Instruction Category

Practice Kayaking Indoors

Building a Greenland Balance Bench

Using a Greenland Balance BenchWith the recent cold weather I wanted to find a way to work on my paddling and edging balance while staying dry, or at least warm. The Tipping Without Flipping  class only happens once a month in a heated pool, and I needed something for the time between classes. I remembered seeing something while attending Alder Creek’s Spring Paddle Fest 2016. The local Greenland Paddling Club, Qajaq USA, had two Greenland Balance Benches on display. A Greenland Balance Bench is a rocking bench that simulates the movement of a performance sea kayak so that you can train and build the muscles necessary to balance in your boat. The Inuits would use these balance benches to prepare their children to hunt by kayak. After playing with them a little I remembered thinking “I’ve gotta make one!”. After some online research I found they are very simple to construct. All you need is:

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Winter Community Clinics 2016-2017

FREE Winter Community Clinic Series: “Sunday School”

Winter Kayak Clinic

Brought to you by Alder Creek & Ninkasi Brewing

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2016 Lumpy Waters Sea Kayak Symposium

2016 Lumpy Waters Sea Kayak Symposium

Lumpy Waters

Alder Creek’s 2016 Lumpy Waters Sea Kayak Symposium was a great success!

A huge thanks go out to our participants and coaches for traveling far and wide to Pacific City, OR this year!  This Lumpy might have been our best yet.  Of course we have to thank our incredible sponsors for their support as well!

Check out photos HERE and the event video below!  (Huge shout out to Brent Williamson of Raging River Pictures for his excellent work on the video!)

And feel free to reach out to our sponsors on social media and thank them for their support!

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Presenting Sponsors:

Kokatat

Kokatat

thule

Thule

sterling

Sterling Kayaks

NRS

NRS

Airstream

Airstream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PNA/BCU Week – Trainings and Assessments

PNA Week 2016 is September 23 to October 6

PNA Week 2016

We offer 1 star to 4 star BCU training and assessments, Foundation Safety & Rescue Training andNavigation and Tidal Planning courses, and are currently the only Whitewater Safety & Rescue Provider in North America.  Many great coaches get their start during our popular coach training and education courses.  We also run PNA “Week” each October where you can combine a number of trainings and assessments over a couple weeks while paddling along the beautiful Oregon rivers and coast.

People choose to pursue BCU training and the Star Awards for a variety of reasons. They include the desire to gauge one’s level of paddling skills, the ability to adequately judge a person’s capacity to take on a given journey and the recognition of the human need to constantly challenge and improve ourselves. Our goal is to provide the tools for long term paddler development. The BCU Star awards: Training, Practice, Assessment and then on to the next level.

Click the banner above, or click HERE to register and view course listings for personal skill development as well as coaching certification!

Foundation Safety & Rescue Training (FSRT)

Have you ever signed up for a class, looked at the syllabus and weather report and asked yourself “What did I just set myself up for?” That was my first thought after seeing the forecast and looking at the FSRT syllabus. Thoughts of backing out and hoping for a refund ran through my mind. I’m glad I pushed those thoughts out of my head and stuck with the plan.

On Saturday I, along with 5 other OOPSters and 3 new Alder Creek employees, participated in the FSRT (Foundation Safety and Rescue Training) course taught by Paul Kuthe and Karl Andersson. The weather was much better than expected and these two took that intimidating syllabus I mentioned earlier and turned it into a fantastic day on, and often in, the chilly Columbia River .

We started the day behind the closed doors of Alder Creek tossing throw bags into (more often “at”) the cockpit of a target kayak and then honed our tossing skills after lunch in a parking lot. Lots of laughter here; so many things to learn about simply tossing rope!

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On the docks we learned how to save a struggling swimmer and scoop them up in a canoe before taking to the water in a variety of vessels with the intent of falling out to be saved and returned to our boat by someone else in our group.  Learning to empty a canoe across the deck of a sea kayak was a fun part of the day.  So was working out how to swap boats in the middle of the water without anyone getting wet!

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The afternoon saw us doing towing practice. We started with races to see who could get to and tow away another paddler the fastest using our tow belts. This progressed to more races using contact tows.

We followed those games with self rescues in the variety of boats Alder Creek provided. Canoe self-rescues certainly was an eye-opener. Just when you think you know how to do things … .

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Our day ended with the fabled Hand of God rescue … but from the dock. A kayaker rolled over and we jumped in to pull them upright. Works like a charm. Whew! Talk about trust!!

If you’ve never tried any of the skills described here from anything except your own kayak, you NEED to take this course. More to the point, you WANT to take this course. As Charles Congdon put it in his listserve blast, “Yes, this is a formal class that will make you a better paddler. But it’s also some of the most fun you will have in the water since you were a kid.”

So dang! Now you’re thinking to yourself that you missed the opportunity to get this incredible training … except you haven’t!!!!

If you’re sorry to have missed all the fun this past Saturday, you’re in luck. Alder Creek is going to repeat the fun on April 4th when they’re teaching the FSRT again. So what are you waiting for? Call Alder Creek (503-285-0464), sign up, and get out in the water to play with other paddlers, laugh, and learn something new and useful; something that will help you be a more valuable member of a paddling group. There are still some spots open, and if you hurry you might be able to grab one of them. With your 10% OOPS discount from Alder Creek and after applying for and receiving your reimbursement from OOPS you will only have to pay $90 (General members and inactive Trip Organizers/Instructors) or $45 (active Trip Organizers/Instructors) for this amazing, $125 course taught by two of the best instructors you’re likely to meet.

Many thanks again to Paul, Karl, Alder Creek and all the other hardy participants of the day!

-Karen C.
Oregon Ocean Paddling Society member

Winter Community Clinics 2015/2016

Check out the Winter Community Clinics for December 2015 – March 2016!  Oh, and they’re FREE!!!

A BIG thanks to Ninkasi Brewing for providing some of their excellent products for our enjoyment at the clinics!

Clinics begin at 6:30pm, Tuesdays and will be at our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach locations.

 

sot clinic

Alder ‘Geek’ FREE Community Clinic Series

Come ‘geek out’ with us at Alder Creek this winter!  Summer around the shop can be a hectic time.  When the rain returns and the rest of the country pack their boats and boards away for the winter, we are just getting started!  In the Pacific Northwest people go paddling ALL year long!  As a service to our paddling community, we want to invite you out for our FREE Community Clinic Series.  For years now, local experts, guest speakers, and Alder Creek staff have teamed up to provide these free, informative, and interactive clinics on Tuesday evenings starting in December through the winter and early spring. 

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required. 

*SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC SPECIALS will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

February 23rd, 2016  Fishing Clinic  6:30 to 8:30 pm  Jantzen Beach

 

March 1st, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Dutch Oven Cooking for Paddlers
at   The Jantzen Beach Location

dutch oven cookingBy: Alder Creek Lead Expedition Training Guide Andrew Romanelli

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.

Dutch Ovens make kayak living sooo nice.  Don’t suffer through another freeze dried disaster.  There is no reason to eat like an astronaut just because you are a little ways from home.  Baking and roasting your favorite home cooked dishes is not just possible but often even BETTER when you do them in the Dutch oven.  Andrew is our lead expeditionary sea guide and runs our San Juan Sea Kayak programs.  Andrew Romanelli is also an avid canoeist from the bountiful and calm waters of Wisconsin .  In recent years he has tested his skills on some of the toughest whitewater around.  He can cook up a mean meal in the middle of nowhere and will show you how with a smile.  (no really he’s smiling under that beard 😉

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

 

March 8th, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Mobility, stretching, & Yoga for Paddlers
at   The Jantzen Beach Location

yoga for kayakersBy: Alder Creek Lead SUP Yoga instructor Elaine!

