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News & Musings

Expedition: Work, Life, Paddling Balance

I’m a sprinter. Not in the literal runner’s sense of the word but in life. I have been really good at going hard for short periods of time which is why, I suppose, the 9-5 thing never suited me. Back in my mid-twenties, I went through what I affectionately call, my “period of misguided ambition”…

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January 6, 2022

Dynamic Water: What Watercolor Teaches Me about Sea Kayaking

Art and words by Mary Ann King I love sea kayaking and watercolor because they tap into extreme beauty, they are so fun, they give me avenues and freedom to explore nature, and they push me out of my comfort zone. Over the last few years, as I’ve made an effort to get better at…

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June 22, 2021

CWC Acquires CCK Whitewater School to Become Premier School on The American River

DeMarie and Miller toast the deal as California Watersport Collective acquires California Canoe & Kayak whitewater school in Coloma, CA. Today the owners of California Watersport Collective and California Canoe & Kayak are jointly announcing a passing of the baton as Cali Collective acquires the CCK whitewater school to become the central paddling school on…

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February 10, 2021

Gear Guide | Sea Kayaking | The Open Coast Kit

This is the kit our instructors recommend primarily for womxn sea kayakers (but recommendations transfer to male paddlers too) who want breadth over depth. You’re building skills in all directions: touring, surfing, rock gardening, tide race, multi-day adventures. You need a kit that can make you feel confident, prepared, and go the distance in multiple venues. This is your tried and tested kit. Note: Author is 5’7 and 150 lbs yet recommendations are taken from first- and second-hand experience from fellow female instructors.  THE BIG 5 Kayak We selected these sea kayaks because they combine versatility, playfulness but can still keep pace with the pod. At Cali Collective, we have a bias for rotomolded, plastic, polyethylene models which provide us with a greater margin of error when surfing and playing in the rocky coastlines of Northern California, so you can…

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January 26, 2021

Facing Challenge and Adversity

Life is full of challenge but 2020 managed to dish out an extra helping of adversity for just about everyone. The following is a collection of essays written by some of the Cali Collective Ambassadors on how they dealt with fear, anxiety and disappointments throughout this tumultuous year. The authors come from different backgrounds and…

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November 20, 2020

Adaptation, Resilience & the Love of Water

With the advent of Coronavirus, life seemed to dive into uncertainty both for the world at large and in my own personal realm. Many questions abounded, including wondering if we were even going to be able to operate this season. And as an organization that centers around getting people together, I was understandably a bit…

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October 21, 2020

Shift in Perspective: Stepping Up on the Grand Canyon

I’ve been on a lot of river trips in my life and have transitioned from raft to two person kayak with my parents, to my own kayak. I’ve just returned from kayaking the Grand Canyon with raft support. As I celebrated my recent 13th birthday, I decided to write an article on how river trips…

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September 30, 2020

Pint Size Perspectives: Rogue Returned

Hi, my name is Maya, I’m 11 years old and I went on my second self-support kayak trip to the Rogue River in June. I went with my sister (Hannah), my mom (Emma), my dad (Marc), our friends Allen and Melissa. Packing our boats was much easier than last time but still pretty difficult because…

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August 7, 2020

Pint Size Perspectives: How to Prepare for a New River

Hi! My name is Hannah Musgrove. I am a Cali Collective Junior Ambassador. Yesterday I did a new section of the river, Chili Bar on the South Fork American. Sometimes on a new river, I can feel overwhelmed and really nervous, but this time I didn’t. I definitely felt nervous, but not at the level that I usually do. I’ve been thinking about why this has happened and I have come to my conclusions. Hannah and her younger sister Maya gets some beta on the first rapid. The first reason I felt this way was because I was prepared. I have a solid roll and the skills needed for that section. I had been doing different sections of the same class and practicing my combat roll by surfing waves and doing stern squirts. I felt confident in my skills even though…

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May 20, 2020

Announcement: New Online Kayak Coaching Series

Have you ever watched a kayak video and thought, “I wish I could ask that amazing paddler how they do that [insert stroke/move/trick here]” Sometimes when you get off the water, do you wonder, “Why do I keep flipping in that [insert feature here]? It would great if I could just ask an expert.” Are…

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April 13, 2020

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Canyons River Company

In December 2017, when Anna Levesque of Mind Body Paddle called us to inquire about collaborating on a multi-day women’s trip in Idaho with Canyons River Company, without hesitation, the answer was a resounding… HECK YES! Cali Collective is founded on creating community and connection, and one of the fantastic perks of this is being…

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April 6, 2020

The Bewilderness Podcast: Interview with Melissa DeMarie

    3/31/2020 In this episode, host Kyle Murphy sat down with Chief Instigator Melissa DeMarie of California Watersport Collective. Join us as we discuss women’s issues in whitewater, and the epic community she has built in the Sierra Foothills, soon to be the world… Listen

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April 4, 2020