For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Extreme Activities in New Zealand

March 5th, 2011

black-water-rafting.jpgIt has been said that while Kiwis can’t fly, they make up for it with just about every other sort of adrenaline-fueled activity. Although not every New Zealander is an extreme sports aficionado, the daredevil heritage of this young nation is very much alive and available to tourists who want to live a little on the wild side.

Many of the traditional choices for adventure are on offer in New Zealand, from skydiving to white water rafting and rock climbing. However, there are also a few more novel things to try in the pursuit of exhilaration in this beautiful country.

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Reeling in Cash: The Northern Pikeminnow

February 25th, 2011

fishing-cash.jpgFishing the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River usually conjures up images of landing the mighty salmon or massive sturgeon. But many anglers in Washington and Oregon have set their sights on one lesser-known fish — the northern pikeminnow. While not an otherwise desirable species, angling for the northern pikeminnow has exploded in the last twenty years for one simple reason — this greenish-silvery predator has been lining the pockets of fishermen with cash since 1990.

The northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) is a predatory species with a ravenous appetite for salmon spawn. This giant freshwater minnow is also quite prolific, with the female laying up to 30,000 eggs per year. This combination of fertility and predatory success came to the attention of scientists trying to account for declining salmon populations within the Columbia and Snake River systems in the mid-1980s. As a product of the series of studies done during this time, The Northern Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Program was born.

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5 Tips on How to Shoot a Basketball Correctly

October 13th, 2010

shooting-basketball.jpgFor most people, one of the most exciting parts of the game of basketball is scoring. There are three ways to score: lay-ups, shooting, and dunking. In this article we will learn how to shoot properly. There are five key aspects of the shooting form, and if you can learn how to do all of them well, you will be a great shooter.

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How to Choose the Right Running Shoes

February 6th, 2010

buying-running-shoes.jpgFinding the right shoes for a runner is a difficult choice. The impact of running can take a hard toll on the feet. If poor running shoes are chosen, the feet can become swollen, sore, and bruised from compression during running. So if you are engaging in this particular activity, finding the right shoes is important for the health of your feet. These are a few of the things to look for when choosing running shoes.

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Long Distance Cycling

February 1st, 2010

distance-cycling.jpgRiding a bicycle can be anything from convenient transportation to a grueling endurance challenge. At its best, cycling is fun and fulfilling. This article will take a look at preparations needed for a long day in the saddle.

The first step is to be educated about how far you will be riding and what the conditions will be like. For example, if you will be riding through populated areas with shops along the route, you won’t have to worry as much about packing food, unless you want to. If the ride is “supported” (a charity event, for example) tools won’t be such a big concern.

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Curling: It’s Not Just Something You Do to Your Hair

January 3rd, 2010

curling-association.jpgIf you tune in to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver this February, chances are you’ll run across the sport of curling. Four players stand on the ice while one player slides a 42 pound polished granite stone down a sheet of ice towards a bullseye and the other three players sweep the ice in front of the stone with brooms. It has been compared to shuffleboard, bowling, bocce, and even croquet. And while it shares traits with all four, it is its own unique sport.

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Seniors Skiing: You Are Never Too Old

December 4th, 2009

seniors-skiing.jpgA half-dozen women skiers lining up to race down a long, steep pitch ribbed each other mercilessly.

“Oh, you haven’t got a chance. Why, you’re too old to go racing.”

“Old? You’ve got me beat by ten years.”

“Right. I’ve got you beat. But it’s gonna be on this run, not on the calendar.”

“My old man says it’s time to stop racing.” “And what does his ‘old lady’ say to that?”

At the gate the starter, a young and cheerful man obviously enjoying his role, called out for the women in the race to line up. “Show them what you can do, baby,” he winked at the first racer.

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Six Basic Skiing Skills

November 13th, 2009

skiing-skills.jpgThis article from my collection on skiing and snowboarding describes six basic skills that people need to develop when they first learn how to ski. Learning these skills will allow you to stop, turn, and even move uphill more effectively, thus increasing your skiing level and moving you closer to expert status.

1. The Star Turn

To change direction while standing still, practice the simple star turn. Imagine that your skis are the hands of a clock, with the tips pointing toward noon and the tails as the center of the dial. Pivot one ski by lifting the tip but not the tail and turning the tip until it’s pointing toward 2 o’clock. Place the ski firmly on the snow. Now pivot the second ski, tip up, tail down, until it’s parallel with the first. Remember to use your poles for balance.

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Snowboarding Training and Fitness

October 28th, 2009

snowboarding-training.jpgTo think you can go up and snowboard without any degree of physical fitness or training is simply not a good idea. You might be able to learn the basics without any ill effects except some sore muscles, but once you begin to take the sport seriously you must have a solid degree of fitness in both the upper and lower body.

The majority of the strength needed to snowboard comes from your lower body. However, in freestyle riding, the most popular discipline today, an overall level of fitness is needed. That’s because of the twisting and turning involved in the tricks. So while the majority of the effort comes from the legs, to be physically fit throughout is important. Balance and flexibility are also key ingredients to overall snowboarding success.

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Skiing Levels: How to Evaluate Your Ski Ability

October 10th, 2009

skiing-levels-ability.jpgMany people who are planning ski holidays or vacations and hope to get in lots of practice may be wondering about how to assess their progress compared to other skiiers and figure out how far they have to go before they can be considered true experts. There are two different charts that can be used as a way to evaluate your ability against a definition of skill levels.

Here’s one widely used:

Level 1 - Total beginner. May or may not have ever put on skis before.

Level 2 - Has skied a few times. Can make wedge or snowplow turns and stop fairly easily.

Level 3 - Can get on and off a chairlift with no problems. Can link wedge turns on gentle green slopes and stop when desired.

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Snowboarding Tips and Tricks for Beginners

October 4th, 2009

snowboarding-for-beginners.jpgOnce you have the proper board, bindings, boots, and clothing, you’re finally ready to go. If you have been a skier, skateboarder, or surfer you will probably have an advantage as a beginning snowboarder. But for those who have no crossover experience and are getting up on a snowboard for the first time, here goes:

Preparing to Ride Down a Hill

One thing you will have to know before you get on the board for the first time is which foot you feel most comfortable having in front. Most boarders use the regular-foot method, with their left foot in the front binding. But some prefer putting their right foot up front. While this is called goofy foot (another term from skateboarding), there is really nothing wrong with it. It’s almost like being right-handed or left-handed. The difference here is that the bindings will have to be turned to accommodate the goofy-foot rider.

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