The Paddler Bucket List

first_imgKayaking is a sport that changes lives.  Few people know where it will take them when the current first sweeps them away, but no one is ever the same. While every day on the river is special, there are certain experiences that stand out as unforgettable. Here is my list of 12 of these bucket list experiences.1. Nail your first combat roll.After many, many frustrating swims, the first time a paddler holds it together and rolls back up from chaos into sunlight is exhilarating beyond belief. Suddenly there is a self-sufficiency that wasn’t there before, many new rivers open up, and the learning curve skyrockets.Bonus tip: Create good habits in the beginning by seeking quality instruction. It’s much easier to create good habits than break bad ones.2. Run Nantahala Falls.Probably the most famous class III benchmark rapid in the world, Nantahala Falls is a huge stepping stone for beginner kayakers. It represents the first stride into the world of technical whitewater, and it can either be a great confidence booster or a sobering reminder of the river’s power. Fortunately it is a safe swim downstream, and your line will be immortalized by the paparazzi and crowd that forms on the shore during any summer weekend!Bonus tip: Whatever river features you encounter, square them up and hit them with speed.3. Surf Z-Dam.A premier playspot in the Southeast, Z-Dam is a symmetrical hole in Richmond, Va., that is perfect for every manner of trick. Paddlers spending some time there can perfect their spins, cartwheels, loops, phoenix monkeys, and every other hole trick imaginable. Couple this with several other excellent rapids under the Richmond skyline, and you have a great day on the river.Bonus tip: Try not to get shown up by 12-year-old local, Isaac Hull.4. Successfully execute a first descent.First descents represent the transition of theory into reality, one of the most special experiences a paddler can have. Many boaters think that First Ds are only for the top-level pros, but the reality is that new runs and rapids are always out there waiting to be discovered. All you need is the desire to explore.Bonus tip: Be wary of the legal ramifications of accessing and running stretches of river.5. Attend Gauley Fest.With over 5,000 kayakers in attendance, Gauley Fest is the biggest gathering of river people in the world. This event occurs every September, and it also happens to be the largest fundraiser for American Whitewater, a nonprofit that secures access and releases for hundreds of rivers throughout the nation.Bonus tip: Camp away from the center of the fairgrounds, and bring earplugs.6. Paddle in our nation’s capital.D.C. drips of legacy in this sport.  The first waterfall ever run in a kayak was part of the Great Falls section of the Potomac, and that community has long been host to Olympic athletes and world-class extreme racers.  Paddlers of all abilities can enjoy the waters of the Potomac, from paddling flatwater through some of the nation’s most iconic monuments to the peacefulness of class-III Mather Gorge and the maelstrom of class-V Great Falls.Bonus tip: If you have them, bring multiple different craft. There are creek lines, surf waves, and attainment eddies. The only limitation is your own energy.7. Compete in the Green Narrows Race.One of the most prestigious extreme races in the world, the Green Race now boasts over 150 competitors and over 1,000 spectators every year. The experience of paddling into the Green’s marquee rapid, Gorilla, is in my mind the closest that we can come to being a gladiator entering the Coliseum.Bonus tip: Spend equal time learning the lines of the river and honing your fitness.  You’re going to need both.8. Squirtboat in the Halls of Karma on the New River Gorge.Squirtboating is a niche within a niche in the sport of kayaking.  It involves paddling extremely low volume kayaks and using the currents of eddy interfaces to submerge both boat and paddler in the depths. Once underwater, the appeal becomes apparent, and real-world stresses wash away as you experience the river in a more intimate way than ever before.Bonus tip: Pop a few Ibuprofen beforehand; those boats hurt.9. Spend a day training with slalom gates.As far as improving the foundational skills that will be used in perpetuity as a kayaker, there are few things as effective as weaving in and out of slalom gates on whitewater.  As paddlers push the limits of the sport further than ever before, the basics can sometimes be overlooked.  Slalom gates allow a return to these skills by creating class-V moves in class-II water.Bonus tip: Try to get your hands on a fiberglass slalom boat or a snappy plastic equivalent like the Dagger RPM.10. Ride the USNWC conveyor belt.This is everyone’s dream: a whitewater playground that can be run a limitless number of times. The conveyor belt is a true luxury, and is worth experiencing by any paddler at least once.  After you’ve worn yourself out with endless laps of the Comp and Wilderness channels, grab some food and a beer.Bonus tip: Bring multiple boats.11. Run a waterfall.This is the most aesthetic aspect of kayaking: paddling off a cascade and into the plunge pool below.  Approaching a horizon line where the water falls out of sight is an experience only a paddler can have, and it is something that keeps us mesmerized for life. The thrill is the same no matter what the skill level or height of the drop- all that is needed is for your own limits to be pushed.Bonus tip: A few of the best beginner waterfalls in the Southeast are Valley Falls (Md.), Baby Falls (Tenn.), Hooker Falls (N.C.) and Second Ledge on the Chattooga in Georgia.12. Do a dawn patrol.  There’s no better place than on the river to welcome the dawn of a new day. Follow blue herons into the mist as the sun rises.  The possibilities are limitless when you are willing to get up early.Bonus tip: Try to wipe that perma-grin off your face in the office afterwards… no need to make your coworkers feel bad about their lives.SUP & Canoe Bucket List MentionsPaddle the French Broad Canoe TrailRecently developed by the French Broad Riverkeeper, the 140-mile French Broad Canoe Trail is an excellent opportunity to experience the North Carolina mountains from the water.Race in the Carolina CupThe Carolina Cup is the East Coast’s most competitive SUP event.  It is a perfect place to get a feel for the sport, try out the latest products, and brush shoulders with the best athletes in the world.  From beginners to pros, there is something for everyone.Go for a SUP paddle under the SupermoonThe longest day of the year coincides with the moon’s closest proximity to Earth.  This results in an exceptionally bright full moon, and is the perfect opportunity to go for a night-time paddle. There’s nothing in the world like cutting through glass on a beautiful lake or river with the full moon overhead.last_img read more

