Blog

Appomattox River Company – Big Demo Day 2015

 

by Brian Vincent

Google

DCIM102GOPRO

.

 Appomattox River Company Big Demo Day 2015 is coming!!!! Come on down, June 13th in Farmville, Va at Wilck’s Lake and our flagship storefront at 614 N. Main St. in Farmville, Va 23901. We stock 2500+ kayaks, canoes, and SUPs by 45+ different vendors, plus 1000’s of paddle-sports accessories, and all the manufacturers, from those companies, will be here, demoing and talking about their products. You can try any boat, paddle, etc that you want and then visit our giant warehouses and pick up your new toys with a great Demo Day Deal. We will be posting more info to this page as the event draws near, so check back often.

Demo Day Hours : 9am-3pm

Loads of Pro Staff and Reps. from all the companies will be on hand to discuss the products. We’ll highlight and list them as time progresses.

YouTube Preview Image

Sales Managers, Reps., and Pro Staff:

 

.

DIRECTIONS – For Directions here is a Google Maps setup with Wilck’s Lake already in the destination spot. Just click the highlight and enter your address in the Starting Point spot.

To Wilck’s Lake Park

.

.

.

.

.

.

The Make Me Famous Photo Contest

 

by Brian Vincent

Photo Contest Time!

kayakangleradsummer

Most of you know me as the guy who handles the lion-share of our social marketing/ content marketing, but I also do print, digital and radio ad layouts, on top of the online analytics for our e-store. I’ve used a lot of my own photos for ads because it doesn’t require asking anyone for permission or searching out good pics, but I’m getting tired of looking at my face. So I hit on the idea of having the photos come to me, with a Make Me Famous photo contest. If you have a sweet whitewater, SUP, canoe, or kayak fishing photo and you’d like me to make ya famous. then post your pics to our Facebook page. We’ll run some contests, for each category of paddle-sports we deal in, and the winners will get a chance to be featured in one of our upcoming print or digital ads! The winning ads will give photo credit and acknowledge the paddler in the pic as well, essentially making you famous, in our little paddle-sports neck of the woods at least. :)

Post them up!

**We’ll be accepting entries through Demo Day 2015, ending June 14th. Then we’ll put them up for a vote. Thank you and have fun!

*****In order to be eligible to win, paddler must be wearing a PFD.

Goshen Play, Angling Addict at it, HS SUP Team RVA, Bent Rod kayak fishing, and Coastal’s PFD review.

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:

Gordon Dalton, Pyranha Kayaks Pro, has long been a favored paddler around these parts. Here he is playing in Goshen Pass, and man it looks fun!

.

Second Up:

Rob Choi, Ocean Kayak/ Werner Paddles Pro, always puts together great posts with baller pics. Here is another one with multiple species. Click the link following the photo for the full report.

Red

Click this link for the full report: http://www.angling-addict.com/2015/05/til-break-of-dawn.html

.

Thirds Up:

The only Whitewater SUP High School team is in RVA at Trinity Episcopal School. That’s pretty rad! Check it out!

.

Fourth Up:

Seth Goodrich was one of the first people I thought of when we fired up the PaddleVa Family idea. We were looking for paddling ambassadors, people who stayed out of the drama and just enjoyed paddling, fishing and hunting out of their kayak. Seth is one of those people. Click the link below the photo to read more about his plans for 2015.

IMG_1848

Click the link for the full story:  http://bentrodchronicles.blogspot.com/2015/01/gotta-get-back-on-train.html

.

Fifth Up:

William Ragulsky, Hurricane Kayaks/ Werner Paddles/ Astral Pro, recently put together a very thorough breakdown of his journey to finding the perfect kayak fishing PFD. It’s a good read with excellent info. Check it out by clicking the link below the photo.

49

Click the link for the full review: http://coastalkayakfishing.blogspot.com/2015/05/finding-right-kayak-fishing-pfd-astral.html

A Kayak Fisherman’s First Ultra Running Race

 

by Brian Vincent

Disclaimer: There are no fish pics in this post. No paddling either. Side note: Cancer Sucks.

