Special Events

Examiner.com, Magazines, Special Events, Stand Up Paddling, SUP The Mag.com / 13.07.2011

With a little bend, Tony Paul tests the flex on his newly purchased Quickblade standup paddle.

“Yeah, it’s really nice—a lot nicer than the one I’ve got now. I like it a lot!,” says Paul, who made a five-hour drive from Michigan to spend a warm Saturday at this weekend’s Midwest Stand Up Paddle Festival in Madison, Wis. “There are not a lot of events like this round,” added Paul, already busy making plans for his summer adventure to Hawaii with his young son, Gavin. “And to have all this gear to try out and so many experts to learn from this is really something special.”
Special Events, Stand Up Paddling / 06.09.2010

With a surfboard in one hand and a long paddle in the other seven fierce competitors dashed across the sand and plunged headlong into the breaking waves. Mounting their boards each stand up paddler dug into the churning water with powerful strokes charging pell-mell toward the horizon and a distant buoy for the first turn. The race was on. Along the shoreline a crowd of spectators cheered above a howling wind and the thunderous roar of the crashing tide. On this broad expanse of beach under a deep blue sky you’d never know you were in Wisconsin.

Climbing, Music, Podcast, Special Events / 24.06.2010

One of the great pleasure of putting together this podcast every week is finding those amazing individuals whose work bring art and culture together to tell the story of adventure. Unfortunately it’s not often that I can make a more direct connection to the active lifestyle through the performing art of music. But more two years ago I became acquainted with the work of climber and rap artist Kris Hampton, a singer known as O-Dub. His name was derived while a blending his love for music with his passion for climbing wide cracks on rock walls commonly called off-widths. “I was recording songs in a studio in a bad neighborhood in Cincinnati. I was the only white that recorded in the studio,” O-Dub said. “And I came out of the booth one day to record a song…the song “Off-Widths.” And these thugged-out guys with white T-Shirts down to their knees are all staring at me like I’m an idiot. Like what is this guy talking about? “They understood the spirit of the song, but they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. So they caught onto the word off-width and started using it like ‘off the hook’ or ‘off the chain’ like ‘Man! That was off-width.’ So they used it all week while I was in there recording. And they started calling me off-width and then someone shortened it to O-Dub and it just went from there.” With topical lyrics and bouncy jams authentic to his own experience Kris O-Dub Hampton brings the art of song writing to the sport of climbing. Through his rap songs he’s creating new anthems to both inspire and chronicle the life of adventure but with a modern twist that still’s reminiscent of the poets and ballad writers in the classic style of the mountaineering tradition.
Climbing, Interview, Podcast, Special Events / 16.06.2010

Once you reach a certain point in your career it’s great to be able to sit back and reflect upon what you’ve accomplished. It’s gratifying to see in hindsight how far you’ve come and this vantage point you can also look forward to what you have yet to achieve in the future. At the age of 29 professional climber Chris Sharma is in a good position to see the route his life has taken so far and start making plans to a forge a new line, a course of travel into the years that lie ahead. Known as one of the strongest sport climbers in world today, Chris Sharma continues to set the curve for aspiring and professional rock monkeys alike. Appearing in several feature films he first came to my attention back in 2007 during a pre-release screening of the movie King Lines. In this production from Sender Films Sharma introduced audiences to the emerging discipline of deep water soloing where climbers scale incredibly hard routes on rock faces high above ocean pools. In King Lines he works a particularly difficult problem whose crux is a 7-foot dyno to be stuck or risk a 60-foot fall to sea below. Combining athleticism and a profound appreciation for the natural world Chris Sharma is a climber of both strength and grace that defines the lifestyle and passion of a man comfortable in the profession he loves.
Climbing, Destinations, Special Events / 20.05.2010

After 20 years of attending consumer climbing events I thought I’d seen it all. But over the weekend I came across a gathering that is one of a kind. I’m not one for hyperbole so believe me when I say that the New River Rendezvous is the best outdoor adventure festival I’ve ever been to. I know that I’m going out on a limb for making such a bold statement. And in the interests of full disclosure the organizers invited me to Fayetteville, West Virginia for the soul purpose of reporting on their event. But without qualification the NRR brings together the most essential elements of promotion and advocacy to encourage the enthusiasm of those eager to lead an active lifestyle through outdoor recreation. Biased only by my sincere enjoyment of this truly great event here’s an account of what happened.
Climbing, Special Events / 16.05.2010

May 14, 2010 Fayetteville, West Virginia The minute you cross the Ohio River into West Virginia everything seems to change. There’s an immediate influx of lush green as the topography begins to roll through the mountain state. Raised in California I was lead to believe that the only mountains worth a 700-mile drive span ranges well west of the Mississippi. With a dramatic landscape unfolding before my eyes with each passing mile I’ve since changed my mind. [caption id="attachment_3219" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The New River Bridge"][/caption] Down the highway a bit further on you come across another bridge and enter into a world all its own. The New River Gorge is this little known wonder spot south of the Mason-Dixon. Here our tribe of climbers, local and national, has gathered to celebrate the spring season and our active lifestyle. The New River Rendezvous is an adventure festival held each year in Fayetteville. Registration closed a few days ago having reached capacity at 800 attendees.