Top 5 skydiving safety myths

People are afraid of skydiving mainly because there are a lot of myths related to it in the popular culture. These several inaccuracies that have been propagated are the biggest reason for skydiving fear. Here are four of these myths along with the real explanation. Myth 1: During free fall you can't breathe Fact: Breathing during free fall is possible, contrary to the way people tend to think. If breathing wouldn't be possible the skydiver wouldn't be able to open the parachute because they would be unconscious. Myth 2:A conversation can be held during free fall. Fact: This might be doable in movies but it is strictly Hollywood. The reality is that while free falling you can't hear anything because the wind screaming through your ears is too loud. Trying to have a conversation in that conditions is impossible. Myth 3: Holding on to someone that has a parachute is possible, if you don't have one yourself. Fact: This is indeed a movie miracle and is 99% likely not to happen. This kind of stunts have been pulled off but again that is almost impossible and that is because of the forces that are at work when the parachute opens. Myth 4: You can free fall for five minutes Fact: The cruise height of an airplane is at about 10,000 - 12,000 feet and that means about 40 seconds of free fall before opening the parachute. A five minutes fall requires a height of about 60,000 feet and you would need extra oxygen. Myth 5: My parachute will not open Fact: There are a lot of natural fears about your parachute failing to open but this has been take care of with all modern parachutes because they are now fitted with a device that will deploy the parachute automatically in case you fail to do that yourself. The device is called Automatic Activation Device, or AAD. The most common reasons for skydiving deaths and injuries, and that is 92%, are mistakes in judgement and procedure. This means that if you are well prepared for the jump and do everything right for the time it takes to get to the ground then you'll enjoy 60 seconds of exhilarating free fall and live to tell the tale.

Giving encouragement on the paintball field

My 12 year old son and 2 of his friends competed as a team in one of their first paintball tournaments this weekend. They were considerably younger and inexperienced than any of the other teams. However, several people participating in the tournament did some amazing things to encourage this young team. - A paintball gun one of the boys was using stopped working properly during the tournament. A participant loaned his guns so all 3 boys could continue to compete as a team in the tournament. - Several of the referees and competitors from the other teams said words of encouragement to the boys throughout the day. - As participants watched the team play each game, they would tell them tips on how they could improve. The result of this encouragement had several positive outcomes. - The boys improved with each game they played. The encouragement and tips helped them play a better game. - Instead of feeling defeated after a loss, they discussed what worked and what needed improving. It would have been easy to feel winning was hopeless and give up. The encouragement and tips provided by others kept them motivated. - They won their final game! - They are looking forward to participating in future paintball tournaments. Are you encouraging others? You don't have to be a paintball expert to encourage someone. You can encourage anyone, anywhere. Think about a person you know that could use some support or motivation. Think about the best way you can do it. It might be providing a listening ear, some encouraging words, a handwritten note, or some help regarding a need he or she might have. Whatever it is, don't put off doing it. Make a difference in someone's life today.

Kayaking gifts for christmas

Finding good Christmas gifts ideas is easy if you think about a persons hobbies. If you are buying for person who enjoys kayaking, here are a few ideas for kayaking gifts. Kayaking Gifts Kayaking is a sport that appears to require relatively small amounts of equipment. In truth, it is much more than a paddle and a kayak, which provides you with a lot of potential gift ideas. 1. Drip Rings – Drip rings are placed on each end of a paddle and keep water from running back up the paddle to your hands. While this may sound odd given that you’re sitting in water, it is incredibly annoying to have water running over your hands all of the times. Drip rings stop this, which makes them very useful. They are also incredibly cheap, costing no more than a few bucks. Aqua-Bound is as good a brand as any. 2. Alaska Sea Kayaking Adventures – If you’re looking for a big ticket item, why not give an Alaska Sea Kayaking trip as a gift? A number of companies in Alaska provide sea kayaking tours in Prince William Sound and other locations. There is nothing more impressive than paddling up to one of the glaciers overhanging the sea. The pure beauty will leave you astonished. The cost of trips varies, but most of the expense is getting to Alaska. Do an Internet search for “alaska kayaking” and you’ll find the providers. 3. Back Bands – Sitting in a kayak for a few hours is not easy on the lower back. Back bands are devices that fit into the seat area and provide lower back support similar to those you find for car seats. Back bands are a must for long crossings. A back band of good quality will set you back between $30 and $40. SealLine and Ocean Kayak are good brands. 4. Underdeck Bags – Underdeck bags act like a little glove compartment for kayaks. Watertight, they attach to the roof of the interior space on kayaks and act like a glove compartment in a car. Makes storing valuable such as car keys, maps and journals a breeze. North Water makes excellent underdeck bags and you can expect to pay roughly $40 for one. 5. Nomad Paddle Sports Journals – A bit of self-promotion here. Nomad Paddle Sports Journals are waterproof writing journals that let kayakers keep notes during and after their trips. Really great for writing down impressions, routes taken, things seen, people met, alternative routes to be tried in the future and so on. You can click the link at the bottom of this article to see the paddle sports journals which cost $8.99. Whether shooting the rapids of a river or cruising scenic bays, kayaking is a great sport. If you’re buying gifts for a kayaking enthusiast, the above list is a good place to start.

Become part of the clouds when you learn to skydive

One way to experience the extreme sports craze is to learn to skydive. Skydiving is one of the most popular extreme sports in society today. It is also one of the safest, despite persistent rumors and fears about the sport itself. In order to learn to skydive, it is important to follow proper procedures. The first thing to do if you would like to learn to skydive is to read all of the information you can about the sport. The next thing you must do to learn to skydive is locate a company with fully certified instructors. This can typically be done through the world wide web or your copy of your local yellow pages or a nearby city's business pages.