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.

Call it “Yoga” or “mobility training” or whatever you want.  The fact is if we move better we paddle better.  If we paddle better we have more FUN and stay SAFE.  Come wearing comfortable clothes, bring a mat if you have one, and get ready to have some fun learning great ways to prevent injury, improve performance, and enjoy paddling even more with some help and guidance from a real expert and coach in the field of yoga AND paddling.

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

 

 

December 1st, 2015  6:30–8:30pm
Welding Plastic Boats
at The Jantzen Beach Location

welding 2By: David Dalbey (resident repair guru and all around great guy)

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

At Alder Creek we have always been the go to place for boat repairs of all kinds.  Our FULL service shop provides the very best in kayak, canoe, and board repair.  We do everything from boat welding to rudder installs and custom modifications.  Let’s face it… boats break.  The water is cold here.  Our volcanic rock is unforgiving.  The combination can spell disaster for even your toughest polyethylene boats.  Let us share our knowledge and extensive experience with you.  We can show you how to extend the life of a plastic boat by welding up cracks and holes using simple tools and good technique.  Join us in our full service repair shop at Jantzen Beach in N. Portland and we will teach you to bring plastic boats back from the dead! It’s… It’s… ALIVE!!!!  Now, GO boat it!

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC DEALS will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!      

 

December 8th, 2015  6:30–8:30pm
Dressing for Winter Paddling in the NW
at The Boathouse Location

snow kayakingWith:  Special guest speaker Karl Kohagen from Kokatat  (Immersion wear expert extraordinaire!)

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

Lots of folks put their boats and boards away for the winter.  Did you know some of the best paddling in the northwest happens in the colder months?!  We have some tips and tricks to make it fun and comfy.  Karl Kohagen from Kokatat will be in the house with some extra special deals for clinic participants.  Learn all the ins and outs of paddling drysuits  Why do they cost so much?  How are they made?  How do you fit one?  When do you wear one?  Is it really that much better than a wetsuit?  How will I use the bathroom?  If you have ever wondered ANYTHING about drysuits you should come on out and talk to Karl.  Also, this just in… Get a sneak peek and special deal on the latest from Kokatat including their NEW never before seen 2 piece expedition suit called “The Radius” plus other new products due to hit the scene in 2016.       

BONUS:!!  We will be offering a special on custom order drysuits from Kokatat and some other great deals for participants so don’t miss this one! 

 

December 15th, 2015  6:30–8:30pm
Whitewater Safety & Rescue Concepts & Video Analysis   
at The Boathouse Location

swift water picBy: Alder Creek Program Manager and Certified Whitewater Safety & Rescue Trainer Paul Kuthe

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

Everyone loves a good carnage video.  Much can be learned from other people’s mistakes and experiences.  It’s far less painful than learning from your own.  Come to the Boathouse location for an evening and discuss some fundamental safety and rescue concepts then put them into context through group video analysis.  We will break down some of your favorite carnage / rescue reels in groups and find the common threads that can be used to make or break your next rescue.  This will be a great evening for anyone looking to become more safe and effective on the river.  Bring your boating crew and let’s have some fun getting serious about saving lives and preventing accidents.

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!      

 

December 29th, 2015  6:30–8:30pm
Loading & Transporting your boat or board
at The Jantzen Beach Location

rack clinicBy: Alder Creek Staff

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

Getting your rig loaded up to go paddling can be more than half the battle.  Don’t let a heavy boat or tall vehicle stand between you and paddling bliss.  Most paddling injuries are not on the water at all!  Learn to safely load and unload your boat or board using a combination of low impact technique and appropriate equipment.  It doesn’t have to be expensive to get to the water and you don’t have to have super human strength or be a knot wizard either.  Let us show you some tips, tricks, and gear that will make things a whole lot easier and more safe allowing you to paddle even MORE.      

BONUS:!!  Pick up your special one time offer coupon for all Thule rack parts and accessories at the clinic!

 

January 5th, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Mobile Charts & Maps Clinic
at The Boathouse Location

portland chart posterBy: Jason Goldstein   (A.K.A. “Kiwi” )

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

Want to get free charts and maps on your phone or iPad or Android device?  Learn some tips to draw digital bearings right on your mobile chart, add trip photos and camping information, Waterproof cases that work, Extra battery and solar tips for extended trips. Come to this class. Pre load the free “Avenza PDF map” app and bring your smart phone with you!  Time to join the digital age!!!

*SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out! 

Kiwi is a paddler, cartographer and recreation planner and has years of digital chart and map experience in forest and ocean environments. He will share his tips and tricks with you and will help make it EASY.  Don’t worry… You don’t need to be a computer geek to get this stuff.  Just come and have some fun planning your upcoming paddling trips. 

 

January 12th, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Who ya gonna call??  U.S.C.G.!   
at The Boathouse Location

Flare trainingWith: Special guest speaker Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg of the U.S. Coast Guard!

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

Things can happen anywhere, but on the water minutes matter and it can be challenging to know what to do.  Who ya gonna call, and how?  How will they find you?  Who will come to help?  Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg of the U.S. Coast Guard will be presenting information that could help save the life of a friend or even your own.  Get the chance to ask questions and speak with a truly knowledgeable representative of the rescue and defense community and get some hands on experience with some VERY important skills.    

Some topics could include:

-Coast Guard resources in the area.  (What tools are at your disposal and where are they located) 

-Rescue gear and tools used by the Coast Guard

-COLREGS and how they apply to kayaks at sea and on the rivers

-Visibility (common colors and techniques you can use to be seen on the water day or night)

-Most common preventable incidents and accidents statistically

-Signaling (VHF radio use, Spot, mirrors, smoke, dye markers, launching aerial flares, etc…)  

To wrap up the evening we will have a Flare Demonstration from dock right outside.  Bring your expired flares (or fresh ones) and get some valuable first hand practice and training on how to properly deploy aerial flares of all kinds!!

*SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

 

January 19th, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Long Boat Packing for Multi-Day Trips
at The Boathouse Location

boat packing picBy: Alder Creek Expeditioner David Dalbey

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

This hands-on workshop at the The Boathouse shop will have you packing more into a boat than you ever thought possible!  Longer whitewater boats and sea kayaks are amazingly efficient but require some forethought when loading up.  Get some hands-on experience packing different boats with different stuff for different trip lengths rather than just watching the instructor demo it.  If you are thinking of going on a multi-day trip soon you are sure to pick up a few tips at this clinic that will be a game changer.  

 

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

 

January 26th, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Photography for Paddlers (Part 1 of 2)
at
  The Boathouse Location

demshitz video boatingBy: Neil Schulman  

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

Three billion images are taken worldwide every year.  Most are boring. Paddling photographs are usually even worse.  It is one of the most challenging sports to capture well, for both technical and creative reasons.  This evening we will explore these difficulties and learn how to make more impactful images of the watery parts of the world for both experienced and casual shooter alike.  We will cover different kinds of paddle-sports and their unique challenges, shooting on and off the water, and how to jumpstart your creativity.  Best of all, you’ll learn how to become a better photographer without buying more gear in this the first of 2 sessions. 

