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Showing posts with label Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington. Show all posts

Washington Adventures : Take Your Kids Surfing

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If you can surf in Washington state, you can surf anywhere !

Surfing in Washington is a pretty miserable experience. Dipping occasionally into the mid-40s but generally hovering around 50 degrees, the ocean water temperature is just one of the "discomforts", along with gale-force winds, massive swells, demonic currents, and razor-sharp rocks.

Autumn Paddleboarding At Owen Beach in Tacoma, WA

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Paddleboarding At Owen Beach in Tacoma, WAOwen Beach at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is a great place year around. Hike along the scenic waterfront promenade to the Boathouse Marina, have a picnic, view ferry boats and fishing craft, or rent a kayak for a few hours of leisure paddling on the sound ( during summer months ).

It was 3 years ago at this very place I learned about stand up paddleboarding ( SUPing ).

Last sunny but cold Saturday , I returned for a short "get to know this place better " trip...

Tips On Camping In The Pacific Northwest

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Camping Hacks, Tips, and Tricks : When car camping, use a canopy along with your tent when it rains.

First when I saw these pictures, I thought it was pretty dumb. Why would anybody use a canopy along with a tent ?!
But this Memorial Day weekend when it was pouring cats and dogs in Washington, I wished I'd thought about that myself before going camping.

Adding a canopy will allow you to cook your food/BBQ, store additional camping gear, and "enjoy" the outdoors while being protected from the rain/wind.

It's portable and sturdy, quick, simple, and easy set up. And if you add a couple of "walls" and led lights, it will protect you from the elements in a myriad of settings and under almost any weather conditions, plus, you can continue your party way into the night.

Remember : The number one enemy of the camper in the PNW is neither bears nor bugs : it is RAIN !

So next time you'll go camping, bring along a canopy, like the one below. Trust me, you won't regret !

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Skimboarding D6 SurfSkimmer At Dash Point Park

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As I wrote before we came across this cool water toy ( D6 SurfSkimmer ) a while ago, and couldn't wait to give it a try. As soon as we got it, we took it to one of Washington's most popular skimboarding spots - Dash Point State Park in Federal Way/Tacoma.

 Skimboarding is something neither me nor my son have ever tried. But from the D6 SurfSkimmer instructional video it look pretty easy : push, run, jump, ride ! Well, it wasn't that easy :(

First, I'd say that this board would probably work better for kids 8 y.o and up. Skimboarding is a fast paced sport : it requires quite some speed and stamina, something that little kids ( mine is 6 y.o ) just don't have yet.

Windsurfing Your SUP/Paddleboard

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It's been a while since I went windsurfing. After my windsurfing lessons two years ago, I took my board out maybe two or three more times before realizing that it wasn't for me.

Windsurfing in Washington is a very weather dependent sport . The only place where it blows consistently is the Columbia River Gorge. But even that place has its disadvantages ( 3 hour drive from Seattle, not exactly "beginner friendly"... ).

But about a year ago, I bought an awesome SUP that can be used for stand up paddleboarding, surfing, and even windsurfing !

Who Are PNW Paddlers ?

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The Pacific Northwest paddlers are a tough, and I'd even say, a unique breed of people. Winter is a very special time to paddle here. Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean are the same temperature year round, but the conditions out there in the winter are rougher, wetter and windier. But for a small, but dedicated group of PNW paddlers, winter means less boaters to contend with, more solitude, and surprisingly glassy days in between storms.

The Best Surf Towns In America - Westport, WA

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The beauty of great surf towns is that they combine great waves with a laid-back beach atmosphere.

The West Coast is dotted with dozens of diverse and attractive surf towns. While California and Hawaii remain the most popular surfing destinations, their PNW neighbors - Oregon and Washington - are gaining popularity and respect among the more hard core crowd of cold water surfers.

Wesport's Westheaven State Park is probably the  most popular surfing destination in Washington state.

This Summer Try Mountain Boarding !

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Dirt doesn't melt !

That's why mountainboarding is a great alternative to snowboarding ! In my previous post, I mentioned several ski resorts that allowed mountainboarding during summer on their property.

But a great thing about mountain boarding is that you can do it anywhere there is a hill ! Dirt, grass, pavement, bike trail, a skateboard park... anywhere will work ! Where's there's a hill there's a way to enjoy the thrill of mountain boarding.

In South King County, a great place to carve a few turns is Celebration Park in Federal Way.

BPA trail that starts in the park is a 3.6 mile paved path with many hills of various sizes. You can ride on the pavement, or you can find a few dirt trails. One of the soccer fields in the park offers small grassy hills that are fun to ride on for your little ones.

