Canoecopia

March 18th, 2015 Comments off

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Last weekend we were in Madison, WI at the annual Canoecopia show.  It’s the largest gathering of paddlers in the country with dozens of presentations, demos and outdoor companies showing off the newest boats and accessories.

Arni and Heidi set up a booth to spread the good word about Ladies of the Lake.  Thousands of people stopped by to check out the table that Heidi had decked out in 50′s décor to match this year’s theme of “Grease”.  We were offering special pricing on registration for all of those in attendance and we had a handful of women take us up on the deal.

We didn’t want to leave out anyone who could’t make it to Madison so we are extending the same deal to everyone!

If you sign up before the end of the month and use coupon code “CanoecopiaLOL” you can save $100 on your registration!  Don’t delay, the price won’t be this good again!

Canoecopia

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Registration Update

March 3rd, 2015 Comments off

MinersOver the past few weeks we’ve had registrations just pouring in! We’re still 4 months away from our 100 participant deadline and we’ve got nearly 40% of the paddlers we need!  We’re also nearing the end of our Early Bird Special.  Make sure you sign up by March 10th to receive $100 off.  Use coupon code EarlyBirdSpecial at checkout.

A lot of women are interested in taking our Skill Assessment Quiz before starting the registration process.  This way you know your color and can research your schedule to make the best decisions for you. Well, at Ladies of the Lake, ask and you shall receive.  Here is the link to the quiz:

Click Here to take the Skill Assessment Quiz

We have heard from some ladies that they have been having a few issues with the sign up process. We went through and simplified the web form to make it easier and more intuitive. If you have tried to sign up and had some problems, we’d recommend trying again now. If you still have problems, please email Matt at downwindmatt@gmail.com and he can help you through the process.

 

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Come Visit Us at Canoecopia

February 27th, 2015 Comments off

canocopia

You don’t have to wait until August to see, talk to and learn from Ladies of the Lake instructors. Three instructors from this year’s symposium and three who have taught in prior years will be making presentations at Canoecopia in Madison, Wis., March 13-15.

Bonnie Perry and Lyn Stone, 2015 instructors, will demonstrate different ways to get back in your boat after a capsize during a session at the pool. Bonnie will also talk about “The Spirituality of Navigation: Being Lost, Getting Found and Leading Others Along the Way.”

Another 2015 instructor, Lenore Sobota, will share her ideas for “Overcoming Fear: One Stroke at a Time” and also how to “Improve Your Paddling Through Journaling.”

Past instructor Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin and her husband Alec will be presenting “Ten Tips for Becoming a Better Paddler.”

Another past instructor, Sherri Merz will let you know about “The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Boat or Board” and “Things Your Mother Never Told You About Kayak Accessories.”

And Cindy Scherrer, who has been a lady of the lake several times as a coach, will spread the word on standup paddleboarding, joining her husband Steve to talk about “Choosing the Right Paddleboard” and “SUP 101: Understanding SUP Basics on Land.”

For more details on the time, day and location of each presentation, see www.canoecopia.com.

And, while you are at Canoecopia, don’t forget to stop by the Ladies of the Lake table and say hi to Heidi. If you haven’t signed up yet we’ll have a Canoecopia special and she’ll be in the lobby helping with registrations.

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Heidi always comes through with great table decorations, stop by to see what she comes up with this year.

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Winter in Pictured Rocks

February 23rd, 2015 Comments off

As the days get longer and our minds start to drift to boats and open water, the weather has other ideas. Winter has dug itself in deep here in the U.P.  Temperatures of -30F and waist deep snow keep our spring fever in check.

For all of the harshness that comes with a U.P. winter, it is still a spectacular place. Summer on the shoreline of Lake Superior is not something to miss, but winter can turn this familiar beauty into an otherworldly landscape. In Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the summer home of our symposium, the world becomes a frozen wonderland of ice and snow. The familiar beaches transform with giant blocks of ice, the lakes and rivers freeze solid and the waterfalls become still as statues as their rushing water turns into giant columns of ice.  For those of you who have never visited the U.P. in the winter, we can’t recommend it enough.  It’s an experience unlike any other.  Here are some photos of winter in Pictured Rocks from the past few years.  You may even recognize a few familiar faces from LOL!

