USK "Places To Paddle Series" Video Guidebooks
Welcome to USK’s “Places To Paddle Series” which will be a collection of video guidebooks. We often get requests from USK alumni and kayakers we meet, at the many symposia we attend for paddling, for our favorite paddling locations. After we tell them where, they then proceed to pick our brains for the details. These requests, in addition to our own frustration with some written guidebooks, motivated us to create a series of video guidebooks.
We have three goals for our video guidebooks. The first is to show you the highlights of the tour just so you can see if the location and tour appeal to you. If you think you would like to do the tour, we will provide you with the details of doing the tour on your own, along with a recommended skill rating for the tour. Lastly, we will also provide you with a recommended outfitter if you wish to do a guided tour. This way you can leave the logistics and details to the guides and you just have to show up and paddle. As an extra benefit, we will include a menu link on the DVD that will let you watch the video of the tour, on a loop with music, in case you are land locked and you need a paddling fix.
During the twenty-five years in which I was the director of UC Santa Barbara’s Adventure Programs, I lead hundreds of trips. I regularly used guidebooks and other resources to get the information I needed to plan my trips. One of the things I wish I had in my past trip planning was a video view of the trip locations instead of the few still frame photographs found in standard guidebooks, if they even had pictures. I believe video footage gives one a much better feel of the trip, the terrain and the possible conditions.
Another advantage of planning and leading trips for twenty-five plus years is my experience in preparing participants for the trip. I know the questions one usually asks to get the necessary information to do an unguided trip. Quality information is important for setting reasonable expectations. As a professional guide my philosophy was to provide the participants the information and details they would need if they chose to repeat the trip on their own. Rest assured I will draw upon my years of experience in trip planning to provide accurate and detailed information in our “Places To Paddle Series” so you can plan a successful trip.
Another need we are hoping to fulfill with our video guidebooks is to provide you with a recommended tour operator and rental locations as needed. When you have to travel long distances (especially by air) it is difficult to bring your boat if you don’t own a folding kayak. Finding a reliable place for renting paddling equipment is important when you cannot bring your own. When your time off is very limited, paying for a guided tour can be the best use of your time. See USK article, “Take A Tour.” If there is a reliable tour operator, that we feel we can endorse, in the areas of our recommended trips we will include them in our videos and on the tour web page.
We know that time and money are important to everyone. Since most folks have limited vacation time we understand you want to make the best use of your time. Since travel expenses are on the rise, it is important that you choose locations you will enjoy. Seeing people actually doing the tours is much more informative than just reading about the tour. Our video guidebooks are priced at $19.95 per DVD. We believe such a small investment is well worth it, when you consider the cost of travel and your time with respect to planning a trip. As we do with any USK video, if you purchase your guidebook directly from us and you don’t think it was worth the price you paid for the video, we will refund you the price of the video if you send it back to us. All we ask is you tell us why so we can improve the video in question and any future video guidebooks.
As the months and years go by, we hope to be adding more titles to our "Places To Paddling Series" of video guidebooks. We will be choosing areas where we like to paddle. In addition, we will explore areas where we think the average paddler would like to visit. Since we will be personally doing every trip, you will be getting first hand advice. As always, we appreciate any constructive feedback you have regarding our video guidebooks.
Visit the USK Store if you wish to purchase one of our video guidebooks.
USK Video Guidebooks:
Kaua’i Day Tours
Na Pali Coast Extended