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Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid Your First Time Paddling

New year, new you! And you’re ready to take up bellyaking. Learn from our mistakes, and avoid these top five mistakes first timers make on your first paddling trip:

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New Year Paddlesports Giveaway!

Having fun on a bellyak

50 Must-Do Things This Summer

Spring has sprung and Summer is upon us. We want to do EVERYTHING while we frolic in the sun, but here is our top 50. Can you do them all?

Pet a dog

1. Pet a dog

We thought we’d start you out with an easy (most super fun) one. With puppers in public more and more these days, it’s easy to spot a furry friend in need of some love. Just be nice and make sure you ask first!

otters holding hands

2. Hold hands with an otter

You can’t look at these little guys and not want to give that little furry paw a squeeze! These playful little fluffs will often hold hands while they float in order to stay close. If you’re lucky, you can get a whole romp of otters to accept you as their one and only. You can all raft together!

3. Eat a 1lb burrito

If you hit a Wednesday night and realize that you’re not knocking off enough items from your bucket list, you can always count on a burrito to save you. Apparently, we are also counting *two* ½ pound burritos from Taco Bell if you are in a crunch!

cute racoon

3. Give a raccoon a forever home

Once the otters have accepted you, you should have enough animal clout to move into raccoon territory. You’re way past dogs (you’ve already petted one) so get out there and adopt the ring-tailed forest puppy of your dreams!

burrito 4. Eat a 10lb burrito

You may be thinking that a 10 pound burrito seems a bit difficult. How soon you forget that you have been welcomed into a romp of otters and you have a raccoon with a bandana on at home. We believe in you!

Bellyaking on the river

5. Bellyak on 5 different rivers

Summer is the perfect time to get out and break in that brand new Bellyak. Choose from a number of whitewater options and get paddling!

Big Ben in London

6. Go to England

Are you curious about the origin of Fish and Chips? Do you want to know who Paul Revere warned us about? Are you a fan of really big clocks? Go to England! Enjoy some time overseas and get to know the motherland!

7. Try a hike you’ve never been on

These are super easy to find if you’re ever been on any social media ever. Challenge yourself with a long or more strenuous hike than you usually do – bonus points if you leave your state!

Bellyaking on the river

8. Take your friend bellyaking

Sharing is caring! Are you really a real friend if you have discovered the joys of bellyaking and not taken your buddy ol’ pal? (Hint: no, you are not) But! You can easily remedy that by taking them this summer! Choose one of your new rivers and hit it together!

9. Swim in a mountain lake

The Southeast is full of swimming holes, rivers and lakes that are just begging to be jumped in! (You can even bring your bellyak buddy!)

10. Pee in your wetsuit while surfing

Hate being cold? Us too! Save time and body heat by peeing in your wetsuit while you’re surfing! It’s much more challenging then you would think!

concert crowd11. Go to an outdoor concert

If you have never been to an outdoor summer concert, you are absolutely missing out. We’re warming you up for full-blown Bonnaroo with a few hundred of your closest friends singing the best music! And the long lines at the porta-potty with complete strangers always leads to great connections!

12. Go night swimming

We aren’t sure what it is, but something about swimming in the dark makes it feel about 1,000 times cooler. Maybe it’s the anxiety of knowing all of the nighttime predators are now awake and only inches from your vital organs. Either way, the experience is worth the rush!

Cup of coffee

13. Use a fake name to order coffee

If you are a Sam and you go with Joe, then you are officially no fun. But go to one of those places that calls out your order and give them the name you’ve always wanted (or thought was hilarious). Bonus points if you let them yell it more than once, and double points if you use Barack Obama. Or shootingfishjumpingstarrainbow, if you’re in Asheville.

14. Cook with a vegetable you’ve never heard of

If you have a local co-op or a farmers market, you should definitely go and pick out something that you’ve never seen or heard of and look up how you’re supposed to cook it. Prepare it for yourself or for friends. You never know, you could love it and gain mega hipster points.

Yoga on the bellyak

15. Attempt Bellyak Yoga

We are giving out all of the A’s for effort on this one. We don’t think it’s fair to have great loves and have to keep them apart. So get your waterproof yoga pants on (or take them off!) and stretch it out! You might find a new favorite way to mount your bellyak in the process! (or get really good at getting on out of the water).

16. Say yes to everything for a whole day

You don’t have to be full-on Jim Carey, but open yourself up to some new opportunities by saying yes to whatever comes your way!

shelter dogs

17. Pet all the dogs in a shelter

Since you’re already a dog-petting pro, we challenge you to test your skills at a shelter. You can volunteer, or just drop by to shower some welcome attention on all the doggos!

18. Run a half marathon

You’ve been trail running forever, now is the time to put your skills to the test. Shake up your workout routine by setting a specific half-marathon race as your goal.

bike to work19. Bike to Work

No matter if your commute is short or long, hop on a bike for your morning commute. (You can still drop off your kids!)

20. Fish for dinner (without backup)

Time to put your super survival skills to the test. We know you’re a great fisherperson, but now is the time to prove it to your stomach. Catch, clean and eat your hard work for a satisfying supper!

aerial yoga

21. Take an aerial yoga class

Built for all types of fitness levels, aerial yoga, is becoming more and more popular throughout North America. Check the location you choose’s site for a possible free trial class!