Just because the lake is frozen right now doesn’t mean that we aren’t hard at work making Ladies of the Lake 2015 our best symposium yet.  We’ve got our eye on summer and you should too.  If you haven’t registered yet now is the time!  The price will go up on March 10th, just two weeks away.  So make a plan to join us this summer in one of America’s most beautiful places.

Arni at the bottom 2

Arni Ronis at the west Side of Grand Island

Chapel Rock

A frozen Chapel Rock

Grand Island Light

A frozen waterfall near Grand Portal

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LOL Instructor Lenore Sobota climbing a frozen waterfall during the Michigan Ice Fest

Miners Castle

Pancake ice around Miner’s Castle

skiing along lakeshore

Skiing in the winter where you paddle in the summer

 

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Goals

January 27th, 2015 Comments off

sunsetOver the past few weeks we have posted several links on our Facebook page to an article by Bonnie Perry, our featured coach for Kokatat.  The article deals with setting paddling goals and working to achieve them.  Goals are a really important way to help yourself improve as a paddler since they allow you to set benchmarks for achievement.  You can read the two part article at the links below.

Part 1: http://kokatat.com/blog/2015/01/paddling-goals-for-the-new-year-why-make-them-and-how-to-keep-them
Part 2: http://kokatat.com/blog/2015/01/paddling-goals-for-the-new-year-why-make-them-and-how-to-keep-them-part-2

This article got us thinking about our goals.  At the Ladies of the Lake Sea Kayak Symposium our main goal is really simple: Help you reach your paddling goals and have fun while you do it.  Pretty straight forward, right? Everyone’s goals are different.  Whether it’s something as simple as getting into a sea kayak for the first time, or something as lofty as preparing for a multi-week wilderness trip, your goals are all equally important to us.

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Results from our 2014 Participant Evaluation

After last year’s symposium, we sent out an evaluation to all of the women who participated.  It asked a lot of questions. We were looking for feedback to help us reach our goal of helping you.  We got about 50 responses with comments that ranged from small fixes to major overhauls. We took every comment to heart.  We looked at everything we do in an effort to improve. One of the questions we asked was: “Did we help you reach your goals?”  This was really important to us as it’s the bar by which we measure our success.  The results spoke for the themselves.  Of the 50 responses we received, 100% of the women answered that we did help them reach their goals.  We couldn’t have been prouder.

So as we’re working on LOL 2015, our goal this year is to once again help every woman who attends the symposium reach her paddling goals.  We aim high, and we think you should too.  Think about what you want to do on the water: plan an overnight trip, master your roll, learn to Stand Up Paddleboard, or just get comfortable sitting in the boat and moving forward.  Whatever it is, we want to help.

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Kayak Camping on Grand Island

January 24th, 2015 Comments off

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Are you ready to turn you day trips into overnights but you’re feeling a little intimidated?  Want to be prepared for a few days on Lake Superior or a few weeks on the Sea of Cortez?  Our Grand Island Skill Builder course can help you reach those goals.

This year we are offering a class to teach the skills you need to have a fun and successful kayak camping trip.  This special class will spend two days (Thursday and Friday) and one night paddling and camping on Grand Island, just off shore from Munising.  On top of seeing the amazing cliffs and beautiful beaches of Grand Island, you’ll practice loading your boat, learn tips and tricks for handling a fully loaded boat, and get the opportunity to navigate with a map and compass.  In the evening you’ll get to enjoy camping on the island and learn some new camping skills as well. By the end of the two days you’ll be prepared to take on whatever trip you can dream up.

This trip is recommended for Red and Gold level paddlers.

For  more info check out: http://downwindsports.com/lol/classes/special-learning-opportunities/

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Register for LOL 2015!

January 9th, 2015 Comments off

Registration is LIVE!

LOL DAY Party 2011 056

The moment you’ve been waiting for since last August has finally arrived.  You can now sign up for Ladies of the Lake 2015! We are doing all of our registration and scheduling online this year to make things easier for you.  Just click the “Register” tab in the navigation bar, the “Click Here to Register” button on the side bar or JUST CLICK HERE.  You can fill fill out our simple registration form to get yourself signed up, as well as select your classes and tours, reserve any rental gear you may need, and sign our online waiver form.