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

 

February 2nd, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Trip Planning for British Columbia
at
  The Boathouse Location

neilBy: Neil Schulman  

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

It’s raining in Portland …again.  Perfect time to start planning for better weather!  Learn how to shape great trips to some of the best paddling in the world, just a day’s drive north.  BC provides an intricate coastline, lots of choices about conditions, a wild landscape full of wolves, whales and sea otters, and you don’t have to fly and then rent boats.  An overview of the likely destinations, skill levels required, routes, planning considerations, etc.

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

 

February 9th, 2016  6:30–8:30pm
Visual Language of Photography (part 2 of 2)
at
  The Boathouse Location

Bb Hyslp Marty Martinez Srf LnchV1BW2VSMBy: Neil Schulman  

Ninkasi Brewing has joined in the fun this season!  They have generously donated some of their finest brews to enjoy each evening, so treat yourself and take in some knowledge with other fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  Other tasty beverages and snacks will also be available.  Bring a friend or the whole family.  The more the merrier!!!  It’s all free.  No registration required.    

Continue learning the visual language of photography from the perspective of a paddler. Light is the raw element of photography, and visual language is the way we convey meaning.  Understanding how they both work is the best way to make your photos more impactful.  Not only for paddlers, but there will be some particular components for those that spend time on the water. This hands on workshop is helpful for any kind of photography, and skill levels from casual to professional.

SPECIAL WEEKLY CLINIC Deals will be available to those in attendance.  Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lumpy Waters 2015 VIDEO and Wrap Up

Lumpy Waters 2015!

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Check out some photos from the event HERE or check out the Lumpy Waters Facebook page!

Lumpy Waters is a three day celebration of sea kayaking! With coaching aimed at advanced beginners, early intermediates, and advanced level paddlers, Lumpy provides an unparalleled opportunity to improve your skills on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Top coaches come from all over the world, making Lumpy Waters the premiere instructional destination for dynamic ocean paddling.

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe presents their 7th annual Lumpy Waters Symposium held in Pacific City, OR. This year’s event took place from October 16th – 18th, 2015. This film had a 36 hour turnaround, was shot on Friday and Saturday of the event, and was presented Saturday night for the attendants. Film by Brent Williamson of Raging River Pictures (ragingriverpictures.com).

If you are interested in joining us next year, please check out lumpywaters.com for more information on next year’s event October 7-9, 2016!  Or, just click the Book Now button below!

Book Now

Music
Chet Faker – Gold
http://chetfaker.com

Topher Mohr and Alex Elena – Stalling

Keller Williams – Vabeeotchay
http://kellerwilliams.net

 

Wrap-Up from Dave and Suzi:

Alder Creek would like to extend a HUGE thank YOU to the folks who make our Lumpy Waters Symposium possible!!

Every year the Alder Creek Lumpy Waters Symposium is a success due to people who make a GIANT effort.  First we couldn’t do it without the support staff who stay in Portland and run the stores, programs and work the Pumpkin Regatta!!  We have the best staff in the world and we truly appreciate the efforts made by the entire team.  Our retail staff, rental staff, guides, instructors and coaches work all year reaching out to folks with ideas and suggestions to improve their paddling skills or just more time on the water.  Paddlers encouraging other paddlers to reach for the limits and expanding their horizons by following a progression of skill building that leads a lucky group of people to Lumpy each year.

Thank you to our staff who believe!!

An ENORMOUS thanks to the coaches, staff and volunteers who are on site at Lumpy! Leading classes, assisting classes, filming, outfitting boats, loading boats, doing dishes, fitting helmets, working registration, organizing vehicles, driving shuttles, organizing students, organizing coaches, smiling, having fun and MAKING FUN happen. Endless work and Endless magic. Thank you.

A very special Thanks goes out to our manufacturers and vendors who support this event in ways too numerous to list. They truly make it possible and comfortable and certainly add a BIG FUN factor with the raffle items, beverage cups, drysuits, kayaks, hats, DVDs and endless schwag. Plus they are there to work and help which is priceless.
Thank you so much TEAM ALDER CREEK!

The Students are the MOST special part of Lumpy each year, bringing their enthusiasm and goals to the Oregon Coast with open eyes and rapidly beating hearts.
A brave bunch of paddlers putting their trust in the coach’s vision hoping for a break through moment or their first surf or improving their forward stroke or mastering that elusive roll.
Thank you for the chance to splash, cheer and laugh together.

See you next year!!

Thank YOU all
Dave and Suzi

 

Dave Slover

Suzi Elle

Suzi Elle

 

Some Positive Feedback:

Paul,
My son and I both had an awesome time at our first but not last Lumpy Waters. The coaches, sponsors and kayak comunity make it impossible not to have the best learning and all-round good time of the year. Things I liked: 1. The quality of the coaches and their ability to share their skills with kayakers new to the surf environment. Fear to fun was perfect for that. 2. The venues were varried for novice and advanced paddler. Some very close to camp. I liked hearing the surf at night when going to sleep. 3. The afternoon happy hour and evening activities where a BLAST!! Thanks to the sponsors and enthusiastic coaches.
Things to improve, I would like to see fun and feed back increase to a full day. We ran out of time before we had a chance to practice some of what was taught. 2. Maps of the different venue locations. I got separated from the group due to stop lights and had a tough time finding the launch.
Thanks for a fantastic program,
Larry

Suzi, thanks to you and Paul for all the hard work you put in at Lumpy Waters. Being there for the first time made me appreciate all the logistical work behind it. I really enjoyed it and plan to return next year.
David S

Suzi,
Had a great time at Lumpy. Nick Cunliff was awesome. I would endorse his return.
By now you should be relaxed and relishing the accomplishment of a very successful Lumpy. You and Paul should be very proud.
Donna S

Excellent class. Chris did a great job. Thanks for making it happen.
Margaret

Paul (and staff),
I had a great time at my first Lumpy. I couldn’t begin to offer suggestions for improvement. You guys have this put together so well- its an impressive experience to be a part of. Do the things you guys need to do to make the job easier on yourselves so we all can continue to benefit from such a valuable event.
The video preview was huge. Such a quality capturing of the feeling of what we were all involved in. I’m sharing it with everyone.
I look forward to many more Lumpy’s.
Thank you,
Kevin M

Thanks so much, Paul. First let me just say that Lumpy was awesome and I plan to return next year. I really appreciated the variety of options and the great venues and awesome coaches.
Again, thanks so much for all your work.
Laverne

Suzi –
Just another quick shout out that I had a really enjoyable time (and learned a lot!) at both BCU week and Lumpy. Thanks to you and all of the Alder Creek team for putting on such an excellent event. I know you are recovering and have to be exhausted. I certainly appreciate all the work put in.
Thanks again for a wonderful event!
Kate

Suzi
Now I can see why everyone talks about Lumpy. The entire weekend was superb–the boating, the coaches, the lodging, the food and your flawless organization.
Thanks much; hope to come back up next year.
Jane

Hi
I want to thank you for getting Jeannie involved in Sunday’s activities. She had fun.
Putting Lumpy on was certainly a high energy effort and without the energy it wouldn’t be as successful as it was. Quality of instruction and general support of participants with food and evening activities keeps all focused on why we are there. Thank you.
Roger

Hi Paul, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much we enjoyed our time at Lumpy Waters. An amazing staff and great organization made this event really function. On top of that, the level of instruction was superb as was the level of comraderie. My Wife Claire and I were attending for the first time and we feel we gained so much kayaking knowledge as well as a great view of what it means to be part of the kayaking community. Thanks so much to you, the owners and of course Suzi and all the staff for making it happen. We are looking forward to next year. Mike

Paul, Dave and Suzi,
I wanted to thank you guys again for including me in your event. Very impressive again this year. I personally saw a lot of folks making big progress on their personal kayak skills in a short time. Your unique idea to allow so much real time changing to different classes goes a long ways toward creating a positive feeling towards the event.
Kim G

Suzi Just a super thanks for everything !

