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Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Love Water Skiing But Not Great At It? 3 Reasons You Should Try Wakeboarding

Nothing can be more disheartening than finally getting out on the water to try water skiing, but then realizing that while the time you spend upright on those skis gliding on the water is so much fun, you unfortunately spend more time falling and strapping those water skis back on than you do enjoying the feeling of being on top of the water. However, just because you found out that water skiing wasn’t for you doesn’t mean that there aren’t similar water sports that you may be good or even amazing at. Wakeboarding is a great option that can be just as fun, if not more fun than water skiing, and here are three reasons why you may find it easier and more enjoyable than you found water skiing!

1. The Body Muscles Engaged by Each Sport Differ

Even though you may not be a great water skier, you may end up finding wakeboarding easy if your difficulty skiing was due to lack of strength in the specific muscles used to stay upright on water skis. Many people who experience difficulty staying upright on water skis lack strength in the specific muscles most engaged during the sport, which are the core, thigh, and back muscles.

When wakeboarding, virtually all of the muscles of your body are engaged in keeping your body up on that board. While this may make it sound like it would make the sport harder if you lacked strength in the specific muscles used to keep you upright on skis, it actually means the exact opposite. When all of your muscles are working as a team to keep you on that board, your stronger muscle groups can compensate for the weaker ones to keep you up on that board having fun.

2. When You Do Fall, You Can Get Back Up Much Faster

Nothing can suck the fun out of water skiing like having to stop and put your skis back on after a fall over and over again. The bindings on the water skis of a beginner or anyone prone to falling frequently are kept loose intentionally to prevent injuries during a fall. However, wakeboards are always bound tightly to prevent injuries. This means that after those inevitable first few falls when learning the sport (follow these tips to prevent injuries during a fall), you don’t have to take a lengthy break to reattach that wakeboard, which means you can get right back up on the water much more quickly.

3. High-Quality Wakeboards Can Be Extremely Affordable

One important part of being the best you can at any water sport is having the right equipment that is perfect for your body. However, you may have never had the luxury of being able to use water skis that were the right length, width, and style for your unique body due to their high purchase prices that left you having to rent skis and simply having to make do with any skis they had available in your size. However, wakeboards can be much more affordable than water skis. That means you may be able to afford to buy your own board, even if you couldn’t afford a pair of water skis, and choose one that is the perfect style and size for your body to give you a much-needed edge on the water.

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

How To Choose The Right ATV

All-terrain vehicles are used for a variety of reasons. Many people purchase an ATV for pleasure: riding around the yard, taking on camping trips, or enjoying some time exploring areas off the beaten path. ATVs are also very useful for farming, hunting, and for use on the job if you work outdoors. Whether you are choosing your first ATV or you are purchasing a new one to replace an ATV you already have, it is important to do the appropriate research before you make a purchase. Several factors should go into your purchasing decision to make sure you get the right ATV at a price you can afford. This will ensure many safe and fun excursions. Use the following guide to help you choose your ATV.

Size

Size is one very important factor to consider when purchasing an ATV. An ATV that is too big or too small can be dangerous, and can leave you vulnerable to injury when riding. Before you purchase one, go visit several showrooms to test out available sizes and models. You may get a better deal at an online retailer or by buying your new ATV second hand from a private seller. However, going to a showroom to try out ATVs before you buy will give you an idea of what make, model, and size fits you best. 

Safety Ratings

The safety rating is the most important factor to consider when purchasing an ATV. Read online reviews, both from the manufacturers’ websites, ATV dealers’ websites, and independent parties that review ATVs. Remember that some reviews may not be impartial, and you should get a variety of reviews from several types of sources before you make a decision. Once you have gathered information, choose an ATV with a high safety rating and consistently high reviews from multiple sources.

Price

Price is a major concern for many ATV buyers. However, don’t let this one purchasing factor guide your buying decision. Narrow your list of possibilities down to a few ATVs in your budget, then narrow them down based on the other criteria. You don’t have to sacrifice safety and an appropriate fit to be able to find an ATV in your price range.

After you purchase your ATV, your research doesn’t end. Purchase the appropriate safety gear, to include goggles or safety glasses, boots, gloves and a helmet. Even the safest ATV can’t protect you from injury without the proper personal protective gear when you ride. For assistance, talk to a professional like Carl’s Cycle Sales.

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Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Make Sure To Buy These Safety-Related Items When You Buy Your Own Raft

If you’ve tried white water rafting on a few occasions at an outdoors center and have discovered your new passion, you may wish to eventually invest in a small raft — perhaps with a few of your friends — and focus on the sport together. If so, you’ll have a long list of gear to buy, from the raft to the paddles to your flotation device and helmet. It’s also important, however, to think about the safety gear you’ll need for a day out on the water. You may not have used these items at the outdoors center, and thus not been aware of them, but they’re vital to carry. Here are some worthwhile items to pick up.

Whistles

Everyone in your rafting group should carry a whistle attached to the front of their flotation device. Whistles are an effective way to communicate with each other in the event of one person ending up in the river. While the person will be able to safely float because of his or her vest, it may be difficult for the others in the boat to spot the person — and the roar of the water can drown out any shouts. With a few blasts of the whistle, the person’s location will be evident to those in the boat.

