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    A basic overview of kayaks and kayaking

     

    Kayaking is growing in popularity. It is a sport with a lot of variations, which are covered below in this article. A Basic Overview of Kayaks and Kayaking At its core, kayaking is simply a method of propelling oneself through a body of water by using ones own power. A paddle is used to do this with the paddle usually having two curved portions on each side to allow for a back and forth action unlike canoeing. This definition, however, fails in many ways since there are extremely different types of kayaking. Let’s take a look. Kayak roughly means hunting boat. It has been used throughout history by people living on shores to pursue food in the ocean. The indigenous people in the Arctic are believed to have been the first kayakers using wood frames covered by animal skins. In modern times, kayaking refers to a much broader scope of activities. That being said, the basic boat remains the same. Kayaks are long, thin and usually one person boats. They come in different forms and styles, which are primarily adapted to a particular style of kayaking. Sea kayaks are very long and thin, which helps them glide easily through the water. Kayaks designed for running challenging river rapids, on the other hand, are short to facilitate maneuverability and the opportunity to roll to upright oneself after being flipped upside down. While almost all kayaks are designed to have the person sit down in them, a certain class allows the person to site on a flat indention on the top of the kayak. Obviously, this type of kayaking is typically done on smooth surfaces such as lakes. As these designs seem to suggest, kayaking comes in a lot of forms. Some people love to take them out on a cruise around a bay in Alaska or any ocean areas. Other kayaking enthusiasts prefer to shoot the rapids of extreme rivers and will travel all over the world to do so. Kayaking is a huge adrenaline rush or a relaxing way to see sites up close and personal. You just have to make your choice, get out there and go.

         
    A review of popular river rafting trips and services

     

    Organized river rafting trips are a good idea for novices and experts alike. River rafting tours provide all of the equipment, guidance, and instruction necessary. If the trip covers several days, the rafting company may provide camping accommodations as well. Trips are available for rafters of all skill levels, from beginners rafting for the first time, to skilled experts looking for the toughest rivers in the country. River rafting tours are offered on many major rivers in the country. Trips are available in many different lengths, varying from an afternoon to a two week trek. River rafting trips designed for families as well as trips that cater to experienced rafters are available almost anywhere. While much river rafting is done in the Southwest, it is by no means the only place for a river rafting adventure. North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and many other states have great rivers for rafting. A couple of well-established river rafting outfitters are Dvorak Expeditions, California River Rafting Excitement, and the Nantahala Outdoor Center. All three of these companies offer great guides, top-of-the-line equipment, and routes on some of the best rivers. Dvorak Enterprises was the first outfitter given a river recreation outfitters license in 1969. Run by the world famous Bill Dvorak out of Salida, Colorado, this company offers exciting river rafting trips to visitors in many states including Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, and Texas, as well as New Zealand and Nepal. Dvorak Enterprises is known for its friendly, skilled, and knowledgeable guides. California River Rafting Excitement is one of the top-rated river rafting outfitters in the Sunshine State. This company offers river rafting trips on five different California rivers, has trips designed for families as well as experienced rafters, and offers camping equipment for trips lasting several days. Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina offers a variety of river rafting adventures on several rivers in the area. The rivers range in difficulty to accommodate rafters at any skill level, and Nantahala offers great guides as well as a rafting school for novices. River rafting trips are a fun way for adventurous travelers to unwind and relax. River rafting adventures are available for rafters of all skill levels, insuring that everyone will have a good, safe time.

         
    Adrenaline rafting basics

     