Suzi and Paul,
Thank you for a great event. I really enjoyed it.
Jay

Hey Paul,
Great event!
I’m looking at the questions you wanted answered and honestly can’t think of anyway to improve the event. Everything from the scheduling of classes to the wonderful people there would be hard to improve on. Thanks for letting me be part of this event! I would love to come back next year if there is room.
Bill

Hey Paul!
Just wanted to say thanks for inviting me up again, I had a blast and was happy to be a part of a great event. The classes went really well, Ryan and Malcom were great to work with and you have a great crew at Alder Creek too. I heard several students comment on how much they liked having lots of instructors on each class so they could get some more individualized instruction, and I think that worked really well in each class I was a part of. The Pub Quiz and the presentation were great, and having an open happy hour was a big hit. I think you guys have the entertainment down really well, it was great to see a really good venue where everything can be contained on site. I heard nothing but good feedback from students all weekend, people were really happy. I liked the duct tape on people’s helmets so the coaches could see names and how they placed themselves as a paddler. That was super helpful. Keep up all the great work, we will keep telling lots of students about Lumpy!
-David

Paul-
Magnificent job with Lumpy 2015!

Paul,
Great conference, I plan on returning.
I liked courses, instructors, attendees, beer & atmosphere.
It was great ending on Sunday, attempting to surf at Netarts.
I want to get more surfing in this winter & hope to find someone from conference to go with. Maybe more lessons?
Best coaching experiences where when the coaches would adapt the lesson plan to each individual’s skill level.
Could be better: food.
Alan

Paul, Lumpy rocked. Last year was smooth, this year was pureed smooth. Can’t wait til next year!
Don

Suzi
I loved Lumpy and I’m very excited about my new Progression.
David

Thanks for putting together and amazing event; this year was great! Great coaches, great students, great classes and the ratio of coaches and assistant coaches and students was pretty amazing and made the challenging conditions possible!
I had a lot of fun and paddled my butt off and was thoroughly exhausted when i got home!
Colin

Custom Ross Island Tour

Custom Ross Island Tour!

Alder Creek runs a full schedule of classes and tours year round but is always available for group trips, team building, and custom programs of all kinds.  Last Friday, top notch Alder Creek guides Malcolm Kelly, Steve Pilch, Linda Neel and I led one such trip for Rothermel Financial Services.  We were quite a site as all 37 brightly colored boats made their way across the Willamette River and down to Ross Island.  Just as we approached Willamette Park from the South, two bald eagles appeared overhead as if to show us the way.  We all picked ripe blackberries and waded in the cool, refreshing waters of the Willamette before heading back to Oaks Park for a lovely lunch.  It was another great time on the water with fun people!  It’s always rewarding to get back onto the water and out into my preferred “office”.  A big thanks to Damien and Sarah from the Rothermel Group for taking such great care of their customers and for bringing them out for a custom Ross Island tour with us. 

-Paul 

Book Now

 

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Advanced Creeking Clinic on Canyon Creek

Enjoy Dave Trageser’s recount of his Personal First Descent of Canyon Creek during an Advanced Creeking Clinic!
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“A successful descent of Washington’s Canyon Creek was on my bucket list for 2015.  This gem of a run located just outside of Amboy, WA, is a staple of the steep creeking community in Portland and a wintertime playground for whitewater boaters from all over the region due to its incredibly favorable fun to consequence ratio.  In my mind, I had pictured myself checking Canyon Creek off the list sometime in April or May once I had spent all winter preparing myself for such a steep, intimidating class IV run.  Part of this preparation was supposed to be participating in one of Alder Creek’s Advanced Creeking Clinics on a less committing run. However, the script got flipped on me when a sunny weekend dried up all of our options for the class and the call was made: Canyon Creek would be had on Sunday, January 25th.
“Canyon Creek starts with some benign rapids in a beautiful setting just downstream from the Fly Creek bridge before picking up pace and delivering several miles of fun and exciting drops that carry you through an immensely deep & steep gorge before crashing to a halt when the creek dumps into Lake Merwin.  Most of the rapids are ledges, with some bouldery jumbles interspersed to keep you on your toes.  The first named rapid on Canyon Creek is Swizzle Sticks, a series of sporty holes which marks the beginning of the upper gorge section that should most definitely be scouted for wood.  Fortunately for us the whole section was clean & clear. The upper gorge ends with Terminator, a funky 5 foot ledge that requires a move up high on the left to avoid a very nasty hole at the base of this drop on the right.  Miss a stroke like I did and you’ll definitely need to show off the old combat roll for your friends 🙂
“Below Terminator, several more ledges and bouldery drops carry you downstream to Prelude and Thrasher, two of the most fun drops on the whole creek.  Prelude requires a big boof off the very right side of this broken ledge and then some solid paddle strokes upon landing, as the hole at the base is sticky and carries a powerful upstream current.  Thrasher itself has a more straightforward line. The most important component to a successful run is to point your bow to the right when you land (a big old lefty boof off the rock in the middle of that ledge).  Thrasher also marks the start line for the Canyon Creek race every Spring, something I hope to be able to participate in this season!
“Below Thrasher, a long and complex boulder garden follows and climaxes with… you guessed it, another ledge and several sporty holes.  One of these absolutely crushed me, which was fine since I was feeling warm and needed to check out the scenery below river level anyhow 🙂  After more than my fair share of fun taking the tour of the boulder garden, the creek reaches a fairly large horizon line that is the lip of the Big Falls, or Big Kahuna.  Kahuna is 18 feet or so of sheer fun & excitement. The classic line is down the right and off a very obvious rock flake that auto-boofs you down into the aerated pool below.  Take note: you should keep your weight trimmed forwards as the water gets very swirly and dynamic at the base of this waterfall. I ended up in the back seat of my kayak and had to show off the combat roll again for the whole group.  Despite a pounding ice cream headache from the icy waters and more than a little fatigue, this drop is a classic that I would gladly lap again & again if it wasn’t such a pain to get back up to the top!
“After Kahuna there’s plenty of bouldery mank to keep you excited before you reach Champagne and the Hammering Spot, two picturesque waterfalls that are each 10 feet or so.  I gladly followed Paul off the middle of Champagne, and with a healthy boof stroke I stomped the landing and then immediately headed for the very right side of the Hammering Spot (go left and discover why that rapid got its name at your own peril) and repeated the process: giant stroke, knees up, stomp the landing, war cry of triumph in the eddy below.  The last major rapid is Toby’s, a very ugly, broken ledge that is backed up with all kinds of manky boulders that I chose to portage on the left.  Below Toby’s is lake Merwin and about a mile of flatwater paddling to the takeout. Make sure you keep some victory beers in your kayak or at the takeout, because they will be well deserved after that much hard boating.  I feel so fortunate to have had such an amazing opportunity to explore a truly magical place that is off limits to most people out there. Without the skills, confidence and a capable craft, there’s no other way to see it.  Next up on my bucket list for 2015 is another descent of Canyon Creek – maybe with less time spent probing the juiciest holes and more time spent airing out some massive boofs :)”
-Dave Trageser

Winter Clinics 2014/2015

Alder Creek’s Winter Clinic Series

 

Summer around the shop can be a hectic time.  When the rain returns and the rest of the country packs their boats and boards away for the winter, we are just getting started.  In the Pacific Northwest people go paddling ALL year long!  As a service to our paddling community, we want to invite you out for our weekly Community Winter Clinics.  For years now, local experts, guest speakers, and Alder Creek staff have teamed up to provide these free, informative, and interactive clinics on Tuesday evenings starting in December through the winter and early spring.  Come and enjoy snacks and beverages while taking in some knowledge and hanging out with fun people at either our Boathouse or Jantzen Beach shops.  The more the merrier!! 

