Boofin' in the Smokies

It finally rained here in the Southeast last week. Stephen Kimmel, Alenda (my wife), and I headed to the Smokies to get our boof on.

Every steep creek in the Smokey Mtn National Park was running, and we decided on Big Creek. We parked in the overflow parking lot because the main lot was packed with kayak laden vehicles. I was smiling big after the 3 mile hike to the put in.

This is the entrance to Monster. There is a tree in the main drop, so don't miss the eddy.

This is Stephen flying through the air at the footbridge rapid. This was his first time on a really continuous creek, and he styled it.

We scouted Action Alley on the hike up. Keith Sprinkle of Asheville made it look easy sans paddle.
Alenda ran the trail while we paddled. She took all of the pictures except the last one. For more Big Creek and Watauga pics check out zogtraining.blogspot.com.


Winter Solstice… in the BC Backcountry …and a new tide of change for 2008!

I just returned from an epic 5 day snowboard trip in the BC, backcountry. Endless days of fresh powder, nights spent in the cabin with great friends and a corridor of wilderness that left me humbled. During my trip, I reflected back over 2007 and my grand adventures on and off the water and looked forward to new challenges that lay ahead for me in 2008.

Staring in January I will be working Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (WRSI). I am honored and so excited to have the opportunity to work for a company that makes such innovative, quality products and to work with a team that leads the industry in promoting safety and training in water recreation. I spent a week down in Vail, CO in December training with Kasey Ankney and Nick Turner, it was amazing to watch Kasey in action and see her passion for the whitewater industry. I know I have my work cut out for me, I am so excited about the new 2008 products WRSI has to offer and I know this will be another amazing adventure as I have so much to learn.

I wish everyone the best in 2008, have a safe and adventure filled New Year! With the amount of snow in the mountains here the potential whitewater looks promising for another great water year in BC! Yee haa!

Enjoy the Pics!

Our Red Mtn crew...(Brenda, me, Chris, Sean and Laura)
Thats all for now...Kim!


Sand Flies, Sheep, Helicopters and Rain??

New Zealand, Kia Ora.

Having packed up and fled the oncoming winter in BC I have found myself working for a Helicopter rafting company in Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island NZ.

This is a land of abundant gradient and terrible access, either walk through the mud with your boat, or my new favorite, the Helicopter! With the Southern Alps right behind us there are dozens upon dozens of rivers and creeks fed by snow and glacial melt combined with an annual rainfall of over 4 meters a year.

However it hasn’t rained for a month! This is a West Coast drought and the rivers are getting low, low, low. (Pray for rain)
Since being here we have picked of some classic runs including the Arahura, Upper Crooked, Upper Kokapotahi, Whataroa and more. On off days there is often pumping surf close by to keep you entertained.

Early Last month I hooked up with Lofty from Paddler Zone in Christchurch, New Zealands Fluid distributors, and we made our way out to the man made course at Tekapo for round two of the new NZ freestyle series.

I jumped into a flirt for the two day event with an “Extreme” ball race and freestyle competition in the small shallow hole. Thanks must go to Antz Longman and Cumec Magazine for putting on the event. I took away 3rd place to a fleet of Bliss Stick kayaks.

For a country with more sheep than people New Zealand has some of the best paddling I have seen any where. If you are prepared to trudge through the mud or hire a helicopter and put up with the swarms of sand flies then you wont be disappointed.

Cheers Ben Earle.

Thanks to:
Fluid kayaks, WRSI, Paddler and Cumec magazine (www.cumecmagazine.com)

Its Raining today!!!!!!!!!


Here it is...

As promised a short vid from Costa Rica. Hope you enjoy and have a happy holiday.


Dan Caldwell


Warm Winter Boating

Hey there folks,

Dan Caldwell checking in from beautiful Costa Rica. I´ve been here for about 3 months enjoying some great boating and warm weather. The rivers down here are great! Warm, big and steep. I´m waiting for the water to drop a bit before doing some exploration but have been loving the ´classics´. I´m in Central America for the next 3 months so stay tuned for lots more including lots more pics and another vid or two.

Testing out the waters.

Heading for some down time

Check you boat before setting a Class VI.

All photos- Brendan Rivision
Until next time,

Hasta Luego ( I think that means ´please pass the cheese´)

Dan Caldwell