Fairbanks Paddlers

Fairbanks Paddlers

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Latest News from Fairbanks Paddlers

Canoe and Kayak Instructor Certification Courses

Canoe and Kayak Instructor Certification Courses

This June, the Fairbanks Paddlers club is hosting two Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW)  in the Fairbanks area.


Register for American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW):

  • Essentials of River Canoeing ( ACA Levels 1 and 2 ) – June 18, 19, 20 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Class limit is 10 – Candidates may seek Tandem or Solo certification, or both
    Price Qty*
    Essentials of River Canoeing Instructor Certification Workshop - Member Course Fee show details + $325.00 (USD)  
    Essentials of River Canoeing Instructor Certification Workshop - Non-Member Course Fee show details + $350.00 (USD)  

  • Essentials of River Kayaking ( ACA Levels 1 and 2 ) – June 22, 23, 24 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Class limit is 5
    Price Qty*
    Essentials of River Kayaking Instructor Certification Workshop - Member Course Fee show details + $325.00 (USD)  
    Essentials of River Kayaking Instructor Certification Workshop - Non-Member Course Fee show details + $350.00 (USD)  

The club’s purposes include encouraging water safety on rivers and lakes through training and instruction, and encouraging boaters to progress in their skill level and helping others to progress.  To further these goals, we have scheduled expert instructors to teach two  American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW).


Barb Cutter

Barb Cutter of Cutter Aquatics will be the Instructor Trainer. She will be assisted in the Canoe course by Don and Tracie Pendergrast.

Course Descriptions

Essentials of River Canoeing (ERC) read more…

Upper Nenana River / Reindeer Hills – June 11-12, 2016

Upper Nenana River / Reindeer Hills – June 11-12, 2016

June Thomasson will be leading this year’s Upper Nenana River overnight trip on the “Reindeer Hills” section on June 11-12.  June would welcome a co-trip leader who also knows this section of the river.  Please contact June at (360) 348-0012 or jthomasson_99 at yahoo.com by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8  if you’re interested in joining the trip.   You must be a current club member to participate in the trip.


On the Reindeer Hills section we float the Nenana River between 18 mile Denali Highway and the “Windy Bridge” on the Parks Highway a few miles north of Cantwell. We will put-in on Saturday, June 11, spending the night on the river and taking out late Sunday afternoon. The tentative plan is to meet at 11 am at the Windy Bridge takeout and leave shuttle vehicles there. Participants may want to coordinate driving together and sharing gas costs.


read more…

Just for Fun!


The latest Bubblestreet comic stripThe weekly Bubble Street Cartoon, by Paul Mason



Canoe Lessons Return to Fairbanks

The Fairbanks Paddlers have long wanted to stimulate paddle sports in the Interior. One way to do that is to teach people the skills to make them safe paddlers and to be comfortable on our waters; canoe instruction is now available.


Club members Tracie and Don Pendergrast (business membership) are now certified American Canoe Association canoe instructors and will offer five courses this summer. They are also working with Fairbanks Paddlers to train more certified instructors in the Fairbanks area.

read more…

Epic: Kayak Ultimate Open House – May 30

What happens when you combine two great sports, kayaking and ultimate frisbee?  You get Epic: Kayak Ultimate.


Epic Kayak Ultimate is having an Open House at Tanana Lakes paddle boat launch on Memorial Day, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  You can learn to paddle, learn the basics of Epic, play in a casual game, and have a hot dog. All required equipment will be available to use, and the event is free.

Epic Kayak Ultimate is a high-intensity water sport, melding the skill and teamwork of Ultimate with the challenge of paddling. Invented in North Pole, Alaska by a small group of friends, it has grown over the years to expand to three states and hundreds of players. Now, Epic has grown to include competitive League action during the summer months in the Fairbanks area.

The sport is open to paddlers of all abilities.  Epic Leisure games are held Monday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. Epic Kayak Ultimate League games are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. from June through mid August.

You can bring your own boat and gear, or use theirs.

Learn more on the website EpicKayakUltimate.org, on their Facebook Page, or email epickayakultimate@gmail.com.

