Help build guide to booming West Virginia paddling events

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Racers on stand-up paddleboards ply the New River. Photo by Brent Lewis courtesy .

Paddling sports such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are increasing in popularity in the Mountain State, and editors at West Virginia Explorer are asking for public input building a .

Editor-in-chief David Sibray says the online magazine that reaches more than a million visitors annually will publish and disseminate the guide electronically later this month and has already accrued more than two dozen events.

An ideal family sport, flat-water kayaking is increasingly popular.

Kayaking is huge in West Virginia now, and I expect that trend to continue for decades to come,” Sibray said, citing the restoration of the state’s rivers as a principal lure.

“People are discovering that there’s far more to the Mountain State than whitewater, and they’re using kayaks to explore our lakes and flat-water rivers in record numbers.”

Editors have been working since last summer with state officials and proponents of outdoor sports such as the and to understand and promote paddling.

“The numbers are incredible,” Sibray said. “According to Bill Curry, of the Coal River Group, the Dick’s Sporting Goods store at South Charleston sold more kayaks there than in any other of its 500 outlets.”

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Sibray worked with Melanie Seiler Hames, executive director of Active Southern West Virginia, to pull together the following paddling events calendar.

“Melanie knows recreation in West Virginia, so when she offered help pulling this together, I knew we’d come out with a nearly complete guide,” Sibray said.

“Though we know there’s a good chance we’ve missed a lot of events, which is why we’re immediately looking for any and all input.”

Sibray encouraged paddling event organizers and anyone who might have information on annual or inaugural events to email the editorial department at editor@wvexplorer or use the contact button at the bottom of this page to submit information.

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