    Rafting down rapids is a good way to get the old ticker clicking over at a high rate. Here is an overview of the basics of rafting down the rapids. Adrenaline Rafting Basics In the last 30 years, rapids rafting has gained massive popularity. People tend to go in groups for a family gathering, friends reuniting and even corporate team building exercises. Rafting is massively fun and an undisputed adrenaline rush. At its core, whitewater rafting is simply the act of taking a raft down through turbulent areas of a river. These turbulent areas are known as rapids. Rapids are formed by three factors – constriction, gradient and obstruction. Water naturally flows downhill because of gravity. When it is constricted, it pushes in from the sides, speeding up and getting turbulent. Speed also increases when the gradient get steeper and, of course, obstructions cause water to crash into them and swirl around as the flow tries to find the best way to follow gravity. Each of these events causes rapids and the resulting turbulence churns the water thus causing the froth. The goal of rafting is to surf these rapids without being flipped or dragged under. Rapids are classified by six categories. Category 1 is a smooth river with no rapids. The categories climb from their too Category 6, which is either impassible or should only be attempted by experts. Most river rafting trips occur on Category 3 and 4 rapids, where the turbulence gives you an exciting ride, but with limited risk. River rafts are typically big and sturdy. They hold between six and 12 people spread equally on each side. Although an expert guide controls the steering at the back, most rafting companies allow the passengers to paddle on each side of the raft in their corresponding spots. River rafting has a certain risk factor and safety is paramount. All rafters absolutely should wear helmets and life jackets. Falling out of the raft can be a common occurrence depending on the river conditions. All rafters should be able to swim. There are thousands of rivers that are perfect for rafting trips. Most people choose a rafting company for their trip since the company is already familiar with the river conditions and has the necessary equipment.

         
    Airsoft guns should you own one

     

    BB guns are something you're all fairly familiar with but how many of you know anything about airsoft guns? The biggest mistake most gun fans make is to look at airsoft guns as just being toys. This is so far from the truth. The huge range of airsoft guns, rifles, pistols, shotguns and fully automatic machine guns offer a huge amount of fun and entertainment for anybody who wants to get involved. Even if you're a hardcore gunhead you'll still get a kick from airsoft weapons. Gun crime is an increasingly worrying problem internationally. This has led to a total backlash against weapon owners of all kinds. This has been taken to extremes whereby liberal parties have started imposing more and more rules on what types of weapons people can own. There is the common misunderstanding that anybody interested in weapons has violent tendencies - this couldn't be further from the truth. Appreciating the beauty of a replica firearm is no different to appreciating the lines of a sports car or admiring a piece of modern art. Airsoft guns haven't been around long but they've gathered a large following and are dominating the replica weapon and toy gun markets. So if you're always wanted to own your own Desert Eagle or M4 rifle then airsoft offers both a safe and fun way to do this. Standard BB guns fire a small lead pellet which can cause considerable harm when used by a skilled marksman. Unlikely to kill a human bb guns are used to hunt small rodents on farms all over the world - to great effect. Now not every gun enthusiast wants to go hunting. Maybe they just like the look and feel of a particular pistol or rifle. Airsoft guns are ideal for this type of gun fan. Airsoft ammunition is also non-lethal. Instead of a lead pellet a standard airsoft guns fires a 6mm plastic pellet that weighs between 0.12g and 0.20g. The heavier weights provide added accuracy. Do bear in mind that even though these pellets are plastic they can and do hurt when they hit you so never fire an airsoft gun at anybody unless they're wearing suitable protective clothing. The level of pain is on a par with being hit by a paintball. There are many different types of airsoft guns available. There are spring powered, gas powered, gas blowback and also finally the electronic type of airsoft gun - also referred to as AEGs. Many of the popular modern weapons are available in airsoft models. For example you can buy a Glock, Desert Eagle, Uzi, AK47 or CAR 15 gun for less money than you probably every imagined. You can even go as far as buying an airsoft minigun - if you have that kind of money. Airsoft guns provide a novel and interesting hobby for people from all walks of life and for all budgets. You don't need to spend a fortune getting started and believe me these guns really are great conversation pieces.

         
    Airsoft rifles for kids who never grew up

     

