco. Click here for complete details.

So for all of my fellow ladies who love the water, join us at one of our “Ladies Night” seminars, get some lessons, join an outdoor adventure group and get out there and explore! With as much natural beauty as Central Texas, there’s no reason not to.

Do you have any other great resources related to paddling or the outdoors that you’d like to share with other ladies? Comment below!

Bronwynn @ACK San Marcos