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 14

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 14

Find a great deal on used boats or paddling gear, or sell the boats you haven’t paddled for a while!

Fairbanks Paddlers will be working with Beaver Sports to host a Boat Swap on May 14, 2016 under the awning outside the Beaver Sports Boat Shop on 3480 College Road.

  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Bring your non-motorized boats and paddling gear to sell
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Find bargains on “new to you” boats and paddlesports gear
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Find out if your gear sold and pick up your unsold items.

15% of sales will be donated to Fairbanks Paddlers. Please price your items accordingly.

If you are a Fairbanks Paddlers member and would like to volunteer to help, please contact John Schauer at (907)460-6290

Other questions? Please contact Fairbanks Paddlers at info@fairbankspaddlers.org

Chena River Cleanup – May 11, 2016

Chena River Cleanup – May 11, 2016

The Paddlers’ annual cleanup of the Chena River through town is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 this year. This will also be the first of the Wednesday evening float trips for the summer. ( We are still looking for someone to coordinate Wednesday evening floats on the Chena). We will meet at Graehl Landing (just upstream from the Wendell Street bridge) at 6:00 p.m., set shuttle to the Pioneer Park landing at Peger Road, and plan on launching from Graehl promptly at 6:30. Once on the water people travel more or less at their own pace, stopping to pick up trash on the riverbanks. Usually, everybody is out of the water by 9:00 or 10:00.

Cleaning up the Chena River is one of the contributions our club makes to the community of Fairbanks, and is also a commitment we have made to the Adopt-a-Stream program of the Tanana Valley Watershed Association. For this activity we are recognized by two nice signs placed by the TVWA near the river at Graehl and Pioneer Park. Our cleanup is also registered with the American Rivers National River Cleanup campaign.

Trash bags will be provided. Participants should bring mud boots, raincoat, gloves, warm clothes, extra clothes, mosquito repellent, drinking water and something to snack on as well as some sort of craft to paddle. Don’t forget your life-jacket!

We will attempt to separate out clean aluminum in separate bags for recycling. We need to take the trash directly to the dump (as opposed to sticking it in dumpsters) so that the Borough can keep track of the volunteer cleanup effort and so that we can report our haul to American Rivers. My truck will be available for stuffing full of trash at the take-out.

For more information contact Alan Batten at alanbatten@acsalaska.net, or at 488-3205.

Annual Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck – May 7

Annual Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck – May 7

The 2016 Annual Paddle and Potluck trip on the upper Chena River will be Saturday, May 7.


We will launch at the first bridge (approximately Mile 37 Chena Hot Springs Road) and take out at the mile 31.4 river access (the Nugget Creek winter trailhead).  Meet at the First Bridge at 10 a.m.  (Look for the big gravel bar on river right downstream from the bridge, accessed by signed dirt road on the right just before the bridge, then left at the fork out to the gravel bar).  It takes about an hour to get to the first bridge from downtown Fairbanks. We’ll unload gear, run a couple vehicles down to the take out, and launch. Plan to have lunch on the river and be at the take-out by late afternoon.


Come prepared to share a river travel tip, paddling or river camping skill, recipe, or a favorite anecdote with the group.  After lunch, we will challenge paddlers to show or tell about a favorite piece of gear, a special dish, camp craft, safety skill,  or even just a short story or lesson learned from past river trips.


This section of river is suitable for canoes, kayaks, packrafts, inflatable kayaks, or small rafts. We will pack lunch dishes, a small propane grill, collapsible table and minimum impact picnic gear  into the boats and have our potluck on a gravel bar along the river.  Be creative.  Kayakers and pack rafters may wish to coordinate with canoeists to help carry bulkier “luxury” items like camp chairs or coolers.  The trip will occur rain or shine.


To come on this trip, you will need to be a current FP member ( Join or Renew online, or bring cash or check to the put-in.  We’ll also have membership applications/renewals at the put-in), wear a PFD, carry spare clothes and rain gear, and be at least an advanced beginner paddler with experience in swift water and the ability to confidently maneuver a boat to avoid sweepers and strainers. In recent years a there have been channels obstructed by logs just upstream of the takeout in the vicinity of the Chena River Public Use Cabin. The Upper Chena is Class I.  Woody debris obstructing the river channel constitutes the main challenges. Skills to recognize hazards, maneuver in swift current, and avoid sweepers or logjams are essential for a safe trip.

