Written By Adventure Blogger, Nick Carlson
Just because winter is approaching does not mean you have to hang up your yak and paddle until spring. Of course it’s your choice if you want to hunker down this winter with a cup of hot chocolate and a Charles Dickens classic (and if that is your decision then might I suggest our recent post on storing your kayak?), but I know there is a large group of you out there who won’t let a little cold stop you from your favorite outdoor activities. It is for that reason that I wanted to help you out with a little advice from our expert staff at ACK on how to extend that paddling season straight through Mother Nature’s coldest mood, and it starts and ends in your closet.
The most important piece of advice we have to offer is to dress for the conditions. Gone are the days where throwing on your tank and board shorts qualified yourself for an afternoon paddle. Continue reading Gear Up for Cold Weather Paddling
As the second installment in our Wanderlust series,we thought it would be fitting to write
a post on one of our most popular Facebook destinations, Takachiho Gorge. The photo of paddlers beneath the canopy of foliage amongst a waterfall has garnered quite a bit of attention so without further ado we would like to take you on a trip to Takachiho Gorge.
Takachiho is nestled at the center of the Kyushu Mountains in the northwestern area of Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. The town borders Oita and Kumamoto prefectures allowing the Gokase-gawa River to flow freely through it causing the gorge to take the form of a ‘V’. The Takachiho Gorge is a picture to behold with its towering sheer grey cliffs made of slow forming volcanic basalt and canopy made of vibrant green foliage. High above the gorge is a paved walkway allowing visitors to leisurely stroll the quarter of a mile long perimeter decorated with mountain cherry blossoms while enjoying the view of rowers below. At one point the pathway above offers a view that is practically straight down to the river below.
Although the pathway surrounding the gorge is beautiful, the view from the bottom is unbeatable. Visitors can rent row boats to row the expansive Takachio Gorge or go paddling on the Gokase-gawa River exposing them to the most beautiful scenery Takachiho has to offer. One of the most popular views is that of the 54 foot Minainotaki waterfall which cascades down the cliff creating clouds of mist that rise from the falling water. The gorge and river are an easy and pleasant paddle that would be enjoyable for all levels of experience. During the summer, the gorge is illuminated creating a beautiful glow highlighting the surrounding foliage and emerald green water.
While in Takachiho, don’t forget to check out the nearby Takachiho-jinjo Shrine in the evening where you can experience the traditional Yokagura Dance while admiring the 800 year old Chichibu cedars surrounding the temple. A hike to the top of the Kunimi-ga-oka Hill is another great stop where hikers can marvel at the city below and take in the expansive mountains encompassing it. If an outdoor international adventure is something you are looking for Takachiho Gorge would be an excellent option to consider. With its beauty, traditions, and resort attractions it is sure to please even the most discerning of travelers.
-Dayvee @ ACK
Blade shape and paddling style – From a Fisherman’s perspective
Simply put, if you focus on a paddle that fits you it will means less fatigue, more time on the water and more fish in your boat. A lot goes into a great paddling paddle and each manufacture will happily tell their story, so do your research, try stuff out and make an informed decision. However the constant between all brands is that you are going to see two general blade shapes. They will differ some, but generally you’ll have short and fat or long and skinny. Each shape is designed specifically to perform better with your paddling style. Now sure you can use any blade, paddle however you want, but to get the most from your paddling match the blade shape to your paddling style. Let’s take a closer look.
Long and Skinny. This shape is for “Low-Angle” paddling. In this style your top hand is shoulder height during your stroke, and much more relaxed as it puts less pressure on your smaller muscle groups. This allows you to spend more time focusing on landing fish. Continue reading How to Choose a Paddle That’s Right For You
At ACK we love paddling for a number of reasons- but we don’t want to focus on why we are obsessed!
We took to our Facebook page and asked all of our customers what makes them want to go out
paddling and got some great answers. Y’all answered with everything from waking up to getting excited about the weather hitting 55 – so we thought we’d share a few with you.
Here are some of our favorites:
A bad week at work! Plus a beautiful sunny day!
A good 6 inch rain
When I’m out on the water all of the BS in life disappears for a while
Rain, snow, sleet, hail and even sun makes me want to go paddling
Good weather and good friends
Owning my first kayak I bought at demo day
Just being out there. Fishing is fun but the joy of paddling makes it special
It’s such a peaceful and relaxing time that I get to share with my husband/wife and no other distractions
Of course we cant forget about some of the smart answers y’all sent in like “I don’t need no stinkin’ reason!” and “Why would you need a reason?!”
