China: How the Adventure I Resisted Most Turned Out to Be the Most Profound

China was never on my mind as a fun travel destination. I never imagined myself there, nor did I have a desire to go. The impressions I had of Chinese culture were unfriendly, serious and aggressive. I had seen video and photos of beautiful places in China, but I had also heard of air pollution and crowds of people. Even though I had had wonderful interactions with a few Chinese nationals, I couldn’t seem to get over the negative impressions of China that had somehow made their way into my brain. So… when I received an invitation to teach SUP 

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Simple Reminders

It’s Sunday morning in January in McCall, Idaho, and I’m kicking away at the snowbank alongside my yurt in an effort to excavate my creek boat from where it’s been wintering underneath. My hands are already frozen from attaching my kayak stackers to my roof rack in the bitter cold, and now my toes are freezing too. “Why did I agree to this?” I mutter to myself as I tug on the grab loop of my Mamba while continuing to kick out a big enough opening to wrangle it through. In flurry of ice shards, she finally breaks free and 

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Why You Should Take an International Paddling Trip

A really smart woman once told me I didn’t need a drysuit when I could just boat where it’s warm enough not to wear one. Inspired by this approach to winter boating, I booked my first international kayaking trip to Mexico and have been traveling ever since. Although it’s not quite drysuit season yet and the warm weather has me wondering if I’m ever going to need my drysuit again, fall is always a time when I start dreaming about my next big adventure, preferably to a more tropical location. You don’t have to be an expert boater to enjoy 

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Ladies Taking Over Southeast Rivers!

It’s been another summer of great Ladies Southeast Paddling Series and Green River Takeover events! Both the Series and the Takeover are community building events that also raise money for the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund. This year, part of the money raised will be donated from the fund to Our Voice’s initiative to combat human trafficking in WNC. The other part will go to American Canoe Association‘s fund set up to support elite US female slalom athletes. I runs the LSPS on 5 different rivers (Tuckaseegee, Nantahala, Pigeon, Ocoee and Lower Gauley) offering an opportunity for women of all skill 

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Tips on Packing for a SUP Day Trip

The Black River is the epitome of serene. It’s out in the middle of nowhere.  You drive and drive to a random bridge that signals your take out. There are no people around, and what houses you do see are older and in need of repair. There’s an alligator who lives nearby and he watches you take out! Cypress knees poke up through the dark water, birds are everywhere, and the obligatory alligators hiding where you can’t see them but they can surely see you. The river trail is winding, sheltered, and quiet. No other humans for miles and miles. 

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Eclipse Viewing from the Water: Bald Eagles and Crescent Moons

When I found out that parts of western North Carolina were in the path of totality for the solar eclipse I immediately new that I wanted to view it from the water. My husband and I (and Ceiba the schnoodle) launched our SUPs below Wesser Falls on the Nantahala River. We paddled the flow out and into Lake Fontana and the skies were clear! About 45 minutes into the eclipse the light started to change. We noticed crescent moon shadows traveling across our boards when we floated under trees. The shadows also appeared to be much crisper than usual. We 

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Sharks Teeth!

  I went camping on the North Carolina coast recently where I found my first shark tooth on Shark Tooth Island! I was so excited. At 30 you would think I would have had better luck over the years, but I guess I’m not good at just staring at the ground when I’m at the beach. 🙂 Paddling to Shark Tooth Island is a very simple 1.2 mile loop on the Cape Fear River that can be longer or shorter if you wish. It is dependent on tides and the weather can change very quickly so it’s important to pay 

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Ecuador Womens Trip Recap by Tracy Welch

Tracy won the trip to Ecuador at the Ladies Southeast Paddling Series party and raffle in October. Here, she tells her experience in her own words: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped off the plane in Ecuador, but I knew it was going to be awesome. I met my other trip mates when we waited for luggage, and I knew we were in for a wild ride. Everywhere you looked in Ecuador was jaw-dropping, especially when we crossed over a 14k foot pass in the Andes to get to the EcoLodge. The rainforest was stunning – I 

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Ladies Southeast Paddling Series – Ocoee

The sun was bright at 10:30am. 23 women milled around the Ocoee public takeout in clusters. I kept going around introducing myself with so many new faces. More were not even part of our group, but saw us and commented “I wish I was paddling with you all today! That looks SO fun!” After a setting shuttle and choosing our lines through Grumpy’s, we gathered in an eddy just below, lining up for stern squirts and turning heads in a way that only 23 women laughing and playing on the water can do. We broke up into groups for the day, 

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Ladies Southeast Paddling Series – Lower Green

This past Saturday, 9 women gathered at Fishtop to paddle the Lower Green and celebrate Shannon by sharing time on the water. Our four year old friend Mei helped us with the warm-up in a newly debuted game of “Mei-tag”, you gotta catch Mei because she’s always it! She made sure to help us carry our boats down and she also had her PFD of the river in a duckie with her Mama Wendy! Way to go Mei! It was a special group! Camaraderie was high and we paddled, party surfed, stern squirted, and even found a few good swimming spots to 

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Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on paddling instruction for women and yoga for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor, instructor, coach and author has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF.

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Testimonials

“I came feeling anxious and unsure and left feeling on top of the world! It was so wonderful to have the chance to learn from Anna.” - Liz, Ottawa, Ontario

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