2017 Mendocino Kayaking Adventures

Grab your calendars and plan to play with Liquid Fusion Kayaking in 2017.  We have lots of fun adventures planned in Sea, Whitewater, Surf (and the pool).  We are especially excited about our 3 day Lost Coast Sea Kayak Camping Trip and our 4 day Eel River Kayak Camping Trip

Whitewater Kayak Camping

Sea Kayaking - In 2017, we will be expanding our Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Programs to include 5 day Intermediate/Advanced Adventures.  We will be continuing our monthly 2 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series May - August and offering our advanced beginner/intermediate 5 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Course over Labor Day Weekend.  BCU 3 Star Sea trainings and assessments and private lessons/custom tours will round out our sea kayak instructional program.

Whitewater - LFK's 2017 river kayaking program starts in January with LFK's Whitewater River Kayaking Class.  This class is designed for sea kayakers and other paddlers who have a solid foundation of paddling skills and are looking to learn to run whitewater rivers.  LFK's systematic approach will build upon your current skills to give you the skills for running whitewater rivers.  The next class in our progression is Precision River Running.  Precision River Running is for experienced whitewater kayakers looking to improve and expand their river running skills.  LFK is also offering guided whitewater river runs.  These are scheduled on the Monday after our weekend classes for our students to apply their skills and enjoy a day of river running with us.

Surf Kayaking -  We have been excited about our students' success in our 2 day surf classes so we are offering more of these in 2017.  Whether you are learning the surfzone for the first timelearning to surf, or working on making moves on the wave; our 2 day surf classes are paced for maximum success.  With 2 days, you get different surf zone opportunities and a skill progression that builds on the previous day.  For those looking for specific skills, we have private surf lessons and safaris.

Surf kayaking

Rolling - We have a beautiful community pool and a flexible schedule.  If you want to learn to roll or need a rolling tune-up, we can help.

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Wilderness First Aid - Know how to help others in the wilderness.  LFK and the Mendocino Woodlands are hosting Bobbie Foster to teach a 16 hour course that includes a 3 year Wilderness First Aid Certification.

Mendo Your Way - We are running our private lesson and custom tour special November 2016-March 2017.  Come see us to dial in your skills and play and explore the beautiful Mendocino Coast.

In the spring we will be putting our summer tour schedule up.  Our summer tours will include our family friendly Noyo Meander, our mellow evening wildlife tours - Sunset Bird Paddle, and our wet and wild Whitewater of the Sea Adventures.  We look forward to having you come play with us in 2017!

Family kayaking fun

Best of days on the water,

Jeff Laxier and Cate Hawthorne

Kayaking in Mendocino in 2016

Greetings Friends of Liquid Fusion Kayaking,

We challenge you to make 2016 your year.  By taking time for ourselves, we become better able to care for others.  We all need that special getaway - whether it is a weekend paddle or a paddling vacation.  If paddling is your "thing" then we encourage you to get out and do it.

Sea kayaking and exploring Mendocino's rock gardens, arches, and sea caves.

Of course, we would encourage you to "getaway" to the Mendocino Coast and join Liquid Fusion Kayaking for kayaking classes and events.  Here is why:

1.  The Mendocino Coast is a spectacular place to paddle!.  LFK's teaching environments on the Mendocino Coast include the community swimming pool, coastal estuaries, bays, rock gardens, and surf zones. Don't forget whitewater on the coast range.  The options for instruction are endless.  Most of our courses are 2 or more days because we find that you learn better when you can apply your learning immediately - especially under the trained eye and guidance of a coach. 

2..  Multi-day Classes - Bottom line is that students learn more when they have consistent practice.  We see progress during a class; however,  the skill development and confidence that we see over multiple days of instruction is exponential.  It gives students a chance not just to learn a skill but to own it.   We pace our multi-day classes to be fun and instructional.  With 2 or more days, we don't feel like we have to cram everything into one day.  Nor do you feel like you have to work super hard to learn it all.  Everything clicks nicely into place over a couple of days.

3.  Professional instruction and coaching.  All classes are taught by Jeff Laxier and/or Cate Hawthorne.  We are dedicated instructors who are always working to raise the bar in our teaching skills.  Yes, we do have a life but often a dinner conversation involves - "what if ," and the ideas explode and improved teaching tools are developed.  Once you have taken classes from us, we have a relationship.  Call or email us with questions . . . in the last week we have tele-coached students on boat outfitting, roll pointers, whitewater safety kit.  We have not only the skills and experience but the teaching skills and experience to help.