We would highly recommend signing up as early as possible for two reasons. First, it will save you money.  Registration for this year’s event costs $350, but if you sign up before March 10th and use the coupon code EarlyBirdSpecial you can save yourself $100. That’s a savings of nearly 30%.   Second, if you wait some of our classes and tours will fill up.  We have lots of great options when it comes to classes and tours and we’re confident that you will always find something you are interested in, but space is limited in some classes and all of the tours.  Last year we filled every available tour space and we are expecting to have even more ladies this year. So sign up early to ensure you get exactly what you want.

If you have any question feel free to email Heidi at heidi@downwindsports.com or give us a call at 906-482-2500.

We look forward to seeing all of you in August!

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Important News for LOL 2015

January 7th, 2015 Comments off

9558304892_e5fa8aefa6_zRegistration for LOL 2015 officially starts tomorrow and we have some important news and updates about this year’s symposium.  We’re not shy to say, last year’s event was one of our best.  We had more women paddlers than ever before and that means more fun than ever before!  With more attendees came more challenges and we saw a few areas where we can make LOL 2015 even better.  We took your comments to heart and have made some adjustments.  Here are some of the most important things to know for this year:

Participation

Last year we announced that we would need 100 women to register in order to hold the event.  The outpouring of support was incredible and before long we had over 120 paddlers signed up.   It was great.  The need to keep attendance up hasn’t gone away. So once again we are going to need 100 registrants to hold LOL 2015. We’ve set a deadline of June 1st, same as last year, to reach this goal.  The good news is we are already 20% of the way there with ladies who signed up at the event last year.  We are confident that once again this won’t be a problem. So if you came last year and had fun, sign up again and we’ll be at 100 in no time, especially if you bring a friend!

Registration

Just like last year all registration will be done online.  We’ve changed our registration a little in order to make it easier.  You will no longer have to sign up on one page and then pay at another. It’s all done in one place this year.  In past years you’ve had to fill out a waiver when you arrived at the event. This year we’ve wrapped that into your registration.

Scheduling

Last year was the first year we offered online scheduling and it was a huge success.  We will be doing the same thing this year.  You’ll be able to select all of your classes and tours while you’re signing up.  New for this year is a color coding system to help you build the perfect schedule and make sure you get into classes that are best suited for you and your paddling goals.  To learn more about this year’s scheduling check out this post: LOL 2015 Schedule! Some classes and all tours have a limited number of available spots.  We’d recommend signing up early to ensure that you get what you want.  We will not maintain waiting lists for any of the tours or classes.  If spots open up they will be given out on a first come first served basis at the event.

Cancellations

In the past we have carried all canceled registrations forward to next event, sometimes for multiple years.  This became more complicated with higher attendance. From this year forward, we are no longer carrying registrations forward.  We will offer partial refunds to all cancellations.  If you sign up and are unable to attend please let us know as soon as possible.  If you let us know you can’t make it before April 15th we will refund 75% of your registration fee.  If you cancel between April 15th and July 15th we will refund half of your registration.  No refunds will be given for cancellations after July 15th.

If you have a registration that is being carried over from a previous symposium, this will be your last year to use it. This means that if you can’t make it to this year’s event we will not carry it over to 2016.  We are unable to offer refunds on registrations carried over from previous years.

Wet Exits

In past years we have required participants to demonstrate a wet exit prior to taking any classes or tours.  This helps our instructors know that every person on the water is capable of getting out of their boat if they tip. We are updating that requirement this year with the help of our new color coding system. This year participants categorized as Green or Blue level must complete a wet exit Wednesday, Thursday or Friday in order to attend classes or tours. This can be accomplished by enrolling in the following courses, which will have instructor-assisted wet exits incorporated into the course work: Au Train River Tour or In, Out, Up and Down. The wet-exit requirement can also be satisfied by completing an instructor-assisted wet exit from 4-5 PM Wednesday or Thursday, and on Friday morning from 8:00 – 9:00 AM before classes begin. Participants categorized as Red and Gold will be evaluated by instructors, who may deem that an individual should perform a wet exit based upon instructor assessment. It is assumed that those signing up for Red and Gold classes are comfortable and practiced with wet exits as well as self and partner rescue.

Location

We announced last year that LOL has found a permanent home in Munising, and we meant it!  Munising is a paddler’s paradise with great access to Lake Superior and some of the most beautiful shoreline you’ll find anywhere on the planet.  LOL headquarters will be located upstairs at Sydney’s Restaurant where the always friendly staff do their best to cater to our every need.

