Monday, February 25, 2013

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

For those that are planning trips for 2013.  We highly encourage you to consider a trip to the Mendocino Coast of Northern California.  Enjoy redwood forests, a rugged rocky coastline, beaches, arts and music, small towns, mom and pop businesses, tasty local foods, bed and breakfast and family run motels, and of course quality kayak instruction.  The possibilities are endless.

Ahhhhhh . . .

Part of the beauty of the Mendocino Coast is it's isolation.  There are no freeways or commercial airports on the Mendocino Coast but you can get here from there.

Automobiles:  For those driving from the San Francisco Bay or Sacramento area, it is a 3-4 hour drive.  Here's a link with driving directions.
Map by Dennis Freeze at Monolith Design
 Planes and Automobiles:  For those coming from farther away, consider flying into the Sonoma County Airport (STS).  You can fly into Sacramento or San Franscisco, but STS is only 2 hours away.  It is a low stress county airport with great service and few crowds.  From STS, you can rent a car or take the Mendocino Transit Authority Route 65 Rider from the airport to Fort Bragg.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles:  For those that want to make a trip to the Mendocino Coast an adventure, consider a ride on the Skunk Train.  Options include hopping on at Willits and getting over the to the Coast or taking a day trip on the Skunk Train from Fort Bragg.

For more information on visiting the Mendocino Coast, check out Visit Mendocino and Fort  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Full Immersion Sea Kayak Weekend

Last weekend, we taught our first a full immersion sea kayak weekend of the year.  When we say full immersion, we mean FULL IMMERSION!

When we put the full immersion weekend on the calendar, a group of ladies from the bay area asked if they could sign up as a group and make it a ladies weekend.  Sounded like fun so we make it a ladies weekend with Jeff and I co-instructing and the ladies staying in the vacation rental by LFK Headquarters at Dolphin Isle Marina.

Day One of the weekend was stroke work with video analysis on the calm waters of the Noyo River Estuary by Dolphin Isle Marina. Torso rotation and edge control was the theme for all of the strokes.

Day Two was application of strokes in moderate waters and surf zone training.  Surf zone training was focused on safety, posture, and controlled launching and landing techniques.
Safety concepts included protecting the shoulders and body with good positioning and technique.

The surf zone is a great place for instant feedback.  The ladies got it - when they leaned back, they flipped.  When they had good posture, they maintained control.  This was especially important as we were working on precision and control in the surf zone and avoiding broach surfing.

Day Three was a journey with stroke work, launching and landing techniques, and rescues in moderate waters.  The Noyo River and Harbor was glorious in the morning with glassy waters and lots of sunshine.

The Noyo Bay was a little bumpy which was perfect for working on applying strokes to moderate water.

As the day progressed, a storm front rolled in producing some dramatic skies.

The ladies this weekend did GREAT!!!  They worked hard to improve their skills and pushed their limits while having FUN!!!

We are looking forward to more full immersion weekends (in sea, river, and surf).  Check our calendar and sign up for one or rally a bunch of paddling pals and let us customize one for you.  Our next sea kayak full immersion weekend is June 21-23.  In March, we have 2 Surf Kayak  Weekends and 1 Whitewater Kayak Weekend planned.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Putting the Hammer Down

Last week we were among the lucky paddlers to demo the new P&H Hammer.  The prototype was at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium and then journeyed to the Mendocino Coast with us for some post-symposium rock garden play.  Check out Bryant Burkhardt's Paddle California Blog with photos and videos of the fun.

Now that the Hammer and our friends have left, it is time for us to get busy on the nuts and bolts of the business of running Liquid Fusion Kayaking.  If only the kayak business was as fun and simple as kayaking, kayaking, and kayaking.  Website updates and reviewing/revising the business plan are what's happening at LFK Headquarters.

These are exciting times for us.  We can hardly believe that next month - Liquid Fusion Kayaking will be celebrating the conclusion of 5 years on the Mendocino Coast.  Jeff had been guiding on the Mendocino Coast for many years; however, March 2008 was when we decided to base the business here and I decided to leave my job with Fort Bragg Unified School District to partner with him in Liquid Fusion Kayaking.

We are looking forward to reviewing the trials and triumphs of the last 5 years and planning for the future of Liquid Fusion Kayaking.  Thanks for sharing the journey with us!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium 2013

We are unwinding from a great week of sea kayaking in Northern California.  Our sea kayak week began with a journey to San Fransisco for the 5th Annual Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium.  We were honored to be coaching among some of the best sea kayak coaches in the world and stoked to meet a bunch of enthusiastic students.

Jeff of course spent the weekend playing in the rocks outside the Golden Gate Bridge teaching Intermediate and Advanced Rock Gardening Courses including a rock gardening class in whitewater kayaks.
Photo by Bryant Burkhardt
I was in the Horseshoe Cove area teaching Rock Gardening 101 and intermediate and advanced strokes classes.  Rock Garden 101 of course is one of my favorite classes to teach.  It is so fun to see students gain knowledge and confidence to paddle near and among rocks in moving water.

There were lots of memorable moments for coaches and students alike.  Our rock garden 101 class was thrilled by a gray whale cruising into the bay and passing close to where we were working.  Everyone of course was delighted by the warm sunny days and clear views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Fransisco.

In the evening, we enjoyed Justine Curgenven's adventures in paddling Tierra de Fuego, Out of Sight, Out of Mind's Trashpedition and the Ikkatsu Project. 

Cheers to Matt Palmariello and Sean Morley for putting together an outstanding event!!!  And all the sponsors who made it possible.

After 3 days of teaching, the coaches were ready to get out and play.  Some stayed for BCU 5* Training and trips around the bay area.  We rallied some coaches and headed for home for some Mendocino Rock Gardening.

Here's a link to photos of our Post GGSKS Mendo Rock Gardening.