It is also possible to call the United States Parachute Association, and they can recommend a good company in your area to help you learn to skydive. You must also decide on which type of training you want to engage in. One way to learn to skydive is to take a tandem jump. During a tandem jump, you will be strapped to an instructor who will guide you step-by-step through the jump. While you are required to take a brief training session, you will also get to jump the same day. Learning to parachute jump is both fun and challenging Another way to learn to skydive is to take static line lessons. During a static line lesson, the student undergoes four to six hours of serious training before the jump. The final jump takes place with a static line attached to the aircraft. The line deploys the chute for the jumper, thus eliminating concerns that the inexperienced jumper will not open his chute at the correct time. A final way to learn to skydive is to take free fall lessons. During this type of instruction, students undergo several hours of training. They make their actual jump with two instructors, but get the opportunity to experience a fifty second free fall by themselves. While learning to skydive, it is important to ask any questions you have of your instructor. Skydiving is a very dangerous sport, but it can be very fun if proper safety precautions are taken. Lessons by certified instructors can help one learn to skydive.

Choosing your scuba diving equipment

Before taking up scuba diving as a recreational sport, it is important that you get yourself the necessary scuba equipment and gear. There are many options available but if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start from the basics such as the mask, fins, snorkel, and weight belt, then move on to advanced sets later. The Basics: The diving mask allows you to see underwater through the glass plate in front. Most diving masks are constructed in such a way that a user can breathe out into the mask. This prevents the “squeeze” during the descent caused by pressure. Choose a mask that properly fits your face and forms a seal. Most scuba diving masks come with a rubber or silicone "skirt" that creates a watertight seal with the diver's face. There are several types of diving masks such as full face diving masks that allow underwater verbal communication, diving helmets using surface supplied diving equipment etc. Prescription masks are also available for people who wear prescription glasses. The Fins allow you to move freely underwater and should perfectly fit the feet. It should neither be too tight nor too loose which can hamper swimming capabilities, be very uncomfortable and even dangerous while taking a dive. The snorkel lets you breathe at the surface without raising your head from the water, and should be no lesser than 30 cms in length. The weight belt helps you maintain buoyancy so you should consider getting one if you’re a beginner. Diving suits like Wetsuits and Drysuits provide thermal insulation and prevent complications such as hypothermia. Remember that water conducts heat 25 times faster than air from the body. So, choose a suit depending on how warm or cold your diving water is going to be. Scuba Sets: There are two main types of scuba sets – open-circuit and closed-circuit. Most scuba divers use standard air - 21% Oxygen, 79% Nitrogen – for their open-circuit scuba sets, which is much more cost-effective than using mixtures such as heliox and trimix. The open-circuit scuba set (also known as Aqualung) itself is quite simple so is also cheaper and more popular than other types. Basically, the user breathes in from the set and out to waste, with the gas cylinder worn on the back. There are 2- and 3 backpack cylinders open-circuit scuba sets available. Closed-circuit scuba sets use rebreathers. In this system, exhaled air is reprocessed by the rebreather to make it fit for re-inhalation. This can be very economical for people who need to take long dives. The three types of rebreathers include oxygen, semi-closed circuit and fully-closed circuit rebreathers. Accessories you should consider: Regulator and Buoyancy Compensator (BC) – The regulator, which carries the air from your cylinder, should be equipped with a gauge and second mouthpiece. The Buoyancy Compensator, such as such as a back-mounted wing or stabilizer jacket, is crucial for neutral buoyancy to control depth. Dive watch: Electronics like a dive watch comes in quite handy when measuring your time and depth underwater. A dive computer is also available for the same purpose which is more accurate but more expensive. If you plan to really move head with your scuba diving adventure, consider getting other useful accessories such as underwater light, a surface marker-buoy (SMB), a knife, and a compass etc. Experienced divers, Scuba Dive centers, websites, magazines, etc will all be able to assist you when searching for the right scuba diving equipment and accessories.

Fixing your portable generator

So, you've brought your generator out of storage, filled the tank, pulled the cord, and nothing. Hopefully, you are finding this out BEFORE the power outage or camping trip. This article will help you fix some common problems you may encounter. Before attempting any repair, remove the spark plug to prevent accidental starting while you are working on the unit. If the generator will not start or won't stay started, check the muffler exhaust for an foreign debris. Once that is clean, check the gas and oil to make sure you have appropriate levels of both. Finally, make sure the spark plug has a good connection. If the alternator fails to excite, it may be running at too low of a speed.

Adjust the rpm. This can also result from a faulty capacitor or windings, which must be replaced and tightened. If the voltage is running high with no load on the generator, you may need to adjust the rpms to a lower speed or replace the capacitor. Conversely, if the voltage is running low under no load, you may need to adjust the rpms to a higher speed or replace the capacitor with one with a higher rating. In addition, for low voltage, you should check your winding resistance and replace your rotary diodes, if needed. If your voltage is ok with no load, but drops when you add a small load, you may need to increase your rpms or remove some of the load. You could also need to replace your rotary diodes. If the voltage drops when you add a high load, you probably need to adjust the rpms or remove some of the load. Finally, if the voltage fluctuates, it may be the result of loose or dirty connections. You may also need to regulate the rpms to solve this problem.