Cost

One great thing about registering early is that the sooner you register, the less you pay. If you sign up any time between this Friday and March 10th, your registration will only cost you $250!  If you sign up between March 10th and June 1st, registration will cost $300.  After June 1st, the price will rise to $350.  This fee gets you world class instruction and all of the breathtaking tours that are offered at the event.

If you choose to take the optional BCU 3-Star Assessment class it will cost an additional $150.  Learn more about this class HERE.

Questions?

If you have any questions or if there is anything we can help you out with please email Heidi at heidi@downwindsports.com or call us at 906.482.2500

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LOL 2015 Schedule!

January 7th, 2015 Comments off

schedule imageAfter a winter of hard work, we are super excited to announce that we have finished the schedule for LOL 2015!  We poured through all of the feedback from last year’s event and decided to take a new approach to symposium scheduling.  We found that one of the participants’ biggest issues was getting into the right classes and tours.  Classes are meant to challenge you and help you progress as a kayaker. This can’t be achieved if the class is too easy or requires skills you haven’t yet learned.

So, with that in mind, we would like to introduce our brand new color coding system.  We were hoping to come up with a cool name for it – but you can’t win them all. This new color coding system will help steer participants into a schedule that pushes them to become better paddlers but does not leave them overwhelmed.  It should also help group similarly skilled paddlers together so instructors can focus on the skills the group needs to work on.

6057627002_fdc117f6e1During your registration you will be asked to complete a skill assessment quiz.  You will answer a handful of questions about your paddling experience, skills, and goals.  The answers you provide will determine your paddling color: Green, Blue, Red or Gold.  Throughout the registration process, as well as throughout the website, you will see these colors repeated over and over.  Any time you see your color you can be confident that the class or tour is designed for a paddler with your level of skill and experience.

This isn’t to say you are limited to only taking classes and tours in your color group.  This is only a suggestion.  We want you to be challenged and push yourself to grow on the water and off.  If you see something on the schedule that you really want to do but it doesn’t match your color, go for it, but be aware that it may require skills that you don’t have yet or may be teaching skills you’ve already mastered.

We have lots of new classes this year that are sure be both fun and educational. These new classes will shake things up a bit and give a few fun surprises to the paddler who think they’ve seen and done everything that LOL has to offer. We are also offering some off the water classes this year.  This will give you a chance to rest tired muscle or get out and see some of the other beautiful things that the Munising area has to offer.

You can see the full schedule of classes and tours as well descriptions of each by clicking on the classes or tours buttons on the navigation bar. Take a look, get some ideas of what you would like to take at this year’s event and start planning your schedule.  Registration will open this Friday.

 

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BCU 3 Star Course Available This Year

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

15323903782_cc093cd92c_zThis year we are happy to announce that we will be offering a BCU 3 Star course.  The course will held over two full days on Thursday and Friday.  It will be taught by featured coach Bonnie Perry and  will cost $150 in addition to the symposium registration. Space will be limited.

In Bonnie’s words:

“BCU 3 Star Award is an internationally recognized step in a paddler’s development. Achieving this award signifies that you have transitioned from a novice to an intermediate paddler. The BCU 3-Star training is designed to assist you in achieving that transition. As such it is an intermediate sea kayak course. This course does not start with the basics, but rather seeks to improve existing skills for experienced kayakers who are ready to move up to the next level. If you have been paddling for a while, or are planning a sea kayaking adventure, 3-Star training is an excellent way to refine skills and build confidence. At the 3-Star level, paddlers will show skill with a variety of strokes, maneuvers and rescues. Participants will train on efficient forward paddling, maneuvering on the move, and linking strokes into maneuvers. Basic understanding of tides and navigation are also covered in this course. I think the best trainings are fun. So I include games and scenarios as an essential part of the learning process. The training will take place over two days. We’ll be on the move as on a journey and will be off site for most of each day. Bring a packed lunch, a helmet, a tow belt and a smile! At the end the training Bonnie and Lyn will sit down with you and work out a plan as to what steps you may take to be at a point of passing the 3 star assessment.”

For more information, here is the BCU 3 Star syllabus http://paddlesportsnorthamerica.s3.amazonaws.com/downloads/bcu-3-star-sea-kayak-syllabi-v3-0-oct13.pdf

You will be able to sign up for this course during your registration.  If you have any questions please feel free to call us at (906) 482-2500. Stay tuned as registration will be opening soon!

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