Another great option is to combine hiking and mountain boarding ! Many wide logging roads or mountain biking single tracks ( like the 3.7-mile Preston Railroad Trail on Tiger Mountain ) will work great for an easy hike and a fast and fun ride down.

If walking uphill is not your thing, how about  'horse boarding' ? Check out this video to see what its like to be towed behind a horse at 35 miles per hour.

ExtraHyperActive At The Monster Energy AMA Supercross 2014

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The Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returned to Seattle’s CenturyLink Field last Saturday night.

HyperActiveX had a great pleasure to be invited by Toyota to attend that event, and to meet the team's riders Phillip Nicoletti and Vince Friese at the Pit Party.

Toyota has served as an official partner of Monster Energy Supercross for nine seasons. The platform provided by Monster Energy Supercross with its on-track branding and one-of-a-kind Pit Party provides an ideal avenue for Toyota to reach its consumers and potential buyers. As the Official Vehicle of Monster Energy Supercross, the Tundra has been a focal point for Toyota at the races, providing interactive demos for attendees inside the Pit Party and offering fun, competitive contests on the stadium floor for select lucky fans both in advance and during each race.

I got to talk to Phil and Vince about their hopes and expectations, as well as the distractions and nerves that come with racing in a big stadium. I also learned about how they got started riding, and got a few tips on how to get my son involved in motorcycle racing.

That was first time attending a motocross racing event, and I had no idea how popular MX was in Washington ! It might not be the most popular sport, but it sure is the most exciting !

Simple Fly Fishing With Tenkara Rod

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Remember those good ol' days when you were a child ? Life was simple. Our needs were simple. If we wanted to go fishing, we'd whittle a tree branch, attach some line, dig up a worm, and catch some dinner!

Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear, a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle, accompanied by high-priced fishing guides.

Yvon Chouinard, a noted fly fisherman, climber, surfer, environmentalist, and the founder of Patagonia teamed up with Craig Mathews and Craig Mathews to spread the word of the minimalist tenkara setup — telescoping rod, fixed line, no reel — and its message of simplicity that resonates to other sports, too.

Recently, I had a great opportunity to attend a fly fishing clinic organized by Patagonia Seattle and Emerald Water Anglers to learn more about the book and the Tenkara rod.

It's been awhile since I got to try fly fishing last summer in CleElum, WA. Even though I learned the basics, got hands on experience in fly casting, and even (almost) caught a fish (!), I still left puzzled with a  lot of questions about this new (to me) outdoor activity.

Before attending the clinic, I really hoped it would make it easier for me to break into this captivating sport. Instead, I realized that simplicity was not always ... simple.

Not a surprise that it was my first time learning about tenkara rod. From what I was told, just (about) five years ago virtually no one had heard the word tenkara. Now, 5 years after the method was introduced outside of Japan it has become a part of the fly-fishing vocabulary.

Tenkara is the simple Japanese method of fly-fishing where only a rod, line and fly are used. The main difference of tenkara rod is that it doesn't have a reel. Originally the rod was simply a bamboo/cane rod, which was cut and treated. Because of its light weight, Japanese anglers were able to use very long bamboo rods and reach as far as needed without the need to develop reels for the short rods developed in the west.

During clinic, we a had a chance to use and compare both tenkara rods, and traditional western ones. Since this blog is not about fly fishing, I won't focus on the details, differences, advantages/disadvantages of western rods vs. tenkara rods. Before the clinic I thought I'd just learn about a new fly fishing rod, instead I learned about a whole new fishing method ! From what I see,
the biggest thing tenkara brings to the table is a different mindset, a different way of thinking about fly-fishing.

As they say : "Like anything simple, it can be easy to do, yet challenging to master". I would like to believe that fishing with tenkara is as simple as I was told, but there is much more to the sport of fly fishing than just the gear. The best way of learning something is by doing it.

Hope I will have more opportunities to get out and learn about fly fishing so I can make it even simpler for folks who are still confused and intimidated by the complexity, elitism, and expense of the sport.

Snowscooting - Winter Fun For Kids And Adults !

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Being a (extra) hyperactive father to an even more hyperactive son means coming up with more fun as much as possible as often as possible. Skiing, snowboarding, snowskating, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing... are not enough for my kid. We are always on a lookout for more thrills, fun and adventures !

Browsing Craigslist for more gear, I came across a pretty interesting find - a snowscooter ! My son has already been having fun riding his push and electric scooters, and I thought the snowscooter would be a great addition to his own outdoor gear collection.