    Owning an airsoft rifle is the dream of every kid who just never really grew up. When we were kids we wanted the ultimate toy - a pellet gun that looked like what we saw in the movies. Airsoft rifles can fulfil that need - there's just something about them that turns grown men into kids all over again. Hundreds of thousands of airsoft owners all over the world can testify to this. Airsoft rifles may look like toys to some people but when you pick one up you suddenly realize that they're anything but toys. They mimic the real thing so closely that most airsoft guns are now manufactured with an orange flash at the end of the gun barrel. Why? So that both police and army personnel can tell the difference between a real gun and an airsoft model! Although airsoft rifles may look and feel somewhat like the real thing that's where the similarity ends. Airsoft guns are non-lethal because they only fire a 6mm plastic pellet. These are available in variety of weights as well as in glow-in-the-dark and paintball variants and are ideal for tin can or home target shooting. The neat thing about airsoft rifles are that you can own just about any rifle or assault rifle you can imagine - from the old Thomson submachinegun to the far more modern H&K G36 special ops assault weapon. You can buy a standard sighted rifle, sniper rifle, shotgun, sawn off shotgun, assault pistol and also standard carbines. Heck you can even own the Marine M-41A assault rifle from the Alien (TM) movies - it's a modifier kit for an M4 airsoft rifle but having this option is still incredible and a real bonus for the airsoft fans who also love sci-fi. Once you've picked the model you want you then need to choose what type of firing system the gun will have. Airsoft guns can be purchased in spring, gas and AEG (airsoft electric gun) variants with AEGs offering the highest firing rates and usually the highest pellet velocities. Certain spring powered airsoft rifles can outperform electric airsofts in single shot power however - so bear this in mind when you're buying your new gun. Spring powered are the cheapest, gas powered are next up from there and finally AEGs top the table in terms of cost (but also in terms of features and fun). Words can't really express the feeling of excitement you feel when you get your first airsoft gun. There's hours of fun target and tin can shooting ahead of you. Have fun with your gun and stay safe!

         
    All you need to know about skydiving

     

    Having decided to jump from a perfectly good aircraft, my next question was, “Now what?”So I did the research and asked as many questions as I could think of about skydiving, and there were quite a few, considering the nature of the sport. Here is what I learned. The Basics First, you will need to find a skydiving school with a good reputation. This is a fairly easy thing to do. The internet, phone book, and local airports are full of them. Next, you will need to check your pocket book. Skydiving is one of the more expensive sports to learn. Then, you will need to decide how you want to learn. There are three methods of training: tandem, static line, and Accelerated Free Fall (AFF).All of these methods have their benefits and drawbacks, but we will touch more on those a little later. What’s First? Health and Safety. First, you must consider health and safety. Know the risks involved before you get involved. Skydiving is not chess; you will not be sitting on an uncomfortable concrete bench moving your pieces around a game board. You are going to step out of an airplane and, in freefall, will reach speeds of up to 250 feet per second… that is 110 miles per hour!!If you have a bad ticker, unregulated high blood pressure, or any number of other health problems, speak to an instructor and discuss your options in detail. Also keep in mind, even the best of the best in this sport sometimes hit the ground a little harder then they intend to. So, bad knees may also be a consideration. DO NOT be afraid or embarrassed to discuss these things with your instructor before making that first jump. It is always preferable to hit the ground safely then to plant yourself in it. Truthfully though, with the proper preparations and instruction you would be more likely to develop cataracts from reading this article then suffer a serious injury from skydiving. Listen to your instructors, know your equipment, and never assume you know how to do something just because you saw it in a movie. Which Training Method To Use? Training Methods As I researched information, I discovered that there are three approved methods of training to become a licensed skydiver, the Tandem jump, the Static jump, and the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF). Tandem The tandem jump is the easiest and quickest method to get into the air. With ground training typically lasting about 30 minutes, you will then jump out of an airplane while strapped to the chest of a professional Tandem Instructor. After three or four of these jumps and completion of the approved First Jump Course (ground school), a student may then move on to the next level. Tandem jumping, however, does provide an opportunity for the adventurous spirit who may not quite meet the physical or proficiency requirements for the static line or accelerated free fall jumps. By relying on tandem instructor's skills, it may still be possible to experience the extreme thrill of skydiving. Static Line Static line skydiving was developed by the military as a safety measure for paratroopers. It is used for instant and reliable deployment of parachutes at a relatively low altitude, about 2000 – 3000 feet. Basically what happens is a specially designed cord is attached to the plane and to your parachute. As you step away from the plane, the cord immediately deploys your parachute for you. No fuss – no muss. After about two of these jumps the student begins demonstrating mock-pulls of a dummy ripcord. After about three of these jumps the student is then ready for their first free fall. Accelerated Free Fall This is the way to go for the adrenalin junky out there. Why? You get to free fall from jump one!!Of course this method is a little more expensive due to the fact that you will have two instructors jumping with you, and, although you will be in free fall, the instructors will maintain hands-on contact at all times during free fall. After a few jumps like this, you will begin doing it on your own with a single instructor giving more advice and training. This method will get you your class a license a little faster. Training Completed!!Really? After Class After you have completed 4 to 5 hours of ground school training and have made 25 jumps, you are qualified for a license and can keep going all the way to your D license, requiring 500 jumps. But once you have your license, are you really done? The answer to that question is no. As with any skill, you never learn everything. There is always going to be that next skill level to work towards. New equipment and techniques are being developed every day. So the only thing left to do now is to get started! Have fun and good jumping!

