Paddle Articles

Emergency Steering - DIY Rudder Cable Backup System for OCs and Surfskis

Emergency Steering Broken Rudder Cable Solution

Emergency steering device for broken rudder cable

There are times where we are out on our canoes and surf-skis and our rudder cable breaks. It happens. And a perfectly great day can turn bad real quick. There are many creative quick-fixes one can do, and we will discuss several of them at the end of the article. But there is one in particular we'd like to focus on that can really not only help you hold a line, but create the ability to turn in a semi-controlled manner. And the great thing can dial in very quickly and easily, because it is installed and ready to use when the moment comes! Thank you to Cali Paddler Frank who took the time to craft and share this great write-up. Enjoy!

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VHF Radio Demystified – The most important part of your paddle safety kit

Paddle VHF Radio Demystified
Many of us have come to paddling, whether it be kayak, SUP, surf ski, OC1 or OC6, from backgrounds other than traditional boating like power boats or sailing. Because of this you may not be familiar with the venerable marine VHF radio that has been the mainstay of the boating community since 1950. Advances in electronics have shrunk the size and cost of the VHF radio to a small hand held device that can be bought for under $100. For these reasons a handheld marine VHF radio should be in everyone's safety kit.

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Downwinder Best Practices

Downwind Best Practices

Please take a look at these great lessons assembled by some really studly paddlers and ocean enthusiasts.

Remember...conditions are fun...until they aren't.

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CP Review - Nocqua Spectrum P2 Paddle Light System

Nocqua Spectrum P2
Any paddler who played with lite-brite as a kid is about to be pretty excited. Paddling at night is always ethereal. There is heightened awareness, added use of our senses, and it really kind of makes us feel like rebels. So with all of that in play, you figure having lights for safety is key. But also, why not have some lights on for fun? Well the Nocqua Spectrum P2 light system introduces a whole new level of paddle craft lighting. Check out the review that follows to see paddle illumination in a whole new light (yea we just wrote that).

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How To Choose A PFD Or Life Jacket

How to choose a pfd or life jacketPFDs...Great when you got'em. And always important to have the right one. But really, how many of us have put the proper time and research into something that is literally designed to save our lives?

Cali Paddler was recently contacted by Guillaume from HappinessWithout to see about sharing this amazing and helpful article here on How to choose a PFD or life jacket. And we are so grateful to share with all of you the wealth of info it includes. Whether you paddle Kayak or SUP. Lakes rivers or ocean, we found this a very important and helpful guide. Enjoy!

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CP Review - SharkBanz Shark Deterrent Band

Shark Banz Review
Sea-life is something I love. Including sharks! My respect for sharks and their importance of our ocean balance goes hand-in-hand with me being in their home when I paddle. So the last think I want to do is disrupt their habitat or harm their ability to thrive. So when I heard about SharkBanz I was interested to learn more. Their goals are to "develop simple, effective and affordable strategies to reduce the risk of a shark bite".

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Sea Kayaking - The greatest paddle craft you haven't tried...but should!

Sea Kayaking - Your questions answeredWhen I got into SUP and SUP racing years ago and I saw how interwoven it was with outrigger, prone and surfski races I was a confused why kayaking seemed to be the eccentric loner uncle of the paddling world.  I learned to sea kayak with my dad when I was 12, and taught sea and surf kayaking all through college. I even played kayak polo a handful of times, so to not see any kayaks in the SoCal paddling scene was completely outside of my paddling paradigm.

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Prone Paddleboard Tips For Paddling In and Out Through Surf

Prone Paddleboard TipsAt some point or another, you might enter a race where you have to enter through the surf to get to the start line. Or maybe you go for a paddle on our prone paddleboard and want to beach along the way, but there is some surf to account for. This can be intimating to some. And others may not understand how a simple extra second can make all the difference. Here are some important tips, dos and don'ts and lessons learned the hard way which may help you safely get to your destination and not have to worry so much about that upcoming race with a beach entry.


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SUP Tips For Paddling In and Out Through Surf

SUP Tips for Paddling in and out of SurfSUP Tips For Paddling In and Out Through Surf - brought to you by Better Surf Than Sorry

Generally regarding what kind of craft you are on you should always do the following:
Look before you leap…. Or peer before you paddle 😊 meaning, always watch the ocean for a little before going out. Look at the rhythm of the ocean to see how often sets come in. Look for rips and areas where there are fewer waves(usually deeper water) which are soft spots that are easier to navigate. Check for obstacles such as reefs, rocks etc. Realize that you are on a large craft and always make sure you are at a safe distance from others in case things go wrong…. it happens to the best of us.  Make sure your craft is at your side and never between you and the on coming surf. Always wear a leash. All of these become more important the bigger the surf is.

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Navigation Lights When You Paddle- Time to get it right (and left)

Properly Light your Paddle Draft at Night
It is that time of year, the sun is going down earlier, and our daylight hours are more limited. While it makes for colder paddles, though, we still get out on the water! That said, it is sometimes in the dark. And with that comes added safety concerns. Fortunately there are safety lights for our craft and coast guard regulations to help keep us safe. But what lights are best to paddle with? And what is required? And most baffling....which side should have the red and which the green? Allow me the chance to help clarify all of this.

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