Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Kickoff Weekend A Super Success!

Perfect early spring weather arrived just on time for the outdoor community of Lafayette to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather. On hand for the weekend were 300 folks from Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, Baton Rouge and even as far away as Tennessee! We paddled, looked at new gear, caught up with old friends and generally had a great time. Suffice it to say that we can't wait for next year! Here's a few pictures of some of the events:

Kickoff Breakfast Paddle
A wonderful paddle at Lake Martin saw the Lafayette Paddle Club hosting 30 paddlers who turned out to enjoy sunshine, beautiful scenery and great beignets!

Adventure Trade Show
During the day Saturday, lots of folks showed up to see the latest gear from MSR, Hobie, Wilderness Systems, Yakima, Hurricane Kayaks, Yak Gear, SPOT, and Native Watercraft. We all enjoyed meeting Jerald Horst (author of Troutmasters and other books) as well as Lucy the Goat from Louisiana Wild products. It was a great time to meet representatives of the Lafayette Paddle Club and the Lafayette kayak Fishing Club.

Reel Paddling Film Festival
We hosted a capacity crowd for the first tour stop in Louisiana for the Reel Paddling Film Festival Saturday night. We all laughed through "Paddle to Seattle", thrilled to the whitewater in "Lucky 13", were inspired by "The Missouri Stream Team Story" and loved "Finding Farley". The films were great and the crowd was great. Overall, a wonderful celebration of paddling as a sport.

Kayak and Canoe Demo Day
The Demo Day on Sunday set records for participation with over 250 people showing up to try out the canoes and kayaks we had on hand. As you can imagine, it was hectic, but exciting.

Our thanks go out to all of you who participated in this very special weekend. We enjoyed hosting you and look forward to the Spring Kickoff Weekend being even bigger and better next year!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lineup Of Participants at the Adventure Trade Show

Jerald Horst, well known fishing author for Louisiana Sportsman and other magazines will be on hand to meet the Lafayette Outdoor Community. Jerald is the author of the popular book "Troutmasters" as well as other great books. Jerald will be ready to sign copies of his books as well as to talk fishing.

Keith Sonnier of "The Camp" fly fishing school will be presenting his spring schedule of classes and to represent the Acadiana Fly Rodders club.

Louise Prejean of Louisiana Wild will be here with her Goat Lucy. She will have her unique line of goat milk soaps for sale as well as the most popular activity when Lucy is around: Petting the Goat.

Outdoor Company Reps:
Scott Eddins - Osprey, MSR, Cascade Designs
Tom Jester - Native Watercraft
Steve & Lisa Oxenford - Hobie
Summer Williamson - Hurricane Kayaks
Steve Sell - Wilderness Systems Kayaks
Tom Jindra - TFO Fly Rods and Spinning Rods
Greg Allen - Yakima Racks and Vibram Five Fingers Shoes
Bill Bragman - Yak Gear Kayak Accessories

Lafayette Paddle Club
Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club
Acadiana Fly Rodders
Acadiana Chapter of the Sierra Club

This will be a great opportunity to get see all the new gear for 2010 and meet some great outdoor folks!

Lineup Of Participants at the Adventure Trade Show

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Film Festival Getting Exciting!!!

Becky and I spent 5 or 6 hours yesterday previewing 20 or so films for the Reel Paddling Film Festival this weekend. We are super excited with the lineup that we came up with to show our local crowd. If you have tickets already - you can officially start getting excited! If you don't have tickets, you should call the shop at 232 5854 to reserve some. We are limiting the seating for this event so that everyone can have a good seat. Here is a quick preview of our lineup for Saturday night:

Paddle to Seattle: Journey Through the Inside Passage
Duration: 40 minutes
In homemade Pygmy wooden boats, J.J. Kelley and Josh Thomas travelled the 1,300-mile Inside Passage. For three months, Kelley and Thomas paddled to Seattle facing the hardships that accompany a lifestyle removed from civilization. The film is a stunning display of the awe-inspiring landscape of the Pacific Northwest and of the light-hearted spirit of the young adventurers.

Our Take:
Certainly one of the best films of the night, this movie shows the ups and downs of a long trip. The scenery is amazing and the characters are a lot of fun. We guarantee you one thing: You'll want to book a plane ticket to the Pacific Northwest this summer!

Lucky 13

Duration: 6 min
Lucky 13 chases a West Kootenay-based group of whitewater kayakers in search of a wild paddling in their backyard. Compiling footage and outtakes from the last two seasons of spring paddling.

Our Take:
Whitewater is not a big part of the paddling experience in South Louisiana. But we felt that the festival would not be complete without some thrills and spills on the steep creeks. This film is raw, and just a little scary.

Twenty Years: The Missouri Stream Team Story
Duration: 28 min
The Missouri Stream Team project is one of the nation's finest environmental stewardship programs and an inspiring story of what can happen when ordinary citizens take ownership and pride over the waterways that truly belong to them. This film covers many stories that are inspiring.

Our Take:
I was inspired by this film. Taking pride in our state and the public lands and waterways that are free for our use is something that none of us do enough of. I don't know what to do to get the ball rolling here in Louisiana, but watching this great film is a good start.

Kayak Fishing: Game On 2
Duration: 5 min
This film follows world-renowned big game kayak angler Jim Sammons on the adventure of a lifetime. Game On 2 features Sammons' epic, three-hour battle with a 120-pound tuna.

Our Take:
Big game offshore kayak fishing is definitely a niche activity, but watching Jim Sammons battle this huge tuna in a kayak is something we're sure that nobody in our area has witnessed before.

Following Directions
Duration: 3:10 Minutes
Following Directions brings a smile to your face in the spirit of the classic short, silent film. Inspired by a real-life conundrum. Filmed and edited by amateur filmmaker Melanie Buckle of Toronto, Canada.

Our Take:
This one is just for fun. I won't even try to describe it other than to say that it is probably worth 3 minutes of your life!

Finding Farley
Duration: 46:07 minutes
Filmmakers Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison, along with their two-year-old son Zev and indomitable dog Willow, set out to retrace the literary footsteps of renowned Canadian author Farley Mowat. Their 3,100 mile trip - trekking, sailing, portaging and paddling from the Prairies of western Canada to the Maritimes of the Atlantic ocean - ends at Mowat's Nova Scotian summer house.

Our Take:
This film is worth coming for all by itself. Watching this family deal with adversity in the wild with a small child reminds me so much of our 4 month hike/cycling trip in 1989 with our then 3 year old son Matt. You will be treated to a great family adventure that you won't soon forget.