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22. Go live on Instagram for five minutes

For those of you who do this all the time, this should be no big deal, but for those who have never done it before, take it as an opportunity to step out of your box and connect with people! It doesn’t matter how many people watch, it’s about being comfortable with yo’ self!

turtle in the road23. Save a turtle from the road

We’re not sure why the turtles tend to cross the road out in the summer heat (maybe running late for a meeting with a chicken), but we feel we can help them reach their destination more safely! Turtle heroes unite!

24. Tie-dye something

Whatever fabric you can find that could use a little sprucing up is fair game. Grab some rubber bands and dye and a big bucket and get colorful  for the summer months! We like bandanas and shoelaces!

homemade bread

25. Make bread from scratch

We know, we continue to test your kitchen skills, but making bread by yourself from scratch is almost as satisfying as actually eating it!

26. Donate your time to a local cause

Give back a little this summer Season by getting involved in a local non-profit or organization! You’ll help people AND have the best time. In the Asheville, NC area? Check out More Heart Than Scars – an organization that assists individuals facing physical and or mental scars/challenges to help realize they can live beyond them.

dancing27. Try Contra dancing

Another way to stay in summer shape without the gym. Contra lessons can be super fun and the people you meet are just friends you haven’t met yet!  (Be prepared to sweat!) If the music doesn’t move you then smell of the unwashed masses will!

Campfire

28. Have Campfire Karaoke

Warm up those vocal cord with some hot chocolate and bring out the radio. Go around the circle and take turns belting out whichever ones you know. You might even scare away the bears!

29. Go on an unplanned weekend road trip

Pack up one Friday after work and just drive until it feels right. Try a new restaurant, sleep in your car, spend a day at the beach, whatever sounds like the perfect complement to a spontaneous weekend!

hand-fed squirrel

30. Hand feed a squirrel

You are a wilderness god/goddess!

31. Hike to the highest peak in your state

You can expand your knowledge of your area by getting out and exploring the range! (We will accept border states if your highest peak is an active volcano)

international currency32. Buy something with foreign currency

Depending on the lengths of your summer travel, this may become more of a barter, but  deciphering exchange rates is a skill you never know you need until you need it! Practice now!

33. Get a henna tattoo

Calling all commitment phobes! Get an awesome henna tattoo and enjoy your art for just under a month! Bonus points if you are a male and get a tramp stamp.

Pet date!

34. Go on a date with your pet

Show that special furry someone how much they mean to you with a pet date! Take them to their favorite park, and maybe pick up a pup cup along the way! If they want to slow-dance, well that’s up to you!

35.Have a tech-free day

Unplug and get outside for a whole day. You’ll be surprised at how relaxing it can be to get away from responsibility for just 24 hours!

36.Volunteer locally for a day

Anywhere you want to volunteer would be an excellent way to spend a fantastic summer day. We totally encourage you to keep this one up after summer is gone!

breakfast food37. Have breakfast for dinner

Brinner is the breakfast (for dinner) of champions! Brinner comes in clutch when you’re short on groceries or just craving that good good bacon after 5:00p.m. Take our word for it – it’s addicting!

Bellyaking on Lake Jocassee

38. Hang out at a weekly Bellyak demo

New to the world of prone paddling? Great! Come give Bellyak a try at one of our many demos and clinics!

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39. Ride a unicycle

By labor day, you will be a Jack/Jill of all trades! Go to www.unicycle.com. We hear it also makes you taller!

40. Eat tacos for every meal

Because you truly haven’t lived until you’ve had a brunch taco!

library books

41. Go to a bookstore and read the first book you find

We love to stumble upon great things that we would have otherwise missed (duh, Bellyaking). WE think the same would be great with reading!

42. Go Zip-lining!

Need a baby step before your first bungee jump or skydiving session? Go zip-lining! We recommend zip-lining through the forest or a gorge!

43. Take a class at the local community college

Community Colleges have so many cool classes you can take to add a new skill or just have some fun! Don’t worry about sending your transcripts or making a schedule, because most are open enrollment!

restaurant

44. Try a new local restaurant

Everyone we know has “their place” that is a hole-in-the-wall that no one has ever heard of, but it is so good. We think it’s time you found yours!

45. Do a scavenger hunt with your friends

Be creative, and get out either in your town, or the woods or even a new place and come up with a list “things” they need to collect or activities they need to do. Photos are your evidence!

46. Try a comedy club

Let off some summer steam by gathering your friends and going out to a comedy club for a night. Listen to local talent, or buy tickets to a big show.

47. Plan a big summer road trip

In contrast to your weekend getaway to who knows where, plan a big road trip to something you have always wanted to see/do. Pack great road trip snacks, cool stops and bring great music.

summer garden product

48. Have dinner from your garden

All of your hard work from planting this spring, can come straight to the table for an Al Fresco summer meal. Don’t forget all of your great herbs!

49. Watch a familiar movie in a Foreign language

Expand your brain with something you already know you love! Also find funny words in another language you can use later.

Water Balloons

50. Water balloon dodgeball

The only logical last item is always dodgeball. Take advantage of the summer sun by getting outside and have a good ol’ fashioned water fight. Lines and actual rules optional.

Whatever you get up to this Summer, we hope it’s fun, fabulous and outdoors! Happy Summer!