The basics of rafting the river rapids

Rafting the river rapids is a major adrenaline rush. If you are going to hit the rapids, you need to know some of the basic language thrown around in the sport. The Basics of Rafting The River Rapids As with any sport, it helps to have a basic understanding of the tools of the trade, techniques and such. Not only does this help you sound like you know what you are doing, but it actually gives you some insight into the process. Let’s take a look at some of the key components. Dry Bag – A dry bag is a waterproof bag you can keep things in on the raft such as wallets, keys and such. Water is going to get all over the boat, so consider yourself warned. Most whitewater rafting companies provide them with trips. CFS – This abbreviation refers to cubic feet per second, a measure of the speed and ferocity of the current. The more cubic feet of water moving per second, the more aggressive the rapids and, in my humble opinion, the more fun! Eddie – An eddie is an area where the current stops or heads back up stream. This typically occurs on the down current side of boulders. It can be a good place to collect yourself for the next rapids. Gradient – This term refers to the general verticality of the river. The higher the gradient, the “steeper” the river is. This higher gradient means faster water and typically a more exhilarating ride. Hydraulic – Also referred to as a hole or various cuss words, a hydraulic is an area where water is super turbulent and can suck your raft under if sufficient in size. It is typically found at the bottom of a fall or behind a large obstacle where the gradient is high and the CFS is large. Rapid – This is why you live to whitewater raft. Rapids are turbulent areas of the water which gives the sport its name. You pop in, out, over and every which way through them. Life-Jacket – A flotation device. Wear them always. Don’t try to be cool. If you get thrown from the raft, which can happen, these will save you. This is particularly true if you smack your head on something. This short list of terms should give you a head start on enjoying your trip. Get out there and fling yourself down one of Mother Nature’s roller coasters.

Ice climbing preserve your experiences

Ice climbing is a great way to escape the rat race and live on the edge. Alas, your ice climbing experiences can fade with time. The best way to prevent this is to keep a ice climbing journal for your adventures. Ice Climbing Journals Take a minute to give some consideration to your most recent ice climbing experience. What sticks out in your mind besides the fact it was cold? Did you climb a waterfall? Now think about the first time you ever went ice climbing. Undoubtedly, you remember few things about the geography, people you went with, particular ice climbing routes and spectacular views. The experiences you’ve forgotten are lost to time. If you keep an ice climbing journal, this won’t be the case. There are famous instances of people keeping journals throughout time. Of course, Anne Frank’s Diary is the best example. In her diary, Anne kept a running commentary of the two years her family spent hiding from the Nazis. While your ice climbing experiences better be more lighthearted, keeping a journal will let you remember them as the years pass. A good ice climbing journal combines a number of characteristics. First, it should be compact so you don’t have to take up unnecessary space for other things. Second, it should have a case to protect it from the elements and so on. Third, the journal should contain blank areas to write your notes. Fourth, the journal should contain cue spaces to remind you to keep notes on specific things. Cues should include: 1. Who you went ice climbing with, 2. The nature and quality of the ice, 3. Who you met and contact information for them, 4. The geographic and weather conditions, and 5. Any unique things that occurred while ice climbing. 6. The routes you took up the ice and alternatives. 7. Any inside information provided by experienced locals. At the end of the ice climbing trip, you should be able to get the following from your journal: 1. Contact information for other climbers you met, 2. Enough detail to provide you or a friend with a guide if you climb the location a second time. 3. Memories to reflect upon years later, and 4. Something to pass on to your friends, children and grandchildren. To get the most out of your ice climbing journal, you should write in it just before you climb, as you summit and when you return. Doing so will give you an accurate picture of your thoughts throughout the climb.

Is airsoft better than paintball

This question is bound to stir debate and controversy amongst the most ardent of airsoft or paintball fans. Both airsoft and paintball are both hobbies based on replica firearms and wargames. Is this unhealthy? That depends moreso on the person themselves rather than the hobby. An interest in pursuing a hobby that involves weaponry only becomes unhealthy if taken to extremes - which is true of most things in life.

Paintball and airsoft are not morbid hobbies and only run the risk of being dangerous when participated in by dangerous people. Paintball itself is a more mobile sport. It requires a certain level of physical fitness, mobility and skill - if you paintball then you gotta be able to move fast. The weapons themselves are functional and are only designed to serve the purpose of the sport as opposed to looking good.

Paintball rifles are designed to take a real beating when it comes to their use. Paintball fans fall into the 'extreme sport' category and enjoy the pure adrenaline of each paintball match and are driven by the desire to win. Airsoft is a somewhat different sport. The guns used in airsoft are both conversation pieces and are also functional sports 'weapons'. Airsoft rifles and pistols are capable of firing both small plastic pellets and paint filled pellets so are useful both in the sport itself and also for backyard target practice. The major difference is the power of the guns themselves. Paintball guns are driven by high powered gas cylinders whereas airsoft guns fire projectiles either through springs, electronic firing mechanisms or with compressed gas. The issue is that most airsoft guns lack the range and accuracy of the larger paintball guns simply because they were never designed with long range fire in mind. Conversely airsoft guns are available in a huge range of styles and models. Everything from a Glock handgun to a sniper rifle to a CAR15 assault rifle. Airsoft guns are equally at home hanging in your livingroom or at use on the airsoft playing field. You can even go as far as buying an airsoft minigun. Many airsoft fans simply collect the guns and never get involved in airsoft wargames at all. This is the much the same as many sword collectors - they display the weapons at home but don't go running around waving them at people. The truth is that neither airsoft nor paintball is superior. They're both a case of personal preference. If you're the extreme sports type then paintball will suit you more. If you're more of a collector then airsoft will be more you thing. Regardless of whether you're a paintball fan or an airsoft fan it's essential to take proper safety precautions when using these guns. Proper eye protection in the form of safety goggles should always be worn and suitable protective clothing to cover your neck and upper torso should also be worn. Even though some people see these as guns as toys they are capable of causing injury either through accident or even deliberate malice.

