Water Sports


How a carpentry-challenged nonsurfer built a classic wooden longboard with his own kook hands.

Our boy Kevin Fedarko has a video segment on Playboy.com that examines his job as a latrine boat operator for river tour groups in the Grand Canyon. Fedarko spent the spring of 2009 manning the Jackass, a river raft that he used to haul “poo boxes” and “pee buckets,” and…

The kayaking community is gearing up to participate in the international day of climate action on Oct. 24. Kayakers will form the number 350 in the water in Portland to show their support for the UN Climate Change Conference in December. Watch…

Congratulations to Laurin Weisenthal of Huntington Beach, CA, who just swam the English Channel in one of the fastest times in history. Weisenthal, 25, made the swim from England to France in just 8 hours and 33 minutes; many of the 1,000 people who have completed the swim take well…

In our October issue, we mention 350.org and their mission to make October 24, 2009 a day of activism to promote the signing of a new climate-change treaty at the UN Summit in Copenhagen this December. All over the world, people plan to make the message…

First Descents, founded by kayaker Brad Ludden, sponsors whitewater kayaking camps for young adults with cancer. Since it's start about 10 years ago, it has sent more than 600 cancer patients to these adventure camps, with this year proving to be the most…

When you're crossing to Florida the hard way–across 800 miles of water, with six people and no motor, in a 21-foot handmade open boat–it's a long, long way from Haiti to Miami.

Asperger’s turns social interaction into a source of suffering. “It’s like everyone else has a bucket for dealing with people,” says Clay, “and I only got a cup.”

I'm going into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a ten-day trip. On previous excursions I've taken too many clothes and too few clothes, but never found the perfect mix. How do you pack clothing for a long trip? Greg Flower Mound, TX

In Michigan, you’re never more than 90 miles from a Great Lake, which is the reason, I suppose, it’s nicknamed the Great Lakes State. By those standards, it should also be dubbed the Unbelievably Sick Trout-Water State. The Au Sable, the “Big” and Little Manistee, the Muskegon—there are quality rivers…

The musky is the alpha male of the aquatic world, feared by children and hunted compulsively by grown men. And, yes, catching one really is worth all the fuss.

Putting off med school to train for the English Channel swimming record? Now that's a gap year. San Francisco-based Laurin Weisenthal, 25, who helped her Harvard swim team win an Ivy League championship and break into the NCAA's top 25, plans to make her attempt at the 25-mile, 58-degree crossing…

Whitewater's brightest stars are launching bigger drops than ever. But it'll take more than sweet photos to right this fading sport.

All you need to cast away.

I'm headed to Maui in December and would like to do more than just sit on the beach. What are some things a serious athlete could do on the island over a week's time? Mark R. Madison, WI

Make your next fishing trip to Alaska memorable with a stay at one of these resorts.

In one corner of Alaska's Bristol Bay, the sockeye salmon, a $300 million resource that's sustained fishermen like 29-year-old captain Lindsey Bloom for more than 100 years. In the other, the Pebble Mine, with its projected hundreds of billions in copper and gold. Get ready for the fiercest wilderness rumble since ANWR.

Slab waves bring on the next frontier of surfing.

Video and Gallery

Photo Gallery

CEO, Evolve Sports and Mavericks Surf Ventures, San Francisco, CA

A new light-weight fly reel.

Our favorite banking scion's latest adventure puts all eyes on the soiled seas.

Pay attention, young adventurers—school's in session

It was supposed to be a dream trip: a week along one of Europe's last empty coastlines, riding waves, drinking wine, and sleeping on the beach. And it (mostly) was.

With its SoCal sun and NoCal sensibility, Santa Barbara is about the best place in the lower 48 for an early-spring mix of surfing and cycling—and for anyone in pursuit of a good glass of wine. While last November's fires scoured 1,940 acres in Santa Barbara County, the flames spared the city center and the majority of the recreational trails surroundi

Gallery and Video

Two of the world's best spearfishermen hunt for fish the size of offensive linemen.

Surfing's superstars dish on waves, winning, and women

Larry Ellison's new yacht might prove the fastest (and most dangerous) sailboat ever—if a judge doesn't keep it from racing

Drop into the coral reef at Pipeline and you'll probably get hurt. Drop in on a member of Hawaii's locals-only Wolf Pack and you're just asking for trouble. Here, Kala Alexander—surfer, actor, businessman, and the North Shore's most notorious enforcer—opens up about localism in the lineup, how to earn his respect, and his hopes for a m

What do you suggest for a cheap winter trip to Baja, Mexico? Bix F. Milwaukee, WI

Kelly Slater takes time out after his ninth World Surfing Championship to answer a few questions

John Long was living the greatest adventure of his life, sailing home from San Francisco to his native Ireland. But when his beaten and bruised body was found floating off the lawless, empty coast of Chiapas, it was a scene that sailor and author David Vann knew all too well.

A British freediver attempts to counter her archrival by swimming a natural tunnel on a single breath

It's the antithesis of the bleached-out, overfished reefs that divers find around the world—a place where the sea is still bursting with life, and hope for the ocean endures. Pull on a tank in Indonesia's remote Raja Ampat and witness diving's final frontier.

