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The 8th Annual Goshen Race: A Grassroots Celebration of VA Whitewater and Community

 

 

by Brian Vincent

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The event with the coolest start time EVER looks like it may roll this Sunday! The 8th Annual “Goshen Race” looks to be a go! Get in on this great grassroots whitewater kayaking event in Virginia.

Gordon Dalton, event organizer and repeat champion, posted this today:
“VIRGINIA’S DOWNRIVER RACE!
Get stoked friends – looks like we will be racing this Sunday. Due to the likelihood of snow, crowds, and trout fisherman we will assemble at the swinging bridge put-in by 11:30 for some pre-race logistics. We’ll float down to the calmest starting point and let er rip. Spread the word.

FYI the swinging bridge access requires a “day pass” or hunt/fish license.”

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Rad Winter Whitewater in RVA, Yak Attack BoomStick, BRO Heart, Hobie Kayak Fishing, and Kayak Kevin

by Brian Vincent

Today we have some rad RVA whitewater kayaking, Yak Attack gear review, redfish kayak fishing, a BRO adventure piece and Kayak Kevin podcast. 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:

This video is everything that is right with the world. I love it. The RVA crew knows how to get outside and have fun no matter the conditions. Check out another great video from Home On The James!

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Second Up:

Rob Choi, Ocean KayakOld Town/ Werner Paddles/ YakAttack/ Kokatat Pro, gives a great review of the new Yak Attack BoomStick Camera Pole. We’ve got some on order. Click the link below the photo for the full write-up.

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Click the link for the full review of this great product: http://www.angling-addict.com/2015/02/yakattack-boomstick-review.html

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Third Up:

Jess Daddio, Blue Ridge Outdoors Travel Editor, continues to put out great content for her Live Outside and Play project. This one doesn’t involve paddling, but it does speak to the importance of community and to individual adventure. These are principles we all live by. Check out her full write-up below the photo.

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The full write-up is here : http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/liveoutsideandplay/where-the-heart-is-2/

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Fourth Up:

Brandon Barton, Hobie Fishing Pro, put together this great redfish video for Hobie. This should get the psyche level to rise! Check it out.

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Fifth Up:

Kayak Kevin and Lee Williams, Ocean Kayak - Old Town Pros, had a great guest on their podcast recently. “Dr. Ken Neill, who is a IGFA representative, is on the VMRC boards, and his boat has more World records landed on the “Healthy Grin” than any others boat, ever.” Lots of great info in here. Check it out.

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2015 Recap – The 3rd Annual Kayak Fishing Rendezvous and Chili Cook-Off

by Brian Vincent

 “Mountain men used to come out of the mountains at the end of the season to sell their furs, socialize, trade goods and tell stories at the Rendezvous. Tidewater Kayak Anglers might not have furs to sell, but when the kayak fishing is slow they know how to eat, drink, and tell stories!”

This has been the rallying message behind the annual Kayak Fishing Rendezvous at ARC-Hampton. This year marked the third time the tidewater kayak fishing community has gathered to celebrate a new year. On Sunday Feb. 8th, the tribe came together, ate chili, grilled hotdogs, raffled prizes, swapped and sold gear, and shared stories. If you’re thinking, “man, that sounds fun,” well, it is and you shouldn’t miss it in the future.

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The Kayak Fishing Rendezvous also features a highly competitive Chili Cook-Off and this year was no different. There were 24 pots of chili up for judging. Somehow we did not burn the whole place to the ground.

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Ten TKAA , Tidewater Kayak Anglers Assoc.,Officers and Board Members were on tap to judge and they had their work cut out for them.  They used score sheets with 5 criteria – color, aroma, consistency, taste and aftertaste. Each criteria was rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Here is Seth Goodrich checking on the aroma of chili #4.

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When the totals had been added up, the winners were announced. I missed the opportunity to snap photos of the winners when my sister and her family arrived. Hopefully someone will post them on our Facebook page in the coming days. In the meantime, Congrats to the Top 3 finishers. Prizes awarded inc. gift certificates from ARC – 1st ($75), 2nd ($60), and 3rd ($50) and bragging rights.

2015 Kayak Rendezvous Chili Cook-Off Champions

1st place    John Gorman
2nd Place  Tom Powers
3rd Place   Dean Matty

Then the chili was opened up to the crowd.

