Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebrate the Season at NOC's Spring Fling

Looking for a great way to kick start the season? Check out NOC’s Spring Fling, April 26-28! You can expect an action packed weekend at NOC with hands-on activities and contests, film screenings, and fun for the whole family.

Top athletes will be competing in the 2013 US Freestyle Team Trials for their chance to represent the USA in the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships, which will also be held here on the Nantahala this September 2-8. The Nantahala is the place to see world-class kayaking this summer, as DJ Brett Rock keeps the tunes coming and our announcers help to explain the moves and build excitement. This competition is open to everyone, so don’t be shy! Hop in a boat and be a part of it. Visit to register.
Spectators enjoy some world-class freestyle on the 2013 Wave here at NOC.

For those of you who prefer to paddle downstream (I number among you), the Nantahala Cascades and Upper Nantahala will be releasing from 10 am to 4 pm. Please remember Safety First as you head upstream to paddle this beautiful section of whitewater.
A paddler negotiates The Horns of God during the 2012 inaugural Cascades release.

NOC is excited to host the Reel Paddling Film Festival. After a day of excitement on the river, stop by and catch a film or two at NOC’s Welcome Center (near the railroad tracks) to check out some of the year's best paddling films from around the world. Films will be shown Friday through Sunday from 4 to 8 pm.

Be sure to stop by the NOC Outfitter’s Store over the weekend to check out the hot new paddling gear for 2013. Try out exciting new boat designs from Pyranha, Dagger, Jackson and Liquid Logic. The Outfitter's Store is offering free 1 hour demos for play boats (such as the Pyranha JED, Dagger Jitsu and Jackson Star) and 2 hour demos for creek/river runners.
Check out the vendor fair in front of the NOC Outfitter's Store for the inside scoop on the season's hottest gear.

For those of you coming with the whole family, check out our kids area near Slow Joe’s Café for face painting, bounce houses, hula hoops and games.

When it’s time to wind down after a long day, come on over to Slow Joe’s Café for some free live music Friday through Sunday. We have some great sets and a little something for everyone with The Archrivals, Marcus King Band, and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra.
NOC can't get enough of this steel pan trio. Don't miss Jonathan Scales on Sunday, April 28.

NOC Paddling School: Spring Special

Dust off your gear or put away your dry suits, springtime is here and NOC Paddling School is ready to get you back on the water.  To add to the warm weather, new fleet of boats and top instructors at NOC Paddling School, we are offering you a "Spring Special" to motivate you to get back out, or in, to the paddling world:
  • Reserve select 2013 multiday paddling clinic or full day private instruction clinics for two or more people by the end of April and save 15% off your reservation! Same courses, great instructors, top of the line gear, just at a special Spring price. Click here for details. 
NOC Paddling Instructor teaches student the basics on Fontana Lake

 So why should you learn from NOC Paddling School?

  1. Top instructors in the nation -  NOC Instructors are trained to recognize different learning habits in paddling students to help them excel in paddlesports, and we have a core group of instructors who thrive on seeing someone "hit their first roll" or paddle their first class III rapid. Since our instructors are teaching professionals as well as great kayakers, you will be learning from someone who was once in your shoes and understands the ups and downs of learning and excelling in the paddling world.
  2. Gear and paddling resources - NOC Paddling School stocks our guests with the best and newest gear on the market, and we just got in our 2013 fleet of boats.  Our huge inventory of demo boats gives you the opportunity to really figure out what fits and best suites your paddling goals.
  3. Location, Location, Location - NOC's Nantahala Campus is an epicenter of paddling in the southeast.  With everything from beginner rivers to advanced creeks within miles of campus, you'll have access to premier whitewater that suits your ability levels.  From sweet play spots to classic southeastern rivers, you can run it all with NOC's Paddling School.
Paddling School's 2013 Dagger Mamba Fleet is ready to hit the water
 For more information about NOC Paddling School click here.

View the 2013 NOC Paddling School Course Book here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thru-Hiking Veterans Stop at NOC

It's peak season for north-bound Appalachian Trail thru-hikers here at the Nantahala River. And while everyone who attempts the 2,185-mile trek amazes us, this week we hosted 14 exceptional hikers: the second-year class of the Warrior Hike.

Started last year by two Afghanistan War veterans, Sean Gobin and Mark Silvers, the Warrior Hike follows in the footsteps (literally) of the first AT thru-hiker Earl Shaffer who embarked on the AT in an attempt to "walk off the war." The Warrior Hike sponsors 14 veterans every year, offering them a chance to experience the "physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits of hiking the Appalachian Trail."

We caught up with one of these Warrior Hikers, Adam Bautz (an infantry machine gunner with two Iraq deployments) for an update on how everything's going so far. Here are some of his key observations:

Adam Bautz, a four-year veteran and outdoor guide from Las Vegas, NV is one of this year's 14 Warrior Hikers.
  1. Last year the first class of the Warrior Hikers enjoyed 70 and 80 degree temperatures throughout the months of March and April. This year they've encountered two-foot snow drifts, temperatures in the teens and cold rain.
  2. The Warrior Hikers may be the most spoiled hikers on the trail: VFW posts and American Legions along the trail are holding receptions for them. In Franklin, NC the local American Legion raised over $2,300 at a cookout event. This money goes to support current and future Warrior Hikers.
  3. The group believes in "Hiking Your Own Hike," so the team spreads out on long trail stretches and then regathers on zero days (when some hikers don't hike at all) in towns or at hostels.
  4. Warrior Hiker ages range from 26 to 52 years old and the group includes veterans with anywhere between 32 and four years of service.
  5. There's potential that the Warrior Hike may expand to do a Pacific Crest Trail section in the future as well. When he's finished with the AT Adam would love to donate his time to helping the Warrior Hikers on both coasts.
Note that 100% of all donations go to veterans thru hiking either the AT or PCT. You can make a donation to support the Warrior Hike here.

NOC sponsored this year's hike by providing dry sacks and free basecamp lodging here at the Nantahala.