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Months spent hunkered down at home have us all itching to get back to the great outdoors. And what better way to stay reasonably close to home, and yet safely get out and away, than by hitting the water? Be it via board or boat, kayak or raft, you’re outside, responsibly maintaining social distance from others, exercising and retaining sanity with every stroke. Here are 10 of the latest pieces of innovative paddlesports gear to help make every stroke there a little easier.

Epic kayak surfski
Epic Kayaks

Epic V9

Want to take off that quarantine 15? Epic’s new V9 surfski blends speed, stability and agility. With a hump under the knees for leg power and an adjustable footboard, at 19 feet it’s built for downwind surfing, open-ocean crossings, racing, fitness sessions and more—with a narrower beam that optimizes flatwater speed. Bonus: Made from a Nomex honeycomb core with woven carbon, Kevlar and fiberglass, the Ultra version clocks in at just 26.5 pounds. $4,395; epickayaks.com

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Dagger rewind whitewater kayak stern
Dagger Kayaks

Dagger Rewind

Dagger has rewound the clock with the Rewind, a whitewater kayak rekindling the classic river play of yesteryear. Instead of being bulbous like a creek kayak or stubby like a freestyle boat, it’s a mixture, combining speed, stability and surf-ability for whatever the river throws your way. Available in three sizes, the medium (paddler weight: 140-220 lbs) comes in at 8’9” long and 43 lbs, with 67 gallons of volume for whitewater of all walks. $1,259; dagger.com

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Hala Hoss inflatable standup paddleboard river SUP Steamboat
Hala

Hala Carbon Hoss

All-around inflatable SUPs don’t get much better than the Hala Hoss, whose 33 inches of width make it perfect for paddling with the kids and dog and even casting a line. While its glide rocker makes it speedy in flatwater, its shape also lends itself to moving whitewater. Bonus: Hala’s Inflatable Carbon Technology (utilized in the recent attempt to break the Grand Canyon speed descent record) integrates the stiffness and performance of a carbon touring board with the light, portable feel of an inflatable, making it feel just like a hard board. $1,399; halagear.com

Get it

 

Keen footwear river paddling shoe
Keen

Keen SOLR Sandal
Seas, Oceans, Lakes, Rivers: That’s what Keen’s SOLR stands—and delivers footwear—for, with its latest sandal perfect for paddling all these watery mediums. Made with recycled PET plastic webbing, it uses Aquagrip rubber with razor-siping for grip when it’s slick, and a low-profile design for agility. What we like most: Its signature Keen closed toe, snuffing out all things stub. $110; keenfootwear.com

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Kokatat life jacket PFD
Kokatat

Kokatat Hustle

Two thoughts describe Kokatat’s new side-entry Hustle PFD: low-profile, high comfort. Both stem from two stacked and sculpted GAIA, PVC-free foam panels, covered with ripstop nylon, that wrap around and float to fit varied torsos. A large front pocket keeps small items accessible, plus adjustable shoulder straps and side-adjustments keep the vest snug should you swim. For a rescue version, try the HustleR. $139; kokatat.com

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Hobie Pro Angler 12 fishing kayak 360 pedal drive
Hobie

Hobie Pro Angler 12

It’s not fair for the fish. Hobie debuts its new 360-degree rotating pedal drive in its Pro Angler fish kayak line, letting anglers easily maneuver in every direction—backwards, forward, sideways and diagonally—for close-quarter maneuverability. Stand and cast on its stable hull, then sit down and pedal toward the next rise. Keep rods rigged in six rod holders, use its handy H-Rail for rigging accessories, and chill in its comfy Vantage ST seat when pedaling or prying loose your lure. Bonus: Kick-Up Fins automatically retract upon impact with underwater obstacles. $3,73; hobie.com 

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Rocky Mountain Rafts mini raft thundercloud PVC whitewater rafting
RMR

RMR ThunderCloud

Honey, I shrunk the raft! That’s the word from Rocky Mountain Rafts, whose new ThunderCloud measures 9’7” with room for up to three paddlers. Diminishing 20-inch tubes and progressive rocker help it rip out of eddies, punch through waves and carve up technical boulder gardens. And at 72 lbs, it’s light enough to carry into the backcountry for remote runs and off-the-beaten-path angling. $1,549; rockymountainrafts.com

Get it

 

Advanced Elements inflatable kayak
Advanced Elements

Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 Pro

The rigidity of drop-stitch construction from the inflatable SUP world comes to kayaks in the new StraitEdge2 Pro, a 13-foot sit-on-top tandem whose drop-stitch floor hints of a hardshell. Add aluminum rib-frame tech in the bow and you get a craft that can tour the flats and tackle Class III whitewater while storing in your closet back home. Bonus: self-bailing ports that can be opened in rough conditions and closed in calm, as well as high-back seats, rod-holders and gear tie-downs. $999; advancedelements.com