         
    Are cheap airsoft guns reliable

     

    There is always one key question On every shoppers mind - how cheap can I get it? This is true of airsoft guns too. We all expect to be able to get the best possible deal with anything we buy today. Fortunately investing in an airsoft gun doesn't have to break the bank - you can get some exciting models at very attractive prices. The quality and features of your airsoft replica will depend on your budget. There are three basic types of airsoft gun - in order of expense they are: Spring These are the cheapest airsoft guns you can get. An internal spring shoots the pellet from the gun. They're single shot guns which means you'll need to cock the gun each time you want to fire one of the plastic bbs. This can get annoying at times but these guns can be purchased for just a few dollars. Gas Gas powered models add one immediate feature - automatic fire. With a gas powered airsoft rifle or pistol you don't need to cock the gun each time because it has a gas charge built in. These are far more powerful than most spring airsoft guns and slightly more expensive. This extra power comes at an added expense - the gas needs to be refilled. This can be achieved with co2 cartridges or a portable hand pump. For the added expense gas airsoft guns definitely feel more like the "real thing". Electric And finally the electric airsoft gun. Also known as AEG (Airsoft Electric Gun) these are the top of the range when it comes to airsoft guns. Each AEG has a tiny but very powerful motor inside which powers the firing mechanism. There is still a spring inside an AEG but this is controlled by the electronic motor to achieve high rates of fully automatic fire. One of the really neat things about this type of airsoft gun is that it can be loaded with miniature paintballs. A word of warning however - if a paintball breaks inside an AEG it can clog up the entire firing mechanism meaning you'll have to strip the gun down and clean it. So with airsoft guns it's best not to focus on the word cheap. What you're looking for is value for money and the features that suit you most. You can buy an airsoft gun for less than $20. That doesn't make it cheap - just very good value for money. Regardless of the cost of your airsoft gun once your friends see your new "toy" they'll want one too!

         
    Attention all skiers try snowboarding

     

    Do you love winter? Or, more importantly, do you love spending time in the cold winter weather? If so, and you are looking for a great new activity to try this winter, consider snowboarding. For many people, the idea of snowboarding sounds dangerous, like it was only for crazy teenage boys. The idea of skiing down a large hill or mountain sounds scary enough and the idea of doing it with a snowboard sounds too hard to be tried. If these are your thoughts, you should think again. Whether you have been skiing for years or if you have never made it down a winter mountain, snowboarding can be a great way to spend winter days. If you have been a skier and are thinking of branching out into the world of snowboarding, congratulations. The best advice I can give you is to be patient. Because snowboarding is similar to skiing and yet very different, some people who ski well will find that snowboarding comes naturally and quickly while others will find the learning process grueling and frustrating. Stick with it because eventually the tricks of snowboarding can come to almost anyone. If you have never been a skier, have no fear. Having a skiing background is not always necessary or even beneficial in learning snowboarding skills. You, a non-ski expert, may actually pick up the techniques of snowboarding much easier than your skier friends. After some time you may find that snowboarding fits you like a glove. Allow me to offer a couple of words of advice to anyone, ski expert or not, that desires to enter the world of snowboarding. First, do not expect to jump on a board and pick up the skill all on your own. Most people will benefit greatly from taking snowboarding lessons at least to learn the basics of the sport. So do not hesitate to sign yourself up for a lesson or two before you head out to the slopes. A second and perhaps more important piece of advice is simple: rent. Resist that temptation to run out and buy the latest board and snowboarding gear just to look like a seasoned pro on the slopes. On your first few times out you should rent equipment and take the time to learn what kinds of boards best meet your needs. By renting you can avoid making a costly mistake that will leave you frustrated later. So, whether you have been skiing for years or not, when winter comes around again make the choice to learn a new skill. Who knows, snowboarding could fast become your favorite source of winter fun.