We have to give it to them though- a paddler never needs a reason to get out on the water.
We asked our Facebook fans, “What’s the craziest thing people ask you about your outdoor hobby?” The answers were incredible! Here’s 10 of our favorites:
1. Where do you pee? — Asked to Tim C.
2. You go out into the ocean in THAT?! — Asked to Christopher H.
3. Don’t you have enough kayaks? — Asked to Kenneth W.
4. What if a shark tips you over? — Asked to Don W.
5. You kayak in the winter? — Asked to Martha B.
6. Aren’t you afraid of tipping over? — Asked to Diana J.
7. You have sonar on that thing? — Asked to Allen M.
8. How does it float with holes in it? — Asked to Howard P.
9. What do you do once you hook a fish? — Asked to David T.
10. What happens if it sinks? — Asked to Brent D.
So have you ever been asked any of these things? Have your own crazy question to add? Let us know by commenting below!
The entire collection of questions can be found here.
Keep these Life Jacket Facts in Mind
Whatever kind of paddling you like to do, it’s important to always wear your life jacket (or PFD) while you’re out on the water. Think of it like wearing a seat belt in your car – you probably won’t find yourself in a situation where you need it, but it’s a precaution that can be live saving should the worst happen. I came across some great life jacket facts from the Safe Boating Campaign about why you should actually put it on one while you’re out paddling and wanted to share them here:
- U.S. Coast Guard’s 2010 statistics stated that approximately 88 percent of boaters who drowned were reported as not wearing life jackets.
- This means that over 400 boaters died unexpectedly because they were uninformed or simply not in the habit of taking this significant safety precaution.
- It is human nature to think it can’t happen to me–but it can.
- The majority of people who drown in boating accidents know how to swim, but become incapacitated in the water.
- Sometimes they are injured or unconscious.
- Others develop hypothermia or become exhausted.
- Some are weighed down by clothing.
- An accident usually happens without warning.Other reasons why people don’t wear a life jacket are that it is too hot, or it will mess up their tan line, or they are simply not comfortable.
- Usually after the accident, the life jackets are not within reach–in cabinets, trapped under the vessel, floating far away in the water.
- Many people don’t realize the variety of new life jackets that are on the market–belt packs and other inflatable styles that are low profile and light weight.
- It is important to wear a life jacket at all times while boating.
With Halloween on the horizon, here are 5 unique ways paddlers are celebrating Halloween:
1. Spooky Kayak Decorations, because nothing says scary like a skeleton in a kayak.
2. Dressing Up Like Mr. CanoeHead, this insurance salesman turned super hero is a reference no one will probably get.
3. Paddling a..Pumpkin? It’s a farmer thing.
4. Paddling in Costume, just call him The Super Paddler.
5. Giving out these to Trick-or-Treat-ers. Who cares what it tastes like, it’s wrapper is a canoe.
So what are you doing to incorporate paddling into your holiday? Let us know by commenting below!
Stand Up Paddling Is Easier Than You Think
Or maybe this 2 year old just has some serious skills! I came across this video posted by the Paddling Headquarters and loved it. It showcases just how easy and fun Stand Up Paddling can really be. The beginning is a bit tedious with the unnecessary slow-mo’s but when little Kiara Goold finally climbs up on her little SUP, paddle in hand and grin across her face, well…that’s when you’re going to be wishing you were on the water too! Check out this stand up paddling kid for yourself:
Got a Stand Up Paddling Kid of Your Own?
I’m not sure what board Kiara is using but we’ve got the perfect SUP for your little one, or grom, in surfer speak. The Tahoe SUP Grom Kids paddleboard is a great size for younger paddlers and comes with the quality you can only find from Tahoe SUP. Grab one your your stand up paddling kid and then hit the water family style!
The temperature are creeping up and it’s crucial you stay hydrated matter what you’re doing, whether it be a light run or a multi-day back country excursion.
There are a wide variety of ways for you to get the H2O you need. Check out these ACK videos as we give a break down of essential products for Hydration on Longer Adventures, Hydration when Hiking & Running and Hydration at Basecamp then comment below and tell us how YOU stay hydrated outside!