Author Archives: Chris Hipgrave

December 21



December 16

Downwind Camp: Fish Hoek, South Africa

We’d been on the beach for just 2 minutes before the Mocke brothers started dropping nuggets of surfski knowledge on our international group of paddlers, underlining just how little I knew about the finer points of the downwind surfski padding. Over the next 2 weeks we’d be participating in their Downwind Camp at the famous […]

November 28

Race Recap: Big South Fork Dash

Kentucky hadn’t been on my race radar until recently when the Explore Kentucky Initiative started a race series across the state in some beautiful areas. That’s how I found myself at the series finale, competing in a 14 mile loop course in the Big South Fork Wilderness where Lake Cumberland backs up the Big South […]

August 06

Race Recap: Gorge Downwind Champs

The Gorge Downwind Championships has been an annual pilgrimage from its inception. It’s predecessor, the Wildside Relay, first introduced me to this downwind paradise, and I have enjoyed screaming upstream on the Columbia River in the shadow of snow capped volcanoes ever since. For 2017, the Gorge Downwind Championships would be my first “A” race […]

June 22

Outdoors Inc. Canoe & Kayak Race

This article is reposted with the kind permission of its author, Elmore Holmes. You can read his original post, here. Thanks Elmore! The Outdoors, Inc., Canoe and Kayak Race is in the books for another year.  This event has now happened 36 times, and I have participated myself 22 times. Today’s river level–13.5 feet on […]

April 27


The promise of a competitive surfski field drew me to the Carolina Cup for the first time this year. Historically a huge SUP race, the 13 mile Graveyard race is quickly gaining a reputation as a fun ocean race that now had the attention of the surfski community. Surfski participation jumped from just 12 in […]

April 14

2017 Shark Bite Challenge & Paddlefest

What does it take to run a massively successful paddling event with over 450 participants from all over the World, hundreds of spectators and dozens of vendors / sponsors? What does it take to bounce back to an even stronger event in the shadow of the US Coast Guard shutting down your event the year […]

March 30


I’ve been waiting on the second generation Epic Kayaks V12 for a long time. As an early adopter of the V14, I’ve loved the speed, clean lines and comfort of this speed demon, but as an inland paddler, I struggled with the stability on rough days out in the ocean. Basically, I would cross that […]

January 12


For my recent adventure to Antarctica, I needed to find a paddle I could both travel with and trust in this harsh environment. I needed a 4 piece paddle I could use every day to cover hundreds of kilometers; that suited my aggressive racing stroke (i.e., high angle and powerful blades); and one that would […]

January 05

Antarctic Peninsula – Update #3

My Antarctic adventure has come to an end and what as adventure it’s been. Since returning to sea to cross the Drake Passage and return to the Antarctic Peninsula, the weather has been unbelievably nice. The wind has died and the sun has been high in the sky rapidly accelerating the growth of the sea […]