But it isn’t because of my dance moves: my life at the helm of a Colorado River latrine raft

The West’s desperate water shortage may get a year’s reprieve. Last winter’s epic snowpack—in some places the biggest since the 1960s— is fueling the best whitewater season since the invention of self-bailing rafts. The timing couldn’t be better: 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Traveling to Canada no longer comes with a discount, but our neighbor still has eight times as much wilderness as we do

Behind The Scenes

Bemoaning our cultural wipeout

Get dialed for summer's coolest sport

What outdoor things can I do while in Charleston, SC? Nicole Fort Atkinson, WI

Photo Gallery

PORTSMOUTH ISLAND, NORTH CAROLINA – On a weekend last summer, while the rest of the beachgoing world descended upon overrun sand traps like Nags Head and Virginia Beach, I took a 4×4 and a shortboard and made for Portsmouth Island. There are a few selling points to this skinny, 18-mile-long…

Meet the heir to the throne of big-wave surfing

1. WILSON AVP REPLICA BALL You might not be able to spike like Misty May-Treanor, but you won’t be able to blame the ball. This soft, composite-leather volleyball is a facsimile of what the pros use. $15; wilson.com Women’s Beach Gear Essentials 2. LOLË…

In your dreams. (You couldn't keep up anyway.) But that doesn't mean you can't learn a few things about maximizing your summer fun from surf goddess Malia Jones.

Photo Gallery and Video

I'll be heading to London on business for a week in early September. Are there any outdoor adventures to be had while I'm there? I was thinking of rafting in Scotland, but is there anything closer? Alex N. Ann Arbor, MI

At least that's what veteran action photographer Tony Harrington told us. So when he assembled a team of world-class athletes and brought them to a secret spot in New Zealand where you can ski and surf in the same day, we agreed to send a writer. Too bad he never mentioned the midgies.

How to bring the world's freshwater woes into focus? Try 3-D. On one of the most ambitious Imax projects to date, 44 river warriors including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Wade Davis go sloshing down the Grand Canyon—and try not to drop the million-dollar cameras into the drink.

With Kelly Slater as his chief ambassador, SoCal surf legend Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz had a plan to teach the kids of Israel and Palestine how to get barreled—and bring peaceful vibes to the Middle East along the way. Of course that was before the Hamas supporters, the hashish, and the paparazzi got in the way.

You skipped breakfast because you overslept because you couldn’t fall asleep because you didn’t have enough time to exercise. Sound familiar? Then turn the page and let us—and Michael Phelps—show you how to recalibrate for your best year ever.

An Aussie filmmaker makes waves with a documentary about gang life Down Under

The next milestones of adventure aren't about reaching new heights. They're about changing the game.

As Katie Arnold found out in the September 2007 feature story, “The Alpha Geek,” world champion kayaker Eric Jackson and the rest of his clan can white water rodeo with the best of them. See more of photographer Jake Chessum’s shots of the fam in action here.

Bobby Martinez turned to the waves and stayed off the street

For more than 150 years, sophisticated anglers have lusted after bamboo fly rods—specifically, those made of Chinese Tonkin cane—but they’ve always faced the same drawback: The nodes between segments, like hinges, cause weak points. Now, Colorado rod builder Bernard Ramanauskas, 36, has developed a chemical treatment that stiffens the wood’s…

A journey from model surfer to model/surfer

San Francisco pitcher Barry Zito on surfing, traveling, and career-ending shark attacks

The revival of a Hawaiian tradition gives us even more reasons to love the ocean

How do three guys who get paid to surf the world, shoot movies, and design sweet gear still make you want to pick up their tab?

The world's greatest Communist supereconomy needs all the power it can get. The devil's choice: Keep burning dirty coal, or tap into Yunnan's crashing rivers for clean, cheap electricity. With dams rising up all around, PATRICK SYMMES joins a team of Chinese and American rafters as they outrun the concrete on a wild descent of the Yangtze.

Restrictions on personal watercraft threaten California's baddest wave

I’m rafting the Colorado River in April and need rain gear, but I don’t know what to buy. Any help would be appreciated. Troy Huntington Beach, California

Score with a bargain rain shell, an eco-friendly PFD, and more of the season's hottest new gear

With our guide to bareboating, it's easier than ever to rent and rule your own sailing ship

I need a racking system for snowboards and skis that will also work for surfboards and bikes. I’m open to a trailer hitch system for the bikes, because I’m not sure I can lift my bike onto the car. I have a 2002 BMW 530. What do you recommend? Ann Culver City, California

If you follow surfing, you know the season-ending Pipeline Masters is the biggest stop on the World Championship Tour. But you also know that Kelly Slater all but secured his eighth WCT title months ago. So why watch? Because the December 8-20 contest (follow online at triplecrownofsurfing.com),…

I'll be vacationing with my parents in Cabo San Lucas and I’d like to learn to surf. Where are the best beaches to learn and who offers lessons? Jeremy Detroit, Michigan