         
    Base jumping a truly extreme sport

     

    BASE jumping is not a sport for the faint of heart. Athletes who practice this extreme sport climb to the top of tall buildings, canyons, or other structures; jump off; enjoy a period of free falling; then open a parachute and coast to the ground. The acronym BASE stands for building, antennae, span, and earth; which make up a comprehensive list of what kinds of fixed objects BASE jumpers plummet from. Span is a term that includes all sorts of bridges, or any other structures that span over a valley or chasm. Earth means anything from cliffs to mountains to canyons. BASE jumping is very dangerous for a variety of reasons, but the most common causes of injury and death have to do with failure to maintain a clear area around the athlete during the jump and/or the landing. If the wind is against them or if they make a mistake during the launch of their jump, athletes sometimes collide with the object that they have jumped from. Because BASE jumping areas are usually not designated for this guerilla-style sport, the makeshift landing targets that jumpers aim for are rarely large enough to allow for a safe jump. As a result many BASE enthusiasts meet with serious and sometimes fatal injuries because they haven’t been able to steer themselves to the landing area in time. Many people compare BASE jumping to bungee jumping without a bungee cord, but it is actually much closer to skydiving without an airplane. Jumpers practice many of the same techniques that divers use to maintain stability and altitude awareness while they are in the air. Before becoming a BASE jumper, an athlete must complete a full course of skydiver training. Once they have their full skydiving certification, the next step for anyone interested in BASE is to find a mentor in the jumping community who can teach them how to take on these ambitious freefalls. Only experienced divers can even contemplate a BASE jump because this kind of unguided and somewhat unpredictable activity requires razor sharp awareness of altitude, along with stellar free fall technique. BASE jumping is one of the most dangerous sports practiced today. Every year, BASE jumping leads to several fatalities, and most major BASE societies and clubs have seen at least one member perish in pursuit of the sport that he or she loved. Because no two jumps are alike, it is very difficult to predict what will happen once you start plummeting towards the ground. This means that to survive a BASE jump you need to have a very level head, an ability to react to surprises without panicking, and lightning speed reflexes that will allow you to make instantaneous adjustments in your position or your trajectory. However, no amount of experience can guarantee that you will complete your jump without mishap, so even very accomplished jumpers are taking serious risks every time they prepare to hurl themselves off of a building, antennae, span, or natural cliff.

         
    Become part of the clouds when you learn to skydive

     

    One way to experience the extreme sports craze is to learn to skydive. Skydiving is one of the most popular extreme sports in society today. It is also one of the safest, despite persistent rumors and fears about the sport itself. In order to learn to skydive, it is important to follow proper procedures. The first thing to do if you would like to learn to skydive is to read all of the information you can about the sport. The next thing you must do to learn to skydive is locate a company with fully certified instructors. This can typically be done through the world wide web or your copy of your local yellow pages or a nearby city's business pages. It is also possible to call the United States Parachute Association, and they can recommend a good company in your area to help you learn to skydive. You must also decide on which type of training you want to engage in. One way to learn to skydive is to take a tandem jump. During a tandem jump, you will be strapped to an instructor who will guide you step-by-step through the jump. While you are required to take a brief training session, you will also get to jump the same day. Learning to parachute jump is both fun and challenging Another way to learn to skydive is to take static line lessons. During a static line lesson, the student undergoes four to six hours of serious training before the jump. The final jump takes place with a static line attached to the aircraft. The line deploys the chute for the jumper, thus eliminating concerns that the inexperienced jumper will not open his chute at the correct time. A final way to learn to skydive is to take free fall lessons. During this type of instruction, students undergo several hours of training. They make their actual jump with two instructors, but get the opportunity to experience a fifty second free fall by themselves. While learning to skydive, it is important to ask any questions you have of your instructor. Skydiving is a very dangerous sport, but it can be very fun if proper safety precautions are taken. Lessons by certified instructors can help one learn to skydive.

