Sunday, December 19, 2010

Last-minute holiday gifts for paddlers

Too late to shop. What are you going to do?
   OK, there are only five days to Christmas. You waited too long to order anything, and you don't want to go the mall. And besides, you're sick of the whole corporate gift-giving thing anyway, right?
   Don't worry. We've got you covered with many perfect gifts for the paddlers in your life.

1. A gift certificate from your local paddle shop. If you don't have a local paddle shop, buy them a membership at OutdoorPlay, which will entitle them to 15% off and free shipping for life. Couple it with a year-long membership to so they can sell their old gear.

2. Subscriptions to paddling publications. If your favorite paddlers are members of the American Canoe Association, they'll get their pick of Rapid Media publications (Adventure Kayak, Kayak Angler, Rapid and Canoeroots). Other great sea kayaking publications include Sea Kayaker, Ocean Paddler, and Canoe & Kayak.

3. Memberships in your local paddling clubs. These clubs offer training and outings, and many host lively online listservs. Like public radio, they rely on people to become members to support them. Membership is typically only $15, yet many people who benefit from the clubs don't bother to join. Supporting your local clubs helps them build the local paddling community and advocate for access to local waterways.

4. Memberships in sanctioning organizations that promote paddlesports, water safety and access, and set standards for quality instruction and assessment: the ACA, the British Canoe Association and Paddle Canada. These are the bodies that liaison with governmental bodies.

5. Donations to environmental organizations with a water-protection focus. These include local and national chapters of the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council. If there are groups working on stewardship and access in your local area, support them, too. Here in the midwest, consider the Alliance for the Great Lakes. And if you're in Chicago, consider Friends of the Chicago River.

6. Registration for a summer symposium, where your paddler can learn new skills, meet other paddlers and get to know some of the top coaches in the country or the world.  Early-bird discounts are available now. Suddenly, you aren't behind in your gift-giving; you're ahead of the game! 


DD Yager said...

Hmmm... Alec, you must have loaded everyone's lunch + Hannah into your stern hatch for that Queenstown paddle. Happy Holidays to all!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget The Alliance for the Great Lakes,, as an environmental organization.

-Bill B.

David H. Johnston said...

Don't forget that your readers can also just send a cheque in my donation. I promise to purchase and use the paddling gear in their name. Maybe even add their name in black market to the paddling top so I remember who's name it was purchased in memory of. :)

David J.

bpfamily said...

@David: She was probably hanging on the back of the boat, lunch an all.
@Bill: Thanks! I added it.
@David: Is this the David J. I think it is?