A basic overview of kayaks and kayaking

Kayaking is growing in popularity. It is a sport with a lot of variations, which are covered below in this article. A Basic Overview of Kayaks and Kayaking At its core, kayaking is simply a method of propelling oneself through a body of water by using ones own power. A paddle is used to do this with the paddle usually having two curved portions on each side to allow for a back and forth action unlike canoeing. This definition, however, fails in many ways since there are extremely different types of kayaking. Let’s take a look. Kayak roughly means hunting boat. It has been used throughout history by people living on shores to pursue food in the ocean. The indigenous people in the Arctic are believed to have been the first kayakers using wood frames covered by animal skins. In modern times, kayaking refers to a much broader scope of activities. That being said, the basic boat remains the same. Kayaks are long, thin and usually one person boats. They come in different forms and styles, which are primarily adapted to a particular style of kayaking. Sea kayaks are very long and thin, which helps them glide easily through the water. Kayaks designed for running challenging river rapids, on the other hand, are short to facilitate maneuverability and the opportunity to roll to upright oneself after being flipped upside down. While almost all kayaks are designed to have the person sit down in them, a certain class allows the person to site on a flat indention on the top of the kayak. Obviously, this type of kayaking is typically done on smooth surfaces such as lakes. As these designs seem to suggest, kayaking comes in a lot of forms. Some people love to take them out on a cruise around a bay in Alaska or any ocean areas. Other kayaking enthusiasts prefer to shoot the rapids of extreme rivers and will travel all over the world to do so. Kayaking is a huge adrenaline rush or a relaxing way to see sites up close and personal. You just have to make your choice, get out there and go.

T ai chi for kayaking and canoes racing

Kayaking and canoes involve paddling and water. T'ai Chi, a style of martial arts, is practiced on land with neither water nor boats. The two seem unrelated but did you know that T'ai Chi benefits water sports players like enthusiasts of kayaking and canoes racing? Paddling requires moving gracefully, strongly, and balanced on rough waters. It also puts much strain on the arms and the back, if done incorrectly.

T'ai Chi improves and enhances paddling skills because the exercise and the sport follow the same principles. Karen Knight and Betsey Forster, experts in kayaking and canoes racing, admit to doing T'ai Chi regularly. According to them, T'ai Chi provides cross-training. They claim that kayaking and T'ai Chi reinforce the skills and principles of each other which make practice of both relevant for improvement. They add that doing complementary exercises boosts the skills and energy levels of paddlers. The two share kayaking principles and the complementary T'ai Chi practices. In any water sport, it is necessary to keep your body centered, quiet, and stable.

These traits are reflected in your boat and spell the difference between staying on the boat or getting thrown off it. How you position your body and your posture play significant roles in kayaking and canoes racing. Sit straight and spread your weight equally between your buttocks to create a stable pelvic base. This position liberates your upper body and allows your lower body greater control over the boat. It is important to align your nose, navel, and tailbone to create a single unit. Making your body move and paddle as a unit minimize strain and risks of injuries. Another principle, called the paddler's box, incorporates power in paddling strokes.

This is achieved by aligning hands and arms front of your shoulder plane. This ensures that your arms and shoulders are moving as a unit no matter how you paddle. Stable paddling is also a key factor in kayak racing. Most regard stable paddling as an accurate measure of the canoeists' skills. It is difficult to paddle quietly and keep the boat from bobbing but a good canoeist can do it. Avoiding pitching and bobbing the boat are done by keeping the boat stable and the paddling movement slow and accurate. Every move must be calculated because unnecessary motions can topple the boat over in rough current. Stability, balance, and power are the main principles of kayaking. These are the very aspects T'ai Chi practices take care of. The T'ai Chi walk is recommended before launching and can help racers center and quiet their bodies in the water.

It is done by elongating the spine much like the aligning of the nose, navel, and tailbone in kayaking and canoes racing, only this time, exercise is done standing up. The walk helps racers focus on their bodies and make them aware of their movements to reduce inefficiency. The steps are taken slowly with deliberate movements from the arms like paddling. The Hold The Ball movement aids in maintaining racers' paddler's box. In this exercise, the waist, arms, and torso do the work enabling them to get used to acting as unit before racing. Waist rotation is another exercise to improve efficiency of movement.

The waists and the hips are given added power and stability since paddling action is rooted in the lower body. With these exercises, the canoeists' bodies are accustomed to being stable, maintaining balance, and efficient use of power. Knight and Forster recommend practicing T'ai Chi regularly for those who are thinking of taking kayaking and canoes racing as a sport. This form of cross training also helps enthusiasts to become better riders and fluid paddlers. Regular training and T'ai Chi sessions keep canoeists ready and fit for succeeding kayaking and canoes racing events.

Adrenaline rafting basics

Rafting down rapids is a good way to get the old ticker clicking over at a high rate. Here is an overview of the basics of rafting down the rapids. Adrenaline Rafting Basics In the last 30 years, rapids rafting has gained massive popularity. People tend to go in groups for a family gathering, friends reuniting and even corporate team building exercises. Rafting is massively fun and an undisputed adrenaline rush. At its core, whitewater rafting is simply the act of taking a raft down through turbulent areas of a river. These turbulent areas are known as rapids. Rapids are formed by three factors – constriction, gradient and obstruction. Water naturally flows downhill because of gravity. When it is constricted, it pushes in from the sides, speeding up and getting turbulent. Speed also increases when the gradient get steeper and, of course, obstructions cause water to crash into them and swirl around as the flow tries to find the best way to follow gravity. Each of these events causes rapids and the resulting turbulence churns the water thus causing the froth. The goal of rafting is to surf these rapids without being flipped or dragged under. Rapids are classified by six categories. Category 1 is a smooth river with no rapids. The categories climb from their too Category 6, which is either impassible or should only be attempted by experts. Most river rafting trips occur on Category 3 and 4 rapids, where the turbulence gives you an exciting ride, but with limited risk. River rafts are typically big and sturdy. They hold between six and 12 people spread equally on each side. Although an expert guide controls the steering at the back, most rafting companies allow the passengers to paddle on each side of the raft in their corresponding spots. River rafting has a certain risk factor and safety is paramount. All rafters absolutely should wear helmets and life jackets. Falling out of the raft can be a common occurrence depending on the river conditions. All rafters should be able to swim. There are thousands of rivers that are perfect for rafting trips. Most people choose a rafting company for their trip since the company is already familiar with the river conditions and has the necessary equipment.