         
    Beginner adventure racing advice getting started adventure racing

     

    Where does the beginner adventure racing start out, what work out plan for adventure racing should I use. What adventure racing gear is needed, what will race day be like, these are some of the questions answered by Beginner adventure racing advice. Some racers have come from a tri-athelon background and for them the conversion is easy, it’s just a matter of replacing swimming with kayak or canoeing. A work out plan for adventure racing will need to be scheduled for six to eight weeks prior to the event putting in training on the three basic disciplines, running, mountain biking and kayaking. A lot of beginner adventure racing omit training in Kayaking and canoeing. Most times kayaks or canoes are supplied by race organiser, Running and Mountain biking should be practised on trails gravel roads and single tracks, starting off with 30 minute sessions and building to 90 minutes remembering to put in some varied countryside and hills if possible. Navigation is another area which is overlooked; if you have an orienteering club near you it is well worth joining then you can practice your running and navigation at the same time. A beginner adventure racing does not need special clothes to start with a race vest and shorts or leggings will do fine for the first few races, together with a running shoe or cross trainer which are the most suitable footwear for both for the running and mountain biking sections. You will also need a hydro-pack or bottle carriers for water and snacks such as energy bars or gelspass and map holder. The biggest expense will be a mountain bike, although any bike can be used the most popular one is a hardtail that has front suspension. Remember also to have a toolkit with patches and gas inflator together with spare tubes. You will also need to put together a small first aid kit, with plasters, steristrips, antiseptics, scissors, tweezers and don’t forget you will need Vaseline or Bodyglide to help prevent saddle sores and the like. Beginner adventure racing involves passing through a number of check points or control points, at these points the beginner adventure racer will need to either clip a race card or have their time recorded in a passport. Care must be taken not to lose the card or passport as it is the only way of proving you have followed the correct course. Except in Score races where competitors a given a set time to reach as many check points as possible it is important to move through the checkpoints in the correct order. What type of race should a beginner adventure racing enter, the sprint race lasting a few hours or a longer race up to 24 hours. Many people assume the sprint race is the easiest, however the truth lies in the name a sprint is usually fast paced, so if you walk or jog you will be in trouble, if you have a background of running this is a fine starting point. The longer the race the slower the pace for the beginner adventure racing and the slower pace allows one to take in and enjoy the great outdoors which is a big part of what beginner adventure racing is about, meeting people and discovering new places whilst learning about oneself. On the day of the race remember to drink plenty of water to fully hydrate your body and get to the race area as early as possible. As soon as you can track down the registration area and get the formalities out of the way. Recheck the start time and then go to the starting area and check out the lay of the land., Competitors will start to gather in the starting area to pick prime positions. Once you have done your final checks, Sort out where you will start. I always suggest picking an area at the side, so you do not get overrun in the melee that usually develops. Try to get a clean start but keep to your own pace, if you have plan stick with it The field spreads out quite quickly after the gun and within fifteen minutes virtually everyone is settled into their racing pace, now is the time to take your first sip of water (you should be drinking every 15 minutes) and take a look around you. Althuogh you should be racing your own race it’s nice to have company Some races have courses laid out with marshals, markers and tapes to keep you on the course, others require you to navigate with compass and instructions from point to point. In the latter races you may benefit from being with someone else, however be wary of blindly following the person or team in front they might be lost. Transitions are where the beginner adventure racing changes from one discipline to another. This is where time can be lost or gained; more often than not this is where the beginner adventure racing loses out. Approaching the transition is where the beginner adventure racing should be mentally rehearsing what they will do, perhaps change socks, replenish water bottles and restock gel or food bars. The least you do the quicker the changeover will be, however is you are developing a hotspot or blister you should deal with it before continuing. Once away from transition it’s about getting back into the racing rhythm and finding the next checkpoint. and the next transition area until you arrive at the finish line tired and dishevelled and perhaps collapse in a heap saying you will never do it again. When you reflect on Beginner adventure racing, you can look back in pride having taken on nature, the course designer and challenged yourself and won, yes that’s right everyone is a winner. Rather than sitting in an armchair watch others, you have gone out and done it yourself, and gained some healthy exercise at the same time.

