Friday, April 22, 2005

Patrick Camblin and Marlow Long on the Dries.

photo by Bryan Kirk

hello fellow paddlers from the LL freestyle crew marlow long and patrick camblin.
we've been stationed here in fayetteville west virgina for the last couple weeks and so far the levels have been super sweet.
the dries have been running most of that time at medium flows (30,000) but we've had a couple super high water days and one day with epic water levels...

photo by Bryan Kirk

the middle wave at the put-in is where all the magic happens, it's a huge wave in the middle of the river that builds and crashes hard, while Occasonial drift wood
and huge logs keep zooming by. luckly we were equipped with the new LL Vison - super fast carves and pass's across the wave along with huge hops. oh heck yes!

Photo by Tanya Shuman

some of the biggest tricks were thrown on the middle wave. Pato threw a bunch of bread and butter's and some big 'ol back
pan ams while marlow threw a few huge pan ams, a cracker jack or two, and some stylish clean blunts. a good porpoise was had by all.

Photo by Tanya Shuman

the freestyle crew also managed to get some time out on a couple creeks... patrick finally got to run his first creek ever... ridiculus, but ya...
he ran mill creek first, great fun run; then yesterday we were guided down his 2nd ever creek (manns @ 6inches), by jb and crew (thanks!). super fun, pretty intense for sustained periods of time, and long! that super bouldery stuff is fun but scary for sure...

Photo by Tanya Shuman

anyway, we're having a great time here in wv paddling the new LL boats... hope you all have good water as well!
we are probably heading up to bussy in the next few weeks so stay tuned for that...

Pat and Mar

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Yonton Mehler International Man of Mystery and Loop to Shudder Rudder Expert.

Went playboating the other day with Yonton. We have had a great few weeks around here lately. Yonton and I got to paddle a bunch of creeks together so we decided to go do some playboating since the Green wasn't running nor was anything else. We took a trip up to Secret Spot on the Nolichucky it was a great level. Lots of loops, blunts, and wheels to be had.
Here is a little video of Yonton looping, blunting and wheeling in the Vision. He has also been perfecting his Loop to Shudder Rudder move. You have to see it.
Yonton International Man of Mystery

Unfortunately the next day while the Green was running a fat 200% again, Yonton hurt his shoulder while coming through the notch. He was still able to keep it together and have a sweet line at Gorilla but he may be laid out for a little while. He is accepting backrubs from all hot chicks.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

What a week of Paddling!

It all began with the recording on Wednesday morning. Tuxedo Hydro station will be operating two generators at 100% capacity from midnight until midnight. We had a fair amount of rain the night before which meant that there would also be a bunch of natural flow in the river, and we were psyched to get out on the Green at a high flow.
250% was the estimated flow which means when you put your paddle on the gage rock that is usually just at the surface at 100% most of the blade is covered by water.
The Jefes had rolled in a few days before and the ladies hadn't had a chance to check out the new boats yet so Whitney and Maria decided it was their turn. After a few minutes to outfit the boats we headed off down the trail and that was the beginning of my week that will rank right up there with some of the best weeks I have ever had.
DAY 1 Super High Green River

Lots of folks have been asking about the size of paddlers that are enjoying the Jefe. I put together a video of the girls along with their stats so you can see the different size folks that have been paddling the boat.
Shane 6'1, 190
Whitney 5'3" 120
Maria 5'7" 140 (3 months pregnant
Check out the video from the green below.
Girls on the Green Video Click Here
DAY 2 Green River with a Newbie

Got to take Joe Carbury from Paddler magazine down the Green for his first run on this day. Taking a good paddler down the Green that has never run it is a bunch of fun because lots of the rapids are good to go on just beta in the eddie above. So the new paddler gets to experience the rapids as a surprise. You only get one chance to look at a rapid in that way. Its only safe if you know the run very well, and the paddler you are leading is confident in your directions. We had a blast. It was stil high from the other day and all the rapids had some good padding on them. Joe even fired up the monkey on his first trip down the river. Which isn't even run at the level we were there by many people and he styled it.
I think he like the Jefe. As a matter of fact he said, "it was kind of like going home." I think its a great take care of you boat.

