I have to give credit where credit is due; I would not be the unbelievable paddler I am today without my parental unit supporting me every step of the way. In the beginning, that support manifested itself as many forms of transportation. Slalom races on the weekends, driving to Tariffville Gorge nearly every day after school, and making innumerable trips up to Zoar Outdoor during the summer. I’ll admit, it was a pretty demanding job considering how little it paid.
The morning of the competition I woke up and immediately felt more in touch with my body and less of the road-trip hypnosis that I was feeling on my practice day. The morning was cold; just above freezing, and it was entertaining to listen to the paddlers native to south complain about the weather, even though it felt balmy to me compared to what I had been training in all winter in Connecticut. For most of the morning I watched the Jr. Women, C1, and Jr. Men take their prelim rides, and tried to use their performance to stay in the right frame of mind.
Rolling is a huge landmark in kayaking progression, but for a lot of folks, it can oftentimes feel like there are roadblocks every step of the way. The winter time is a great time to practice rolling in a local pool. Whether you’ve lost your roll, or are learning to roll for the first time, try to implement some of these tips to see an improvement in your roll technique.
CHARLEMONT, MA — Zip guide Zach Morris stood on a platform, high up under a heavy canopy of maple and beech trees, on the first day of a week-long training for new guides at Zoar Outdoor one June afternoon.
As Morris began to lead trainee Abby Schlinger in belaying down to the ground, he noticed that each of their lanyards, which serve as their primary safety devices, were entwined. Morris didn’t panic. He taught the group a lesson on troubleshooting. “Hey, everybody,” he said, calling down to the trainees, standing below on the forest floor. “I’m going to take this moment to teach you about lanyard entanglement.” Morris held up both his and Schlinger’s lanyards to show trainees that they were clearly crossing one another. “It’s awkward, not dangerous,” he said. “It happens all the time.”
CHARLEMONT, MA — Rachel Maestri Hailey sees the Zoar Outdoor brand of canopy tour as an exploration—both of the outdoors and of the self.
“In the literal sense, we zip through the area, but more importantly, there is an exploration of oneself,” said Hailey, Zoar’s 35-year-old canopy tour manager. “Questions come up: Where does your comfort zone end, and your stretch zone begin? What does courage look like to you? There are multiple levels of personal discovery.”
If you're curious about whitewater kayaking, this is the best weekend of the summer to give it a try! These playful whitewater kayaks are a blast, and we're ready to give you the foundation of skills in a comfortable and supportive learning environment. Click Here
Every year, for one day, we get to one of Vermont’s hidden gems - the West River. The West River is a perfect mix of adventure and leisure - it has a little bit more adventure than the Zoar Gap and is a little mellower than the Dryway.