Rock climbing areas in ky kentucky

At first glance, rock climbing in Kentucky may seem like a far fetched idea. Au contraire! Red River Gorge provides great rock climbing areas in KY. Rock Climbing Areas in KY – Kentucky Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the greater Red River Gorge area is over 26,000 acres. The Red River runs for approximately 20 miles through the area. The area around the river is rife with rock climbing opportunities with multi-pitch walls, boulders and climbing roofs to try out your over vertical technique. The Red River Gorge can be reached by car in about an hour from Lexington, Ky. Trails and camping are plentiful in the area, so you can make a weekend of your trip. Rock climbing is permitted through most of the gorge, but a few areas are off limits. You can ask the forest rangers for a list, but you generally are barred from climbing or descending on any of the arches. Also, all routes are pre-set and rock climbers are forbidden to start new routes without getting permission first from the rangers. Sorry for the downer, but you don’t want to get arrested. When rock climbing in Red River Gorge, there are a few areas getting universal thumbs up. For traditional climbing, the following areas get thumbs up: 1. Pebble Beach 2. Sky Bridge Ridge 3. Fortress 4. Long Wall These areas all have epic climbing routes with ratings all well above five. Sport climbing presents an entirely different challenge and the Red River Gorge area meets it. Top areas include: 1. Global Village with multiple climbs 2. Military Wall 3. Roadside Crag 4. Pebble Beach 5. Sky Bridge Ridge If you are new to the area, the best two spots to hit are Pebble Beach and Sky Bridge Ridge. Each offers a variety of climbs, which gives you the best opportunity to try out your technique and take on a few challenges. There are other areas in Kentucky that offer solid rock climbing. The Red River Gorge, however, is the king of the mountain when it comes to rock climbing areas in KY.

Scuba diving in costa rica

Costa Rica is an eco-tourism paradise with rain forests, exotic wildlife, volcanoes and much more. This little Central American country is also an interesting place to scuba dive. Most of the diving in Costa Rica is done on the west coast Pacific Ocean side with an area up in the Guanacaste region located in the northwestern part of the country and another south of the capital city of San Jose near the middle of its west coast. If flying into San Jose, one would have to do some internal traveling to get to either of these two locations. The Guanacaste area is a bit easier to get to especially if one could arrange a flight right to the town of Liberia in northern Costa Rica. There are some seasonal charter flights from North America directly to Liberia. The town of Playas del Coco which is used as the main base for divers is a short cab ride from the Liberia airport. There are restaurants and small hotels in Playa del Coco including a few American owned scuba dive operators. These dive operators usually have special package deals available which include both diving and accommodations with one of the local hotels. Everything in town is within easy walking distance.

I made a trip for scuba diving here during the late fall season. The operator I used was Rich Coast Diving. The local Costa Rican divemasters from Rich Coast they took all of the scuba equipment including tanks down to the beach every morning by pickup truck. The dives ranged from about 60 feet to 85 feet with mild to moderate currents. One thing that all divers will notice here is that the diving in Costa Rica is very different from the usual Caribbean reef diving. The visibility is a lot poorer and there are some noticeably colder thermoclines. The poor visibility is due to higher amounts of plankton in the local waters compared to the Caribbean Sea. In some dive sites, we had to swim through sections of water which turned into an almost brown color soup. This cut the sunlight from the top drastically.

However, there is a huge plus side to this poorer visibility. The plankton attracts larger marine animals and if divers came here to see the big ones, they will not be disappointed. Even some of the reef fish here are larger. For example, the trumpet fish we saw down here are significantly larger than the ones found in Caribbean waters. Also, there are much more porcupine puffer fish here. Previously in Caribbean waters, I’ve seen only a few porcupine fish and they are usually alone. Here in Costa Rica, I saw large schools of them. We encountered large schools of other fish types on a regular basis as well.

The local divemasters here definitely work in a different way compared to their counterparts elsewhere. In many Caribbean locations, the divemasters would promote a ‘look only, no touch’ rule. Here, the divemasters actively turned over every rock to find interesting creatures for us. They would catch them in their hands and pass them over to the other divers. Over three days of diving, I held a seahorse, an octopus, a spotted eel, an orange color frogfish and a puffed up porcupine fish. Of course this practice of handling marine wildlife is debatable in terms of ethics but it was certainly an interesting experience holding these creatures in my hands. The divemasters were certainly hard working for sure though as they were eager to make sure that the guests had good dive trips. Large animals such as giant sea turtles, stingrays and white tip sharks were also spotted. On one occasion which I will never forget for the rest of my life is when a very large school of cow-nose rays headed straight for our group of divers.

They looked like a huge squadron of alien spaceships. They went right through and past us while we watched in wonder. Then they disappeared. This memorable experience was much too short lived.

