General 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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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!

YouTube Preview Image

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

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

2013 Lumpy Waters Symposium wrap-up

Coast Life. Photo by Malcolm Kelly

We are happy to report that the 5th Annual Lumpy Waters Symposium was once again a great success!  We couldn’t have done it alone.

First, we’d like to thank all of the participants.  Lumpy Waters is a testament to the strength of our paddling community.  Without the support of paddlers who are enthusiastic about improving their skill and sharing their knowledge and experiences with other paddlers, our sport could not grow or progress.  Thank you, paddlers, for supporting your community and making events like Lumpy Waters possible!

Next up, the coaches!  Like the participants, the coaches at Lumpy came from near and far.  Some of them are favorite familiar faces from the Alder Creek coaching staff while others came from as far away as South Africa!  Chasing their passion for sharing and strengthening the paddlesports community, it is their commitment to world-class coaching that highlights our growth and facilitates powerful learning experiences.

Let’s not forget about the vendors that sponsor this event!  Their expertise ensures that we get the right gear for the job.  They provide premium products that we can rely on to keep us safe.  Thanks to our vendors, we can define our limits by our skill, not our equipment.  Oh, and let’s not forget about the beer they brought us!

Last, but certainly not least: Dave Slover, Suzi Elle, and Paul Kuthe.  These are the folks that spend the whole year organizing EVERYTHING.  Without their coordination and patience, we’d be lucky to have a pile of boats, not to mention a multitude of classes that appeal to 100 individuals’ learning needs.  Five years running, Paul, Dave, and Suzi will not settle for the status-quo.  Every nuance is an opportunity to improve the program and experience.  Their passion for the paddlesports community drives them to deliver the best event feasibly possible.

Check out the list below to see some of the folks who stepped up to support this sport, this event, this opportunity.  Camaraderie, discovery, beer, making new friends, sharing, challenging yourself, memories…  It’s just what happens at a Lumpy Waters Symposium.  

 

If you missed the action this year, check out the official 2013 Lumpy Waters video HERE.  Then check out a snippet of the coaches’ play day after the event HERE.

Team Out of Sight, Out of Mind wrote about the event on their blog HERE.  Helen Wilson did a write-up HERE as well!  Check it out!

Jeff and Cate with Liquid Fusion Kayaking
Shawna and Leon with Body Boat Blade International
Danny with Werner Paddles
Helen with Greenland or Bust
Jamie with P&H
Jenn with Aqua Adventures
Mark with Columbia River Kayak
Matt and Sean with GGSKS
Rob A with Valley
Rowan with The Hurricane Riders
Kim with Sunrise Mountain Sports
Roger with Eskape Sea Kayaking

 

Vendors:
Saltwood Paddles
Thule
Werner Paddles
Valley Sea Kayaks
P&H Sea Kayaks
Jackson Kayak
Tiderace Sea Kayaks
Kokatat
White Sea Magazine

Paddle with the Pros; a Demshitz clinic

The Demshitz crew rallied on the White Salmon River this summer with the public to give tips on kayaking technique and shooting video!

This free clinic was held on the Middle section of the White Salmon, from BZ Corner to Husum Falls.  Paddlers got the opportunity to work on their boating skills along the way, and the Demshitz boaters gave tips about frame, angle, and content when making kayaking videos.  Check out a short video from their clinic HERE!

Steve Pilch paddles Husum Falls. Photo by Andrew Romanelli

Basic Skills Kayaking testimonial

This is my first summer working for Alder Creek, and I have taught the basic skills kayaking class numerous times. Recently I took a few friends out kayaking on the Columbia River, my friends didn’t have a lot paddling experience. One of them tried to reach for a cooler that was located a few feet away and ended up tipping his kayak. I quickly reacted by using a rescue that I teach in my classes. I ended up rescuing him and draining his kayak within several minutes. I was excited that I was able to use the same skills I taught in a real life situation.

It turns out that even the Basic Skills Kayaking class taught here at Alder Creek contains some very useful information that anyone can use!

-Nolan

 

Skeptical about the value of instruction?  Safety is no joke!  Click HERE to see other courses that we provide.

How to put on dry suit gaskets on your wrist and neck

Putting on a drysuit gasket should be done carefully. If you use force on the gasket you will tear an old gasket easier. Keep your gaskets lubed and treated to last longer.

Check out our drysuit selection!

Plastic Welding Clinic

 

Perhaps you were out paddling on a river, nailed a sharp rock and put a crack in your boat.  What now?  Bitumen tape or Gorilla tape is probably the fix to finish your run, but is there a better long-term solution?  Perhaps!

 

The topic of our last Winter Clinic was plastic welding.  We learned that it’s not really rocket science!  There are some guidelines to keep in mind when determining whether a repair is appropriate, and some tricks that might make your repair a longer-term solution.

 

The first consideration is the plastic from which your boat was constructed.  Crosslink plastic, as used on many Jackson kayaks and older boats cannot be welded.  To be appropriate for welding, your boat needs to be constructed from linear plastic, as are most modern roto-molded polyethylene kayaks.

 

The second consideration is the extent and location of the crack.  Welding cracks in areas of substantial wear or stress will probably not be a viable long-term solution.  A weld might make the boat functional for friends to use on those easier runs or for use in the pool, but not for that class 4 or 5 waterfall run.  The ideal crack to weld is a small crack in a low-stress, low-wear area.  We can all dream, right?

 

What do you need to weld a linear plastic boat?  Not much!  Solutions for welding guns can be a hot air tool like the $250.00 Weldy Plus that we use at Alder Creek, or as simple as a Wagner Hot Air gun for $29.99.  What advantage do you get with a gun like the Weldy?  The ability to carefully control the heat vs. the high/low setting on an inexpensive gun.  Whichever solution you choose, an attachment like a wide slot or condenser nozzle will give you more control and precision.

You can purchase generic rods of HDPE, (high density polyethylene), but a better solution is to see if your kayak’s manufacturer can provide rods or to cut your own from a boat from the same manufacturer.  Often times enough material can be cut from the inside of the cockpit coaming to get a rod or two.  This also provides the advantage of a good color match.

 

Other tools to consider are a good scraper to clean up and bevel both edges of the crack, and scrape some of the excess plastic after welding, and a roller, or type of tool to put pressure on the fresh weld as it cools.  Some people also choose to drill a hole at either end of the crack prior to welding.  The logic behind this is that it may keep the crack from continuing to travel.

 

As far as the actual process of the weld, a picture, or in this case, a video is worth a thousand words.  Liquid Logic has an outstanding video on the actual process, which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bos4lfOA3k

Boat Welding

Hopefully this is one of those skills you never find a need to use!  If you do crack a boat and don’t want to try repairing it yourself, bring it down to Alder Creek and we can help you determine the suitability of welding and even repair it for you.