Blog – Kayak Fishing, Whitewater Kayaking, Canoeing, Family

All Day in RVA : Shiver In The River and Boats & Brews Film Fest in Richmond, VA

by Brian Vincent

Keep Virginia Beautiful and James River Park System were the fundraising beneficiaries of two great events this past weekend in Richmond. I was fortunate enough to attend and participate in both.

The 2nd Annual Shiver In The River is a touted as RVA’s Coolest Winter Festival and raises funds for Keep Virginia Beautiful, which does great work through organized clean ups of our great state, along with other outreach programs. The festival features a Clean Up campaign, where volunteers cleanse the riverfront of trash,etc. This year a 5K race was added and then the day culminated with a chilly Jump in the James River. Participates who wanted to Shiver In The River had to fund raise at least $75 for the honor.

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Left pic @ Phil Riggan / Right pic @ Brian Vincent

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Second event on the day was the Coastals : Boats and Brews Film Fest organized by Coastal Canoeists to raise funds for the James River Park System. The film fest is held at Hardywood Park Brewery and brings together Richmond’s paddling community for a fun night of entertainment.

But first, the Shiver In The River 5K. The course looped through Brown’s Island, across the pedestrian bridge, across Belle Isle and then back across the bridge to the start. The Bell Isle section, Mile 2, was predominantly a sheet of ice and made for some tough going, but it still felt great to be out running. Ultimately I finished 32nd out of close to 300 runners, and 3rd in my age group. This was my first race in a couple of years, so I’ll take it.

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Knowing I was still out of shape, I started in the middle of the pack. I stayed motivated by the thought that every person I passed would be forced to bear witness to my advertisement, as I was wearing one of our new PaddleVA performance tops. I came through alright and enjoyed my run around the James River Park System.

Following the run, people started to show up, ready to spectate the sight of all of us jumping in the James River. I ran into Ryan Corrigan, James River Association, and his wife Mackenzie, down at the ramp and playfully confessed that I was no longer as excited to jump in. But I was. So was everyone else.

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The atmosphere was pretty charged, and not just because of all the cell phones pointed in our direction. :)

As the countdown to splash down wound down, I heard Mike Baum, of Keep America Beautiful, come over the megaphone, “Please don’t die.”

The shock was real. The water temp was 36*. Umm, it was cold.

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By all accounts, the Shiver In The River was a huge success in it’s second year. 400+ signed up for the Clean Up at 10am, , 300+ signed up to race the 5K at 12pm, and 200+ made the pledge to jump in the river at 1:30pm.

Afterwards the crowd hung out at Tredgar’s and enjoyed music, beverages and food trucks into the afternoon. At this time Shiver In The River looks to have raised over $55,000 for Keep Virginia Beautiful, and while that money will go a long way, it was the smiles in the crowd that seemed to win the day. Good show RVA, I’ll be back to Shiver In The River for sure!

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Next stop was Hardywood Brewery for Coastal Canoeists Boats and Brews Film Fest.  Inside the tasting room, RVA paddlers gathered for a night of films and beverages. The atmosphere was warm with psyche and good vibes. A couple of vendors were on site including our friends from ACA Virginia.

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There was a small screen in the side room with some tables.

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And a large screening area back with the barrels. Cooper Sallade, local Dagger Kayak Pro, and Ben Moore, local BIC SUP Pro, co-hosted the event and kept everyone engaged between film showings. A crowd favorite, and what I thought was the best film, came from Richmond’s own Tijo Media. It featured the hometown James River in all of it’s seasons, and showed what a glorious resource it is for recreation and meditation. The James River is the vein that pumps life’s blood into Richmond.

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Once again, for the second year in a row, I enjoyed hanging with the RVA paddling community. It is a spirited family, intent on celebrating and protecting the resources that feed their passion. Many of the films focused on that idea. It led me to ruminate on why paddlers, hikers, climbers, etc seem so keen to grab the podium and preach about the places we love.

While scientists will give you detailed explanations about the consequences of our actions in relation to our environment, it is the outdoor enthusiast who often times fervently preaches the gospel of keeping that environment clean in terms we all understand. Because the outdoor enthusiast has a dogmatic belief in the therapeutic benefits of recreating in a clean, beautiful outdoor playground. It is that simple idea of play that drives it. We love to play, and we love to play outside in beautiful places. This crew and this event exemplify that passion. The proceeds go to the local James River Park System, which provides many with an outstanding recreational sanctuary on the doorstep of Richmond’s urban awesomeness.

I often come to the capital for a dose of city culture and to scratch my foodie itch, but this time, I took part in celebrating the abundant outdoor opportunity in Richmond. All day in RVA is darn good either way.

Thank You Shiver In The River / Keep America Beautiful and Coastal Canoeists / James River Park System.