     In 2010 I was training for my first ultra, logging training runs in the New River Gorge. I wanted to run a 50 miler. But I wrecked some ankle tendons during my training, and a subsequent marathon. My gait compensation caused me to develop plantar fasciitis. After that, I struggled to run long distances and gave up my dream of running an ultra.

     My family and I moved, in 2012, to Farmville, Va from Fayetteville, WV. Now I work for my father-in-law’s business, Appomattox River Company and am on the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine athlete team as a kayak fisherman. I’m not exactly bipedal endurance material.
This year, on a whim, I decided to join my brother-in-law, John Waite, and his aptly named Team Bonkers, at the Virginia 24 Hour Run for Cancer in Hampton, Va on April 25-26. My beloved grandmother on my mom’s side died from cancer in 2008 and it still stung. I thought running in her honor, as well as all who’ve fought that fight, would be cathartic.

     When the day arrived, I was anxious. I hadn’t done any training. Though I still told people my goal was 50 miles when asked. I always set ridiculous goals and blurt them out. It’s some sort of absurd personal challenge Tourettes. What was I thinking?

Photo Apr 25, 8 00 56 AM

.

The 24 Hour Cancer run was held at Sandy Bottom Nature Park on a 3.75-mile lollipop loop. My sister was running too, and her goal was to stay active for 12 hours and walk/run at least a marathon. The race started at 7:30am. I ran the first lap as planned and then met my sister. We walked the second lap together and chatted about our families. If you miss your siblings and friends and want to spend some quality time with them, sign up for a 24 hour run.

.

Photo Apr 25, 10 34 05 AM

.

I fell in love with this event. The trails were full of determined people and the atmosphere was warm. Because of the course layout, you passed people over and over. It created an intimacy, a sense of strong camaraderie between “strangers” on the trail. Everyone smiled in passing, slapped high fives and offered encouraging words. Each lap started and ended in the same spot. So you got a chance to visit your team tent and recharge after every loop. Big props to the volunteers who manned the start station and counted everyone’s laps!
The rain came at 10am, way earlier than expected. The temperature never rose into the 60’s as forecast. The weather only got less hospitable. In the end, it was the worst it’d been in the 12 years this race’s been run.

     The miles and the rain wore on. Soon I was in uncharted territory. As I rounded the bend to reach 33.75, I spotted my sister at the .625 marker. She was doing an out and back to the marker to finish with her 1st 50K! She persevered though some pain and now she was closing in on her personal best mileage. We ran her last .625 in together. Pumping our limbs, we both started giggling and asking, “My arms are moving REALLY fast, are my legs moving?” It was my favorite moment of the run.

.

11165258_10155515826440254_3423024957989832588_n

.

     Two of my buddies, Joe O’Brien and Shane Cochran, both finished with strong ultra distances. I felt proud of everyone’s efforts, especially given the conditions. By now the trail was a wet, muddy mess and the rain was still steady.
After my sister’s triumph, I hit lap #10. It was a struggle. The sun began to drop below the horizon and the temps dropped into the 40’s. I finished up lap 10 aka 37.50 miles and stumbled to my truck. I’d forgotten gloves and my hands were frozen. I wanted one more change of socks along with an overhaul of my clothes. I sank into my seat, heat pumping in the truck, and thought about quitting. I could be proud of 37.5 miles for my first ultra.
I had switched my Farm To Feet Asheville Low socks for the Blue Ridge Compression socks around mile 15. The compression socks served me extremely well over 22+ miles. I was reluctant to strip them off. But when I changed into a fresh pair of Roanoke ¼ Crews I started to rally. The Farm To Feet socks impressed me greatly the entire day.
I slipped out of the truck and back into the rain soaked night.

As I passed our tent my brother-in-law spotted me, “ I thought you were done.”
“So did I,” I replied.
He’d run a marathon in the morning, pacing a friend, gone to my nieces’ soccer games, then come back to our tent, brewed chicken broth and cheered us on. Now he was suited up for a couple nighttime miles. He had 4 more laps to hit 40, a good training run for his upcoming race, the Massanutten 100. My brother-in-law is an ultra running beast.

