Central Virginia paddling

I’m excited that a new, local magazine is launching next week and the publisher has decided to feature our local paddling scene in its inaugural issue.

Paddling Buddy Dave @PdleBuddyDave and I even made the cover!

Look for it at newsstands in and around Charlottesville next week.

Unbound

And be sure to come paddle with us during our local Rivanna River Race in Charlottesville, VA on May 12.

Preparing for kayak racing season

littledfinish2017

It has been a late Spring in Central Virginia.

I’ve only paddled ~40 actual water miles so far this year so my on-water training is behind where I’d like it to be.   This is mainly due to a busy schedule and cold weather.  In fact, as recently as this past weekend we experienced snow and freezing rain here in Charlottesville.

As a result I’ve continued to hit the gym hard but will back off starting next week and have several light weeks in a row as I get back on the water to log some serious miles and get back into paddling shape.   If the weather is bad, I’ll be ramping up the miles indoors on my kayak ergometer.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve lost much of my technique as the few sessions I’ve had on the water so far with Paddling Buddy Dave have been very good workouts and my form is still there.

I sold my Pyranha Octane and ordered a new boat which will be revealed in due time. (I don’t want my competition to know what’s coming.)  Keep an eye open as a new boat with a fresh review is always exciting!

I’ve also been busy as a co-organizer for our local river race this year, The Rivanna River Regatta Canoe & Kayak Race on May 12.

I hope you will join us on May 12.  I’d love to meet you.

2018headerStart of the 2017 Rivanna River Canoe & Kayak Race

Massive workout

Back from vacation in a big way.

4-4-18workout

But now comes the tricky part of transitioning from winter/building mode to endurance/cardio training in a kayak on water.

This year will be a more difficult transition than past years because I’ve become part of a new gym culture but I’ll put that aside for a few months as I ramp up functional training.

The end of the James River Rundown

jrr-end

We just found out this week that the James River Association is no longer going to host the annual James River Rundown, which was becoming a popular ultra-marathon kayaking event on the East Coast of the U.S. This is sad news because many of us looked forward to this event each year and its popularity was growing.

Years ago there was a different race to benefit a day camp, The Camp Kum-ba-yah Race, in Lynchburg on the James and that was a great event, but they, too, stopped hosting that race.

So we are left with no kayak/canoe race on the James River in Virginia.

I’m hopeful that somebody else will pick up and run with the idea of an organized marathon kayak race on the James. When they do they can count on me for support.

Paddling Buddy Dave and I have talked about hosting a 44 mile race on our local river, The Rivanna, or possibly making the race longer by extending it onto the James where we could easily turn it into a 55, 66, or 85 mile race. Dave and I might have to talk more seriously about this for 2019. If you represent a charity and would like to take on this fundraising project, just let me know.

In the meantime in 2018, the closest thing we get is a new race called The Richmond Paddle Cup hosted by Crosswind Paddle Company with the longest race being a mere 17 miles. A huge letdown for those of us looking forward to another ultra this year close to home.

To make it more interesting, a couple of us have hatched a plan. In order to make this 17 mile race more interesting and as a reminder that we don’t always need to be looking for the next fast boat or better gear, we are having an event within the event.

We will adhere to all the regular rules of the Richmond Paddle Cup but we will have our own division within the 17 mile race in which we will all have to use a boat we found on Craigslist for $200 or less. It has been dubbed, “The First Annual Craigslist Challenge.”

Let the games begin.

beatupcanoe

DIY Kayak Ergometer Plans now available!

FinalErgDesign

I recently completed the instructional video on how to build your own kayak ergometer from a Nordic Track ski machine. The plans and part list for this new, more compact design are available at the link below for $20 as I promised on Jan. 16, 2018:

And here is the final result:

Once you purchase, I’ll send you an email with links to the parts list and instructional video.

I’m the same guy who built and shared the original design online in 2013 and since then I’ve gone through several iterations of the design to get it as short and smooth as possible.

You will find other such DIY ergometers online but many of them are very long and look like they have bed frames attached to the front of the device which causes ropes to rub, require a lot of space, and are not really portable.

Don’t be fooled.  Buy the plans from the original designer!

Thank you!
Dave

Be sure to allow email from dave (at} cvillepaddlers.com.

Buy the parts list and video plans now for $20 USD

Review of rooftop V-bars for Kayak Transport: KayakPro EZ-Vees and Goodboy Paddlesports Vbars

Many of us paddle competitive kayaks and surf skis which are much longer and narrower than recreational kayaks.

As such, traditional kayak carrying racks, cradles, or foam crossbar pads aren’t sufficient since the crossbars on most vehicles are relatively close together.  Crossbars a couple feet apart from one another are not good enough when toting a kayak or ski that is 21′ in length or longer.

Enter V-bars.

These carrying racks mount to the crossbars on your vehicle but then have two “V’s” much farther apart than the crossbars to cradle your boat at two different anchor points much farther apart for safer, more secure transport.

I recently compared the KayakPro EZ-Vees and the Goodboy Paddlesports vbars and hope you enjoy the video.

In short, the KayakPro EZ-Vees are adequate and quite attractive, but the Goodboy Paddlesport Vbars are superior in just about every way.  Much heavier duty aluminum, heavier duty mounting hardware, wider V’s with more foam to have more contact with your boat.

Either of these would be a good choice, but if you are choosing one over the other I’d recommend you go with the Goodboy Paddlesports bars.

Click through the links below to purchase:

Goodboy Paddlsports Vbar kayak transport carriers

Kayak Car Top rack.- by KayakPro

Update March 26, 2018:  I’m not sure if the folks at KayakPro saw this video or not, but in my inbox today I got the following email from them,

Dear Dave,
Thank you for buying EZ –Vees recently. We really appreciate your business.

In an effort to continually improve our products we have made a couple of upgrades to your EZ-Vee which we believe will improve their performance.

The V’s now have a custom made PVC spacer [inserted inside the square receiver] at the base of the Vees. These upgrades absorbs vibration and improves the fit onto the long bar.

The second upgrade is an improvement by additional heat shrink sleeve to the location pin that connects to and through the long bar – tests have shown the heat shrink reduces vibration.

The upgrades take just a couple of minutes to apply.  We will send these out to at our cost and these will be sent to you in the next week or so.

I have attached a couple of images to show how these work.

Thank you for your support of KayakPro and of our products.
Kind Regards,
Gray

 

Now that is great customer service!

KayakPro is from Grayson Bourne.

Kayak ergometer plans from Nordic Track ski machine almost ready

Just finished the first round of edits on my “How To Build It” video. I need to shoot a little more to fill in some gaps and then the video will be ready. Definitely before the end of the month.

Update March 2, 2018:

The plans are ready!
http://bit.ly/2t7m5Ew

I’m going to feel this one in the morning

Knowing February is my last month of lifting heavy in the gym before I transition to conditioning for kayaking season in March, I went a little beast mode in the gym after work today.

2-17-18_beastmode

I’m going to feel this one tomorrow.

Reviews and the gear I use in my training

Most of you know I talk about brands I love and have no sponsorship arrangements with anyone.  If I ever get a free gadget for review I will disclose it.  If I ever have a financial incentive to promote a product I will also let you know.

That said, I post screen shots from some of my workouts while wearing the Atlas Wearables 2 wristband.

I’ve now been working out with it for a full year and it has been an integral part of my training and progression.

I have no ties to the Atlas Wearables company but just wanted you to know this is one piece of gear that has become an invaluable tool in my training regimen.

Here is my original written review and my video review is directly below.

 
Buy now through my Amazon Affiliate link:
Atlas Wristband 2: Digital Trainer + Heart Rate Band