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News & Musings

Kayaking in the Era of Social Distancing

So there we were, a bunch of friends meeting at the river, hugs all around, smiles, laughter. Then we figure out which vehicles we’re taking to put-in, load boats and pile in. Excited chatter fills the car as we catchup about about our work weeks, family and that new film that just came out. We…

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March 23, 2020

To Our Community Amidst COVID-19

The impacts of COVID-19 on our community locally and globally have been vast. As an organization that encourages human experience, connection and community, we are acutely sensitive to the effects of fear, illness and social distancing. These are difficult times but we can and will pull through this together. The most important thing want you…

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March 17, 2020

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Sundance Kayak School

After Cali Collective’s first 2-Day Women’s Whitewater Kayaking Clinic on the South Fork American in 2015, we asked our students for their feedback… “Two days just isn’t long enough!” was the overwhelming consensus. So… Chief Instigator, Melissa DeMarie, contacted an old paddling friend from her boating days on the California North Coast, J.R. Weir, who…

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February 28, 2020

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Wet Planet

Whitewater Paradise in the Columbia River Gorge The name Wet Planet was first spoken in a beat up Suburban while bouncing down a jungle road in Costa Rica, when co-founders Todd Collins and Jaco Klinkenberg were discussing their vision for the ultimate whitewater company.  Wet Planet is based in White Salmon, Washington on (you guessed…

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January 31, 2020

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Liquid Fusion Kayaking

Welcome to our new series, Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! In this series, Cali Collective chats with our collaborators, manufacturers, partner companies and guest instructors on their origins, achievements, programs and more! In keeping with our mission to build authentic connection and community, Cali Collective is proud to support our colleagues in the paddlesport…

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January 13, 2020

Pint Size Perspective: Self-Support Kayaking on the Rogue

In this edition of our Pint Size Perspective Series, 10 year-old Maya Musgrove chats about her first self-support kayak trip on the iconic Rogue River. Enjoy! My family, and our friend Laura went on a trip to the Rogue river on Labor Day weekend. We put in at Grave Creek on Saturday morning. It took…

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November 24, 2019

Gateway to Fun

We like to make a very enthusiastic welcome to Alpacka Packrafts to the Cali Collective family! If you haven’t heard about packrafts…well holy moly…you are totally missing out! In the spring of this year, we ran an Introduction to Whitewater class for a woman who had gone packrafting in New Zealand, fell in love with it so when she came back to the California and bought one for herself. She had an Alpacka, which is what she brought to the class, and of course being total gearheads, we had to check them out… “But wait! What’s a packraft?”, you ask. A packraft is “a small, portable inflatable boat designed for use in all bodies of water, including technical whitewater and ocean bays and fjords. A packraft is designed to be light enough to be carried for extended distances.” Okay, back…

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November 19, 2019

The Path to L5

“Are you sure you don’t want to coach at a higher level? You’re already paddling in Level 5 conditions. Why not teach in them?” My friend and frequent kayaking collaborator, Kelly Marie Henry, posed this question to me on one day during our expedition in Taiwan. It was one of many long days of paddling…

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November 5, 2019

Building Confidence & Community

Cali Collective Chief Instigator, Melissa DeMarie, chats about the origins of Cali Collective in this video produced by Duncan Mine, a northern California production company. Thanks to Scotty Blankenfeld, Robby Hogg and Andres Silva for their awesome work. Enjoy! All words and images copyright California Women’s Watersport Collective 2019. All rights reserved.

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October 7, 2019

Learning Confidence on the Owyhee

This spring, I was invited on a three day trip on the Owyhee River, or the “Grand Canyon of Oregon”. The river runs for 50 miles through the high desert of Oregon, through deep canyons and open hillsides covered in sagebrush. When we went, the river was pretty high but not quite flooding. I was…

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September 24, 2019

Girls Gone Rogue

Fun for everyone! Fun is fond and foolish, frivolous and free. It’s part of The Funk Hunters and Fungineers. It is reason enough. The wonderful weirdos of the whitewater world are natural experts at fun-loving, and that’s led me to wonder what it does for us, and why. Girls gone Rogue! The California Women’s Watersport Collective had great fun in June on our grand road trip, combining the North Fork Championship in Banks, Idaho, with our annual Holistic Paddling Clinic on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. We were four girls, traversing three states, in one former prison van packed to the brim with everything we would need over the next two weeks. Sorry, hitchhikers! The crew getting ready to embark on our mission. Lotus, California Upon arrival in Banks, we paddled the sweet and splashy Main Payette, and then…

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August 1, 2019

The River Spoke to Me

How often have you been in a situation where you had this thought “I didn’t even think about it, I just did it and it worked out perfectly?” As human beings we often forget that instincts are equally as important as process thinking. Instincts are deep within us and come from a place that is in the absence of explanation. Because of this, we logically want to analyze it and rationalize how we were able to make a decision based on an internal voice. Instincts come out in an action that we make without much thinking at all. Sometimes these instincts launch from knowledge we are in the process of obtaining and sometimes they are from a deeper place, one of natural human intuitions. Either one can be intimidating to trust but the less we fight it the stronger and…

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July 17, 2019