Get it

 

 

Aqua-Bound paddle recreational paddling
Aqua-Bound

 

AquaBound Tango Touring Paddle

Keep your strokes mirror-smooth with this lightweight (26-ounce) fiberglass touring paddle from AquaBound, which will get you to the cove and back to camp in record time. Hand-crafted blades forego flutter thanks to high-pressure compression molding, while an ergonomic carbon shaft—with infinitely adjustable Posi-Lok ferrule—makes your palms feel part of the team. Bonus: Try the sleek Green Tide pattern for porpoise-like propulsion. $289; aquabound.com

Get it

 

Level Six kayaking drysuit dry suit Level6
Level Six

Level Six Odin Drysuit

From SUP-ing to sending waterfalls, the front-entry Odin will keep you martini dry. Made from tough Exhaust 3.0 waterproof-breathable nylon, it features latex wrist and neck gaskets, a double tunnel for your sprayskirt, articulated spine, reinforced knees and elbows, adjustable waist-belt and fleece-lined pocket. $900; levelsix.com

Get it

 

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By: Eugene Buchanan
Title: The Best New Paddling Gear of 2020
Sourced From: www.mensjournal.com/gear/the-best-new-gear-for-canoeing-kayaking-and-standup-paddling/
Published Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 01:14:54 +0000

 

 

 

Sports

Tiger Woods missed the PGA Championship cut but his legacy played on

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Tiger Woods has always played to win. Since turning professional in 1996, he has won 82 tournaments, including 15 major championships. Perhaps, more astonishing than the victories and majors is the 142-event made cut streak that lasted over a seven-year period from 1998 to 2005, when he was the most dominant golfer that the game has ever seen.

Woods never said he was the greatest. He didn’t need to. “There is no sense in going to a tournament if you don’t believe that you can win it,” he once said.

Yet, coming into the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, Woods was circumspect about his chances of hoisting his fifth Wanamaker Trophy. Asked about the state of his game, he admitted that he was rusty and that the barrage of injuries had taken a toll on his body. “I can still hit shots,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s getting around is more of the difficulty that I face day-to-day and the recovery of pushing myself either in practice or in competition days.”

When the tournament began on Thursday, Woods, who was making his 23rd appearance in the PGA Championship, performed like the part-time player that he has become over the last several years. On his way to a 1-over par 72, the 48-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer hit a smattering of good shots but hardly kept pace in a first round that saw a record 64 players shoot under par scores.

“It’s just the competitive flow,” he said after the round. “It took me probably three holes to get back into competitive flow again and get a feel for hitting the ball out there in competition, adrenaline, temperatures, green speeds. These are all things that normally I adjust to very quickly, and it just took me a few holes to get into it.”

GettyImages 1203994953 edited 1 scaled
Tiger Woods holds the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 82nd PGA Championship on Aug. 20, 2000, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

David Cannon/Getty Images

By Friday afternoon, the tournament had been temporarily upstaged by the early morning arrest of Scottie Scheffler, the game’s No. 1 ranked player, for allegedly disobeying a police officer’s order at the entrance to the Valhalla Golf Club. Looking invincible like the Woods of old, Scheffler settled down after the shock of being handcuffed and hauled off to jail to shoot a 5-under par 66 to go into the weekend with a chance to win his second major of the year after taking the Masters last month. As Scheffler went off to answer questions about spending time in a Louisville holding cell, Woods was starting his round and would need a good one to avoid missing just his 15th cut in 93 major appearances.

Starting his second round two shots off the projected cut of 1 under par, Woods went seven over par in his first four holes to guarantee that he would miss the cut. It’s hard to imagine a worst scenario for a player already battling competitive rust and old age in a game dominated by much younger players. Here he was looking ahead to the next tournament, the next opportunity to show that he could still play at next month’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst, but stuck for five hours on a golf course where he had solidified his legend 24 years earlier in an epic duel with Bob May at the 2000 PGA Championship.

Back then when Woods was in the morning of his career, he turned the Jack Nicklaus-designed Valhalla Golf Club into a theater with a two-act play and May as his benevolent antagonist. In the final round in 2000, they matched each other shot for shot, creating a drama unprecedented in televised golf history. Then in the three-hole aggregate playoff, Woods survived to win by one stroke. That victory at Valhalla was the third leg of the Tiger Slam, which climaxed when Woods won the 2001 Masters.

But these are different times in the game of golf. In 2000, the PGA Tour was in the beginning of a period of monumental growth as an outsized talent with a mixed racial heritage was transforming what had long been identified as a country club sport played mostly by white people. To many, Woods was the game and the PGA Tour was his home. Now, no longer the masterful player capable of holding your attention for hours on Sunday with his feats of excellence, Woods has become a senior statesman in the game and a defender of what he has helped to build in the sport over the last 30 years.