So for a very different type of scuba diving compared to the Caribbean without traveling too much further, Costa Rica is an interesting destination for divers to consider. There won’t be crystal clear visibility but the marine life will be different with more large animals to see. The diving itself is also very reasonable in cost being significantly lower than in premium priced locations such as the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. In addition, there are many other things to see and activities to do on land besides the scuba diving which makes Costa Rica a very full vacation.

Great places to wakeboard around the world

Wakeboarding is a great boarding sport. Many have even dazzled by this sport - spectators and players alike. Many hotspots and specialized locations around the world ahve sprung up which cater not only to wakeboarding and wakeboarders but also other sports, offering vacation packages as well. Below is a list of top-quality locations ideal for wakeboarding and other sports. Costa Rica AquaSki Adventures in Costa Rica - A ski paradise. However, their vacation consists of much more than just year round world-class water-skiing (behind a Ski Nautique Boat). It hosts quite a few people who are first time skiers and boarders (slalom and wakeboarders) and just as many who don't even ski at all! You can combine skiing, wakeboarding, barefooting, hiking, biking, rafting, language learning, taste testing, horseback riding, ATV riding, river floating and other tourist activities. Mexico Cancun Water-ski and Wakeboard - Offering water-ski and wakeboard instruction for all levels from beginner to pro. Slalom course and package deals available. Canada Bush's Sports Centre - Water-skiing, wakeboarding courses and clinics, equipment sales and rentals in Bala, Ontario, Canada. Thailand Phuketwake - Phuket wakeboard, Discount cable-ski package in Thailand California Seattle Watersports - The largest wakeboard and water-ski pros hop in the Pacific Northwest. Learn2Wakeboard - San Francisco Bay Area wakeboard and water-ski instruction program. Group trips or lessons for singles Willi's Water Ski Center - Lessons from beginner to professional in slalom, jump, trick, barefoot and wakeboard. Near Napa Valley. Lake Berryessa, CA. Mission Bay Aquatic Center - Water-skiing, wakeboarding, other water sports. Courses and equipment rentals. San Diego, CA. California Delta Waterway - Good water skiing, wakeboarding, fishing, and camping spots in this 1,000 mile waterway. Marina and launch ramp listings. Canyon Lakes - A community with water-ski and wakeboard clubs and events. Canyon Lake, CA. California Skier - Salom and wakeboard instruction for all skill levels. Pro shop, boat sales. Lake Elsinore, CA. Bay Area Water Ski Club - The Bay Area Water Ski, wakeboarding and foilboarding club is a nonprofit, non-competitive, recreational based club. The club features fun water sport events throughout the year including weekend camping, single day water skiing, houseboat trips, and instructional how-to events. Florida Pickos Ski and Wakeboards School - The Pickos Ski and Wakeboard School is the world leader in water ski/wakeboard vacations and instruction. They specialize in water-skiing and wakeboarding, and their main goal is to provide you with the very best in instruction and to give you a world-class water-ski/wakeboard experience. O'Town Watersports - They coach all levels of water-skiing and wakeboarding from beginners to World Champions Dallas Friday, Leslie Kent, Rusty Malinoski and Danny Thollander. O'Town has multiple sliders and a kicker, along with 3 slalom courses to challenge all levels of wakeboarders or water-skiers. They believe in one-on-one coaching tailored specifically to each individual’s needs with coaching/training programs that are extremely in-depth using both trampoline and weight training. Clients travel from all over the world to train with Their top riders/coaches for weeks on end. O’Town Watersports has a prime downtown Orlando location 10 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and 25 minutes from the Convention Center, Universal Studios and Disney. England Sheffield Cable - Wakeboard, slalom, trick and jump at North England's only cable water-ski site. Aqua Ski Cable Tow Water Skiing and Wakeboarding - Cable tow water skiing facility in Skegness, Lincolnshire. Cable tow design, manufacture and servicing worldwide. Portugal Portugal International Waterski and Wakeboard Center - Located on a private lake, 1 hour east of Lisbon. Includes on-site club house, swimming pool, toilette, shower, and Correct Craft boat. Offers instruction with 3 slalom courses, 1 jump, and personalized coaching for the beginning to expert level. France Taxi des Mers - Skiing, wakeboarding for 3 to 77 year-olds on the French Riviera. Nice, France. Ski West - Instruction in slalom, trick, jump skiing, wakeboarding, at all levels. Garennes sur Eure, France. Brazil Alphavillage - The eco resort Alphavillage has a lake with an extension of 2,100 feet, covering an area of 13,6 acres, perfect for water sports, such as slalom, jump, tricks and wakeboard. The eco resort has 2 Ski Nautique boats with PCM 320 HP Multiport engines, both equipped with Perfect Pass 6.0, and provides all the necessary gear. Regularly hosts international competitions. There are more and more wakeboarding centers opening around the world Find one near you and start to enjoy the great sport of wakeboarding.

