Sunday, January 18, 2009

We're locked in: Pool training on Feb. 1

Unloading & parking directions

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The rental contract is signed and the South Dakota Canoe Association will host its first YWCA pool training session starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009.

The event takes place at the YWCA, 300 W. 11th St. in Sioux Falls.

Paddlers should bring their own clean boats for pool work. Members will do their best to loan boats to those without, but the session ends at noon.

Life jackets/PFDs are required in the pool. We would like to have a head count soon, so if you are planning to attend, e-mail Jarett Bies at


During the event last year, we had about 10 people come out and we worked on wet exits, rolling, and rescues. Everyone had plenty of time in the water, and we had plenty of room.

Of course we want everyone who comes out to have ample pool time and I'm sure we will work together to make sure that's the case on Sunday!

The SDCA hopes to host more of these events as the winter continues. E-mail Jarett with dates and we'll aim to set up a second or third session for those who can't make it Feb. 1.

If you're coming, don't forget to bring spray skirts, dive masks or goggles, or any other gear you might use in a self-rescue or to keep water out of your nose during rolling practice.

There's a door just off Dakota Avenue (on the east side of the Y) that goes directly into the pool area. Please plan to take kayaks in and out there, and bring extra towels to wipe down your boats afterwards, to keep the water from freezing.

Write me with questions if you have them, or bring them to the Outdoor Campus on Jan. 24, the weekend before the pool event, for the SDCA annual conference.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Update on YWCA pool sessions

The YWCA pool is available from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays in January, February, and March. I just got the word today.

Obviously, this time might be difficult for some who attend services during that time, but if it would work for you, please e-mail me at, and tell me what dates would be best, how many people, etc. If this time and day is just impossible, let me know good alternate times/days, and we'll keep working to set up some other choices if we can.

You can let me know just by posting here on the blog, too, if you wish.

Since I got this word Wednesday evening, I doubt we could make it happen as soon as Jan. 11, but I guess we'll see. But the facility is really nice and it sounds like we'd have the whole pool for wet exits, rolling, and rescue technique practice.

I look forward to hearing back and of course I will update when we have a date. We'll probably need to cap sessions at 10 to 15 paddlers, but before we go capping anything, let's see if anyone wants to get their boats out and paddle indoors this winter.

Please share this news with members who don't get on the blog very often, and I look forward to getting these sessions set up fast!


PS - Don't forget the annual conference Jan. 24 at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, it starts at noon.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Newsletter: Annual conference agenda set and ready for Jan. 24

The South Dakota Canoe Association will host its annual meeting starting at noon on Jan. 24.

The meeting will be held at the Outdoor Campus, 4500 S. Oxbow Ave. in Sioux Falls, and will include an election of officers for 2009.

Long-time SDCA inspiration Dick Davidson will again present information on one of his many arctic trips. In addition, members Rick Johns and Jarett Bies will share some insights on paddle construction and places to paddle in NE South Dakota, respectively.The second half of the event will include a paddling discussion on the Missouri River by Pat Wellner of Pierre. This portion will be interactive, since the SDCA hopes to organize a cruise in the Pierre area in 2009.

Richard Jacobsen will put out an invite and share information on canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and Ed and Kay Hoffman, the couple behind the “Pedal and Paddle” Web log will share some stories of their adventures last year.

A business meeting with election of officers for 2009 will take place at the end of the conference. Several board positions are still open and like any club, “new blood” is almost always a good thing.

The meeting is free, so come out and bring a friend. There’s a chance to see some boats in the lobby, renew your membership and also get ideas for cruises and events in 2009 on the docket. Hope to see you there.

Meeting agenda
Welcome from Gene Preston
12:10 to 1:50 p.m.: Presentations on paddling, paddle building, and arctic canoe adventures
1:50 p.m.: Break for conversation
2 to 3:30 p.m.: Missouri River paddling, Boundary Waters canoeing, and paddling for fitness
3:30 p.m.: Club business meeting/officer’s election

Newsletter: YWCA pool events, South Dakota’s first marathon race planned in ‘09

The Sioux Falls YWCA is undergoing some leadership changes, but quite soon they will have it wrangled and we’ll have a few days set for some pool training.

Last year, we did one pool event with about 10 participants. Each person brought their own boat (all kayaks) and we worked on wet exits, self rescues, assisted rescues, and rolling.

The club paid the $50 per hour rental rate for the event last year and we hope to have a free-will offering for those who take part so we do not stress the tiny budget of the SDCA with these events. We will make it work, regardless, and it’s a nice way to get the boats out and work on a few things in a pool that one might never do in a lake, regardless of the weather.

On another note, SDCA board members Jarett Bies and Steven Dahlmeier are organizing an event slated for September 2009: South Dakota’s first-ever marathon/endurance paddling race. It will be on the Missouri River and will fashion itself much like the Missouri River 340 or the Texas Water Safari.

The race will probably be 70 to 100 miles in length, in hopes to attract racers from around the U.S. The Texas and Missouri races are 260 and 340 miles respectively. Our S.D. race may grow to that length, but initially it will be a 24 to 30 hour race, with a couple of checkpoints.

It’d be great if a South Dakota paddler won it, but we’ll certainly need support from businesses, volunteers, and the SDCA to make this race a gem. Feel free to e-mail Jarett with your questions or thoughts. His e-mail is

Newsletter: May 2009 Cheyenne River trip in the works for SDCA

Jarett Bies of the SDCA is dialing in a Cheyenne River cruise for May 2009. The club has not challenged this river in some time, and if spring melt allows, we will do a two to three day cruise on the river west of Pierre in May.

Working in collaboration with Steamboat, Inc., a Pierre outfitter that often leads trips on this river, Bies plans to organize this overnight trip from his home in Elkton. Those who choose to go will meet in Pierre, then head west to the starting point.

The options include a one-night shorty route, it’d only be a few hours on the water each day, or a two-night longer stretch. Bies said if he’s going all that way, might as well make a trip of it and do the longer version of the route. This area is remote and lots of logistical preparation is already underway.

If you want to join, just e-mail Jarett with your ideas, thoughts, and more. It’s going to happen, folks.

Newsletter: Bloggers with good ideas needed for the SDCA site

By Jarett C. Bies, SDCA publications

The SDCA Web log or blog will be packed with information throughout 2009, but it is a community-driven piece of writing and photos, so if you or any paddler you know has ideas for posts, wants to share insights on their trips or plans, please let Jarett know.

Last year, we did put 55 total posts on the site, so we are hoping to double that this year, since we didn’t get a great start. It’s the online place for all things Midwest paddling, so help us out with ideas, you need not worry about too much, just ship stuff to Jarett and he’ll do the rest.