Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Mendocino Kayaking Classes and Trips

Grab your calendars and plan to play with us in 2017.  We have lots of fun adventures planned in Sea, Whitewater, Surf (and the pool).  We are especially excited about our 3 day Lost Coast Sea Kayak Camping Trip and our 4 day Eel River Kayak Camping Trip.
Whitewater kayaking and camping on Mendocino's Eel River.
Sea Kayaking - In 2017, we will be expanding our Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Programs to include 5 day Intermediate/Advanced Adventures.  We will be continuing our monthly 2 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series May - August and offering our advanced beginner/intermediate 5 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Course over Labor Day Weekend.  BCU 3 Star Sea trainings and assessments and private lessons/custom tours will round out our sea kayak instructional program.
Sea Kayaking in sea caves and rock gardens of the Mendocino Coast

Whitewater - LFK's 2017 river kayaking program features LFK's Whitewater River Kayaking Class.  This class is designed for sea kayakers and other paddlers who have a solid foundation of paddling skills and are looking to learn to run whitewater rivers.  LFK's systematic approach will build upon your current skills to give you the skills for running whitewater rivers.  The next class in our progression is Precision River Running.  Precision River Running is for experienced whitewater kayakers looking to improve and expand their river running skills.  LFK is also offering guided whitewater river runs.  These are scheduled on the Monday after our weekend classes for our students to apply their skills and enjoy a day of river running with us.
Whitewater river kayaking on Mendocino's Eel River

Surf Kayaking -  We have been excited about our students' success in our 2 day surf classes so we are offering more of these in 2017.  Whether you are learning the surfzone for the first timelearning to surf, or working on making moves on the wave; our 2 day surf classes are paced for maximum success.  With 2 days, you get different surf zone opportunities and a skill progression that builds on the previous day.  For those looking for specific skills, we have private surf lessons and safaris.
Surf Kayak Classes and Lessons on the Mendocino Coast

Rolling - We have a beautiful community pool and a flexible schedule.  If you want to learn to roll or need a rolling tune-up, we can help.
Rolling in Mendocino Recreation and Park District Pool
Wilderness First Aid - Know how to help others in the wilderness.  LFK and the Mendocino Woodlands are hosting Bobbie Foster to teach a 16 hour course that includes a 3 year Wilderness First Aid Certification.

Mendo Your Way - We are running our private lesson and custom tour special November 2016-March 2017.  Come see us to dial in your skills and play and explore the beautiful Mendocino Coast.
Sea kayak surfing on the Mendocino Coast
Family Friendly Kayaking Adventures - We are currently creating our 2017 Summer Tour Schedule for our family friendly Noyo Meander, Sunset Bird Paddle, Whitewater of the Sea and Ocean Adventure Tours.

Family kayaking fun on Fort Bragg's Noyo River
Whitewater Ocean Kayaking aka Rock Gardening on the Mendocino Coast

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Mendocino Kayaking Trifecta

We did it!  

