Ellicottville Paddle Festival

Western New York is shaping up to be a top paddle sports hub, and it’s no wonder why.  The waters are easily accessible in many towns and outlets scattered along the shores of Lake Erie, Chautauqua Lake, within state parks, and even backyard ponds.  In Ellicottville especially, a newer shop chock full of paddleboards, kayaks and accessories has created quite the paddle sports buzz since their opening last fall.  With a passion for being on the water, an impressive inventory of product, and a paddle demo center to boot, John Rounds, owner of Adventure Bound onthefly, is attracting a growing number of new and seasoned paddlers.  Throw in some events catering to the interest, and you’ve got yourself a great excuse to join the fun.

Hop onboard with the Adventure Bound crew on Saturday, June 18 for the first annual Ellicottville Paddle Festival. This is a free event inviting newbies and experienced paddlers of all ages and their families to learn, play, relax and enjoy some time on the water.  The event will feature introductions to paddling equipment, lessons on the water, yoga, beer tasting, fuel for your body, and of course, good company.  It all takes place at the Adventure Bound Demo Center pond located next to Tim Horton’s on Route 219 heading north from the village of Ellicottville.  Dina’s restaurant will have their food trailer on the spot to satisfy your hunger, Ellicottville Brewing Company will be providing samples of hoppy goodness for thirsty participants, and live music from a local duo will set the stage for an upbeat, good time. Complimentary outdoor yoga classes, sponsored by Groove Fitness, will take place along the shore of the demo pond starting at 3pm and will be taught by instructor Steve Procknal from Power Yoga Buffalo. Steve has traveled around the world learning and teaching power yoga, and is an ambassador for Lululemon, the hottest name in yoga clothing and gear.

John Rounds, his wife Christy, and shop paddling expert Donny gave me the low down on paddling in this area and the types of equipment that can be used on our local waterways and lakes. “Folks don’t realize the great number of opportunities there are for paddling in Western New York,” says Rounds. “Multiple variations of floating vessels have emerged over the past ten years. One such device is the SUP. The Stand-Up Paddleboard comes in many shapes and sizes, but it’s the inflatable version that is gaining popularity. Here at Adventure Bound, we are stocking and selling our own brand of inflatables, ‘On the Fly,’ as of June 1. They are versatile, easy to transport, and some of the most stable SUP’s on the market. Not to mention they have one of the best warranties you can find.  On the Fly SUP’s fold up small enough to fit in just about any car and take only 6-7 minutes to inflate. The SUP’s make it possible to travel down streams when water levels are low because of the low volume of water they displace.”

Adventure Bound will have over 30 rentals and demos available for participants to try at the Ellicottville Paddle Festival, including inflatable SUP’s, stiff paddleboards, and traditional kayaks. If you plan on attending, Rounds suggests you bring water shoes or a pair of sneaks that can get wet, a change of clothes, and a towel “just in case.”  

Also on the bill for June 18’s event is a visit from Orvis Fly Fishing Pro Tom Zmiamak. Tom will be teaching a “201” in fly fishing for folks who aren’t completely new to the sport. He will be showing the latest techniques in pond and river fishing. Orvis rods and reels will be provided. Space is limited to ten people for the 201 seminar, and spots are expected to fill quickly, so be sure to sign up now by calling the Adventure Bound store at 716-217-4047 or email info@AdventureBoundOnTheFly.com. Sessions will run 8am-11am and 3pm-6pm. This is a great opportunity to brush up on rusty skills and perfect that roll-cast while trying out gear from the top name in the industry.

To get more info on Adventure Bound and the Ellicottville Paddle Festival, head over to www.adventureboundonthefly.com or call the number above. Better yet, drop by the shop at 16 Washington Street, downtown Ellicottville.

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