 

winter clinics

 

December 2nd   6:30pm
Learn the ropes…The Z-Drag Demystified with Paul Kuthe
At The Portland Boathouse

-Learn a couple simple ways to gain mechanical advantage to un-pin boats quickly using only things we carry with us as paddlers.  Feel free to break out your own pin kit and bring it with you.  We will be getting hands on together to master this skill once and for all! 

 

December 9th  6:30pm
New Visions for Paddling Photography with Neil Schulman
at The Portland Boathouse

-Three billion images are taken worldwide every year.  Most are boring. Paddling photographs are usually even worse.  It is one of the most challenging sports to capture well, for both technical and creative reasons.  This evening we will explore these difficulties and learn how to make more impactful images of the watery parts of the world for both experienced and casual shooter alike.  We will cover different kinds of paddle-sports and their unique challenges, shooting on and off the water, and how to jumpstart your creativity.  Best of all, you’ll learn how to become a better photographer without buying more gear.

 

December 16th  6:30pm
Secrets of Winter Paddling with Neil Schulman
at The Portland Boathouse

– A lot of folks put their boats away for the winter.  But some of the best paddling in the northwest happens in winter.  Here are some to make it fun and comfy.  This will be an interactive workshop with some additional trip planning for good sea kayaking spots in the area in winter along with some safety stuff.  Neil published an article in a recent issue of Coast and Kayak Magazine and can help show you what he has learned from decades of paddling all year round! 

 

January 6th  6:30pm
Welding Plastic Boats
at The Jantzen Beach Location

– Let’s face it… boats break.  The water is cold here.  Our volcanic rock is unforgiving.  The combination can spell disaster for even your toughest polyethylene boats.  We can show you how to extend the life of a plastic boat by welding up cracks and holes using simple tools and good technique.  Join us in our full service shop at Jantzen Beach in N. Portland and we will teach you to bring boats back from the dead!   

 

January 13th  6:30pm
Paddling Washington’s Wilderness with Kiwi
at The Portland Boathouse

– The state of Washington has some of the most amazing places to paddle.  Our neighbors to the north have it pretty good.  Jason “Kiwi” Goldstein is Owner of Global Adventure Guides (GA Guides) LLC, based in Olympia WA .  GA Guides specializes in private kayak instruction and small group guided trips to more remote locations in the Pacific Northwest .  Additionally, in the winter months trips to Fiji & New Zealand are offered at www.GAguides.net.  Kiwi is also a professional cartographer and has designed some new custom kayak charts of Deception Pass , Cape Flattery,  Cape Disappointment, & the north San Juan ’s.  He will show you the best way to access some of his very favorite places to paddle. 

 

January 20th  6:30pm
Drysuits and all their wonder with “Kokatat Karl” Kohagen 
at The Portland Boathouse

– Learn all the ins and outs of paddling drysuits.  Why do they cost so much?  How are they made?  How do you fit one?  When do you wear one?  Is it really that much better than a wetsuit?  How will I use the bathroom?  If you have ever wondered ANYTHING about drysuits you should come on out and talk to Karl.  He can even get you tailor fit for a suit of your choice.  We will be offering a special offer on custom order drysuits from Kokatat and some other great deals for participants so don’t miss this one!    

 

January 27th  6:30pm

 

Sea Kayak Camping with Neil Schulman
at The Jantzen Beach Location

 

– This is a hands-on workshop at the Jantzen Beach shop will have you packing more into a boat than you ever thought possible.  Sea Kayaks are amazingly efficient but require some forethought when loading up.  Get some hands-on experience packing different boats with different stuff for different trip lengths rather than just watching the instructor demo it.  If you are thinking of going on a multi-day trip soon you are sure to pick up a few tips at this clinic that will be a game changer.

 

February 3rd  6:30pm

Mastering Light & Visual Language with Neil Schulman
at The Portland Boathouse

 

– Light is the raw element of photography, and visual language is the way we convey meaning.  Understanding how they both work is the best way to make your photos more impactful.  Not only for paddlers, but there will be some particular components for those that spend time on the water. This hands on workshop is helpful for any kind of photography, and skill levels from casual to professional.

   

 

February 10th  6:30pm
Trip Planning for British Columbia with Neil Schulman
at The Portland Boathouse

– It’s raining in  Portland …again.  Perfect time to start planning for better weather!  Learn how to shape great trips to some of the best paddling in the world, just a day’s drive north.  BC provides an intricate coastline, lots of choices about conditions, a wild landscape full of wolves, whales and sea otters, and you don’t have to fly and then rent boats.  An overview of the likely destinations, skill levels required, routes, planning considerations, etc.

 

February 17th  6:30pm
Mobility and Stretching (Yoga) for Paddlers with Lauran Beard
at The Portland Boathouse

– Call it “Yoga” or “mobility training” or whatever you want.  The fact is if we move better we paddle better.  If we paddle better we have more FUN and stay SAFE.  Join Lauren as she walks you through some of the most beneficial stretches and positions for paddlers of all abilities. Lauren is a Yoga Alliance registered 500 hour instructor. She completed her training with D’ana Baptiste in Salt Lake City , Utah . She went on to complete an additional 200 hours of yoga therapy training while teaching at D’ana’s studio, Centered City Yoga. Lauren has continued her education by studying the philosophy of yoga at the Bhaktishop in Portland , Oregon . She has dedicated the past 2 years to developing a therapeutic yoga program for seniors. Lauren combines body awareness and breath work to allow students to find their alignment in each pose and deepen their practice. She is passionate about creating an environment where everyone feels welcome, comfortable and successful in yoga class. She is an advocate for moving the body in ways that make the brain feel great and is a strong believer that yoga is for everybody! When not at the yoga studio you can find Lauren cooking with her husband and guiding sea kayaking trips through out the Pacific Northwest . 

 

February 24th  6:30pm
Fishing Kayaks
at Jantzen Beach

– Come in and learn about some of the basic features of fishing kayaks and get yourself set up for success on your next fishing trip.  River, lake or ocean?  Standing, sitting or maybe a bit of both? We’ll help you find the right hull shape for you and make sure to point out everywhere you could screw or glue any rod holder, gadget or gizmo under the sun onto your kayak.  This is a great opportunity to check out some of the newest designs from Jackson Kayak, FeelFree, Current Designs and Eddyline!  Don’t miss out, and come enjoy snacks and beer!