Icy James River, Drew’s skillz, Billy Rags crushing, RVA Boys on fire, Big events, and Big reds

by Brian Vincent

Check out all the quality content coming from our community of paddlers, both whitewater kayaking and kayak fishing. Tune in, read up and get psyched. This is the Friday’s Finds, where we seek to highlight some of the paddlers who call Virginia home. PaddleVa is about all of us. While some of the stuff shared in these posts will come from outside our waters, Virginia will always be the primary focus.

First Up:

Jonas hit Richmond with a fair amount of force. The crew in RVA ain’t scared though. Here’s a cool little video of some folks getting out into the icy James River.

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Second Up:

Drew Camp, Jackson Kayak Pro, put out this great 2015 compilation video recently. Drew is always getting after it, and this video provides the proof!

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Third Up:

William Ragulsky, Hurricane Kayak Fishing Pro, looks back on a good 2015 and looks forward to a great 2016. This is a great re-cap. Check out the full story by clicking the link below the photo.

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Click the following link for the full story: http://www.coastalkayakfishing.blogspot.com/2016/01/looking-back-and-moving-forward.html

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Fourth Up:

Grant Alvis, Hobie Fishing Pro, and Josh Dolin, Jackson Kayak Pro, put together their 2015 compilation video and it’s an epic assortment of trophy size species. We love these guys, not just for their fishing, but because they are very welcoming, psyched ambassadors to our sport. Check out the video.

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Fifth Up:

 The 2nd Annual Shiver In the River is tomorrow starting at 10am. Folks will be jumping in the James River around 1pm-ish. I’ll be one of those people. It should be entertaining. That evening a bunch of us will be at the Coastals : Boats and Brews Film Festival at Hardywood Brewery starting at 5:30, 7pm showtime. Come join us!

I’ve included a few links for more info below the photo.

Left pic @ Phil Riggan / Right pic @ Brian Vincent

Shiver In The River: http://www.shiverintheriver.com/

Coastals : Boats and Brews Film Festival : https://www.facebook.com/events/1513078138988514/

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Sixth Up:

Kayak Kevin, Ocean Kayak Pro, knows how to find those reds, even if they only offer up small clues to their whereabouts. Check it out.

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Current Designs

Appomattox River Company proudly carries Current Designs, builders of premier kayaks for 28 years.

VA Freshwater Master Angler, Striper Kayak Fishing, SUPing the James, Beauty, and Kayak Kevin Podcast

by Brian Vincent

Check out all the quality content coming from our community of paddlers, both whitewater kayaking and kayak fishing. Tune in, read up and get psyched. This is the Friday’s Finds, where we seek to highlight some of the paddlers who call Virginia home. PaddleVa is about all of us. While some of the stuff shared in these posts will come from outside our waters, Virginia will always be the primary focus.

First Up:

Drew Camp, Jackson Kayak / Werner Paddle Pro, had a very productive year here in Virginia. He tackled the pursuit of Virginia Freshwater Master Angler with his usual focus and success. Visit his blog by clicking the link below the photo and get the full scoop on Drew’s awesome year.

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 Click here for the full story: http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2015/12/25/2015-achieving-new-goal/

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In- Store Stocking Stuffer Gifts at Appomattox River Company

by Brian Vincent

In my family the stockings are often the funnest and funniest part of Christmas morning. Everybody seems to contribute to filling the sacks. You end up with all this eclectic, cool and sometimes practical stuff. So, in the spirit of the joyous stocking stuffing tradition I’ve compiled a list of items you can find in our 3 stores at the last minute for just that purpose.

Stocking Stuffers aka Small Holiday Gifts

1) Yak Attack Key Chain Bottle Opener – The folks from Burkeville,VA took something simple, like the bottle opener and knocked it out of the park again. It’s fashioned from their lightweight Geartrac and opens your favorite beverage with stealth and ease.

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2) Appomattox River Company Coozie – If you’re going to enjoy a beverage, you should keep it cool. Pick up an ARC coozie.

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3) Throw Bags – The Rasta Rescue Bag from NRS is all about safety and feeling that irie vibe.

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4) AquaSeal – The go to stuff for maximum strength repairs to wetsuits, dry suits, etc.

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5) Hats – We have plenty of Appomattox River Company  and PaddleVa hats in all 3 stores. Stop in and pick up a fresh lid.

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6) Tailin Toads – By way of Florida we get these Made in the USA Face Shields, Gloves, and toe-less Sockz. They are all SPF rated to keep your skin healthy while spending long periods of time on the water.

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7) PaddleVa Family SPF 30+ Performance Shirts – Whether you SUP, kayak fish, whitewater kayak, sea kayak, or canoe, you are a part of the family. And family looks out for family, so we got y’all some shirts to protect you from the elements.

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8) Railblaza Gun Holder – A great tool for those who hunt out of their paddle-craft, the Railblaza Gun Holder is an excellent mount for holding your rifle while on the move.

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10) Cam Straps – Kayakers can never have enough cam straps. They are the very things that hold our trips together by strapping our boats to our roof.

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