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Local Knowledge Costs you Nothing – But Is Priceless to Others

I am super excited to introduce a new Google Maps integrated “Paddle Spots” directory on the TC SURFSKI website.   It is the season of giving,  and what better a gift to give to the paddling community than to share your local knowledge of your favorite paddling spots along with all the nuances and insights gained from hundreds of hours and years of experience on the water.   Sharing your knowledge has the potential to completely make someone else’s day, weekend, or even week.

Try to imagine yourself just getting into the sport of surfski paddling.   It can be very overwhelming and intimidating, especially in the many areas around the world where there aren’t large paddling groups and clubs to learn from.   We all have our favorite spots where we paddle the majority of the time,  and we know the conditions inside and out, have seen all the major weather patterns multiple times, and we have mastered the surrounding area and how to make the most of a day both on and off the water.

My vision is for this to become a go to reference both for new paddlers, but also for traveling surfski paddlers who want to explore new areas.   If done right, I believe this can become an extremely resourceful reference, packed full of very relevant safety advice unique to each location.  It can also provide tips and tricks to ensure that those searching the directory can find whatever they are looking for, whether that means the purest flat water or the biggest ocean swell.   Ultimately it is all about ensuring those new to the sport, or new to the area,  have the absolutely most enjoyable and safest experience possible.

The Goals:

  • A GLOBAL Directory :  Global paddle locations with rich and in-depth information, that is relevant to surfski paddlers,  to guide anyone from complete beginner to seasoned pro.
  • Quality over Quantity:   We want the paddle locations that are added to the directory to have top quality content and great pictures.   We are striving for quality over quantity.
  • Leverage Deep Local Knowledge: Leverage the deep knowledge of experienced local paddlers who have been frequenting the same paddle locations for years and have built a wealth of knowledge about how to maximize fun and safety at their favorite spots
  • Share the Local Secrets: List the best pre and post paddle eateries, breweries, and other fun things to do to enhance the experience and truly enjoy everything the area has to offer

The Rules – What is expected when describing a new paddle spot

Below are the guidelines for what each post should include.  By all means,  have fun with it.   Tell the story of your favorite paddle locations.   These are not strict requirements,  but try to always put yourself in the shoes of someone completely new to the area and/or the surfski paddling.

  • Getting There:  Describe any specific nuances on getting to your paddle spot that you don’t think will be addressed by Google Maps
  • Parking to Launch:   Describe the parking situation (paid, free, easy to get spots, fills up fast, etc.. )  and on average how far is the portage from parking to the water
  • The Beach – is it sandy or rocky.   Good for sunbathing or not so much.   Family friendly or not worth the risk.
  • The launch  How is the launch point?   When the surf is up, what are the best options?   Are there reefs and/or rock gardens to watch out for?
  • Motor boat traffic  can it be a safety issue?   Does it present a wake surfing opportunity?  If so, what is the schedule and which boats are paddler  friendly and which are not?
  • The Winds – What are the most common wind patterns in this area and what type of conditions do they produce?    Are there any good point to point options from this location?
  • Safety  – What are the key watch-outs?  Try to put yourself in the shoes of a beginner,  what do they need to know about this location to have a safe paddling experience?  Should they even be at this spot?    Potential for offshore winds?  Rip tides?  Motor boat traffic?   Gnarly reefs and shore breaks?   Consistent or variable weather?  What to watch out for in the weather and/or swell forecast?  Are there break walls or shelves that produce challenging or unexpected wave conditions?
  • Post Paddle Libations – Where is the best place to get a burger and beer afterwards?  What about healthy, organic fare?   
  • Other Adventurous Activities   Imagine someone is planning a vacation to paddle this spot.   What are the coolest family friendly options in the area?  Are there other fun activities that an adventurous and active family would enjoy  (mountain bike trails, surf spots, kiting, etc..)
  • Surfski Rentals and Equipment – Where is the closest place to rent a surfski or get surfski supplies  (note: these business are welcome to register in the directory as well and they have their own category)
  • Pictures – upload as many pictures as you can find.  Ideally pictures that would help the reader to identify the location, park, find the best paddle spot,  paddle the best route, (consider sharing GPS results to help with this, or just draw onto a Google Earth and create a picture out of it), and know what to look out for.

How to Win  $250 in New Epic Apparel

  • Submit three new Paddle Spots  with all of above relevant information by March 31st  and you will be entered to win a brand new Epic Thermal paddle top and pants
  • Note:  All paddle location where a surfski might be paddled are relevant.  This can includes oceans, lakes, and rivers around the world.
  • Note:  Please read through the instructions below.  The new function isn’t perfect and there are some minor work-arounds to be aware of.   Specifically ,when you go to preview your post it won’t show anything.   Just hit Publish and you will then see the content and can edit it.    To be safe, you can do your write up in e-mail/Word/Notepad  then if you can’t get it to post, you can e-mail it to nick@tcsurfski.com and I will post it

 

Instructions to submit a new Paddle Spot Directory Listing on TCSURFSKI.COM

Step 1: Go to www.tcsurfski.com/paddlespots or from the TC SURFSKI website click the menu item “Where to Paddle

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Step 2: In the bottom right corner of the page you will see the box shown below.   Assuming you have not yet registered on the TC SURFSKI website, click on the blue link for New User

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Step 3: Under the “Register” heading, enter an e-mail address and password and then click the Register Button.   That’s it. You are now done and ready to submit Postings!

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Note: TC SURFSKI will not use this e-mail address for anything beyond your basic registration on this site.   After you post a new Paddle Spot you will receive an e-mail confirmation.   Your e-mail will not be shared outside of TC SURFSKI

Step 4:   You are welcome to enter a billing or shipping address, and if you do, then it will be stored and used if you ever place an on-line order, but this information is NOT REQUIRED

 

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Step 5: Go back to www.tcsurfski.com/paddlespots   or click the link “Where to Paddle” and now when you go to the bottom right corner to see “My Dashboard” you will have an option to “Add Listing”.   Click on this drop down and highlight “Places” and Click

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Step 6: Congratulations!   You are now ready to add a new Paddle Location.

  • Enter a title first, then complete the Listing Description.
  • The main categories for the listing description are explained in the blog and listed below.
  • You can use the “B” button to bold the headings.
  • You also have options for bullets and number as well.
  • If you want to add a hyperlink, you can highlight the text and then click in the “Link” icon and this will let you enter a URL.
  • If you need more space to write, you can grab the tiny triangle in the bottom right and drag it out and down to create more room.

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Step 7: Enter tag keywords (this is optional).   Then you can either manually enter the address then click the button to “Set Address on Map”, or alternatively, you can simply use the map and drag the Icon to the location you want to set and the address details and GPS coordinates will all populate automatically.

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Step 8: Select the category for your Paddle Spot

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Step 9: If you didn’t already set the address, drag the red marker below to the location you want to set

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Step 10: Upload Pictures.   Pictures that are 800 x 800 pixel will work the best, but you can try uploading whatever you have.   The more pictures the better. If at all possible you can use pictures to show parking, where to launch, where to paddle, things to watch out for, etc.

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Step 11:   Publish your updates.   The Preview option is not currently working so you won’t see anything, but it is there,  if you click the Publish button you will then be able to see your listing and can always edit it at any time.  You are now done!  You should receive an e-mail confirmation shortly.   The TC SURFSKI web site administrator may adjust formatting and/or may also reach out to you for further details if needed.

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