|Too late to shop. What are you going to do?|
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 Paddling.net 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!