We took the snow scooter to our favorite ski area in Washington - Alpental. Its steep slopes were ideal for this fun little snow toy. Light, maneuverable, and durable the scooter worked great for both of us !

NOTE: During ski season sledding of any type is not allowed around the area. Just like our training snowboard, the snowscooter doesn't have metal edges and a leash, the safety feature required for (any) snow gear to be used on the slopes. 

That's why, you can only use it during off hours/season or away from crowds in specifically designated areas ( like sledding slopes ).

How Do You Celebrate Your Birthday ?

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There are only two major holidays on my calender : my birthday and New Year. For me, both of these dates represent a new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate. It's time to look back and reflect on my goals and achievements, and time to make new exciting plans for the upcoming year !

It saddens me to know that many people don't really celebrate their birthdays. In my opinion, if you don't celebrate your birthday, you don't celebrate (your) life.

As somebody said : "If we are to appreciate the fruits of life, we must first appreciate the tree that bears the fruit: birth itself."

I've never considered myself to be religious, but I think a birthday is the Greatest Gift of Life, the Miracle, the Once-In-A-Life Time-Occasion that you have a chance to celebrate every year. The same energy that God/Universe/Nature invested in you at birth is present once again. It is our duty to be receptive to that force.

A birthday is a time to celebrate birth itself, the joy of life. It is also an occasion to rethink your life: How great is the disparity between what I have accomplished and what I can accomplish? Am I spending my time properly or am I involved in things that distract me from my higher calling? How can I strengthen the thread that connects my outer life and my inner life?

Celebrating my birthday by going surfing is my way to get in touch with my soul.

You don't have to be a hard core "surfer dude" to enjoy this, I'd say, most spiritual "sport/outdoor activity". And I put it in quotes, cause I can't even call surfing a sport. Yes, surfing has its competitive side, but for most folks, surfing is the way to engage nature in such an intimate way that very few people have access to. I call it Soul Surfing.

In soul surfing, we challenge the ocean, we challenge ourselves, and  not other people. Soul surfing is not about scoring points and winning titles, it's about having fun, it's as much about physical challenge as a spiritual experience. Especially at times of good surf in beautiful surroundings.

Soul surfing is one of the best ways to find your Zen, your inner peace, your "True Self".
The Ocean will clear your mind, get rid of stress, anxiety, and negativity, it will recharge your tired mind, and will strengthen your spirit.

As J.F.K. once said : " "We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came." 

So your next birthday, I advice you to give soul surfing a try. It doesn't matter if you don't catch a wave, or you won't be able even to get up on a board. It's about the experience, the feeling, the memories you will create for the next year ( OR MAY BE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE ).
                                                         It's all about STOKE !


"Each birthday is a new beginning, full of promise and opportunity and the chance to make dreams come true."

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Why You Should Scuba Dive

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There's plenty of adventure to be had underwater. There is a whole other world out/down there and it is so close. So close that you do not even have to go deep to find a whole lot of different life. It is incredible to believe what you can see underwater.

So, why should you scuba dive ?

  • Adventure - Every dive holds surprises. 
  • Freedom - You really do leave the surface world behind.When you are diving you enjoy being able to move freely in 3 dimensions. 
  • Nature - The aquatic world if full of fascinating plant and animal life as a diver you get to enjoy all of these attractions from the smallest visible life forms to the largest. 
  • Photography/Videography - It's a great way to relive the adventures you’ve had. Plus capture images to share with your friends and family. 
 Underwater videos are a great way to share the sounds, motion and dynamics of the underwater world:

Interested in learning more about scuba in Washington state ? Check out our great deals on XHyperActive Adventures !

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It's Time For A New Motorcycle

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Following my Bucket List, little by little I've been crossing things off of it. In 2011 I got my motorcycle enforcement, and in April 2012 I bought my first bike - 1985 Honda Rebel

It was love at first sight ! I had a blast riding that bike ! It was only 250cc ( which are generally lighter and easier to maneuver, easier to balance, and less likely to get the beginning rider into trouble ), but I had tons of fun, and it was a great experience !

One of my favorite rides was to Point Defiance, its 5 mile ride was peaceful and beautiful !

But even the most romantic fairy tale comes to an end :(

The day has come to upgrade to a bigger bike.

As you might know, one of my childhood dreams was to buy my own Harley. But right now, I'm debating between a Harley and a sports bike...

I like style and comfort that Harley offers, and I love speed and thrill that most sports bikes share.

Having ADHD doesn't help to make the choice :)

I also want to try dirt biking, and, who knows, may be plan to follow Che Guevara's bike route ...

Note to myself - Re-read "The Motorcycle Diaries" )...

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