Solving a Problem? Here’s the one question you MUST ask first!

first_imgAnswers come fast. When times are tough or something bad happens, it seems like there’s always a line of people waiting to offer advice. Everyone has an idea. Everybody has an opinion. But do any of them truly understand what the problem is? Probably not.After facilitating strategic planning sessions for financial institutions over the past decade, I’ve come to a conclusion. Few things can kill success and momentum faster than running forward with an idea before truly understanding the problem it’s trying to solve. To say it another way, a good solution applied to the wrong problem will always be the wrong solution. Understanding a problem should always be the first step to solving it.What problem are you trying to solve?Three transportation companies got their start between 2009 – 2012. Uber was founded in 2009 to solve the problem of people waiting for taxis. In 2010, Gett was launched to help taxi drivers find more passengers. Two years later, Lyft opened for business. Unlike the previous taxi-focused companies, Lyft’s founders sought to solve the problem of college students driving home with empty seats in their cars while students without cars were stuck at school. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Green makes a move in Manchester race

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Twisters Outscore Golden Eagles In Wild Baseball Battle

first_imgOA vs. Cambridge City (4-19)CC           333 300 0             12   8     4OA          010 544 x             14   11   3OA Batting: Adam Huber 2-4, 3 runs, 3 rbi, bb; Andrew Oesterling 2-5, 2 runs, 2 rbi; Matt Sedler 1-3, 2 rbi, bb, hbp; Michael Hoff 0-0, hbp; Riley Schebler 1-1; Hunter Sullivan 1-3, rbi; Zach Wegman 0-2, run, 2 bb; Jordan Stenger 0-4, 2 runs; Patrick Thompson 1-1; Zach West 2-2, 3 runs, bb; Lincoln Steele 1-2, 2 bb; Will Yunger 3 runs, sb.OA Pitching: Michael Hoff  2 IP, 9 runs, 5 earned, 6 hits, 2 k, 5 bb; Riley Schebler 1 IP, 3 runs, 2 earned, 2 hits, 1 k, 2 bb, hbp; Hunter Sullivan 2 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 k, 2 bb; Andrew Oesterling 2 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 5 k     Win.Twisters Varsity Record: 3-2     Next game: Saturday, April 21st at Union Co.  DHCourtesy of Twisters Coach Doug Behlmer.last_img read more

Tokyo Olympics will go ahead ‘with or without COVID-19’ – IOC’s Coates

first_imgCaption: SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) – Tokyo’s postponed Olympics will go ahead next year regardless of the novel coronavirus pandemic, International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates told AFP Tuesday, vowing they will be the “Games that conquered COVID-19”.The Olympics have never been cancelled outside of the world wars and Coates, speaking in a phone interview, was adamant that the Tokyo Games will start on their revised date.“It will take place with or without COVID. The Games will start on July 23 next year,” said Coates, who heads the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games.“The Games were going to be, their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami,” he said, referring to a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in north-eastern Japan in 2011.Now very much these will be the Games that conquered COVID the light at the end of the tunnel.”In a landmark decision, the 2020 Olympics were postponed because of the global march of the pandemic and they are now set to open on July 23, 2021.But Japan’s borders are still largely closed to foreign visitors and a vaccine is months or even years away, feeding speculation about whether the Games are feasible at all.Japanese officials have made clear they would not delay them a second time beyond 2021.There are signs that public enthusiasm in Japan is waning, after a recent poll found just one in four Japanese want them to go ahead next year, with most backing either another postponement or a cancellation.MONUMENTAL TASKCoates said the Japanese Government “haven’t dropped the baton at all” following the postponement, despite the “monumental task” of putting the event back a year.“Before COVID, (IOC president) Thomas Bach said this is the best-prepared Games we’ve ever seen, the venues were almost all finished, they are now finished, the village is amazing, all the transport arrangements, everything is fine,” he said.“Now it’s been postponed by one year, that’s presented a monumental task in terms of re-securing all the venues … something like 43 hotels we had to get out of those contracts and renegotiate for a year later.“Sponsorships had to be extended a year, broadcast rights.”With much of that work underway, or accomplished, a task force has been set up to look at the different scenarios in 2021 – from how border controls will affect the movement of athletes, to whether fans can pack venues and how to keep stadiums safe.The group, comprising Japanese and IOC officials, met for the first time last week.“Their job now is to look at all the different countermeasures that will be required for the Games to take place,” said Coates, the long-time president of the Australian Olympic Committee.“Some countries will have it (COVID-19) under control, some won’t. We’ll have athletes, therefore, coming from places where it’s under control and some where it is not.“There are 206 teams … so there’s a massive task being undertaken on the Japanese side.”Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto on Friday repeated that organisers hoped to avoid a Games without spectators – an option that has been mooted given Japan is still limiting audiences at sports events.While the country is cautiously reopening its economy, with professional baseball, football and sumo resuming in front of limited numbers of fans, the nation continues to see a steady stream of new coronavirus cases.Japan has already ploughed billions of dollars into the Olympics, with the delay only adding to the cost.Coates said IOC was doing its part, putting in “something like an extra US$800 million to support the international federations, whose income isn’t happening this year, and national Olympic committees”. IOC vice-president John Coates.center_img Photo saved: John Coateslast_img read more