Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Marlow and Pat on Minibus and Lachine.

Tanya Shuman just sent me a bunch of photos from her trip up north with Marlow and Pat.
They have spent a bunch of time waiting for the Buseater waves to come in.
They have also been working on using the jet ski in the big water that they are seeing.
This is a collection of Tanya's shots that are amazing.

All photos in this article are by Tanya Shuman.
Thanks Tanya

There is also a small video clip that Marlow put together for me.
LL Update Mar and Pat On Minibus

When these guys get around each other they tend to try to act cool there is only one problem
they are both complete geeks. However they are pretty good kayakers. Well let me rephrase that,
they can catch a wave at least.

You should notice the nice stache that Pat has going in that photo.
Enough cheese shots now some paddling pictures.

The YGP boys have been working on a video for quite a while now and are
hoping to come out with something this winter. With all the traveling and
paddling that I have been hearing about this should be an amazing video.
Especially seeing what Pat and Marlow have been doing lately.

Buseater Stakeout and Northern Quebec's Hidden Gems Episode 1

Mar going Ginormous at Minibus
photo by Tanya Shuman

Taking the rope in.
photo by Pat Camblin

Well, weeks into our buseater stakeout minibus FINALLY decided to give us a few days of pure surfing bliss... buseater days are some of the most fun and most taxing of the year; basically, you are getting up at 6am or so (definitely not the norm) and surfing for as long as your arms/back will hold up... then straight to bed and if your lucky you get another day or two of the same... both buseater waves are completely unforgiving... even if you are on the top of your game it will often pitch, crash, or bubble unexpectedly? leaving you window-shaded, worked, or heading down the infamous toilet bowl for long, cold, and dark downtime? all this aside, or possibly because of this, it is one of the best surfs in the world ? super fast and unrelentingly dynamic. The vision is so much fun here, it just rips across the wave, often bringing you out of the ?toilet bowl? section just when you thought you were doomed, and onto the sweet section of wave (not an easy transition!), it also launches better than any other boat I?ve tried, jumping up and away from the green with ease?

Pat going very large on Minibus
photo by Laura Nash

Hal going very deep at Minibus
photo by Pat Camblin

Good god that is huge
photo by Laura Nash

Pretty Clean Blunt at Bussy
photo by Marlow Long

Tired and happy after 3 great days on minibus we awoke to find the level dropping and minibus becoming more and more of a huge hole? so? we packed up and headed east then north, into the vast waterways that await those willing to make the long drive up to northern Quebec. Along the way there are plenty of roadside attractions, lots of fun rapids, waterfalls and slides always conveniently marked with a big sign indicating that indeed a rapid of some description is near.

Pat running some ridiculous slide in Quebec.
photo by Laura Nash

We?ve found another one folks? ?Black Mass? - appropriately named by some lucky paddlers who ventured upon this wave before us? it lies in the middle of a long, huge water rapid, it is only in during flood, it doesn?t have an eddy, and the walk back up is long and rocky? that all said this is the fastest, most dynamic wave I?ve ever surfed and easily worth the effort once your there? we only got one rainy day on this beauty, but we?ll be back for sure.

Going large on the new wave. "The Black Mass"
photo by Laura Nash

Black Mass Carving
photo by Marlow Long

Big Ollie by Marlow on the Black Mass
photo by Pat Camblin

Back home now - the Ottawa has dropped down to 4 (pretty unusual for this time of year), Marlow has headed to the teva mountain games, and I?m back here hoping that northern Ontario will get dumped on and somehow the Ottawa will get back up to 16!!

Later. Pat and Mar

What a stud.
photo by Tanya Shuman

Martan isn't it cute how he sucks her blood.
photo by Pat Camblin

Catch all the best Buseater and Black Mass action in YGP?s upcoming release ?DYNASTY?
More photos and video about Bus Eater on the way.

Big Boatin' The Ocoee

Well we were over in Chattanooga showing boats at a Lake Demo in Chattanooga for Rock Creek Outfitters. We decided to head over to the Ocoee for some fun and watering. Since we had been showing and talking about lake boats all day we decided we better put them through the test of running the Ocoee.

