Confluence Outdoor, parent company to nine paddlesports brands, is sponsoring events, projects and organizations in 2015 that protect rivers, unite communities and push the sport of whitewater kayaking to new levels. As part of the programs, Dagger, Wave Sport, Adventure Technology (AT) and Bomber Gear continue their commitment to every type of paddler, from beginners learning basic techniques to pros searching for the cleanest lines through Class V rapids.
“We’re proud to partner with altruistic organizations, river conservation groups, women’s and kids’ kayaking programs and inspirational events that celebrate paddling and support the river community at large,” says Confluence’s VP of Marketing Cheri McKenzie. “As an industry leader, Confluence is committed to programs that use kayaking to enrich lives and protect the rivers where we love to paddle.”
Dagger, Bomber Gear, AT and Wave Sport are sponsoring a diverse lineup of events, programs and non-profits in 2015 that support river conservation efforts and connect communities. All four brands will be donating raffle prizes for fundraising events at Gauley Fest, Deerfield Fest and Feather Fest to help American Whitewater continue to protect endangered rivers. Organizations such as First Descents and Dare to Kayak encourage young adults with cancer and low-income kids to discover their true potential through kayaking and the outdoors. Girls at Play and Women’s Takeover encourage female paddlers to get out on the water together, gain confidence and learn to be leaders in a positive, supportive environment.
Confluence brands will also be supporting elite competitions, expeditions and films that expand the boundaries of kayaking and adventure. The GoPro Games, North Fork Championship and the Whitewater King of New York drive kayaking to new levels with the best paddlers in the world vying for the top finishes. Chris Wing’s Instructor Troubleshooter video series shows instructors how to teach complex freestyle kayaking moves and basic techniques, encouraging the next generation of kayakers to develop into great paddlers. Tyler Bradt’s Wizard’s Eye Expedition, Tom Janney’s The Next Horizon Line video, Leeway Collective’s photo and video projects, and the Wells brothers’ Mountain Mind Collective movie, For the Love of It showcase incredibly talented paddlers exploring some of the hardest and most remote stretches of whitewater in the world.
About the Organizations
American Whitewater – Confluence Outdoor is a longtime partner of American Whitewater and its efforts to conserve and restore America’s rivers. In addition to supporting the organization and its mission, in 2015, Dagger, Wave Sport, Bomber Gear and AT are donating kayaks, paddles and apparel to AW fundraising events at Deerfield Fest, Feather Fest and Gauley Fest to help with their efforts to protect our country’s rivers from source to sea.
First Descents – First Descents offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same. In 2015, Dagger and Bomber Gear are strengthening their partnerships with the non-profit that was founded by professional kayaker and Team Dagger athlete, Brad Ludden. In addition to providing a kayaking package and three kayaks for First Descents’ annual fundraising events, Dagger and Bomber Gear will be raffling off kayaks and SUP and paddling apparel at the GoPro Games, North Fork Championships, Black Canyon Race, and SUP events. Dagger is also giving away a boat to the First Descents scholarship initiative. Dagger’s partnership with First Descents goes beyond sponsorship and fundraising and in 2015, Team Dagger athletes Adriene Levknecht and Gareth Tate will be instructing at camps and creating a video series about the organization.
Women’s and Kids’ Paddling Programs
Dare to Kayak – For the past 13 years, Team Wave Sport’s Devon Barker-Hicks has offered free kayaking courses to Idaho kids at the local pool and on the Salmon River throughout the summer. They are taught basic paddling and safety techniques that allow them to gain the necessary skills to become confident kayakers.
Girls at Play (GAP) – Dagger has been sponsoring Team Dagger athlete Anna Levesque’s Girls at Play for the past decade. Levesque founded GAP to empower women of all ages and paddling abilities to get out on the water together in an unintimidating environment where they could face their fears and gain self-confidence through paddling. Over the past ten years the organization has helped hundreds of women improve their techniques, overcome obstacles, and become leaders and instructors. In 2015, Dagger and AT will be sponsoring the Southeast Ladies Paddling Series, GAP’s free community paddling events held from June through October. Events will take place on the Lower Green, Tuck Gorge, Nantahala, Pigeon, Ocoee, Upper Green, Green River Narrows and the Lower Gauley, where a Dagger kayak will be raffled off to one lucky participant.
