We just got out a few days ago on the Green with the protos of the Biscuit. I figured I would show you the few shots that we got. Yonton and Grace showing their playboating prowess. Also a good reason to not run Gorilla at 5.5 inches. This is what happens when you have done a river a bunch, and it doesn't rain, and your mountain bike is broken, and your girlfriend wants you out of the house? You go run that river again but this time you go in a tiny boat so that you can play your brains out and scare yourself a little. Anyway here are a couple more shots of the Biscuits.
I went out last weekend and shot a bunch of video of folks talking, paddling, scouting, being nervous, and firing it up on the Green in anticipation of the 13th annual Green Race. It was a hilarious day because you could feel the energy in the air. Folks were ready to talk.
Pink Helmet he must be a slalom boater.
This years race seems like it will be exciting for several reasons. One reason being the water levels this year are lower than we have ever seen for the race. Gorilla is pretty exciting and folks are trying to decide if they are going to nut up and run it or not. There have been many exciting runs including folks venturing out on the veil for rain shower rides. This Green Race also has many different folks looking fast. There are rumours about several behind the scenes paddlers ripping fast lines, and as always the well knowns are pushing the limit on how fast you can make it down the course.
Not the desired race line.
Flying into Go Left
First Timer Firing it Up, Yeah Suzana!
Tonight we have Greenoween at the Brew n' View. I think the costume contest is going to be tightly contested. I have heard about a lot of good costumes and many folks doing the same costumes. How many Colonel Dicks, Rock Stars, Birthdays, Frankenstiens, and Brides will there be? You better bring it if you want to win the boat. Should be a fun night hopefully I can get some good shots of the outfits.
Depends on How Cold It Is
Well anyway enjoy the video and there are a few strong words used in this video so if you are at work turn down the volume.
Just spent the last weekend with my brother and his family. We checked the levels on the Chattooga and...uh .49 not normally a level that we would head over there but we were hoping that it would be a perfect thing for the kids. Otter the oldest is just starting to run rivers so low low water was perfect for him. The rest of us were paddling duckies or the Remix XPs to carry gear. Since it was sooo low we decided to do the 76 Bridge to Woodall section and then camp at Woodall shoals. Its a short hike up to the parking lot from Woodall so the youngest could sleep in the camper and the older kids could do a camp out down by the river. Which makes for a big adventure.
Pete packing up the Remix XP
The Big Toe Paddle
My Bro and the Juice Box Hero
At .49 its not the rapids or dangerous rocks that are an issue. Its all about not getting stuck, and keeping the kids happy and stoked on what they were doing. So it was juice boxes all around after Screaming Left Turn. I have to admit this was a first for me. I also haven't paddled a river and stopped to play in the sand and hunt for gems either, but it seemed to be the way things were going. Another stop after Rock Jumble for snacks and we were practically home free. The flat stretch from there down to Woodall was full of fish so there was lots of fish finding going on as we drifted our way down.
Ahhhh Soy Chocolate!
Oh yeah thats the spot.
Bustin' The Whitewater
The whole family on the river
The Woodall take out was a perfect kids playground and easy for the adults. We cooked up some meat on a stick, and corn on the cob, while the kids played all evening and into the next day. In fact it was so perfect we just stayed and Otter said, "Are we having a layover day?" At Woodall there is an area that runs during high water that forms a perfect lagoon at lower water that is constantly fed fresh water from the main channel. Its totally protected and has a sandy beach, tiny waterfall, and large rock features to climb all over. So lots of swimming, paddling, and exploring ensued.
Ok you can have whatever you want.
Fun during the "layover day".
Big Bro and Lil Sis
All in all it was the perfect trip for this crew. Because it was sooo low the water was plenty easy for all the craft and paddlers. Beautiful warm days, cool sleeping weather at night, I love the fall.