Whitney, Lee, Scott, and I all jumped in long boats.
I was in a 12 foot Stingray open cockpit.
Lee was in a 14 foot Stingray open cockpit as well. This became quite a nuisance later in the day.
Whitney was in the Pisgah 14.
Scott was in a 15 foot Pyranha boat.
We came up with an advanced spray skirt system made from trash bags. That helped alot with the boats that didn't have spray skirts.

Its funny I don't think people knew what to think about us. We got a lot of funny looks. Some people seemed to think it was funny, some were perplexed, and some even seemed to scowl at us. People just don't understand that this is the wave of the future boats went all the way down to under 6 feet and now we are headed back the other way. I am just pushing the envelope. I am looking at developing a 20 foot whitewater boat soon because I see the demand really going off after this latest surge in Big Boatin'. I have also officially liscenced the name Big Boatin". Its kind of like Creek Boatin', or Play Boatin'.
It will be its own category within the next couple years.
Big Boatin' The Ocoee Video

If you are interested in the future of the sport you can also check out this video.
Big Boatin' The Chattooga Video
If you need a little excitement you should give it a try. But be careful some people just don't understand that this is where we are going with our sport. They are starting to feel intimidated, disillusioned, and lost in this new world that is Big Boatin'.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Colorado Trip: Episode 4: Durango

photo by Dunbar Hardy
The guys that took me down the Embudo were like, "hey stuff is starting to run around Durango you should come over for your last two paddling days in Colorado before you have to go back to North Carolina". So I loaded up and started the drive over to Durango.

Oh I totally forgot that I was driving the big truck and when we took off the do the Embudo I hit a rock and blew one the tires in the big Liquidlogic Truck. Its a dually so I was able to limp to Taos after the river run and look around for a place to get the tire fixed. Nobody would work on it. Of course it was after hours what was I supposed to do get the tire fixed when I could have gone boating I don't think so. So there I sat in a tire shop parking lot looking at the rim for the tire. I am thinking if I bang out the rim maybe it will hold air. I grab a big rock and bang it a couple times, nothing. I grab a hammer out of the tool kit, nothing. I am on a mission now so I go to the unmentionable store (walmart) and buy a sledge hammer. Next thing you know I am in the middle of a convenience store parking lot banging the hell out of the rim of my tire. I get a few funny looks but I don't care I have some paddling to do. After about an hour of banging and putting air in the tire I stop and listen and hear nothing. Its Holding Air! I pack up and head for Durango on my own. Yonton did the smart thing and jumped in the car with Katie, and Jenn. Hmmm lets see hang out with sweaty Shane banging on the rim or ride with a couple shall we say attractive young ladies. He was gone in a second.

I was still able to roll into Durango in the morning and the days paddling was planned for the Bottom Box of the Animas River. This section had been done a bunch but hadn't been done a whole lot recently. In the earlier days the put in was higher and there was a horrible portage in the middle. The section was called the unrunnable gorge. The name sort of ran a few folks off for a while. Then recently people started finding new access to the lower part of the run below the big portage and now there is a killer 2+ mile run just 15 minutes from downtown Durango. The acces is tenuous at best so please check in with the locals for the correct trails and such so as to not mess that up for them. Check in at Four Corners Riversports they may be able to help you out or at least point you in the right direction and several of the locals have been on the run this spring so they have it dialed.

The Bottom Box is a very tight vertical walled canyon with classic drops in it. We were in there pretty high. The Animas in town was running around 1800 so up in the canyon it may have been 12 to 13 hundred cfs. In several places the river was only a boat length wide so that volume was very active in that canyon. The rock was beautiful and you felt like you were miles from anywhere yet we knew otherwise. Rumour had it that Robert Redford had a house close to the take out. I figured that would be fun to drop in on him and have a cold one with him.