Last weekend, Liquid Fusion Kayaking rang out 2016 and rocked into 2017 with their annual New Year Whitewater n Surf Safari.  Our goal for this surfari is to score 3 days of whitewater kayaking in 3 disciplines - whitewater of the sea (rock gardening), whitewater river running, and surf kayaking.  Requirements for the trip are that paddlers must have a reliable roll, class III whitewater kayaking skills, and experience surf kayaking in the ocean.  This year our 4 paddlers rocked it!!!
Liquid Fusion Kayaking and crew rocking New Years on the Mendocino Coast.
This is Liquid Fusion Kayaking's signature event.  LFK's home waters in Mendocino County are one of the few places where one can score all 3, and LFK's Jeff and I are among the few kayak instructors that teach guide all three disciplines.
LFK's Jeff Laxier setting up to smack the lip in his hp surf kayak.
Day One of our Surfari was Whitewater River Kayaking on the Eel River.  The day started out chilly with the freezing fog.  Till we got to the river, it was a gorgeous sunny day with a fun flow.
Boat scouting the tunnel rapid on the Eel River.
We played our way down a 7 mile stretch of the Eel - carving in and out of eddies, jet ferrying, surfing waves, and making fun attainments.
Peter gets his river surf on!
With all the play potential of the Eel at this flow, it took us 2 hours to go the first 2 miles.
Lunch break at a small surf wave gave the opportunity for even more play.
Jennifer finds the sweet spot on the lunchtime wave.
After lunch, we continued eddy hopping and playing but got down to business of running the river.  Jeff and I shared fun lines and challenged our students to boof into eddies and catch waves on the fly.
Greg working his way down The Wall on the Eel River.
Our cheeks were sore as we finished the run from smiles.
Willy making the take out drop.
Day Two was Surf Day and the search began.  We scouted a couple of breaks looking for that beautiful peeling wave.  With the tide and swell it wasn't happening, but we saw lots of potential for fun at Chase-a-peak Bay.  On a high tide, Chase-a-peak often has lots of fun reflective and zipper waves.   It is a good way to challenge your water reading skills and ability to improvise.  The waves we were surfing were not big but often offered long rides if one could link them up.
Peter Jive'n.
We moved to a different break for the afternoon session.  This session offered fun steep drops and a few down the line runs.
Greg finds a shoulder to surf.
The glassy waves enticed several to surf their high performance surf kayaks.
Jennifer surfing down the line.
Willy gets a nice drop.
Day Three was Whitewater of the Sea aka rock gardening.  Confused seas, high tide, and winds from an approaching weather front made for challenging conditions.  We dug into our bag of tricks and found some rock garden play to complete our trifecta.  Our rock garden play started with warming up on a small pour-over that we call Dog Rock.  It was a good warm up for the bodies as well as for timing.
Jennifer styling the warm up at dog rock.
We moved onto a couple of other spots that were more challenging and involved surfing off the rocks.
Willy speeds along past first rock.
Greg drops in on 8.
A final pour-over of the morning session involved a left to right move.  A couple of our students tried the left to left move and discovered that it wasn't the cleanest line. They survived and everyone else enjoyed the entertainment.

Many of our students were anxious to get going home and departed at lunch time.  With one remaining student, Jeff and I ventured back out in search of more rock garden play.  We found it.
Peter gets a nice pour-over ride!
The afternoon session offered us a bit of everything - in terms of weather, waves, and rock garden play.  Squalls from a weather front swirled all around us.  One minute it was sunny and calm, and the next we were pelted with hail.  Despite the weather, a couple of our favorite pour-over spots were working.
Jeff Laxier prepares to boof the hole.
We are stoked to have ended 2016 and rocked in 2017 with our Whitewater Surfari.  Join us next year - December 30, 2017 through January 1, 2018!
May your 2017 be full of sunshine, smiles, surf, and rainbows. 
PS  You might ask - did I do more than smile and take photos?  Yep.  Check out my next Woman on Water blog post.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

LFK in the Fall

As we roll into fall, people start asking us if we are enjoying the off-season.  The truth is that we really don't have an off season.  Most small business owners will tell you this.  There is always something to do.  When we aren't on the water, there are business matters to attend to.  This afternoon, I will be doing inventory at our shop while Jeff teaches a private lesson.

We just presented at the American Canoe Association's National Paddlesports Conference.  We shared our Waves, Wildlife, and Wonder of Mendocino County.  Here is a video from our presentation (it is 11 minutes long so que it up for when you are ready to take a 11 minute vacation in Mendocino)

Join LFK in 2017 on California's Lost Coast.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
We have been working hard on our Liquid Fusion Kayaking's 2017 calendar and are very excited about offering 3 new adventures.  For whitewater kayakers, we are offering a 4 day/3 night raft supported kayak trip on the Dos Rios to Alderpoint wilderness stretch of the Eel River.  For sea kayakers, we are offering a 3 day Lost Coast Sea Kayak Camping Adventure and a 5 day Intermediate/Advanced Sea Kayak Mendocino Adventure.
Whitewater MultiDay Trip on Dos Rios to Alderpoint Stretch of the Eel River.  Photo by Jeff Laxier
Despite all of this business work, we have been on the water quite a bit.  We have been teaching rolling, surf kayaking, whitewater river kayaking, and whitewater of the sea.
Jeff Laxier teaching the kayak roll in Fort Bragg, CA.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
Whitewater kayak instruction on Mendocino's Eel River.  Photo by Jeff Laxier
This weekend Jeff is coaching a 2 day BCU 3 Star Sea Kayak Training and doing the BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment on Monday.  With rain in the forecast, I expect we may take a day or two off next week to run some whitewater.
Whitewater kayaking on Mendocino's Eel River.  Photo by Jeff Laxier