         
    Bike and run adventure racing on a budget

     

    Gerald Fusil is a man who always puts his ideas into action and others follow. The founder of the Raid Gauloises, The world’s first true expedition race is always on the lookout to expand the sport. The cost of competing in adventure racing has reached a level that few teams can now afford. Organisers and adventure racers are faced with high travel and insurance costs. One way to attract racers is to offer large sums in prize money, and top teams can make a living, but what about the average racer. Last Year, During the annual Reunion D’Aventures race, Gerard Fusil added a bike and run discipline which required the four person team to share two mountain bikes during a couple of legs of the race. The trial was a success as teams were forced to think of tactics to complete the legs in the fastest possible way. Some teams doubled up on the downhill sections, others stayed, whilst the more successful set up a relay system with the rider going a set distance before leaving the bike at the edge of the track for their team mate, who would get on and then leapfrog them. Gerard Fusil saw an opportunity to return once again to the basis of Expedition Adventure Racing. Providing teams the chance to explore a country, interface with the local population and race in exotic locations with out the need to transport large amounts of gear. Gerard Fusil announced his ideas at the Reunion D’Aventures prize giving and the world waited with bated breadth. September 2005 saw Gerard Fusil Launch the Bike and Run Concept to the World with the Oman Adventure. Details were brief, two person teams to share one bike with only one person to be on the bike at one time. The race would be run in a number of stages including a night stage and teams had to be prepared to camp in the wild. Time was short so Gerard Fusil used the course notes from the 1992 Raid Gauloises for parts of the course. Gerald Fusil made one other departure from the norm by pre-announcing the lengths of each stay and the names of the overnight camps. The race was to take place on the East Coast of Oman, however some of the place names were only known to the locals. December 2005. A barmy evening camped by the sea saw Gerard Fusil briefing the gathered teams from France, Oman, UK, Rйunion, Austria, Holland and Australia. Most teams had arrived in the morning so had little time to prepare. Support vehicles were shared by two teams, so competitors spent the night poring over maps and packing gear into the vehicles by torchlight. The following day at dawn a convoy of vehicles transported the team to the start line in a nearby Wadi. The first day included a section of running only along goat tracks and this proved to be decisive as the Australian and one local Omani team got lost allowing a French team to build an unassailable lead. Later in the week Gerard Fusil had mapped out the course with a 17k twisting climb from the sea to 1500 metres and also a section of canyoning with a number of swims. Gerard Fusil had arranged camping or bivouacs in a number of scenic areas, with the stages starting in the early morning most teams would finish around mid-day or early afternoon. The terrain in Oman is varied from lush oasis to harsh rocky hillsides and of course seas of sandiness where the teams finished the race. Gerard Fusil held the prize giving in Muscat the winners being a husband and wife team Wilsa Sport Helly Hansen from France. Second place went to the Australians and a Local Omani team came in third. Teams came from many different backgrounds, Adventure racers, tri-athletes, marathon runners, mountain bikers; the final count saw adventure racers however leading the way. Virtually all teams adopted the general tactic of leap frogging, however there were at least a couple of incidents when teams missed the bike, including one on the long climb for an all female team which required an extra 4k to be covered to collect the bike! The Inaugural race proved to be a success and now Gerald Fusil has announced the second race of the series which will return to a different area of Oman at the end of November. .

         
    Brief overview of dive flags

     

    The Dive Flag has become the symbol for the exciting sport of scuba diving in recent history. This unique flag is recognized by many but is more then just a symbol for scuba diving. In most areas, local laws and policies require one most use a dive flag while diving. Here in the United States, the dive flag is a red flag with a white diagonal stripe running usually running from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Dive flags which are usually vinyl, are mounted in a variety of ways, whether it be on the boat your diving from or the standard fiberglass staff where the flag is stiffened with a wire so that it stands out from the staff at all times. When diving without a boat the flag is usually held afloat by securely attached float. There are a variety of other attachments that secure a dive flag to an inner tube and other buoyant items. Whatever way you choose to mount your dive flag, you must be sure it clearly visible to other boaters. Laws requiring how far boats must keep from dive flags vary from state to state and internationally but distances usually range from 50 to 150 feet. Divers are often required to surface within 25 feet of the flag, and not doing so could be fatal to the diver. If your diving area is larger then the distance allowed by law, multiple dive flags should be used that are separated then no more then 100 feet apart to ensure boaters can see and obey the laws. Internationally, the alpha flag, a swallow-tailed blue and white flag, is used when diving from a vessel. The dive flag is not only one of your cheapest purchases in scuba diving but also one of your most important.