Why we do it - Both of us feel a strong connection to nature and the outdoors.  Our goal is to provide fun, personal, interactive, and educational adventures that garner appreciation for wildlife, nature, and kayaking.  Why kayaking?  In different ways, we both fell into it (stories for another time).  However, we have found kayaking to be a great vehicle to explore and play in the outdoors and also a way to challenge ourselves and others.  Know that feeling of accomplishment when you learned a new skill or overcome a challenge?  Perhaps you succeeded on your own or perhaps you got that special help that helped you succeed  We view ourselves as that special help and enjoy helping others to learn new skills, appreciate nature, and conquer challenges. 

Liquid Fusion Kayaking's 2016 Classes

SEA Kayaking - Build a comprehensive sea kayak skill set with Liquid Fusion Kayaking's sea kayak programs.

Sea Kayaking on the Mendocino Coast of California

BCU 3 Star Sea Kayak Trainings are available for you to build your sea kayaking skills - strokes, team work, rescues, and navigation in moderate water. The 3 Star Assessment is a good way to gauge your skills and to guide further skill development.

LFK's Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series -  Rock Gardening and Surf zone Instruction is LFK's specialty.  We have developed a series of classes to teach specific rock garden and surf zone skills and to share our local knowledge of the Mendocino Coast. Join us for one or all of these specific instructional adventures.  This is a great opportunity to see different stretches of the Mendocino Coast that are not typically paddled by clubs and other outfitters and learn from the local paddling experts.  Saturday will be primarily instruction and Sunday will be skill application as we paddle, explore, and play on a stretch of the Mendocino Coast specific to the weekend's skill focus.  

May 14-15    Touring Ocean Rock Gardens - Learn to read the water, choose routes, and paddle in rock gardens as a team. 

June 11-12  Surf-zone FUN-damentals - Launch, land, and play in the surf with control and finesse.

July 9-10    The Art of the Pour-over - Perfect your timing and precision paddling to ride rock garden features like pour-overs.

August 13-14  Magical Mendocino Sea Caves - Tips, tricks, and sea cave exploration.

Want the whole series at once?  Sign up for our 5 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Adventure in September 2-6.

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Private Lessons/Custom Tours - aka Mendo Your Way - Let us know what skills you want to work on or sights you want to experience, and we will design a custom adventure for you.  We do this for individuals as well as groups.

WHITEWATER - Enjoy the Challenge and Thrill of Whitewater River Kayaking

Whitewater River Kayaking in Northern California

The regular pattern of precipitation that Northern California has been experiencing is exciting.  2016 is shaping up to be a great year for whitewater river kayaking.  The Eel River is flowing, and we anticipate having whitewater on it well into the spring.  The Eel is our backyard run, and we know it at its different flows like the back of our hand.  Let us share the fun, beauty, and excitement of whitewater kayaking on the Eel River with you.  Schedule a private lesson or custom run with us or join us on one of our scheduled whitewater classes or runs.

Are you a sea or surf kayaker interested in learning to run whitewater rivers?  If so, join us for our Whitewater Kayaking Class April 2-4.  This class is for intermediate kayakers who want to learn the skills for whitewater river kayaking.  Skills will include strokes specific to whitewater kayaks, hydrology, river running skills, rolling in current, and whitewater safety.

Whitewater of the Sea - aka rock gardening in whitewater kayaks - private lessons are available through May.  In May, we will have regular whitewater of the sea adventures available.  From adventurous beginners through advanced whitewater kayakers, whitewater of the sea is a fun and challenging adventure.

Whitewater Kayaking in Ocean Rock Gardens on the Mendocino Coast

SURF - Planning across the green face of a wave is pure bliss!!!  Learn the tricks of getting onto that wave and carving turns on the wave with an LFK Performance Surf Class.  Many paddlers bumble about learning to surf by tagging along with others.  Don't risk developing poor habits . . . get surfing better sooner with instruction.

Mendo Your Way - Let us know what skills you want to work on or sights you want to experience, and we will design a custom adventure for you, your paddling posse, or family.  From dry and mild to wet and wild in sea, river, and surf . . . the potential for fun is very high.  Contact us and let's do it!  Remember our special fall/winter private lesson rates are available through March.

Custom Sea Kayak Tour on the Mendocino Coast

Get out your calendar out and start planning to kayak Mendocino in 2016!!!