 

March 3rd  6:30pm
Dutch Oven Cooking for Paddlers with Andrew Romanelli
at The Jantzen Beach Location

– Dutch Ovens make kayak living sooo nice.  Don’t suffer through another freeze dried disaster.  There is no reason to eat like an astronaut just because you are a little ways from home.  Baking and roasting your favorite home cooked dishes is not just possible but often even BETTER when you do them in the Dutch oven.  Andrew is our lead expeditionary sea guide and runs our San Juan Sea Kayak programs.  Andrew Romanelli is also an avid canoeist from the bountiful and calm waters of Wisconsin .  In recent years he has tested his skills on some of the toughest whitewater around.  He can cook up a mean meal in the middle of nowhere and will show you how with a smile.  (no really he’s smiling under that beard 😉    

 

March 10th  6:30pm
The Paddler’s Body with Dr. Ted Forcum
at The Portland Boathouse

Dr. Ted Forcum will be presenting this clinic! The program will be a hands-on demonstration of what to do to get ready for the paddling season and keep your body healthy in and out of the boat. We will show you how to properly utilize foam rollers, gymnastic balls and KT tape. On longer paddles or multi-day excursions we will look at how you can use your equipment to assist you with stretching and strengthening exercises to make your journey more comfortable and safe. If time allows we can address self management of specific regions of complaint.
Dr. Ted Forcum is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DACBSP), Graston Technique Certified, NASM Certified Exercise Specialist (CES), NASM Performance Exercise Specialist (PES), and is a Registered Trigenics Practitioner (RTP). He teaches postgraduate programs on soft tissue treatment, sports injuries and the biomechanics. The American Chiropractic Association Sports Council voted Dr. Forcum the 1994-95 and 2004 Sports Chiropractor of the Year. Dr. Forcum Has worked with multiple professional and world class teams including the 2009 World Canoe/Kayak Championships Team, Portland Winterhawks, the 2008 Beijing US Olympic Team Chiropractic, 2007 Rio de Janeiro US Pan American Team Chiropractic, and Portland Timbers Major League Soccer Club. Dr. Forcum was President of the American Chiropractic Association Council on Sports and Physical Fitness, and He is on the Board of Director for the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine. Dr. Forcum is in private practice at Back in Motion Sports Injuries Clinic, LLC in Beaverton , Oregon.

 

March 24th  6:30pm
Electronic Chart & Map Tools with Jason Goldstein ‘Kiwi’
at The Portland Boathouse

-Times have changed.  We can now access charts and maps of all kinds on the web.  Let us show you some really cool tools you can use to make accessing and using charts easier and even more fun.  Jason “Kiwi” Goldstein is Owner of Global Adventure Guides (GA Guides) LLC, based in Olympia WA .  GA Guides specializes in private kayak instruction and small group guided trips to more remote locations in the Pacific Northwest .  Additionally, in the winter months trips to Fiji & New Zealand are offered at www.GAguides.net.  Kiwi is also a professional cartographer and has designed some new custom kayak charts of Deception Pass , Cape Flattery,  Cape Disappointment, & the north San Juan’s.

Lumpy Waters 2014 wrap-up

Lumpy Waters 2014

Lumpy Waters, Photo by Andrew Romanelli

Alder Creek would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of our amazing students at the Lumpy Waters 2014 Symposium this year!
We had some big surf, some big rides with great smiles and some really big laughs. What a lovely group of paddlers!  We really appreciate the feedback we get and the effort you all make to help us be better!  We would also like to extend our heartfelt Thanks to the staff at Alder Creek who worked LONG days for many months leading up to Lumpy.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Lumpy Waters 2014

Lumpy Waters, Photo by Andrew Romanelli

AND an enormous Thank you for the incredible support from our manufacturers and the reps who came and worked the event.  You guys and gals are the best!

Last but not least is the unending gratitude we feel towards our neighboring coaches from all over the world who came to play with us this year and add their personal touch and flavor to our events.  The experiences we all shared and the memories made will stay with us always!

Thanks again and get out there on the water or come visit us in the stores!

 With many thanks,
The crew at Alder Creek

 *If you like Lumpy Waters, and we know you do, be sure to give a shout out to our event’s sponsors!  Their support helps to make this symposium as excellent as it can be!
Presenting Sponsors:  Kokatat, P&H Custom Sea Kayaks, and Canoe & Kayak Magazine
Supporting Sponsors:  Saltwood Paddles, Werner Paddles, Thule, Jackson Kayak, NRS, and Sweet Protection

Lumpy Waters 2014

Lumpy Waters, Photo by Andrew Romanelli

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*****To help you get stoked for Lumpy Waters 2015 (Oct 16-18, 2015), here are some PHOTOS and testimonials from participants this year!*****

Hi Paul and Suzi,
Thanks so much for hosting us at Lumpy. We had a ball, and learned a few things as always. HERE is Zak’s blog post. If you like it please share!
I’ll have one in a couple of days, and will share when it’s ready. We’ll have the video piece soon as well. I think that will be a good one. Kelly and Eileen were fabulous, and we got lucky with the GoPro footage.
Thanks again for inviting us to be a part of this awesome event. Now get some rest . . .
-Jeff Moag
Editor, Canoe & Kayak magazine

Hi Paul, Suzi and Dave,
Thanks again for having me at Lumpy. It’s such a great event, and you guys do a wonderful job!
I actually can’t think of anything to improve on. The event is well organized, I really like the name on the helmet thing and the evening entertainment is VERY entertaining.
Helen Wilson
(Check out her blog post HERE!)

Hey guys,
Just wanted to say thank you again for another awesome Lumpy Waters 2014. I had a blast, learned a lot, and made some great friends. Take care, and see you at Lumpy 2015!!!
Nate Lewis
Discovery Sea Kayaks

Hi Suzi,
Thanks again for pulling off such a wonderful event.  It was motivating!  I’ve already blocked out the time on my calendar for next year.
Best,
Connie

Hi Suzi
Food was great, entertainment was great, and I am very happy that I attended. And thanks again for your generosity in giving me full credit from 2013. I am very grateful.
Cheers,
Janiene

Suzi
As expected Jim and I had a great time again at our 3rd year of attendance. As usual we know that things can change due to conditions but we have never been disappointed. On to 2015.
Have a great Holiday Season!!!
Mary

Hi Suzi,
I had a great time at this year’s Lumpy Waters 2014 with much thanks to you.
Tomas

Hi Suzi
Lumpy was great! Pretty much sums it up.
Thank you!
Patti

Dave & Suzi
I wanted to write to say just how grateful I am for the opportunity to have been out at BCU Week / Lumpy. As you know it was not so long ago that I was wondering if I would ever be in a boat again, far less undertaking big trips like this! Thanks too for all your practical help and support while I was there – you, and your team, did so much to facilitate the smooth running of everything.
Many thanks indeed
All the best
Steve

Hi Suzi,
Marlene and I watched the video last evening …I guess we missed it before…and it was absolutely fantastic, capturing the energy, venue, and organization to a tee!!!
Thank you and all the staff for such a tremendously well organized and fun weekend….none better!
Alan

Hi Suzi!
Thanks again to you, Dave, Paul and all the great coaches and volunteers!  What a fantastic event.   I will be taking some classes over the winter for sure. And hope to make it to Lumpy 2015.
Thank you,
Sue

