Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kayaking Events in the Area

Two Together, Two Apart
Originally uploaded by FreeWine

Kayaking season in Oklahoma has kicked off with some much needed rain, but as usual the rains are landing on the weekends and the truly outstanding weather is saving itself for midweek. Thankfully, the Spring time change means I have time to slip down to my local lake for some sunset chasing after work.

I never cease to be fascinated by the sunsets Dripping Springs Lake is blessed with. What Oklahoma lacks in horizon features for photographers, it more than makes up for with interesting weather. How did I manage to spend my whole life here and never notice this vibrant fountain of color in my own background?

Besides sunset chasing and trying to find homes for the new puppies at our house, I have been thinking about building my own kayak. There are a number of fine books available on building kayaks and canoes from wood, fabric, fiberglass or kevlar.

I think I may buy a kit for building a cedar strip kayak. They are light-weight boats built for speed and beauty. The boat construction technique used allows you to build almost any kind of boat using commonly available and inexpensive tools.

Folks planning on buying a kayak rather than building one should consider a trip to OKC this May. The annual OKC Kayak Expo will be at Hobie Point on Oklahoma City's Lake Hefner on Wednesday evening May 6, 2009 from 6pm to 9pm. There are usually upwards of 30-40 boats out there for this free event and it's a great way to get the feel of different types of kayaks and canoes, as well as a great introduction to kayaking in general.

If you already have kayak, you can volunteer to paddle in the Olympics...sort of. The Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation is hosting an international Triathlon May 16 & 17. They need Oklahoma kayakers to help with the swim portion of the race. It will be on the Oklahoma River at the Chesapeake Boathouse. They are needing people who have some experience in a kayak, who would be able to keep an eye on the swimmers, and in the case they need assistance provide them with a floatation device. It's going to be a unique opportunity to see some of the best athletes in the world up close. For more information about the race here's the web site:

Also, the 2009 Teva Mountain Games are happening June 4 – 7, 2009 in Vail, Colorado. Expect some extreme whitewater action at that event.

Keep Paddling, Y'all!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

We Got Water, Now Get a Kayak

Rivers all over the area are running fast and high. Good news, if you are one of the unlucky folks like myself who are NOT going to be paddling the Buffalo River this weekend with the local flatwater paddling group. Did that sound bitter? Seriously, this is the primo time of year to paddle the Buffalo National River. Get there while the water is fast and the redbuds are in bloom, don't wait for summer.

The North Canadian River, the Illinois River, Deep Fork, just about every river in my area is benefiting from the surprise snowfall last weekend. So get out there and paddle something quick before it all flows away! Don't have your kayak yet? There is a kayak demo day in Dallas this month and Dave Lindo at OKC Kayak has a ready supply of great kayaks you can try out. My favorite kayak features are: ten or twelve foot length, foot pegs, comfy seat, deck webbing, and capacity of at least 200lbs.

Dallas REI Store Paddle Demo Day will be held April 11, 2009 at White Rock Lake.
Try out the latest canoes, kayaks and accessories for free! Time: 11 am - 3 pm. Test boats to see how they handle and get paddling tips from REI staff and vendors at free paddling clinics. Take home a coupon for 15% off a boat.

Of course, if you are not ready to buy a kayak yet, you can always rent a kayak instead. Just get out there and paddle some sunsets.