DAY 3 Horsepasture River

It is really hard to believe that I have lived, and paddled in this area for 25 years and I haven't done this run before. The day before we got an inch of rain which brought the Horsepasture into a perfect level to run it for the first time. This is one of the best runs I have done in this area. It really is a paddling play land. It is fairly remote with a long (4+ mile) hike out from the bottom with your boat, but the rapids, and sceneary made it perfectly worth it to me.

On the Horsepasture you actually earn all your turns. You start with a hike from your car to get to the put in. Then you hike back to your car from the take out so you pay for every rapid you run. It makes you appreciate it that much more. We had an awesome crew which made it sweet as well. Chris Ennis from NOC who paddled in the last Olympics in slalom was paddling a C-1 Gus down the river and styling it. Whitney and Maria of course you all know check out Johnny Utah. Joe from paddler magazine was in town. He was paddling the Yellow Jefe so you can check his paddling in the videos. His buddy Russel came down to join us as well from Louisville. Mefford Williams, Yonton, and I you might know from other videos that I have put up lately.

As a kid I hiked the upper parts of the run with camp groups but never got down into the main gorges. The take out for the run is at the top of one of the coolest waterfalls in the southeast. It looked to me like it was 200 feet tall or more. I hiked down at the end of the run to take a closer look and yes the river dropped of the face of the earth in a near vertical toboggan run of a slide. This alone was worth the hike maybe not with a kayak on my shoulder but the rapids more than covered that price. Check out the videos below.
Horsepasture Part 1
Horsepasture Part 2

DAY 4 Linville Gorge

Yonton, Joe, Russel, and I had put in some big miles the day before so when I looked on the AW page and saw that Linville was at a great level I was a little reluctant because I knew it would be a big day. Linville can be done 3 different ways. One you can put in and paddle all the way out of the gorge which is 12 or 16 miles depending on where you put in. Two you can take out after most of the rapids and hike 3 miles out of the gorge, or lastly you can do the whole trip as a two day overnight.

After the Horsepasture we didn't really want to be hiking out of a gorge again so that was out. We also weren't very interested in doing an overnight trip in the unpredictable spring weather so we decided that a big 12 mile paddle was the way to go.

There are a lot of runs were 12 miles isn't that much but Linville has 9 miles of pretty solid class 5 rapids so it is a long day especially when you add in a 3 mile flat water paddle out.
The weather cooperated perfectly. It was 75 degrees and sunny and the river was a perfect level. I can't even start to tell you about all the rapids. There are far too many to talk about. You start off with a sweet drop into a tight little landing, and then its all a blur. There are a couple memorable ones that are in the video, but I don't know many of the names so I won't even try. Amazingly enough 90 percent of the rapids were read and run, but you do need to be careful because there are some bad places and blind drops that end in sieves. I have done this run 3 times now and they have all been fantastic trips. I would really like to get to know this run well because there is so much awesome whitewater in a single day. There aren't any other runs in the southeast that are that long and have that quality of whitewater.
Then to top off the epic day of paddling we met a bunch of folks in Asheville for a show. The band was called Strut and they rocked a good funk for the night. Got home at 3am. Big Day.
Here is the video from the day.
Linville Video Click Here
DAY 5 Tallulah River
For the past week everyone we knew was talking about heading over to Tallulah for the high water Sunday release. If you don't know the Saturday release is 700 cfs, and the Sunday release is 900, and it is a big difference. The 900 really pads it out nicely but also gives it some push that can be intimidating. So that was the week. Now I have to pay the price and get back to work. Looks like this weekend is shot. Oh well. Fair trade if you ask me.
Put that all together with Overflow last weekend and I am a happy camper.
I should have a story from Marlow and Pat up on the Dries next week and maybe if we are lucky they will have some footage from Big Bus on the Ottawa river. Cheers I hope you all are finding good water as well.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Nice Weekend with the Jefe