Hi Suzi,
Tammy and I want to thank you, Paul, and the rest of your staff for putting on an excellent symposium.
This was the first Lumpy we’ve been to, and really enjoyed the time we had there.  Tammy has worked on conference organizing committees before and so has a pretty good idea of what has to go on in preparing for something like this, but she didn’t have the added complexity of boats and changing venues.
What a great job!
Thank you for all your work, and for all your help.  We look forward to being back next year.
Tammy & Mike

Hi,
I can say across the board that I’d give Lumpy excellent ratings all around and I’d highly recommend the experience to anyone who paddles. Everyone working at Lumpy was simply outstanding, logistics were everything I hoped they would be, and at least from my perspective, things went very smoothly. I had a blast, improved my skills, and I have some ideas as to what to work on next.
BTW, whoever planned the class schedule did a fantastic job of putting people together with compatible skills. Classes always seemed like they were at the right level and it was never too hard or too easy.
Thank you
Kyle

Suzi/Dave/Paul,
Wow…… And Thank You!!
Fantastic event with an obvious, huge amount of preliminary planning. You should all be very proud of staging an amazing symposium.
I look forward to future Lumpy’s!!!!!
Many, many thanks,
Bret

Hi Paul;
Great times at BCU Week and Lumpy! Lots of good skills learned plus great networking and some new friends! Congrats on an awesome event!!
Cheers, Wes

Suzi,
I wanted to say thank you for all the hard work that you and your Lumpy Crew did for Lumpy Waters. It is very much appreciated.
Tim

Suzi,
Bret and I want to thank you and your crew for all of the hard work you put into making Lumpy such a fun time. This was our first time attending Lumpy. We definitely want to come back next year.
The coaches were awesome.
Debbie and Bret

 

Spring Paddle Fest 2014, our 22nd Annual!

Spring Paddle Fest 2014

April 26 & 27, 2014

9am to 4pm

At Vancouver Lake Park

Spring Paddle Fest 2014

Alder Creek Spring Paddle Fest 2014

Start your paddling season with the right boat, gear, and information!  Don’t miss Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe’s 22nd Annual Spring Paddle Fest!  FREE demos and classes!  Try before you buy!
Take advantage of special deals during our Spring Sale, April 25 to May 7!  Come back to the shop on Saturday, April 26 for the 2nd Annual Jantzen Beach Jamboree for Live Music, BBQ, and Beverages!

Come and demo 100+ kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards for free at Alder Creek’s 22nd Annual Spring Paddle Fest!
But that’s not all…

 

Spring Sale 2014
April 25 to May 7
Special deals on New, Used, and Closeout Boats and Accessories!

2nd Annual Jantzen Beach Jamboree
Saturday April 26,  4-7pm
BBQ, Beverages, Raffle, and Live Music by
Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners

Alder Cup 2014
Sunday April 27, 10am-3pm
3rd Annual Kayak Polo Demonstration and Tournament
with Portland Kayak Polo Club

 

Saturday, April 26

-First Strokes: 1 hour intro to kayak & canoe. 9am to 3pm, hourly

-Which Boat is Right for Me?: 20 minute clinics offered all day.

11:00am
Local Paddling Destinations
Fishing by Kayak
Stand Up Paddling with Nikki Gregg – Basic Strokes
Choosing the Perfect Paddle

11:30am
Paddling with Kids
What Floats your Boat
Car Topping your Kayak, Canoe & SUP

12:00pm
Dressing for Conditions
Packing a Kayak for Multi-Day Trips
Rescue & Re-entries Demonstrations

1:00pm
Dream Trips of the Northwest
Forward Stroke Clinic
Safety and Rescue for Kayak Fisherman
Willamette River Water Trail

1:30pm
Car Topping your Kayak, Canoe & SUP
Stand Up Paddling
Choosing a Paddle

2:00pm
Dressing for Conditions
Yoga for Paddling

2:30pm
Boat Repair in the Field
Stand Up Paddling

3:00pm
Choosing the Perfect Paddle
Fishing by Kayak

 

Sunday, April 27

-First Strokes: 1 hour intro to kayak & canoe. 9am to 3pm, hourly

-Which Boat is Right for Me?: 20 minute clinics offered all day.

9:30am
Edging & Bracing
Kayak Fishing
10 Essentials of Safety & Repair

11:00am
Basic Canoeing
Assisted and Solo Rescue & Recoveries
Stand Up Paddling with Nikki Gregg – Race Technique
Paddling for Women
Dream Trips of the Pacific Northwest

12:00pm
Dressing for Conditions

1:00pm
Paddling for Women
Stand Up Paddling
Trip Leadership Fundamentals (2 hour clinic)
Local Paddling Trips

2:30pm
Stand Up Paddling
Kayak Fishing
Dressing for Conditions
Paddle Tour of Vancouver Lake
Packing a Kayak for a Multi-Day Tour

3:15pm
Paddling in Weather: Skegs, Rudders, Trim

 

Thanks to all of our excellent vendors for your continued support!
Eddyline Kayaks
Thule
Malone
Current Designs
Wenonah Canoe
Jackson Kayak
P&H Sea Kayaks
Valley Sea Kayaks
Tiderace Sea Kayaks
Venture Kayaks
Northshore Kayaks
BIC SUP
Astral Buoyancy
Kokatat
Stohlquist Waterwear
MTI Adventurewear
NRS
Werner Paddles
Saltwood Paddles
Aquabound Paddles

Molalla River “3 Bears” for Creek Boating Basics

February 23, 2014
2,000cfs
by David Trageser

creek boating basics

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to explore a new section of river (for me, anyhow) as part of Alder Creek’s Creek Boating Basics class with Paul Kuthe. When it was all said and done, I was left to wonder how the heck it took me so long to explore the breathtakingly beautiful scenery and pristine whitewater of the Molalla River. Located just an hour or so southeast of Portland, the 3 Bears section of the Molalla is a fantastic alternative to some of the other commonly run rivers in the area and a great training ground for aspiring creek boaters. The Molalla is a roadside run which allows for very easy scouting of all the major rapids as you set shuttle at the beginning of the day, and it presents the perfect blend of commitment and access for the run (the road is never far away, but not always reachable due to the occasionally gorged out basalt walls during stretches). On this day, the river flow and conditions were right out of the Goldilocks tale; not too pushy, not too bony, just about perfect. We even had a bit of sunshine which helped boost everybody’s mood and set the tone for a fantastic day on the water.

creek boating basics

A short but sweet class II-III warm up section got the blood flowing and loosened everyone up for the first major rapid, known as “Papa Bear,” which is foreshadowed by an immense basalt formation on the river right wall that looks like a gigantic mushroom. After establishing a plan for support and navigation of the rapid, we were off one at a time to begin weaving our way through this long, exciting drop. Precise boat control and the ability to safely control descent through class III whitewater is a must for Papa Bear. I was very glad to have spent most of the first day of class on Bull Run working on those very skills, and it made our descent of the rapid pleasantly uneventful and fun.

