The Little White!!

Here is a sweet little clip of some of the best creekin'... anywhere. The Little White Salmon, a small slice of magical pie. If you haven't gotten on this one, please do yourself a favor. Get on it.

Little White goodness


2011 Freestyle World Championship

My first world championship started with a 5 AM flight from Denver to Toronto, a 5 hour lay-over in Toronto, then an 8 hour flight to Munich, GER and finally a two hour drive before arriving at the event site in Plattling.  I went straight to the competition feature where I met the rest of the Swedish freestyle Team.  After a nice little chat we all went paddling.  My first training session was great; the water was warm and I was hitting all my tricks.  I was so excited to be in Plattling getting to compete at my first international championship.

                         Check out my first training session, courtesy of my Swedish teammate David Sandberg.

My training sessions leading up to the competition had been great and I felt really relaxed and confident.  But on the day of the prelims of K1 junior men (K1JM) I was getting super nervous and I started getting stressed out.  There were 7 heats in prelims and since I was in heat 6 I got the chance to see a bunch of really good rides so I really felt the pressure was on for me to do well.

In my first ride I felt I was rushing it and I was not at all happy with my performance.  Before my 2nd run Courtney Kerin, a K1 junior women's athlete from New Zealand whom I had gotten to know the week prior to the competition, told me to calm down and focus on what I was going to do.  Her advice helped a lot as I did not hear the sound of the crowd; all I heard was the sound of the water.  Needless to say, my 2nd run was much better than my first.

Following my heat I headed straight over to the to the results board waiting for the result to get posted.  I had placed 25th with only the top 10 advancing to the semi-final.  At first I was very upset as I felt I could have done so much better.  But then I thought "Hey, I gave it my best shot, I tried my hardest and I cannot wait until 2013 world championship to be held at NOC in North Carolina".  

Currently I am training hard and doing my best to learn new things and keep on having fun.  Next week I will be heading to the Ottawa river.  See you guys on the water!


Camp Cup Challenge 2011 - A ton of kids and BIG BOOMING FUN

The Camp Cup Challenge 2011 was a huge success! Young people from across the U.S. and a few international youth attend summer camp in North Carolina every year. We invite camps to bring their whitewater-loving youth to a two day event on the Nantahala River. Day one is a training day, followed by delicious ice cream (Thank You Endless River Adventures). Day two, campers participate in two events, a downriver and slalom race, in their craft(s) of choice.

There were lots of big smiles, clean lines, and really impressive paddling. For many campers this was their first time at the Camp Cup, and I think they had a blast. We had a few participants who have attended the event four years in a row.

I interviewed a number of participants about their favorite part of the event, and the most common response was, "It's really fun to meet so many people my age who love to paddle." This is really what the event is about. Sure, the race day is a ton of fun, they get to challenge their skills and eat pizza (thank you Nantahala Outdoor Center), but really its a great way for young people to realize that there are a whole slew of people out there just like them who love to play outside, in whitewater.

A BIG thank you to all the camps and companies who made this event happen. Camps included: Falling Creek, Wayfarer, Merrie Woode, High Rocks, Illahee, Chosatonga/Kahdalea, Green Cove, and Mondamin. Thank you to the American Canoe Association for sponsoring the event, the NOC for hosting and pizza, ERA for providing coaching, volunteers, and support. WRSI provided a helmet for the raffle, and World Kayak for swag.

For more on this year's event, check out:

Facebook photos: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150237162742623.313111.41092297622&l=241be89e27
Endless River Adventures Blog: http://www.endlessriveradventures.com/kidskayakingblog/?p=442
NOC Blog: http://nantahalaoutdoorcenter.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post.html


Verde Good Dayz

This past week Ty and I were able to rally up a two day trip out to the Green for an awesome midweek special. The first day was an awesome fun fast run down and we had a killer time. After which we ran around asheville for a bit and slid by the Altamont Brewing company in West Asheville which has a beer special this week which is helping donate money for green river access so check it out and help pay the bills. Then we got ourselves a campsite and crashed out in the car and were all fired up come morning with the rest of the crew arriving that night. We got out again the second day and even though it was raining and not so nice still had a fired up and good time. Below is the video shot from the two days. Also we had a club cup race at NOC recently which resulted in a bunch of ties for the top times. Ty and Baby Trey were able to pull out the K2 victory followed closely behind by Tierney and Myself. I also wound up tying for 3rd in mens coming 4 seconds behind the leader. Hope everyone is doing well and see you on the river.