Please let trip leader John Schauer know if you plan to attend by noon on Friday, May 6.  (907)457-3962 or johnjschauer (AT) gmail (DOT) com.  If you leave a message, please state how many are coming with you and the number and type of craft that you plan to paddle.

Hope to see you on the river!

Reel Paddling Film Festival – Tuesday, May 3

Fairbanks Paddlers and REI are collaborating to bring the Reel Paddling Film Festival to the Blue Loon in Fairbanks on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm.  Admission is $10. (Kids ages 6-12 are half price, 5 and under are free.)


Get Tickets Now


Since 2006, the Reel Paddling Film Festival has been showcasing great paddling films from around the world. The tour screens in more than 120 cities. Fairbanks Paddlers and REI are bringing the tour to Fairbanks for the first time.

With 21 inspiring paddling films shortlisted for the 2016 World Tour, audiences will see hairy whitewater action, sea kayakers exploring remote coastlines, northern river canoe expeditions, motivating environmental documentaries, and short films capturing the lighter side of paddling life. You’ll be inspired to explore rivers, lakes and oceans, push extremes, embrace the paddling lifestyle and appreciate the wild places.

Expect a fun, social and entertaining event inspired by compelling films like: Kayaking the Aleutians – more than 2,500km and 20 open water crossings across the remote and stormy stretch of islands between Russia and Alaska; Expedition Q – friends ski across Baffin Island’s Penny Ice Cap, descend the class V Weasel River, and paddle age-old Inuit hunting routes to the sea. Paddle for the North – six mates, three canoes, two dogs, and two months along 1,500km of remote North American rivers; Go Big or Go Home – professional athletes travel the world in search of big water and the perfect wave; Martin’s Boat – honoring the legacy of Martin Litton with an expedition in the Grand Canyon;

There are 21 films to choose from in the 2016 Tour.  The Fairbanks Paddlers board has created a form to receive input about selecting films of greatest interest to the Interior Alaska paddling community. The form includes links to the film trailers.

We invite you you to submit your five favorite choices. Share the link with friends, too:


Delta Clearwater Trip – April 23-24, 2016

Spring is here and it is time to start paddling. The Fairbanks Paddlers overnight trip on the Delta-Clearwater will be Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24. The day trip will be on April 24.  The trip dates are dependent on Clearwater Lake and channels on the Tanana being ice-free.

Delta Clearwaer

For the day trip: Please contact Al Batten alanbatten[at]acsalaska.net (488-3205) if you plan to participate so that we can establish a meeting time and place.

For the overnight: Please contact Mary Pagel at (907) 457-4324 or at northernbluegrass57[at]gmail.com. Group size will be limited. Overnight participants should plan to meet at the put-in at the Clearwater campground at 1 pm on Saturday, April 23.

If you are not a current member of Fairbanks Paddlers or need to renew your membership, complete the online membership form or you can download a membership form from the website, and either send in your completed form and fee ($10 individual or $15 family) or bring these to Al or Cam at the trip. Membership forms will also be available at the put-in.

Here’s a description of the river and the trip:

read more…

Join Fairbanks Paddlers

Memberships run from
April 1 through March 31

$10 Individual
$15 Household
$150 Business
$100 Lifetime

Join Today!

Upcoming Events

June 11, 2016
  • Reindeer Hills Nenana Overnight Trip

    June 11, 2016 - June 12, 2016

    See more details

June 18, 2016
  • Instructor Certification Workshop - ACA Essentials of River Canoeing

    June 18, 2016 @ 9:00 am - June 20, 2016 5:00 pm
    Fairbanks, AK, USA
    See more details

June 22, 2016
  • Instructor Certification Workshop - ACA Essentials of River Kayaking

    June 22, 2016 @ 9:00 am - June 24, 2016 5:00 pm
    Fairbanks, AK, USA
    See more details


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