Women’s Takeover – Organized by Team Dagger athlete, Laura Farrell, the Women’s Takeover events are designed to bring large groups of women together to kayak, building a platform of support for female paddlers of all levels within each community. Taking place on rivers across the US this spring and summer, including on the Arkansas River at the CKS Paddlefest, Women’s Takeover events will include a day of kayaking down the river followed by a social gathering afterward with a raffle fundraiser to support the Shannon Christy Fund. For 2015, Dagger and AT are supporting Women’s Takeover so that women may find a fun, adventurous, supportive and empowering environment to develop their skills, create friendships, and gain self-confidence on the water. Team Dagger and AT team athletes Haley Mills, Emily Shanblatt, and Adriene Levknecht will help lead the groups on the water.
Events and Competitions
GoPro Mountain Games (June 4-7, 2015) – The GoPro Mountain Games is the nation’s largest celebration of adventure sports and mountain culture. Professional and amateur athletes from around the world will come to Vail, Colorado to compete in SUP, creeking and freestyle kayaking events. Dagger, Wave Sport, Bomber Gear and AT athletes will be contenders in the 8-Ball Kayak Sprint, Steep Creek Championship, Kayak Freestyle competition, the Downriver Sprint, SUP Surf Cross and SUP Sprint races. Dagger, Bomber Gear and AT will also have a booth in Gear Town where the brands will be raffling off prizes including a Dagger kayak to raise money for First Descents.
North Fork Championship (June 11-13, 2015) – An extreme competition between the most skilled kayakers in the world, the North Fork Championship takes place on the North Fork of the Payette River. Dagger is the official boat sponsor of this exciting event that attracts the best paddlers and hundreds of spectators to Idaho each year. Several Team Dagger, Team Wave Sport, Bomber Gear and AT athletes will compete at the fourth annual NFC, pushing the sport of kayaking to new levels while celebrating adventure and the kayaking community.
Whitewater King of New York (July – October, 2015) – The King of New York race series is a collection of New York State’s most exciting grassroots down-river events. The point-based series builds on the tradition of pick-up racing at whitewater festivals across New York State. Points will be awarded for finishes at community-organized races on the Black, Beaver, Raquette, and Moose rivers. The winner will be crowned King of New York at the Moose River Festival, where a Dagger Green Boat will be raffled off to one lucky participant and a Bomber Gear women’s package will be awarded to the winner of the Women’s Class.
Films and Expeditions
Instructor Troubleshooter Videos – For the second year in a row, Wave Sport is partnering with Chris Wing and H2O Dreams to build on the instructional Troubleshooter videos, which teach an innovative “how come” approach to freestyle paddling. In 2015, Wing is producing a series of concise instructional videos to help develop the leadership and technical skills of kayak instructors. The series, which will be available in August, will include topics ranging from creative drills and roll instruction to principles of teaching and rescue techniques.
Wizard’s Eye Expedition – Led by Team Dagger athlete Tyler Bradt, the Wizard’s Eye Expedition is a five-year journey around the globe to discover the world’s best white water and adventures. Embarking on his third year of the expedition, Bradt and the crew will be traveling through Asia, Africa and the Indian Ocean in between. They will be kayaking on classic stretches of whitewater such as the infamous Murchison section of the White Nile and remote rivers in Madagascar. The team will frequently release webisodes documenting their travels and adventures and they are using Dagger kayaks and Adventure Technology paddles for their whitewater endeavors.
The Next Horizon Line – Team Dagger’s Tom Janney has been busy traveling the world in search of the best whitewater in the U.S., Canada, Peru and Nepal. In the second year of his quest, Janney is documenting the rivers in all their glory in several short videos and numerous blog posts on thenexthorizonline.blogspot.com. Look for The Next Horizon Line videos on Dagger’s blog throughout the year.
Mountain Mind Collective – Team Dagger and AT athletes, Todd and Brendan Wells create visual excursions and narrated stories for every viewer. For The Love of It is a 45-minute feature film that follows the Wells Brothers on their global pursuit to “chase the flow” on the world’s most magnificent unexplored rivers starting at home in the Pacific Northwest. The film will showcase paddling on rivers in the Andes, Himalayas, and throughout North America. Dagger and AT are sponsoring the Mountain Mind Collective’s beautiful cinematic documentation of a year of whitewater exploration around the globe.
Leeway Collective – Adventure Technology’s latest collaboration with Leeway Collective was formed by a shared appetite for adventure. Leeway is a group of four passionate and experienced athletes who found common ground and friendship through a love for the outdoors and storytelling. Their mission is to enlighten people about getting outdoors and experiencing a sense of adventure and they have a true talent for capturing images and videos that will inspire people to spend time in nature and preserve wild places.