The Kipawa River Festival

The Kipawa River Fest has just celebrated its 25th year anniversary. The festival serves many purposes aside from the challenge of paddling an amazing river and meeting up with like minded river enthusiasts. The Festival brings awareness and a voice to a river whose navigational rights are being challenged and even revoked by the altering and building of dams. The Kipawa River is located in Laniel Quebec. Keeping true to typical Quebec whitewater, it is a beautiful, high volume, wild, gem which requires very solid paddling skills to negotiate. The rapids are numerous, substantial in length, often technical, and always meaty. The river rarely guarantees flows outside of the festival weekend. The priveledge of paddling this river is rare and coveted.

The exerpt below is a description of Hollywood Rapid which marks the end of the Kip as it plunges into Lake Temiskaming. Holly Chester, one of my paddling partners wrote it. I feel that it captures the charachter of the river well, in addition to explaining why it is that we paddlers do what we do. I hope you enjoy it.

"We each step purposefully on the planks abridging the clay and moss and streams below our feet, as we precariously balance our kayaks on our shoulders, paddle in opposite hand. Already I’m visualizing the rapid ahead. Best case scenario flashes through my mind: a series of calculated strokes drive me across to the left side of the river where I follow the green highway down to a pillow rock avoided to the left. Worst case scenario sneaks up behind: poorly executed strokes, a shaky and unbalanced kayak floats with the current down the right side of the river where I’m ultimately flipped by a hole named Davey Jones’ Locker. I’m potentially kept for a long surf where I most likely hit my head and scrape face on the many rocks that lie just below the surface. This is a very real fear. I take note on our arrival night of a girl with a swollen and bruised eye and scraped cheek. I quickly tuck that alternative out of my mind choosing to focus on the five most important paddle strokes I need to execute as I drive out of the cramped and volatile eddy. We forge on down the slick path until we reach the steep hill that is our point of entry. Setting our boats down we convene on the rocks to discuss our lines. Essentially, we each look at the river and determine from our individual perspectives which is the ideal path to reaching the bottom of the rapid. Ideal lines vary on the paddler and are determined by personal comfort level, river knowledge, and ability on the water. The line I determine — the green highway — requires that I approach as closely as possible to a pour-over rock, maintain an upstream angle for at least 10 strokes as I ferry across large breaking waves. If I’m successful in my strokes the breaking waves won’t compromise my ferry angle and I’ll maintain my line on the green highway. As I eventually turn my boat downstream I will be among significantly smaller standing waves on my way to rubbing elbows with a pillow rock and through a shallow rock garden to the rapids end. Conversely, if I were to leave the eddy facing downstream I would be at the mercy of the currents which would directly put me face to face with the Locker and a shallow beating on the rocks below. In actuality, it will probably take me no more than 30-45 seconds to finish my run. I will attempt to convey the clarity I experience each time I’m on a rapid that warrants my undivided attention. I achieve a kind of focus that I can’t achieve in my everyday. I can’t do it running, working, writing, reading or any of my daily endeavours — and this is what it feels like…

rapid entry
The surge of the rapids overpower all other sounds. It’s a constant din that fills your ears such that your paddling partners will have to yell to communicate. The inability to ignore the sound keeps your undivided attention on the water below and only serves to intensify any feelings you have whether it be excitement and anticipation or sheer unrelenting fear. You begin your ritual entry into your kayak. Feet on blocks, knees in brace, adjust back band and tighten, tighten again, fingers rim skirt around the back of the cock pit, skirt on, pull tab out — check, rock the boat in a sea-lionesque manner, slide in to water. For this particular rapid this entry moment is critical. Taking one big stroke on the right I swing the nose of my kayak up and directly on the cusp of a pour over rock. Lifting my left knee and simultaneously paddling on the right I’m shot out of the eddy much more quickly than anticipated and into the waves below. One. Two. Three. Four strong sweeping strokes and I’ve hit the first breaking wave on my downstream edge. Six. Another breaking wave. Seven. Eight. Nine. I’m on the green highway at this point breathing so heavily I manage to accidentally inhale a splash of water. Choke. Ten. Eleven. I can see the pillow rock. I then realize I’ve misread my line. The pillow rock is not the exit but rather a standing rock just below is. In a panic I navigate right of the rock, where I initially had planned to go left, ultimately without consequence. Twelve. Thirteen. My boat is now bumping off the rocks slightly below surface. Insignificant waves splash my boat. Rapid over. For those 30 seconds I am completely, totally, focused and engaged, never once experiencing a rogue thought, a floating doubt, or a misplaced idea."
Holly Chester

Long live the Kipawa Libre - (free)!

Katie Quinn

Update from the Canadian Northwest

Paddling has been off the hook lately up here in Northern BC. Heres a few shots from the last couple of weeks. Ill let the photos do the talking, click to see them bigger. Cheers WRSI for keeping the ol' noggin safe!


Bear Falls first D, Khatada Creek, Dogdish, Veddy Creek first D, Granite Creek.