Flare Gun

Every raft should have a flare gun tied down to it. You’ll ideally never need to use this item, but it will be vitally important if you ever get lost or stuck in a precarious spot on the river and require assistance. Instead of shouting for help, which is likely to be unheard, you can send off a flare or two. They’ll be seen from a significant distance, which should ideally alert others in the area to your location and predicament, allowing them to summon whatever rescue personnel are necessary.

Strobe Lights

Just as whistles are ideal to affix to each rafter’s vest, personal strobe lights are also necessary. These small devices can be turned on at dusk when the lighting is poor and can give the other rafters a clear idea of the location of someone who has fallen out of the boat during a rough patch of rapids. A strobe light can be not only ideal as a backup to the whistle, but it is also especially useful because the other rafters will be able to pinpoint the location because of the brightness of the light.

For more information, contact a company like Redwoods and Rivers.

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Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

4 Bucket List Items That Are Easy To Check Off

Bucket lists are becoming more and more prevalent these days. There are websites devoted to storing them and thousands of published articles about what to include on your list. Bucket lists even have their own acronym: YOLO, or you only live once. If you have a bucket list a mile long and want to check a few things off, here are a few seemingly crazy items that are fairly easy to accomplish.

1. Run a Marathon: Are you a die-hard couch potato looking to get fit enough to run a marathon? Does it seem impossible? While it does require you to get up off that couch, learning to run is not impossible. In fact, there is a free program developed by a runner just for you called Couch to 5K, or C25K for short. In just 8 short weeks, it takes you from sedentary to running a 5K. There are additional programs that can boost you up to those 26 miles, but a 5K has you moving in the right direction. 

2. Learn to Skydive: Jumping out of an airplane and enjoying the view while plummeting to earth is on many bucket lists. In the past, the only way to cross it off was to join the military. However, there are skydiving classes popping up all over the country where you can learn the skills needed to not only survive, but enjoy the jump.

3. Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square: Each year, millions of people watch the infamous ball drop in Times Square from the comfort of their own living room. They may mumble something about how it would be fun to see live, but they never act on that thought. If this one is on your bucket list, it’s easy to fulfill. Call and make a hotel reservation. Period. Once again, the only thing required for success is action. You have to plan ahead; don’t expect to get a hotel reservation in mid-December for New Year’s Eve. In fact, call on January 2nd and then save your pennies the rest of the year for some spending money while you are there. 

4. Crash a Wedding: While no one here is recommending you do this, many people think the idea of crashing someone else’s wedding would be a fun, bucket list item. The only real required skill is guts. Dress up, head to an area hotel known for their beautiful banquet center, and crash away. You could rent the movie, Wedding Crashers, with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson if you want to pick up a few tips. 

If you have other items on your personal list, try breaking them down into manageable tasks so you can cross them off. YOLO, right?

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Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Hot Mix By The Humpbacks: Why Ancient Whale Songs Have Scientists Hooked

If humans could hear with the naked ear all of the racket and singing going on under the surface of the sea, they would be amazed. Whales, dolphins and seals are some of the ocean creatures that use other-worldly vocalizations, calls, moans and clicks to communicate and find food.

Ocean researchers and marine biologists have recently taken a strong interest in the science of whale sounds. All along Earth’s coastlines, whale calls and songs are being studied for several important reasons:

Elusive whales can be counted

Whale populations are always on the move finding places to eat and mate, and whales are constantly being monitored around the world using tags, visual census-taking and sonar tools. These monitoring efforts make it easier for countries and agencies to set harvesting limits and make ocean-friendly policies. Experts use the data to pinpoint where whales migrate, feed and raise their calves in order to better protect sensitive areas.

Over the years, researchers have learned to distinguish the various cries and songs of specific whale species. By setting hydrophones (microphones that pick up underwater sounds) in busy undersea areas, scientists can now hear the cries of certain types of whales that are very difficult to see.

Recently in Monterey Bay, California, a hydrophone picked up the call of the shy and rarely seen beaked whale. The beaked whale’s song is as timid as its creator, since the notes can’t be picked up by the human ear even with the hydrophone’s help. However, all sounds recorded by the submerged microphone are turned into graphs called spectograms, and with these visual records, biologists are able to discover the presence of whales they might otherwise miss.

Noise pollution can be tamed

Scientists also want to understand how human activity impacts whales’ ability to communicate. Researchers don’t really understand all of the meanings behind whale songs, but they do suspect that interference from outboard motors, boat propellers and industrial noise pollution can disorient whales and cause them more stress.

Some biologists speculate that over time, whales may raise the pitch of their songs in order to compensate for increased auditory stimuli in our oceans. Since some whales live hundreds of years, researchers can study the songs of individual whales over many years to determine if this is true.

By comparing whale sound patterns in areas where there is little human noise to sounds from areas with a lot of human activity, researchers may be able to discover how to best help whales deal with excess racket in the underwater environment. This will hopefully lead to happier and healthier whale populations.

If you want to hear a live performance of whale music and chatter, join a whale watching tour that has an on-board hydrophone. Many whale sightseeing boats have such devices and will place them in the water when the watercraft is close to a pod of whales, so you can hear the whales “talk” to one another.

There are also personal hydrophone devices you can purchase that include earphones, a rubber-sealed hydrophone “disc,” and a long cable. You simply drop the hydrophone off the side of the boat or pier and adjust the controls to listen to undersea sounds. Contact a company like Orca Enterprises LLC for more information.  

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