     There were a lot of ultra running beasts out there. So many people endured the weather and pounded out miles. I saw folks carrying American flags and people carrying the names of loved ones lost. I saw elite endurance athletes pushing the limits and shattering records, and everyday folks pushing their personal limits. The Men and Women’s winners, Steve and Megan, crushed 133.25 and 131 miles! It was truly awe-inspiring.

     I had 3 laps to go, plus an out and back 1.25 to finish with 50. The next few laps were a blur of pain, ankle deep mud, and rain. I was hobbling at a pretty slow pace. There were some tough moments in those last 12.5 miles. With the rain beating down and my headlamp lighting the muddy trail, I finally rounded the bend and hit the start/stop line for mile 48.75.

     At 12:50 am, I started the walk to the .625 mark. At .25 my left foot exploded with searing pain. I stopped and cursed. I wondered if I could finish. When I got to the marker I just stood there, thinking about my grandmother and that long month my family spent by her bedside as she fought the cancer eating away at her bones. I thought about all the other folks in my life who’ve been touched by this disease, and I started walking back.

     I noticed a discarded protein packet, on the side of the trail and remember saying, “I don’t think I can stop, stoop and pick that up.” No one else was around. I could just leave it.

But in those moments, funny stuff enters your head. I looked at the trash and realized that if I didn’t grab it, my whole journey would be tainted. So I bent over and picked it up. It seemed to take forever. I walked, looking at the trash in my hand. It felt so burdensome. I limped, favoring that busted foot, towards the finish line, where I knew I’d find my team and a trashcan.

.

Photo Apr 26, 1 30 58 AM-2

.

     In the end, I got my 50. It took 18 hours. Elite ultra runners crush 100’s in that time, I know that, but for me it was a huge triumph. I had pushed myself further than I’d ever gone, besting my previous PB mileage by 24 miles. The Virginia 24 Hour Run for Cancer was a magical moment. I want to thank all the volunteers and the race director, George, for all they do. This is a great event, even with bad weather. I may have to climb out of my kayak for another ultra. There is fun to be had out there past the marathon, just make sure you train first. The “off the couch” 50 is not recommended.
Team Bonkers finished 9th out of 18 teams and I’m proud of every person who put in those miles. Well done!

Currently the race raised $14,600.00 for the fight against cancer. Awesome.

.

11052437_10204946831488399_2394419380442634727_n

.

Photo Apr 26, 5 58 43 PM

Z-Dam Surfing, Wild Waters, Rainy Day Bassin, The Next hybrid 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:

A great little Richmond focused video I stumbled across on Facebook. Looks like Dagger Kayaks / AT Paddles Pro, Isaac Hull, is featured in the beginning. I also recognized Mitch Davis surfing in style. Check out this little Z-Dam surf session.

YouTube Preview Image

.

Second Up:

Drew Gregory, Jackson Kayak Pro, has a new web show Hooked on Wild Waters. It’s a cool look at river fishing and the fun times found in the great outdoors. Check out the Episode 3 preview and then tune in.

YouTube Preview Image

.

Third Up:

Chuck Wrenn, Hobie Fishing Pro, put together a little rainy day bass fishing post about his three rod, three lure challenge. Check out what Chuck has been getting into by clicking the link below the photo.

11173390_10206903286720252_4956042985048730635_n

Click the following link for the full report: http://froggin4bass.blogspot.com/2015/05/rainy-days-arent-so-bad.html

.

Fourth Up:

Mark Vlaskamp recently released a review of the Old Town Next that drives home the hybrid theme. It’s a fun bit of whimsy packed with great info about this paddle craft. The Next has been a hit and Mark nails down the reasons why. Check out his review by clicking the link below the photo.

video-whats-next

 Click the link for the full review: http://www.canoevibes.com/#!The-Space-Between-A-B-Old-Town-NEXT-13-Review/c22zv/552565c30cf21d84af89c147

.

Fifth Up:

Kayak Kevin and Lee Williams, Ocean Kayak Pros, host the Kayak Kevin Podcast and in this episode they welcome Kevin’s AFWC tournament partner  Irish Jean McElroy, Ocean Kayak Pro. Check out the video below:

YouTube Preview Image

.