 

Sea Kayak Classes on the Mendocino Coast

Summer is winding down, but Liquid Fusion Kayaking is winding up for sea kayak classes on the Mendocino Coast.

Sea kayak rock garden instruction on the Mendocino Coast

Coming in September, we have our 5 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series.  This summer we ran The Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino as a monthly series.  This Labor Day weekend, we  teaching it as a comprehensive 5 day class and also allowing people to select ala carte the courses that they want.  This gives paddlers the opportunity to customize their Mendocino sea kayaking experience.  For those interested in sea caves, we have a full class dedicated to sea kayaking in Mendocino's sea caves.  For rock gardeners, we have classes dedicated to rock gardening but also specifically playing in rock gardens (The Art of the Pour-Over).  Surfzone training is also a part of the series.  We still have a couple of spaces remaining so check it out and sign up so that you don't miss out.

The Art of Pour-Overs - a class focused on rock garden play in sea kayaks

The second weekend, we are joining the Headwaters Kayak Shop and Headwaters Adventure Company for their Albion Bash Weekend.  We will be doing a presentation on Saturday Evening.  On Saturday, we will be teaching a rock garden safety and rescue class.  On Sunday September 13, we will be guiding a coastal exploration with rock gardening tour.  

Sea kayak classes and tours in the Albion area of the Mendocino Coast

As we head into September, our daily schedule becomes more flexible for private lessons and custom tours in sea kayaking, whitewater river kayaking, rock gardening, and surf kayaking.   We call our custom trips - Mendo Your Way.   Dream up a Mendocino kayaking adventure and let's make it happen.

Ladies sea kayak rock garden tour on the Mendocino Coast

As fall and winter approach, start making plans to join us for whitewater kayaking, surf kayaking, and our Whitewater and Surf Safari's.

Whitewater river kayaking on Mendocino's Eel River

Surf kayaking on the Mendocino Coast



Summer Kayaking is in Full Swing on the Mendocino Coast

WOW!  The first week of summer on the Mendocino Coast has been amazing.  Sunny, warm, and with relatively calm ocean conditions.  Our summer kayak tours are in full swing and we are getting rave reviews from all ages and abilities about our Mendocino kayaking tours and classes.

Our kayak tours and classes get a thumbs up!

Of course we can't take all the credit.  Mother Nature has definitely been cooperative.   In Fort Bragg, our dry and mild kayak tours on the Noyo River have been spectacular.  Highlights have been all the babies.  From river otters to newly fledged birds, the Noyo River is teeming with wildlife and their young, and we are enjoying the show from our kayaks.

Another gorgeous day for a family kayaking on the Noyo River.

One of our favorites of the summer is seeing the newly fledged Belted Kingfishers learning how to fish from their parents.  The adult will catch a fish and stun or kill it then drop it into the water for the fledgling to retrieve. 

Newly fledged Belted Kingfishers on Fort Bragg's Noyo River

Newly fledged Belted Kingfishers on Fort Bragg's Noyo River

For the most part, our ocean conditions have been unseasonably calm.  In addition to playing in the whitewater and waves on our Whitewater of the Sea Adventures, we are getting to kayak into some of the sea caves.  

Kayaking into a Sea Cave along the Mendocino Coast

We are definitely pegging the fun meter with these trips.  It is really fun to introduce all skill levels including beginners to the fun of rock gardening.

A beginning kayaker rock gardening on the Mendocino Coast.

It has also been fun to see students excelling in our kayaking classes.  Our Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino has been a success.  It has been fun to have a specific focus each month on the specific paddling skills and features of the Mendocino Coast.  Our next class is The Art of Pour-Overs (a pour-over is a popular rock gardening maneuver where a kayaker rides a swell or wave over a rock).  We can't wait to get our students running pour-overs with finesse and style.

Riding a wave as it pour-overs a rock.

In August, The Art of Sea Kayaking takes us into the Magical Mendocino Sea Caves.  If you want ooouuus and ahhhhhs this is a trip not to miss.  In 2 days, we will be exploring and playing in some of our favorite sea caves of the Mendocino Coast. 

Sea kayaking through Mendocino sea caves.

If you haven't made it out on the water with us this summer, there is still time. Check out our calendar or give us a call and let's get out there!

Enjoying a beautiful evening wildlife watching kayak tour on Fort Bragg's Noyo River.