As the biggest name on both the PGA Tour Policy Board and the PGA Tour Enterprises Board, Woods has become one of the most powerful figures in negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which funds LIV Golf. During what is turning out to be a slow and painful exit from competitive golf, Woods is helping to set the direction of the future of the game.

At Valhalla, he took on his new role.

“We’re trying to make the PGA TOUR the best it can be day-in and day-out,” he said Tuesday. “That’s one of the reasons why we have arguments and we have disagreements, but we want to do what’s best for everyone in golf and the TOUR.”

About the PGA Tour’s negotiations with LIV Golf, he said, “we’re making steps and it may not be giant steps, but we’re making steps.”

Easily missing the cut at the PGA Championship after a six-over par 77 on Friday, Woods didn’t take any steps toward reclaiming a place at the top of the pecking order of the best players. At Valhalla, he still commanded the biggest galleries like he did when he won there 24 years ago. Back then, he was looked upon by many as the savior of the game, who gave an inspiring and life-changing sermon on Sunday afternoons with his golf clubs.

That seemingly ubiquitous presence on Sundays is waning, but his star still shines brightly over these players still playing on the weekend on a stage he set for them.

———————–

By: Farrell Evans
Title: Tiger Woods missed the PGA Championship cut but his legacy played on
Sourced From: andscape.com/features/tiger-woods-missed-the-pga-championship-cut-but-his-legacy-played-on/
Published Date: Sat, 18 May 2024 16:07:58 +0000

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Three Olympic All-Around Champions Headline U.S. Classic Field

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Screen Shot 2024-05-17 at 4.50.17 AM

Simone Biles

Gymnastics fans are in for a massive treat at the U.S. Classic this weekend in Hartford, where the three most recent Olympic all-around champions – Gabby Douglas (London 2012), Simone Biles (Rio 2016), and Sunisa Lee (Tokyo 2020) – will headline a field of 50 senior athletes that also includes Olympic and world medalists Skye Blakely, Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Kayla DiCello, Shilese Jones, Joscelyn Roberson, Leanne Wong, and Lexi Zeiss.

The U.S. Classic acts as the final chance to earn a spot at the U.S. national championships, but with nearly all of the athletes we’ll see here already qualified, this year’s competition will be more of a practice round for the more important meets in the lead-up to the Olympic Games, with both nationals and trials coming up over the next month.

With this in mind, I’d expect many of the top competitors to show up not fully prepared, but ready to tackle some of the routines they’re hoping will make them contenders for the team next month, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of them show up looking to make a statement with their readiness and ability to stun this early on. This tactic doesn’t always work, as we sometimes see the U.S. Classic winners not even make the major international teams they’re after, but the Olympic year is always a little different, and I think we’ll be in for a few big all-around treats this year as well.

My expectations will remain on the low side, however, as the U.S. Classic is typically where we also see the most uncharacteristic mistakes as athletes are often shaking off the dust and trying to fight through early season nerves while also sometimes attempting new skills that don’t always go as planned. But again, while this competition could work in favor for some of the athletes on the bubble of potentially being named to the Olympic team, a weak performance here will not count anyone out.

For the few who do need to qualify to nationals, senior gymnasts must earn a 51.000 all-around score, a 39.000 three-event score, or a 26.400 two-event score, while juniors must earn a 49.500 all-around score.

The U.S. Classic and the associated Hopes Championships will be held at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, beginning on May 17 with with the Hopes Championships and the junior women’s competition, and concluding on May 18 with two sessions of senior competition. Complete streaming details are available thanks to USA Gymnastics, and a full list of competitors is below.

SENIOR WOMEN
Simone Biles
Skye Blakely
Ly Bui
Jade Carey
Dulcy Caylor
Jordan Chiles
Chloe Cho
Norah Christian
Nicole Desmond
Kayla DiCello
Amelia Disidore
Gabby Douglas
Tatum Drusch
Reese Esponda
Addison Fatta
Kieryn Finnell
Jayla Hang
Cambry Haynes
Jazmyn Jimenez*
Madray Johnson
Shilese Jones
Katelyn Jong
Sunisa Lee
Myli Lew
Kaliya Lincoln
Eveylynn Lowe
Nola Matthews
Konnor McClain
Tayor McMahon*
Annalisa Milton
Malea Milton
Zoey Molomo
Marissa Neal
Jazlene Pickens*
Brooke Pierson
Hezly Rivera
Joscelyn Roberson
Simone Rose
Lacie Saltzmann*
Audrey Snyder*
Izzy Stassi*
Ashlee Sullivan
Tiana Sumanasekera
Trinity Thomas
Brynn Torry
Sabrina Visconti*
CaMarah Williams
Leanne Wong
Kelise Woolford*
Lexi Zeiss

