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The Inland Paddler: Lucky Number Six – Reflections on Chattajack

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Chattajack 2019 - Lucky Number Six Holy crap! It is hard to fathom that this year, I will have paddled up to the start line of the Chattajack river race six times.  In a row.  When I did that for the first time back in...

The Inland Paddler: Sitting Down and Returning to Paddling Roots

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Sitting Down and Returning to Paddling Roots About 20 years ago (gasp!) a dear friend and I decided to buy kayaks. We both chose Ocean Kayak sit-on-tops as our entry into the paddling world. I wasn’t interested at all in sit-in boats - my friend...

The Inland Paddler: The End of a Season

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The Inland Paddler: Outdoor Instructor Life When you are passionate about something, there is nothing more rewarding than introducing someone to the thing you love the most. And for almost every weekend during the warm months over the last five years, I have been fortunate...

What I Learned on My Summer Vacation: Traveling Cross Country for a SUP Race

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Traveling Cross Country to Race Why on earth would anyone want to load up a 14 foot downwinding board on top of a Honda Element and drive over 2,400 miles for a paddle race? One word: Adventure! After the Mullet did it last year, towing a trailer...

The Inland Paddler: Amor Fati

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Live Like Cody I have not been seriously hurt that often - a torn MCL longboard skating and then 27 stitches in my calf thanks to a sup surf fin. After each of those incidents, I was admonished on more than one occasion to rethink...

The Inland Paddler: Getting Back to the Roots

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Paddling is Paddling It’s funny how we sometimes define ourselves by what we paddle - what craft - SUP, OC, Prone, Ski - or by what kind of blade we use - single, double, none. My gateway to paddlesports was sea kayaking. I picked up my...

The Inland Paddler: What I Learned at PaddleSurf Camp

A Week at Nosara Paddlesurf
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A Week at Nosara Paddlesurf One of my local sup surfing heroes once said, “ A week of intense surfing at a much more challenging, bigger break is like an entire season’s worth of waves at home. “ Haywood is right. After a week at the...

The Inland Paddler: Top Ten Things to Love About March (and a few we don’t)

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Being a Paddler in Late February and March Ah the promise of Spring! Here in the Carolinas we’re seeing it in the blossoming Bradford Pear trees, which are now in full bloom....in the Spring Peeper frogs who have started seranading us in the evenings, and...

The Inland Paddler: Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks for Our Paddle Life
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Giving Thanks for Our Paddle Life If y'all are anything like me, you've spent the last few days trying to figure out when and how you are going to sneak out to get your Thanksgiving Day paddle in, perhaps before the day of cooking, celebrating...

The Inland Paddler: Cold Weather Paddling is Here! Yay!

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Embrace Cold Weather Paddling! Okay. I am trying.  Really I am.  And I am about 75 percent more sincere about rejoicing over the fact that it is officially Cold Weather Paddling Season in North Carolina, as well as elsewhere, this year than I was a...

The Inland Paddler: The End of A Season

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So Long, 2017 Paddle Racing Season And just like that...boom! The time changes (for most of us) and the daylight departs way too early and the stand up paddle race season is over. For many of us in the South and Mid-Atlantic, our last hurrah of...

The Inland Paddler: Essential Chatta-crap – the stuff I can’t live without right now

Kit that's Getting me to Chattajack
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Kit that's Getting me to Chattajack We're in the final countdown to the premiere event on the East Coast - the Chattajack 31 (yes, we all know it's really 32 miles, not 31) in Chattanooga. It's easy to become obsessed about the race right about...

The Inland Paddler: Age – It Really is Just a Number

Age Doesn't Have to Stop us from Paddling
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Age Doesn't Have to Stop us from Paddling This month, I turn 54.  And while I firmly believe that age is indeed just a number, there are some undeniable truths about how your body deals with “things” the more trips around the sun it takes. Simply...

The Inland Paddler: Welcoming Fall (and even Winter) Paddle Season. Really.

Forward into Fall Paddling Season
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Forward into Fall Paddling Season In the past, I have groused about Fall and the inevitable coming of Winter, the advent of Neoprene Season, and the time change and shorter days. This year, it’s a little different. Well, not the part about the losing Daylight Savings Time...

The Inland Paddler: Chatta-Freakout Time 2017 Style

Chattajack Time, Ready or Not
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Chattajack Time, Ready or Not If you are or ever have trained for the 31 mile "Inland Molokai to Oahu" that is the Chattajack race in Tennessee at the end of October, then you are probably starting to panic or have panicked right about now....

The Inland Paddler: Roads to Recovery

Waterproofing the Surf Injury
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Waterproofing the Surf Injury I'll tell you what. No one likes to be on the Injured/Disabled List, but I'll take a laceration, like the one my sup surfboard fin gave me almost three weeks ago, over a soft tissue injury any day. You get almost...

The Inland Paddler: Filleted by the Fin

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When SUP Fins Act Like Chef's Knives It was a nice, beautiful Carolina morning at Wrightsville Beach. A small rain squall was moving offshore, little to no wind and the waves looked pretty clean.  A perfect morning to have a long overdue sup surf session...

The Inland Paddler: Always Something to Learn

Dawn Patrol Paddle Surf Run
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When A Dawn Patrol Paddle Surf Run Doesn't Go As Planned No matter what the conditions, there is always something to learn. Even if the board stays in the rack, your clothes stay dry and you go for a walk instead of a ride. There is always...

The Inland Paddler: Reconnecting with the Prone Zone

Rediscovering the Magic of Prone Paddling
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Rediscovering the Magic of Prone Paddling Three years or so ago I started paddling prone, after being inspired by people like Julia Nicholls, Katie Elzer-Peters, Danielle Goldston,Chandler Bold and John Beausang.  I remember the first few times I tried to paddle my prone board in...

The Inland Paddler: When You Just Have To Go Coastal

Answering the Call of the Ocean
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Answering the Call of the Ocean I get this question a lot: "You're going to the beach, just for a few hours?" Or: "Why would anyone drive a total of 4.5 hours just to surf for an hour or two?" If someone has to ask, they...

Gear Review: Watershed Westwater Drybag

Watershed Dry Bags Perfect for SUP Touring
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Watershed Dry Bags Perfect for SUP Touring A good touring or expedition drybag needs to be durable, have a secure watertight closure and it needs to be easily secured to the deck of my touring board. Backpack straps for portaging or carrying the gear to...

The Inland Paddler: We are All Connected by Water

We are all connected by water
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We are all connected by water. We say that a lot. But the more I paddle, and the more places I go to paddle, and the more people I meet, it becomes so much more evident.  And nowhere is that more apparent that here on...

Footwear Review: Bedrock Carin Pro Minimalist Sandal

Bedrock Minimal Sandals - Perfect in and out of the water
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Bedrock Minimal Sandals - Perfect in and out of the water In my sup classes, I am often asked what you should wear on your feet while you sup. I absolutely, positively prefer to go barefoot because of board feel (ie a better connection with...

The Inland Paddler: What a difference a year makes! Recapping the 2017 Carolina Cup

OC2 View of the Carolina Cup
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OC2 View of the Carolina Cup Last year, after training all winter in the OC1, which I was still new to, I made a big splash on my first-ever Graveyard course. Literally. I flipped or huli'd four, count 'em four, times before even making it...

The Inland Paddler: Carolina Cup Essential Kit

Essential Gear for Surviving the Carolina Cup Paddle Race
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Essential Gear for Surviving the Carolina Cup Paddle Race I am really am making an effort to not take so much stuff with me when I travel. Especially to races.  But let's just face it - paddling is a gear-intensive sport. And a lot of...

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