Mendocino Spring and Summer Kayaking

We are getting excited about our Spring and Summer Kayaking Season on the Mendocino Coast.  An article "Paddling Along the Rivers of Mendocino County'" recently appeared on KCET's SoCal Wanderer site.  It has us jazzed about the magical kayaking opportunities that we provide for individuals and families of all ages and abilities.

Cruising by a pair of common merganser ducks on a Noyo River Kayak Tour.

May is when we officially kick off our spring and summer season for kayak tours and classes on the Mendocino Coast.  The season kicks off the first weekend of May with our Intro to Kayaking and Intro to Ocean Kayaking Classes.    The first week of May will start our Monday Night Learn to Kayak Series. This class is geared toward locals who want to learn to kayak and meet others to paddle with. 

Get ready for abalone diving with LFK's Intro to Ocean Kayaking Class

During the first week of May, we are also expecting a shipment of brand new kayaks.  Wahoo!!!

LFK's new kayaks will be arriving on the Mendocino Coast the first week of May.

The Second Weekend of May kicks off our Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Series.  We are very excited about this monthly series that gives sea kayakers an opportunity to develop specific rock gardening skills and to paddle and explore different stretches of the Mendocino Coast.  In May, we will start the series with Touring Ocean Rock Gardens.   Other classes in the series include Surfzone FUNdamentals, The Art of the Pour-Over, and Magical Mendocino Sea Caves

Learn to sea kayak the arches, tunnels, sea caves, and rock gardens of the Mendocino Coast

The Third Weekend of May is the official kick-off to our spring and summer kayaking season.  On Saturday, we are teaching a Kayak Safety Skills Clinic.  Sunday is our Afternoon Kayaking on the Noyo River .  Bring your family our for this fun afternoon of leisurely kayaking on the Noyo River that benefits for Books for Babies and Kits for Kindergarten.  We are also starting our evening Sunset Bird Paddle Tours.

From here on out, we are heading full steam into summer with our Tracks to Kayaks Tours, Noyo Meanders, and Whitewater of the Sea Adventures.

Tour the Redwoods on the train and by kayak.

For whitewater kayakers looking for some ocean whitewater kayaking fun, the last weekend of the month is a Rock n Surf Safari.  It is two days of surfing and playing in the waves and whitewater features of the ocean in whitewater kayaks.

Regardless of California's drought, there is always whitewater on the Mendocino Coast.

If you were wondering why we are closed most of the month of April - it is to get ready for all of these grand adventures in May (and to perhaps have a grand adventure or two ourselves).

March - Sea, River, Surf Kayaking

What are your paddling plans for March?  We have been hunkered down working on our website and other business aspects of Liquid Fusion Kayaking.  Now, it is time to turn our attention to teaching.  

Sea Kayaking Trinidad, California

This Weekend we are excited to be coaching at the Storm Gathering USA in Trinidad, CA.  We will be teaching a variety of courses including sea kayak surfing, incident management, whitewater of the sea, rock gardening, and surf kayaking.   We are particularly excited to get to see Justine Curgenven's presentation on Kayaking the Aleutian Islands

The Second Weekend of March is the Annual Santa Cruz Paddlefest.  Formerly called the Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival, this is a fun event for both spectators and participants.  See some of the best high performance surf kayakers shred on a world class surf break - Steamer's Lane. The Cowell's Classic is a fun event for novice and intermediate surf kayakers to participate and surf the typically crowded Santa Cruz break with only 3 others.

Jeff in the 2007 Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival  photo by Alex Chong

Sea kayak towing drill in Monterey Bay

The Third Weekend in March (March 21-22), Jeff will be coaching a 3 Star Sea Kayak Training in the Monterey Bay Area.  He did one of these in January and is back by popular demand.   We have a couple of spaces available if you are interested.  Here's a link to the syllabus.

On Monday March 22, Jeff will be conducting a 3 Star Sea Assessment.  The BCU 3 Star Sea Award is an internationally recognized achievement of sea kayaking skills. 

Whitewater River Kayaking on the Eel River

And finally the last weekend of March, both Cate and Jeff will be teaching Whitewater Kayaking Class 3.  This class is for paddlers who have class 3 kayaking skills and experience but want to perfect and better their skills to run cleaner lines, surf more waves, carve in and out of eddies, and possibly boat on harder waters.  We will be teaching this on a Northern California Whitewater River - location to be determined based on water levels - course guaranteed to be fun and skill building.

Whew - definitely looking like a busy month for us - sharing what we love with others in the sea, river, and surf.  Hope to see you on the water!