Rock climbing christmas gift ideas

We all know someone who’s idea of a good time is hanging off cliffs. If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for a rock climbing enthusiast, here’s some unique rock climbing gift ideas. Rock Climbing Gift Ideas You can always tell a rock climber by their appearance. White chalk fingers, bleeding knuckles, bent fingers and…a grin a mile wide. Whether they are climbing in indoor climbing gyms or hanging off Half Dome in Yosemite, rock climbers are very receptive to rock climbing gifts. Here are a few gift ideas that will make you a favorite with them. 1. Rock Climbing Gym – Most metropolitan areas now have rock climbing gyms. These gyms are typically indoor areas where rock climbers can work on their techniques. Walls come in a variety of terrains and with differing holds. Membership costs range all over the place, but climbers will love the gift. This is a particular good rock climbing gift idea for people living in big cities and who can’t head off for an afternoon of knuckle crunching. 2. Climb International DVD – The Climb International DVD is a highly recommended financial planning tool for rock climbers. Why? Well, the DVD contains climbs from exotic locations such as Thailand and China. After watching the DVD, the average rock climber will suddenly start saving every penny from their paycheck, rolling nickels and generally being as cheap as possible. The goal? To save enough money to travel to these locations for a personal rock climbing adventure. The DVD can be a bit hard to find. Search for it by name on any search engine and you should be able to find it. Expect to pay roughly $20 for this mouth watering movie. 3. Build Your Own Indoor Climbing Wall – You have to be very careful when giving this gift. This book gives step by step instructions on how to build an indoor climbing wall. This, of course, requires one to have a space in which to build said climbing wall. Basements and garages are typical locations, much to the chagrin of spouses. Personally, I wouldn’t put my name on the “from” section of the gift card. You can expect to pay $10 or so for this evil little book. 4. Climbing Holds – Climbing holds are plaster molds that are put on a climbing wall. They come in all kinds of vicious shapes, which are perfect for bending fingers in truly unnatural positions. If you know someone who has built a climbing wall in their garage or house, this is a perfect gift. Since each climbing hold is more or less unique, just pick the ones that grab your fancy. They come in a wide range of prices, so it is often best to shop by what you can afford. Helpful Tip: Look closely at the holds. If you can’t imagine how a hand would possible hold onto a particular hold, that is the one to buy! 5. Nomad Rock Climbing Journals - A little self-promotion. Nomad Rock Climbing Journals are great gifts for rock climbers. These writing journals allow climbers to keep track of their climbs, impressions, people the climbed with, routes and any additional information they feel necessary. Over time, the climbing journals become a history of climbs and a great keepsake. A great Christmas gift, you can see the rock climbing journals by clicking the link in the byline of this article and expect to pay $25 for the journal with case. As you know, there is simply no way to keep a climber from climbing. You might as well give in and give them a Christmas climbing gift.

Attention all skiers try snowboarding

Do you love winter? Or, more importantly, do you love spending time in the cold winter weather? If so, and you are looking for a great new activity to try this winter, consider snowboarding. For many people, the idea of snowboarding sounds dangerous, like it was only for crazy teenage boys. The idea of skiing down a large hill or mountain sounds scary enough and the idea of doing it with a snowboard sounds too hard to be tried. If these are your thoughts, you should think again.

Whether you have been skiing for years or if you have never made it down a winter mountain, snowboarding can be a great way to spend winter days. If you have been a skier and are thinking of branching out into the world of snowboarding, congratulations. The best advice I can give you is to be patient. Because snowboarding is similar to skiing and yet very different, some people who ski well will find that snowboarding comes naturally and quickly while others will find the learning process grueling and frustrating.

Stick with it because eventually the tricks of snowboarding can come to almost anyone. If you have never been a skier, have no fear. Having a skiing background is not always necessary or even beneficial in learning snowboarding skills. You, a non-ski expert, may actually pick up the techniques of snowboarding much easier than your skier friends. After some time you may find that snowboarding fits you like a glove. Allow me to offer a couple of words of advice to anyone, ski expert or not, that desires to enter the world of snowboarding. First, do not expect to jump on a board and pick up the skill all on your own. Most people will benefit greatly from taking snowboarding lessons at least to learn the basics of the sport. So do not hesitate to sign yourself up for a lesson or two before you head out to the slopes.

A second and perhaps more important piece of advice is simple: rent. Resist that temptation to run out and buy the latest board and snowboarding gear just to look like a seasoned pro on the slopes. On your first few times out you should rent equipment and take the time to learn what kinds of boards best meet your needs. By renting you can avoid making a costly mistake that will leave you frustrated later. So, whether you have been skiing for years or not, when winter comes around again make the choice to learn a new skill. Who knows, snowboarding could fast become your favorite source of winter fun.

Bike and run adventure racing on a budget

Gerald Fusil is a man who always puts his ideas into action and others follow. The founder of the Raid Gauloises, The world’s first true expedition race is always on the lookout to expand the sport. The cost of competing in adventure racing has reached a level that few teams can now afford. Organisers and adventure racers are faced with high travel and insurance costs. One way to attract racers is to offer large sums in prize money, and top teams can make a living, but what about the average racer.

Last Year, During the annual Reunion D’Aventures race, Gerard Fusil added a bike and run discipline which required the four person team to share two mountain bikes during a couple of legs of the race. The trial was a success as teams were forced to think of tactics to complete the legs in the fastest possible way. Some teams doubled up on the downhill sections, others stayed, whilst the more successful set up a relay system with the rider going a set distance before leaving the bike at the edge of the track for their team mate, who would get on and then leapfrog them. Gerard Fusil saw an opportunity to return once again to the basis of Expedition Adventure Racing. Providing teams the chance to explore a country, interface with the local population and race in exotic locations with out the need to transport large amounts of gear. Gerard Fusil announced his ideas at the Reunion D’Aventures prize giving and the world waited with bated breadth.

September 2005 saw Gerard Fusil Launch the Bike and Run Concept to the World with the Oman Adventure. Details were brief, two person teams to share one bike with only one person to be on the bike at one time. The race would be run in a number of stages including a night stage and teams had to be prepared to camp in the wild. Time was short so Gerard Fusil used the course notes from the 1992 Raid Gauloises for parts of the course. Gerald Fusil made one other departure from the norm by pre-announcing the lengths of each stay and the names of the overnight camps. The race was to take place on the East Coast of Oman, however some of the place names were only known to the locals.