Back on the blog again. Still trying to fill you all the way in on the trip to Canada where we were testing the Biscuit. Like I said before the water was not ideal for the big stuff on the Ottawa but the smaller playspots were on. So it was a great testing for that. But we were getting a little concerned that we wouldn't find a nice big wave for us to really check out its big wave potential. And then we got the call from Guillaume. High Tension Wave was coming in on the Gatineau River. Marlow's eyes were lighting up and non of the rest of us had ever paddled this wave but I had seen tons of photos and videos from the spot so we knew it would be good but we didn't realize how good it would be.
Yep its that good
But first lets get some good old fashioned Canadian culture under our belts. We were traveling in the middle of no where and this kayak drew us in. We didn't really know what it said but we did see the sign for Poutine. If you don't know what it is then you need to go to Canada just for a paddling trip and check it out because just like the paddling it is decadent, rich, basic, carnal, and heavenly all in one fell swoop. First you take french fries which we all know so well, then you throw on top some cheese curds (the white stuff in the photos), and then, why not, toss some gravey over the whole thing. In fact I am embarrassed that someone in the south didn't come up with this one first. Poutine, yes, is grits, biscuits, sausage, fries, moonpies, rc cola, and humidity all rolled into one. Its the bomb.
See if you understand the menu
Mmmmmm so much goodness in one place
Yonton in a state of lovin' it
It looks like heaven to me
Oh yeah back to the High Tension Wave on the Gatineau River. Lets just say 6 feet high, smooth and glassy, eddie service if you are on it, and it you aren't there is an eddie with a 60 second portage back to the wave just behind the next rock. Theres a pile to land all your tricks in if you can't land them clean. The good folks can stay on this wave to seemingly forever, the front surfers can stay on this wave to eternity and yep the Remix XP can surf it as well.
Marlow cleaning it up
Mar trying out another color
backwards, fakie, switch, whatever... clean
ollie off the rib
So obviously this was an amazing place to test the big wave ability of the Biscuit. We are maybe half way through the process of testing this boat out and things are looking really good. The first proto showed that the boat needed a trim in volume to balance the boats out. While I was in Colorado I was able to paddle in several awesome spots during the high water season but most notably was the Glenwood wave all the way from about 12 grand up to nearly 21 thousand. We also paddled it on big water on the Arkansas River. The Salida hole was working, and the Numbers were high but there were tons of different spots to play. These later protos were more balanced volume wise and I tried to increase the loosness. At the High Tension wave the looseness showed and all types of moves were working well. On the next round I am going to work on the edges a little. They are a little too dominant right now, especially near the ends of the boat. So the next transition will be perfecting the edges so that they are positive on a wave and easy to use otherwise as well as increasing the bounce and speed from the point where we are now. Hopefully I will have the next round of protos at the Gauley. In the mean time check out lots of photos from the trip up to the Gatineau River. There are also a bunch of other photos from the trip to Canada.
As I was leaving for my trip up to Canada to test the new Biscuit protos I got a couple of the new production Remix XPs to bring along as well. I figured they would be fun to have, because of all the flatwater on the Ottawa and Marlow said that the fishing was good. You can't playboat all day every day, can you? Well I can't.
The XP is based on the Remix. It has almost the exact same lines and proportions as the Remix. All we changed really was the width, length, and I did peak the ends of the bow a bit to help it track just a little better. Woody and I have paddled these boats in a bunch of places on fairly hard whitewater and they have performed really well as a whitewater boat, then when you hit the flatwater you just drop the skeg and chill.
The first time we had them out was on the Ottawa river. Marlow was fired up to do some fishing, and the sun was setting after a full day of playboating so it was all relaxing. Except for the fact that we needed to get down through Phil's hole. The boat was paddling well though so Marlow got the idea to try to surf the Hero Wave above Phil's. Not a big deal but if you wash off too far one way you have a decent chance of ending up in a big hole. Fortunately there is a big pool below the rapid. But what happened was that the XP surfed the wave like a dream. Mar was able to cruise around on the wave and "carve" about. Then a really funny thing happened Marlow got this idea, "hey I am going to drop the skeg". Thats when the really funny part started. The boat tracked perfectly on the wave. Marlow picked up his paddle, and of course the first thing you do is "air guitar", then he pretended to fall asleep, and then lay his paddle down and just sit there while the boat just cruise surfed a nice wave above Phil's hole. Next, "lets test the hatch and spray skirt". Marlow takes off and drops through Phil's backwards and everthing holds on fine.
