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Polar Paddlefest

Polar Paddlefest Poster

Let's try this again now that the weather is warmer, this event has been rescheduled to March 19th                                              

Polar Paddle Fest came about as a concept for bringing together a small number of kayakers to experience the frigid waters of Paradise Lake during the winter months. Not for the cold blooded, this event has the essence of the famous “Polar Plunge”, the perennial washing away of the previous year with teeth-chattering good hopes for a year chalked full of good fortune to come, which accompanies the ceremonial full body immersion in cold water.

Price to the Public: $25 per participant includes parking, Poker Race Registration, and free “gear cleaning” with bucket of cold water at closing ceremony 


Who: A group of avid kayakers, no more than 40 participants/30 boats

What: A “Poker Race” for all participants, single kayaker boats as well as double kayaker boats. A Poker Race consists of participants collecting a card from each of the predetermined locations at stations located around the lake. Upon completion of the two laps, participants will combine their cards to present the best poker hand. 

May contain: text and menu


Where: Paradise Lake boat launch #1 - Here is a link to the google maps directions to the site

When: March 19 – 8:00 am to Noon

Why: Paradise Lake is not greatly utilized during the cold months, leaving the pristine lake conditions unrealized by most hardcore adventure enthusiasts.


Participants must sign up online prior to arriving at the event in order to sign waiver, pay entrance fee, , review race instructions and rules, and ask questions.



Participants will launch from Boat Launch 1 from Northlake Blvd and will be required to pick up one playing card from each of the predetermined locations as marked on the map provided(See Map). In no particular order, participants must gather one card from each of the 5 dealer locations dispersed around the Lake. Upon completion of the playing card lap, participants must head out for their final lap, the Polar Lap. The Polar Lap path starts at the boat launch, travels around Turtle Island, heads up to The North Pole(Circles a buoy), and ends at the Finish Line Arch near the boat launch where times will be clocked by our Official Timekeeper.

  • Awards will be given for the fastest finishers in single kayaks, two person kayaks, and for the best Poker Hand immediately following the closing ceremonies, which will get cold!
  • Closing ceremonies include the option of having lake water dumped on the head of the participants, like the celebration awarded a winning football coach in receiving the “Gatorade Victory Celebration”. Buckets will be provided IF participants wish to wash away 2021 in celebration of the arrival of 2022.


Polar Paddlefest Map



RAIN OR SNOW OR SHINE, this event will take place on January 8th from 8:00 am to Noon at Paradise Lake in Magalia, California. Having preregistered, signed a participant waiver, and acknowledged the risks of operating a watercraft in cold temperatures, participants must circumnavigate Paradise Lake twice. Participants must travel in either single or double kayaks, with a separate competition category aligned for both. Participants must obey all safety regulations, as outlined in the Safety Briefing, always. Participants that break the safety briefing rules will be asked to leave the competition, forfeiting their efforts towards earning awards. Participants must pick up a playing card from each of the designated locations. Missing a card? The race isn't over!!! This is why we offer two laps, one for picking up cards, the other for pure speed(or for picking up cards you missed the first lap – perhaps this can be a part of YOUR unique strategy?).

Participants will be judged on two components of this race:

  • Fastest time to complete two laps(with all 5 cards) - awarded to one Single Kayak and one Two Person Kayak Team Note: Race Organizers will keep times year in and year out for perennial competitors.
  • Best Poker Hand – amongst all participants


 Register for Event at THIS LINK

8:00 am – Arrive at Northlake Blvd for boat unload, participants receive the following:

·         Welcome Packet Containing

  •  Safety Information
  •  Laminated Map with Card Locations
  •  Race Instructions and Rules
  •  Racer Number
  •  Plastic bag for holding playing cards

·         Offloading Instructions

  • Back Up Boat Trailer
  • Line up boats at boat launch, complete with all competition gear
  • Drive to Boat Launch #2 Parking Lot
  • Walk the 5 minute walk along the lake trail back to Boat Launch #1


9:00 am – Racers begin launching two at a time in the order that boats were lined up

  • Race number on personal floatation device
  • Launch times will be recorded at participants pass through the floating arch and will be recorded as participants return from their second lap

11:30 am – Remaining racers called off the water

Noon – Participants gather for award ceremonies

Safety Briefing

Participants must supply the following to be considered “fit” for competition:

·         Personal Floatation Device

·         Kayak

·         Paddle

·         A get warm plan upon completion of the competition

o   Dry Towels

o   Warm Liquids

o   A change of clothes

·         Signed Waiver

·         Signed Addendum verifying acknowledgement of risk of participation in cold weather

Note: There will be a licensed medical technician on hand for this event due to the inherent risk in participating in a cold weather event. 


Please email or call 530-872-6393 for questions or event details