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Bobby, from ARC-Hampton, started grilling hotdogs for the kids.

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The raffles were called out next, with all proceeds benefiting tidewater chapter of Heroes on the Water. Top prizes were guided kayak fishing trips donated by “1st Landing Kayak Fishing Services” (Mark Lozier) and “Outer Banks Kayak Fishing” (Rob Alderman) along with miscellaneous items donated by TKAA, ARC, Finatic Kayak Fishing Tournament, and Tidewater HOW. Total raised was $317.

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The gear swap section seemed to be hustling and bustling throughout the event. There was a lot of cool second hand stuff up for sale and even some cool art from Rob Choi.

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Rob Choi, of Ocean Kayak/ Werner Paddles/Kokatat/YakAttack, also presented a Shad Seminar in the shop. There is always a lot of good info available from our local Pro Staff guys and they are all great ambassadors to the sport of kayak fishing. One of the cool things about the Rendezvous is getting all the guys and gals together in one spot, where there is no tournament tension or expo expectations, and where they can just hang out and have a good time.

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But, the best part is getting everyone from the community together, with all the Pro Staff folks, in a place where everyone gets to freely mingle about and talk fishing.

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No hype and no fuss, just a great community coming together and enjoying each others company. That was always the goal, and though this event has grown each of it’s three years, that will continue to be the goal. We love this little grassroots style event. We love seeing the tribe sharing easy smiles and a little heckling. And we love being a part of it.

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Yes, and five feet away is a store slam full of awesome kayaks.

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But it’s not about that. For one day at ARC-Hampton it is solely about this…

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Good times with good people. We are a community, and a damn fine one at that.

Thank You to everyone for coming out and for letting us be a part of it!

Next community event: Meet the Pro Staff at ARC Hampton continues Thursday February 26th with William Ragulsky, of Hurricane Kayaks/Werner Paddles/Astral,  leading a discussion about Flyfishing inshore waters of Tidewater Virginia. RSVP to the Facebook Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/424505871048470/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

* I’ll post all the photos I took at the event on our Facebook page on Monday afternoon. Please share any of yours on our page as well. Thank you.

**Also, if you haven’t joined TKAA yet, you should. http://www.tkaa.org/

Winter SUP Fishing, Big Eastern Shore Reds, Urban Whitewater and Tuff Stuff

by Brian Vincent

Today, we have some winter SUP fishing with Drew Camp and some urban whitewater with Isaac Hull, plus plenty of other great content as well. Settle in 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, of Jackson Kayak / Werner Paddles/ Kokatat/ Powerteam Lures, gives a great report on downsizing your bait for winter bass. Plus he fishes off a SUP, in February!  Check the link below the photo for the full report.

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Click the link for the full report: http://fishtailsbydrew.blogspot.com/2015/02/down-sizing-for-cold-bass.html

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Second Up:

Here is a cool short video of some guys stand up paddle-boarding the newly re-hydrated Colorado River delta all the way to the sea. It’s a pretty stellar little gem.

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Third Up:

Kayak Kevin, of Ocean Kayak/ Bending Branches/ Kokatat/ Yak Attack,  gets a double hook up while hunting red drum on the Eastern Shore in this great video.

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Fourth Up:

 Josh Dolin and Grant Alvis, of Peelin’ Drag Extreme Fishing, posted up a recent podcast outlining their upcoming season. We love these guys and their insatiable appetite for all things fishing.

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Fifth Up:

Isaac Hull, of Dagger Kayak, is a local RVA stud at 12 years old. Kid is killing it. Here he is on his own stomping grounds, in the best urban whitewater around, the James River in Richmond.

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Sixth Up:

What’s happening in the canoe industry with Royalex out the door? Here is Nova Craft showing off the toughness of their new Tuff Stuff canoe.

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Last but not least, a bunch of our guys went paddling on the James River last weekend and used some of the new paddles from Adventure Technology. Here is a shot they took of the new Digital Camo Oracle. Looks good and word from the guys is it performs great as well.

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Canoeing, Kayaking and Fishing With Your Kids: Set the Stage

by Brian Vincent

“One of the problems is we don’t spend enough time with our children, quality time. It’s hard to have a heart to heart with your kid, driving them to school, in 15 minutes. You’ve got to set a stage, create the environment. I think that’s what fishing does.” – Hank Parker

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I recently watched a video of Hank Parker and Jackie Smith, and I heard the above statement. At the time Hank and Jackie were pedaling a Hobie Tandem Pro Angler 17T and fishing. It really stuck with me. It’s a simple sentiment and one that I’ve thought before in relation to outdoor activities and my kids. I have two daughters, one that is 3 and another that is 1. I want to take them kayaking. I want to take them fishing. I want to set the stage.