Anyway back to the river. The canyon feels very committing and if there was anything you didn't want to run in there it would be very hard to get out of some of the canyon but Dunbar had all the lines dialed so it was pretty chill as far as knowing where to go, but the rapids were solid no doubt. The locals were keeping track of the flows that people were going in there and this trip would be the highest anyone had been in there recently. On our trip it would have been fine higher but if something happens rescue would be pretty tough. If you do get out of the gorge it isn't a bad walk back to the road. : )
Anyway the rapids were for the most part very clean but powerful. There was one very swirly rapid that had whirlpools like a big river because the of tight constriction but they let us go on through. The other rapids you can mostly see in the video but they were mostly single move rapids with the exception of a couple of them. The longer rapid that is in the video was desceptively powerful as you can see it handed me a little humility, but it was a great mix of technical, pushy, and spectacular sceneary. This one goes way up on my list. I consider it a very cool place on the earth. Here is the video.
Bottom Box Video Link Click It

After a sweet afternoon run we headed out on the town. Had a great night out with friends, woke up paddled at the corner pocket wave right in town on the Animas river. All of Colorado was going off and about to pop and I had to go home. Oh well I still hit some great stuff. You should all check out Colorado there is some amazing paddling, people, and places.
Well now its back to the office for a bit.
Talk to you soon.

photo by Dunbar Hardy

Colorado Trip: Episode 3: Rio Embudo (what a river)

We just got off the water at the Pueblo Play Park and we were headed downtown to have a cold one with the local paddlers when my phone rang. Damn another relaxing evening after a good paddle lost to the need to drive 5 hours and paddle a new river. I had gotten two calls in a matter of minutes. "Hey the Embudo is cranking and you should come down". The guy on the other end of the line gave me all the info he had. It was like this, Big Party, Near Taos, camping at a confluence, Embudo river is near the town of Dixson, New Mexico. So with that detailed information we headed off into the desert to try to find a party in the middle of the night and then paddle the Embudo at fairly high water the next day. I was game because I have been wanting to get on the Embudo for a while. I had heard lots of great stories with the exotic name Embudo involved.

Yonton and I drove the 4+ hours down into the area but after searching down several dirt roads we found nothing and settled into sleep once again on the side of the road near a sign that said, "Embudo River". Figured that would help out in the morning. We woke in the morning with no more information and crappy cell service. We wandered around a little longer and had two lucky things happen. One we found the "Yacht Club" which was a quick stop coffee shop with kick ass breakfast burritos. The other piece of good luck was running into Stan who was a grizzled old raft guide looking guy who said, "oh yeah big party up that road right there last night". We headed up the road and ran into all kinds of kayakers and eventually found our team. Some were not in shape to paddle, some were.

Yonton took off with Katie and Jenn to paddle on a sweet wave on the Rio Grande. I took off with Dunbar Hardy and a pack of guys from the southern Colorado, New Mexico area. Dunbar, Brian, Brad, Tim, and Grayson Schaeffer made up the team. The nerves were a little high because not everyone had done it and we all knew that the level was high. The guys said it was in the 3.9 area on the gage. I am not totally sure what the top end is but it does seem like you could be on there a fair bit higher but you sure wouldn't want anything to go wrong or you would be picking up your boat in Texas.

The river started off with a mile of warm up stuff. Then it was game on. The first real rapids were pushy and very continuous. The eddies at that level were not big enough for the entire group. So we did a bunch of relaying info and working our way down this tight run. "The Long Rapid" was especially sweet because it was actually long and tight with bunches of moves to make. There were several rapids with a long pushy nature. I was given good beta like keep left of center then get some angle blah blah blah and it all went out the other ear by the time I entered the top of the rapid. It was pretty much combat paddling. Read and run fun. The main thing to know was that all the rapids pushed on through.
I put together a video of the river so the rapids that we scouted on in the video but as always video doesn't do it much justice. The sceneary and paddling were fantastic and I will make a return trip to do the Embudo again.
Here is the link to the video of the Embudo.
Rio Embudo Video Link

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