We had an awesome weekend around here in the southeast. Pat and Marlow were up on the Dries of the New. Hopefully they will be sending in some footage and photos later this week. I got on the Green at a fat 200% on friday with Johnnie it was fantastic. I always forget how fun the river is when its that high. It gets really pushy between the drops and all the small stuff runs together, but it makes all the rapids a little more padded and exciting. Didn't even think about Gorilla today just took that part easy.

photo by Mefford Williams

Saturday Johnnie, Whitney, Mefford, Shana and I went down to Overflow creek. Which is the headwaters of the Chattooga river. Its one of my favorite runs because I grew up camping and paddling in the Chattooga area and Overflow is a place I have gone since I was a little kid hiking with camp groups and later where I started really pushing my paddling.
The flow was low for our trip. It was about .85 when we put in which makes the first little bit very scrapey but after "3 Forks" its still really fun. 3 Forks is where two large tributaries kick in a bunch more water.
The rapid that most people know or have seen is Singley's Falls. Its really cool to think about the guys in the 70s running 13-14 foot long glass boats down this river and yet it is still a classic. It really is a must do in the southeast. But you have to be around when its raining. This is Singley's.

photo by Mefford Williams

Overflow is an awesome run for folks that are starting to get confident as creekers or need to brush off the cobwebs when it is at a lower flow. When it gets high it can kick your ass if you aren't paying attention.

These photos are of Gravity which is a rapid I have always liked because its very technical, and tight. At low flow you have to be able to boof well and land under control.

photo by Mefford Williams

At the low flow we were paddling the center line was pretty much the only way to run it. Little one foot drop, land flat, then 5 footer must land flat, then 6 footer, all in about 15 feet of river length.
I wish I had photos of all the rapids because there really is a great variety of stuff. I have this shot of the bottom drop of Pinball, but there are alot of other rapids and it is one of the most beautiful runs you can do in the southeast. If you are in the area and it is raining you should definitely do it.

photo by Mefford Williams

So then on Sunday I went over to the Tallulah. It was windy as hell and a little cold, but once we dropped into the gorge it was perfect. I paddled with Kevin Colburn on the sweep run of the gorge.

Our Job was to make sure that everyone made it off the river safely before they shut down the down for the weekend. Its a really nice time to run the river because we were the only ones on the river practically.

Sunday is the higher water day which I like because it pads out everything a little better also. There is video below the photos.

Oceana still scares the hell out me because you really don't have much control once you get on that slide. You are just sliding for life. All you can do is control angle. So where you set up and enter the rapid and with how much speed makes all the difference. Then its a hundred feet of wondering if you did it right then dissappear into the water exploding off the Thing. Then try to keep the angle straight when you can't see so you don't get stopped in the hole which is pretty throbby at the sunday level.

This video shows most of the main rapids.
Click Here

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Check out the New Seat for the Jefe!

The Jefes started shipping the other day and people have been asking about new outfitting. The Seat for the Jefe is completely new. There are several differences.
1. The sitting height is lower for a lower center of gravity. This also allows us to drop the cockpit height so that its lower and out of the way for smaller paddlers.
2. The attachment of the creek seat is now without the wingnut behind the seat. The nut is captured in the seat so all you have to do is loosen the screw to move the seat. Then just tighten the screw to tighten it back up.
No wrenches, fingers behind the seat necessary.
3. Low cut back of the seat for storing gear.
4. Attachment points molded right into the rear of the seat. (1st in the industry)

5. Storage Compartments in the seat itself for items that you need but don't want rolling around.(Industry 1st)

So there you have it. A rotomolded seat so you have the most durable, and structurally sound seating and outfitting system. As well as two new concepts for storage and attachment. I put together a little video to show you the seat live.
Click Here

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