         
    Choosing your scuba diving equipment

     

    Before taking up scuba diving as a recreational sport, it is important that you get yourself the necessary scuba equipment and gear. There are many options available but if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start from the basics such as the mask, fins, snorkel, and weight belt, then move on to advanced sets later. The Basics: The diving mask allows you to see underwater through the glass plate in front. Most diving masks are constructed in such a way that a user can breathe out into the mask. This prevents the “squeeze” during the descent caused by pressure. Choose a mask that properly fits your face and forms a seal. Most scuba diving masks come with a rubber or silicone "skirt" that creates a watertight seal with the diver's face. There are several types of diving masks such as full face diving masks that allow underwater verbal communication, diving helmets using surface supplied diving equipment etc. Prescription masks are also available for people who wear prescription glasses. The Fins allow you to move freely underwater and should perfectly fit the feet. It should neither be too tight nor too loose which can hamper swimming capabilities, be very uncomfortable and even dangerous while taking a dive. The snorkel lets you breathe at the surface without raising your head from the water, and should be no lesser than 30 cms in length. The weight belt helps you maintain buoyancy so you should consider getting one if you’re a beginner. Diving suits like Wetsuits and Drysuits provide thermal insulation and prevent complications such as hypothermia. Remember that water conducts heat 25 times faster than air from the body. So, choose a suit depending on how warm or cold your diving water is going to be. Scuba Sets: There are two main types of scuba sets – open-circuit and closed-circuit. Most scuba divers use standard air - 21% Oxygen, 79% Nitrogen – for their open-circuit scuba sets, which is much more cost-effective than using mixtures such as heliox and trimix. The open-circuit scuba set (also known as Aqualung) itself is quite simple so is also cheaper and more popular than other types. Basically, the user breathes in from the set and out to waste, with the gas cylinder worn on the back. There are 2- and 3 backpack cylinders open-circuit scuba sets available. Closed-circuit scuba sets use rebreathers. In this system, exhaled air is reprocessed by the rebreather to make it fit for re-inhalation. This can be very economical for people who need to take long dives. The three types of rebreathers include oxygen, semi-closed circuit and fully-closed circuit rebreathers. Accessories you should consider: Regulator and Buoyancy Compensator (BC) – The regulator, which carries the air from your cylinder, should be equipped with a gauge and second mouthpiece. The Buoyancy Compensator, such as such as a back-mounted wing or stabilizer jacket, is crucial for neutral buoyancy to control depth. Dive watch: Electronics like a dive watch comes in quite handy when measuring your time and depth underwater. A dive computer is also available for the same purpose which is more accurate but more expensive. If you plan to really move head with your scuba diving adventure, consider getting other useful accessories such as underwater light, a surface marker-buoy (SMB), a knife, and a compass etc. Experienced divers, Scuba Dive centers, websites, magazines, etc will all be able to assist you when searching for the right scuba diving equipment and accessories.

         
    Danger equals a water powered parachutes jump in an extreme situation

     

    A water powered parachute jump is primarily executed in emergency situations only. During this jump, the jumper prepares as he might for any other jump. The real difference between this jump and another is that he lands in the water. Water parachute jumping isn't really something for members of the general public to engage in, as it offers extra dangers that traditional jumping does not. Water parachute jumping must take place in water of appropriate depths. Landing in water that is too shallow can cause spinal cord injuries and drowning. As a result, typically only emergency personnel and members of the armed services complete water parachute jumping. In order to engage in a water parachute jump, a member of the military must demonstrate his or her swimming ability both in and out of the uniform. Because water parachute jump style emergencies will sometimes take place while crew members are wearing their full uniforms, members often practice in full uniform. Members must also go through training that teaches them how to get out from under the parachute once it has collapsed in the water. As with any fabric, the material used to make parachutes gets quite heavy when wet. Because with a water jump there is the added risk of drowning, military service personnel are trained about how to get rid of the parachute to avoid the serious risk of drowning once they hit the water. Jumpers are also trained in the use of flotation devices, which also reduce the risk of drowning once a jumper lands in the water. The Florida National Guard trains for a water parachute jump on a regular basis. Because Florida is the regular recipient of tropical storms, hurricanes, and other water disasters, guard members must be ready to make a water parachute jump at all times. They must always wait for training, though, until the water levels in their practice drop zones are just right to avoid the dangers of landing in shallow water. Before any jump, they take a refresher type training course. Then they are loaded into a plane, typically a C-23, and they make their jump. These jumps provide service personnel members with confidence in case they are ever required to make an actual water parachute jump in the line of duty.

         
     
         
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