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The first time we took our eldest daughter out on a canoe and kayak river trip, she was nine months old. The James River has become a central body of water in her life. Just the other day, at 3 years old, she said, “Daddy, I want to go on the river and go fishing with you again.” Nothing has ever warmed my heart quite like that statement.

The first time we went fishing together, we sat on my in-law’s dock and caught some bass. She was 1.5 years old. I still remember the smile on her face.

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So, what’s the point of all this? Well, I’ve just been ruminating on what it takes to “set the stage” for those heart to heart talks. I’ve started setting that stage now.

It’s something that all of us at Appomattox River Company have done. It’s a legacy passed down from ARC’s founder and owner, Bob Taylor.  Here he is with the original ARC family, paddling whitewater in West Virginia in 1989.

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And that little girl in the back of the raft is now my co-pilot and she still sits in the back, but now she’s guiding us. ;)

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Our General Manager, Tom Detrick, and his wife, Sarah, who works on our website, make a point of taking their kids out on the river. They’re setting the stage.

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Mary, who works in the office, and her husband Andy, always made a point of getting out with their son, Daniel. They set the stage.

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Daniel, now works at our Richmond store, and still paddles a bit. ;)

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You see, trying to “set the stage” is part of what we’re about as a business. It’s embedded in our very culture.

So how do you go about setting that stage. Well, speaking for myself, it’s all about reshuffling priorities. I love to get out and paddle, catch fish, etc, but when it’s daddy/ daughter time, that personal drive has to take a back seat. I have to focus on her experience, not mine. That’s not to say I don’t cast a line or two. I’m still a fisherman. ;)

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Our first river trips were 3 mile paddles, with lots of fun stops. We found beaches and rocks to play on. We packed lunches and toys. My daughter’s favorite thing was having bathtub chalk in the canoe and she could draw pictures all around her. She also has a pretty comfortable seat.

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Side note: When taking little ones out for a paddle, I’ve found certain items to be instrumental in ensuring a good time. Like snack cups, sunscreen and little Nalgene’s of juice.

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Personally, family river trips are my absolute favorite times on the water. I love catching big fish and editing the photos that result, but nothing matches the satisfaction of celebrating a day on the water with my family. Nothing beats spending time in the the outdoors, experiencing life with my girls. These are the moments that bind us together as a family and ensure that when the time comes, and the environment is right, that the heart to heart talks will come. Years of quality time outdoors will have already “set the stage.”

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Two years ago, I wrote a blog about the Okee Dokee Brothers who had just won a Grammy for their kid’s album, ‘Can You Canoe?’ I talked about my daughter dancing around the room to their music and what it meant to me, to focus on getting her outside and on the water. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was already trying to set the stage. This is how the blog ended:

“Watching these videos this morning, I get nostalgic for trips my family hasn’t even taken yet. Last night, when I showed my wife the above video, she remarked, “I want to go on another river trip with you.” Me too.
That is a desire I want to instill in Martha Lucy. The sanctuary of outdoor adventure with family. I want her to grow up, gleaning her strength and outlook from her family, instead of looking to popular culture for the construction of her identity.”

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Two years later, one of her favorite songs to sing along to is still ‘Can You Canoe?’ And the fact that she’s told me several times this winter that she wants to go fishing with me again is all the proof I need that I’m on the right track.

We’ve got a 1 year old that will join us this year for her first river trip and I am already bubbling with excitement about that float. I know my girls are a little young for any real heart to heart talks, like the ones referenced in the Hank Parker quote, but I hope by setting the stage early, that when the time comes, these outdoor family adventures will provide the right sanctuary. It will be easy to get me out there. All they will have to say is, “Daddy, I want to go on the river and go fishing with you again.”

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Oh, and that cool wooden paddle in the earlier photo? It was a gift, from a longtime ARC favorite, the esteemed Colleen Laffey, to Martha Lucy. She recently passed it down to her sister.

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Eliza is now ready for the mighty James River.

We’ll see you out there, on the water!

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