December 2005. A barmy evening camped by the sea saw Gerard Fusil briefing the gathered teams from France, Oman, UK, Rйunion, Austria, Holland and Australia. Most teams had arrived in the morning so had little time to prepare. Support vehicles were shared by two teams, so competitors spent the night poring over maps and packing gear into the vehicles by torchlight. The following day at dawn a convoy of vehicles transported the team to the start line in a nearby Wadi. The first day included a section of running only along goat tracks and this proved to be decisive as the Australian and one local Omani team got lost allowing a French team to build an unassailable lead. Later in the week Gerard Fusil had mapped out the course with a 17k twisting climb from the sea to 1500 metres and also a section of canyoning with a number of swims. Gerard Fusil had arranged camping or bivouacs in a number of scenic areas, with the stages starting in the early morning most teams would finish around mid-day or early afternoon. The terrain in Oman is varied from lush oasis to harsh rocky hillsides and of course seas of sandiness where the teams finished the race.

Gerard Fusil held the prize giving in Muscat the winners being a husband and wife team Wilsa Sport Helly Hansen from France. Second place went to the Australians and a Local Omani team came in third. Teams came from many different backgrounds, Adventure racers, tri-athletes, marathon runners, mountain bikers; the final count saw adventure racers however leading the way. Virtually all teams adopted the general tactic of leap frogging, however there were at least a couple of incidents when teams missed the bike, including one on the long climb for an all female team which required an extra 4k to be covered to collect the bike! The Inaugural race proved to be a success and now Gerald Fusil has announced the second race of the series which will return to a different area of Oman at the end of November. .

Strap into fun and free falling while tandem skydiving in new jersey

Tandem skydiving in New Jersey is a very popular sport. Since tandem parachuting is one of the easiest, and perhaps the best for a novice, ways to experience the extreme sport of skydiving. There are several benefits to tandem skydiving. One benefit is that there is not very much training involved. Another benefit is that is that you can take comfort in the experience of the jump instructor you'll be working with. One final benefit is that there is an automatic activation device on the parachute, so your chute will be sure to deploy at the appropriate time during a jump. Classes and Lessons Skydiving begins with a training session. The session will teach you the basics of skydiving, the equipment necessary, and what to do in the air. After your training session, you will go through a regulatory equipment check procedure. The safety harness you are wearing will be checked by your instructor for proper fit, and then you will be headed to the plane for take off. The flight itself takes about twenty-five to thirty-five minutes. During the final minutes of your flight to your dive destination, the instructor will review the basics of the dive with you to ensure you are properly prepared to make your jump. A few minutes before the exit from the aircraft, the instructor will lean out the door to guide the pilot in terms of final jump preparations as wind conditions can vary from day to day. A few minutes later, you and your instructor will walk to the door and begin your jump. You will free fall for approximately five seconds before your first chute, your drogue chute, will be deployed. Eventually, your instructor will let you know that he's about to deploy the main chute. Once the chute is deployed, you will begin a gentle descent to the ground. The instructor may even allow you to steer the chute on the way down. Landing is the final step to skydiving tandem in NJ. The instructor will do most of the hard work during this portion of the jump. Skydiving is a popular sport throughout the world. Skydiving in New Jersey is an excellent way to experience the sport.

White water rafting not for the faint of heart

White water rafting is an adventure sport in which a raft is used to navigate a river or any water body. It is usually done on rapids or white water to keep up the excitement. A river goes through different gradients and flows from a higher gradient to lower gradient. When the river’s gradient becomes sharp, frothy water is formed consisting of bubbles and aerated water. This has a white appearance hence termed white water. The sport has been popular since the mid 80’s. White water rafting is suitable for all age groups as various types of rapids are available for different tastes and experience. Almost anyone with a reasonable health can go for white water rafting. It is a good way to spend a vacation, travel abroad, be among the nature, get the sun and of course get a tan. It is considered a good way to release the stress. The expeditions range from a day to a month. White water rafting is now widely practiced through out the world. The essential gear required for White water rafting is a raft. The inflatable boat is the most common raft used. It is made up of layers of durable rubber fabrics and independent air chambers. Various sizes are available ranging from 11 ft to 20 ft. White water kayaks are also popular. They are made of plastic or fibre glass. Safety gear, water proof bags & cases, hooks, knifes, ropes and camping equipment are essential. Almost all these are available on hire. April to October is a good time. For thrill seekers May & June are suitable when the rapids are more turbulent. White water rafting is done throughout the world round the year. White water is classified into 6 categories depending on the difficulty: • Class I: Smooth water but fast. • Class II: A little bit of rough water with eddies and easy drops • Class III: Whitewater with rapids irregular waves, back eddies. Swimming, self rescue knowledge is must. • Class IV: White water with whirlpools, high irregular waves, for experienced adventurers. • Class V: White water with dangerous obstacles, violent rapids, boiling eddies. Scouting is essential before going on such expeditions • Class VI: Extremely dangerous unexplored rapids. Due to interaction of river and riverbed various features are like strainers, eddies, waves, pillows and holes are formed. The passage of water through large objects, (usually boulders) causes a strainer. Holes are formed when water pours on top of submerged objects that cause the water to flow backwards which rushes over the object. Waves are fronts formed on water surface flowing down. Eddies are swirls or rotating water flow. When large volume of water suddenly comes against an obstruction, the water flows to a certain limit over the obstruction causing a pillow. The popular destinations are South Fork American river, Colorado river, Arkansas river, Salmon river, Merced, Kaweah in US. Rivers in Quebec and British Columbia in Canada. Ganga Yamuna and Teesta rivers in India. There has been concern by environmentalists due to activities of White water rafters like dredging the river bed. However white water rafting also contributes to the local economy.

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