*Not yet qualified to nationals

JUNIOR WOMEN
Harlow Buddendeck*
Charleigh Bullock
Lavi Crain
Ally Damelio
Celia Frith-Carvalho*
Sadie Goldberg*
Greta Krob*
Jaysha McClendon
Caroline Moreau
Claire Pease
Lila Richardson*
Alessia Rosa*
Kylie Smith
Maliha Tressel
Tyler Turner
Trinity Wood*

* Not yet qualified to nationals

HOPES 13-14
Iyla Adkins
Ashley Andrews
Elisabeth Antone
Tiraia Ballard
Brooke Bazan
Addison Blosser
Lyla Brewer
Emmy Cunningham
Eva Doherty
Mavie Fitzgerald
Alessandra Gaines
Blake Green
Leah Higgis
Isla Lazzari
Anslee McCauley
Annabel Melnyk
Amia Pugh-Banks
Quinlyn Rollins
Simone Seed
Ansley Stevens
Sage Stiggers
Finley Young
HOPES 11-12
Giana Carroll
Laynie Cotton
Alden Dante
Elsie Flores
Gillian Haddad
Avery Haines
Charlotte Henk
Hadassah Kahlig
Sapphire Martin
Amariah Moore
Jazzy Saravia
Mattie Mae Young

Article by Lauren Hopkins

———————–

By: Lauren
Title: Three Olympic All-Around Champions Headline U.S. Classic Field
Sourced From: thegymter.net/2024/05/17/three-olympic-all-around-champions-headline-u-s-classic-field/
Published Date: Fri, 17 May 2024 08:53:53 +0000

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Century Scrambling to Fill Second 24H Spa Entry

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Photo: BMW

Century Motorsport has been left scrambling to find a replacement driver lineup for a second Bronze Cup entry for the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa after the original driver combination fell through, according to team principal Nathan Freke.

In addition to its full-season Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup effort for Darren Leung, Toby Sowery and reigning Formula E world champion Jake Dennis, Freke revealed to Sportscar365 that the team successfully managed to acquire a second entry for the Belgian endurance classic.

A four-man lineup, set to compete in Bronze Cup, had been in place as part of a deal agreed in December, only for plans to fall through at late notice.

“Basically, we pulled all sorts of strings to get an entry because it was full,” Freke said.

“At the last minute they basically bailed out because one of the drivers has got some business issues and they’ve sort of forfeited the entry.

“But the entry’s been paid and it’s in. So, just the fact we pulled so many strings to try and get an entry, it just seems a shame to forgo it, really.”

Freke stated that the team is pushing “full throttle” to ensure a two-car presence at Spa, with the aim of putting together another lineup eligible of competing in Bronze Cup.

Century is set to make its first outing in the 24H Spa, having won the British GT Championship with Leung and Dan Harper last year.

Former racer turned team principal Freke described Century’s participation in the event as “the next logical thing” after it has been a consistent presence in British GT since it debuted in 2009.

It ran Ginetta machinery in GT4 for the first number of years. After a first venture into GT3 with the British brand in 2017, it switched to running BMW a year later.

“It’s been on our to-do list for quite some time now,” Freke said about the 24H Spa.

“We obviously had a very successful last year. We did the GT World Challenge with Darren [Leung], and it just seemed like the time is right.

“We need to make that step, and we did Dubai at the start of the year. Obviously finished first in Pro-Am and third overall and it’s just the next logical thing for us to do.

“And I guess because I put some pressure on SRO to get the entry, A, I don’t want to lose face, and B, I don’t want to squander the opportunity because next time you do the same thing, it’s not going to swing your way probably, because you’ve already called your favours in, if you like.”

Although Century is debuting in the 24H Spa this year, Freke says the team will be banking on its experience in the Hankook 24H Dubai.

“We’ve done Dubai since 2016. We’ve run two cars regularly there, albeit not GT3s. We actually ran three cars in Dubai [this year] with two GT3s and a GT4.

“So structural-wise and logistics-wise, it’s something we’re not unused to. Yes, it’s a big undertaking, and yes, Spa is a more prestigious race, but ultimately, a 24-hour race is a 24-hour race.

“The objective is to keep the car reliable, keep the mechanicals running well, obviously keep the drivers out of any incidents and just do a tidy job on the rest of it.

“So from a team point of view, I think we’re more than ready for it.”

———————–

By: Davey Euwema
Title: Century Scrambling to Fill Second 24H Spa Entry
Sourced From: sportscar365.com/sro/world-challenge-europe/century-scrambling-to-fill-second-24h-spa-entry/
Published Date: Thu, 16 May 2024 11:45:31 +0000

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