creek boating basics

creek boating basics

Some smaller rapids and a few excellent play features kept us entertained until we came around a sharp right bend in the river that signals the crux of the run, the long, bouldery rapid known as Mama Bear. This class IV drop merits a solid plan and a support crew, which was a perfect opportunity for us to put into practice many of the skills we had worked on throughout the weekend. The crux move at Mama Bear is perhaps too fun to be legal; after navigating the bumpy entrance into the climax of Mama Bear (which wants to push you into a nasty, ominous looking house sized boulder) a flare boof with right momentum and angle between the two “goalpost” boulders gets you into a powerful eddy on river right that allows for easy navigation of the run out and merits a hearty war cry for successful completion (at least I thought so…). Once you’ve made this move, the fun is only half over as you still have to wind your way through and around a few boulders down into a dramatically deep gorge that at times is only a boat length or two wide. Watch out for a nasty penalty rock towards the center right of the entry to the gorge as the river makes a sharp left hand bend. Getting right of that thing and up against the river right wall is the best way to go (the left side of the run out below Mama Bear is shallow and manky, and that’s putting it nicely). As the river narrows below Mama Bear, you get some excellent standing waves as you crash downhill into a breathtakingly beautiful and dramatic basalt gorge, eventually coming to rest in moving flat water with the “Eye of the Molalla” (a spiraling basalt rock formation that looks very much like a gigantic eyeball) towering overhead on the river right wall. It’s worth noting that any swims at Mama Bear often result in navigating the run out of the rapid and the gorge without your kayak, as there are no eddies to stop in and sheer cliff walls on either side that leave you boxed in temporarily.

creek boating basics

creek boating basics

After Mama Bear, we found a good lunch spot and worked on eddy hopping and set ferries through some more fun class II-III rapids until we reached the takeout and the last named rapid, Baby Bear. Unlike the first two named rapids, baby Bear is concise and lacks a complex lead in, however it still merits a scout and support. At Baby Bear, most of the river flows over a chunky basalt ledge and spills off to the right into a large rock outcropping on the right. The hole that forms at the bottom is chaotic and trashy, and gets worse the further right you are, however it flushes fairly cleanly into a short pool before the river continues on downstream over another series of manky ledges that would not be very much fun to navigate without a kayak. Our group took turns dropping into Baby Bear after setting support on the rocks and in the river left eddy at the base of the rapid which turned out to be great fun. At the water level we experienced, I opted to drive to the left, punching the top wave with a big right sweep stroke and following it immediately with another powerful right boof stroke which propelled me into the eddy below and left me grinning from ear to ear. At lower flows this may not be the best option, as the base of the ledge is very rocky and shallow on the left side. Another option would be to drop in just left of center with a strong right sweep stroke and then to skirt through the hole (be ready to brace on your right hip!) and ride it out. After everyone stuck the line at Baby Bear, we practiced some seal launching techniques on the rocks above before calling it a day.

creek boating basics

creek boating basics

Winter Clinics 2013-14

Join us on Tuesday evenings for FREE winter clinics!
6:30pm-8:30pm, at either our Jantzen Beach or Boathouse location.
Attendees may win a $25 gift card!
No sign-ups required.

Clinic schedule may change.  Check back to confirm topics, locations, and dates.
List last updated January 10, 2014

November 5
Car top loading your kayak/canoe/SUP!
at Jantzen Beach

November 12
Learn the Ropes of building a Pin Kit
at Boathouse

November 19
Dry Suits # 101 : Everything you want to know about dry suits you were afraid to ask
with Karl Kohagen from Kokatat
at Boathouse

November 26
Outfitting your boat (Sea, Whitewater, Canoe)
at Jantzen Beach

December 3
Welding plastic boats
at Jantzen Beach

December 10
New Visions for Paddling Photography
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

December 17
Mastering Light and Visual Language in Photography
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

January 7
Secrets of Winter Paddling
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

January 14
Chart Reading
with Karl Andersson
at Boathouse

January 21
Packing a Sea Kayak for Camping
at Boathouse

January 28 NEW
Stability & Mobility
with Dr. Ted Forcum
at Boathouse

February 4th  NEW
Skid Plates and Keel Strips
with David Dalbey
at Jantzen Beach

February 11
Electronic Chart and Map Tools
at Boathouse

February 18
Multi-day Trip Planning in BC
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

February 25
Yoga for Paddlers
with Elaine Cohn
at Boathouse

March 4
Dutch Oven Cooking
with Andrew Romanelli
at Jantzen Beach

Kayak Rescue Lifeguard Training

Hi Suzi and Dave,

I know I should not be surprised after all this time…but Paul continues to far exceed my expectations for professional instruction.

Photo: Evan Lilly

I’ve seen him run several classes and clinics and I am always impressed at his level of professionalism and preparedness.  But last night he amazed me with his ability to come up with a completely unique kayak rescue clinic for the lifeguards at Matt Dishman Aquatic Center.  The goal of the clinic was to help the lifeguards feel more comfortable and prepared during our kayak polo sessions.

Photo: Evan Lilly

Paul’s ability to develop a clear and fun progression for the lifeguards was incredibly impressive.  It’s not like this is one of his usual classes where he has had years to work through what works and doesn’t but he managed to introduce them to kayaks in a way that increased their knowledge and comfort while leveraging their fitness and water skills all while providing fun and competition.

Photo: Evan Lilly

In addition to being prepared for the instruction, he realized one of the capsized lifeguards was in trouble and their partner was unable to right the kayak.  Before I even processed what was happening he swam out to them, rescued the lifeguard, and calmed both of them down to the point they were able to continue to participate in the activities.

Photo: Evan Lilly

I can not thank you enough for all of the incredible support Alder Creek provides to the community.

Thanks again,
Amy C.

********

Amy, Paul & Dave,
Thank you again for putting that together the other night! The Lifeguards had a blast! They really got a lot out of it.

You guys rock!

-Evan Lilly
Recreation Coordinator – Aquatics
Portland Parks & Recreation
Matt Dishman Community Center

*********

Ask anyone who knows and they’ll tell you that the life of a kayak shop employee is filled with glamour, riches, fame and… okay, it’s not really filled with any of those things.  What we do fill up on working at Alder Creek is good cheer from interacting with the kayaking community and opportunities to make a direct, positive impact on those around us.  This November, we held a fun and informative training session for lifeguards at Matt Dishmann pool in Northeast Portland that focused on the specifics of rescuing kayaks and kayakers in a swimming pool environment.  Building off of simple challenges and games (“who can sink one of these kayaks?”), the lifeguards were soon doing wet exits with spray skirts and flipping boats over in deep water with partners playing the role of an unconscious paddler.  It’s always a treat to watch students have those “lightbulb moments” where everything clicks and a deeper connection and understanding with skills and technique are forged, and thanks to a superb lesson plan from our Program Director, Paul Kuthe, there was no shortage of those moments even for the more seasoned lifeguards.  Without a doubt everyone’s favorite activity was an “upside down in the boat race” that had the lifeguards capsizing in their kayaks and swimming as far as they could across the pool, smiles & laughter abound as each wave of swimmers tried to outdo the last (one of our guards was able to swim an entire pool length while still in the boat).  By the end of the clinic, all of our lifeguard students had a significantly deeper understanding of kayaks and kayakers, as well as a host of new skills and techniques to deal with incidents and provide a higher level of safety both for boaters and themselves, we might have even convinced one or two of them to take up paddling for fun!  Seeing all of the smiles and receiving so much positive feedback left me feeling warm as I loaded up the demo boats and gear in the brisk November night air; my only hope is that we get another opportunity to do this again soon so we can continue to strengthen our relationships with these vital community partners and keep everyone safe out there.

-Dave Trageser