Of course after that its back to serious fishing. We cruised the flats from McCoys back down to CJ's house fishing all the way. Mar caught a couple of fish looking like the true outdoorsman that he is and actually caught a pretty nice fish but after getting it in the boat it got away while shooting pictures of all things. After our first test of the final production Remix XP 10 we are giving it a huge thumbs up and who would have thought it would surf waves like that. Self support on the Canyon here we come. Hope everyone's summer is going well. Shane
There is a slideshow to all the photos at the bottom of the post.
It was sooo dry here in the south that I decided to drive up north to paddle in Canada. They had been getting lots of rain and even as recently as a couple weeks ago Buseater was in so we knew we would find something good to paddle. Even at the in between levels that we were looking at on the Ottawa there were plenty of smaller play spots to test on. So it was a good start for checking out the Biscuit protos.
Setting up the new boats
The crew was:
Me: (43) Once I knew how to playboat, a little, but now I am an off the couch playboater.
Yonton: (young punk) He is a fantastic playboater who has made the finals in several world championships, but also a little off the couch.
Justin: (older than Yonton) Justin is more of a river runner but also a good playboater.
Beaz: (old as dirt):) Beaz is my old paddling buddy from travels in the past. His claim to playboating fame is '97 Worlds in an Open Canoe and poster boy for Perception in a Super Sport.
Marlow: (young punk) Marlow, well you all know Marlow. He is one of the top wave paddlers in the world.
CJs House Along the River
We were lucky enough to be able to stay at Camp CJ (Cindy Jamison's) place along the Ottawa river. Its easy paddling distance to the main two runs and super close to Garburator and McCoys. It was perfect. Thanks CJ.
Afer driving all day we did stop off at the Black River to paddle at Hole Brothers at a horrible level. Not sure why we did that but hey a day on the water is better than a... We had the whole crew from Hudson River Rafting out in the boats. The wave was slow and not very dynamic but folks were able to do some stuff and it did turn out to be a good testing of how the boat did on smaller, slower features. It showed me that I need to work on the speed a touch more and probably make the ends a bit more slicey but that was about as much info as I could get out of this spot at this level.
Yonton working the blunt
Once we got to the Ottawa the levels weren't perfect but there were several smaller spots that were really fun and our first day on the river was a really fun evening paddle as a storm rolled in over the plains. There was a slow wave hole that was perfect for mellow surfing, spins, and blunts. And a very good little play hole that were getting most hole moves to work. It was here that we really figured out that this thing is very good in a hole. Its super well balanced and likes to be vertical. It was a little shallow for big loops but there were lots of good loops and McNasty type things going on.
Under cool stormy skies
Then we noticed just on the other side of the island from the smaller play hole there was a bigger faster spot that was giving up some blunts and good fast cartwheels.
The sun came out the next day
After the first couple of days testing on the Ottawa we all felt pretty solidly that this thing was great in the hole. We were able to test it in several different types of holes and actually found a couple waves that were a little bigger as well. And our thoughts at the Black were confirmed on the slower waves. "I would like it to be a little faster on smaller slower stuff." What was surprising though was how well it took off on the bigger stuff. On the two bigger waves that we were able to paddle on the Ottawa the Biscuit started to speed up, and it got loose as hell.
Speeding up on the bigger waves
Yonton clean bluntin'
Here is the slideshow to all the photos. There are somewhere around 40 shots of our time on the Ottawa testing the Biscuits. If you have anything you would like to see let me know. Or if you have any questions feel free to ask.