Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Liquidlogic Versa Board on the Nantahala

We have had the Versa Board in production for a couple months and the word is coming around that people are having a great time paddling them in all types of water.  The original purpose of the Versa Board was to make a great entry level paddle board that anyone could enjoy jumping on and paddling around the local lake, river, or waterway.  But the more we paddle it the more we realize how fun this thing is to paddle down easy whitewater.

I went over to the Nantahala with Adriene for a kayak competition and took the Versa Board to try out on the river.  Robert Bone from the NOC was game so we loaded a couple boards up and headed up stream for a couple mile paddle down the lower section of the Nanty.  Neither of these guys had paddled a board on a river before so I was interested to see how it would go.  Keeping your balance while sitting on your butt is one thing but stand up and paddle its a whole new feeling.  Amazingly the Versa Board looked totally stable and easy to deal with for them.

The Versa Board actually made the paddle down the Nanty a really enjoyable afternoon of fun, a little challenge, and some excercise.  Here is a video I put together of the trip.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Liquidlogic at the NOC shootout and Demo

This past weekend I went over to the Nantahala Outdoor Center to show boats at the store as well as watch the action at the Shootout, which is the first event in the USAFK point series.  Liquidlogic had a few entrants and they showed proud for the event both in the new playboat Biscuit series, and older freestyle designs.  John Clark from NOC rocked a Skip in the C-1 category and was amazing out there slicing an dicing and throwing in the big loop on just about every ride.  Jordan Poffenberger came in Second to John in C-1.  He was throwing massive loops and doing this crazy McNasty entry move.  Maria and Adriene represented in the Women's category really well with 2nd and 3rd places.  Maria consistently threw blunts and roundhouses to tally up the points while Adriene looked destined for a disappointing performance when in the last few seconds of her last ride she threw a huge loops and stuck it in the very flushy feature.

We also had a big winner in the Attainment race.  Chris Hipgrave took the gold, beating a field of 20 plus by paddling UP river to Nantahala falls and then paddling back down the fastest while.  This race was fantastic to watch because it was a La Mans start.  Everybody started out of their kayak, then ran to their boats, jumped in, and paddled away all together.  The fun was watching people try to put skirts on quickly and then battling in the eddies for position to paddle upstream while 20 other people hacked away with ther paddles as well.  Chris was in the Remix Stinger race boat and made it look oh so fast.  Congrats Chris!

The Nantahala is also going to be home of the 2012 World Cup and 2013 World Championships.  It is going to be a great place to be during the time.  It should be like a world paddling village.  I can't wait.  Some of my favorite paddling experiences have been in situations where paddlers from all over the world are camping, paddling, and living together.  It is always a good time.

The NOC demo day was great as well.  Almost all the our boats were out at some time or another but none were out as much as the Remix XP 9 and 10.  It just seems like this is the boat of choice for a bunch of paddlers both new and old to the sport.

All in all a great time.  Here is a slide show of all different parts of the event.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Green River Clean Up Session!

The Pile! 
photo by Jakob Kafer

If you are a regular on a river you get to have a certain connection with it.  You start to feel as though you know it like the back of your hand, the changing seasons, the water levels, the locals.  It all just feels sooo familiar.  Every once in a while I paddle this river, the Green, and I get to see it in a whole new way.  This past Saturday was one of those days.  If you have ever floated down your home river closely looking for garbage it can be disconcerting how much you find.  The Green though it is very remote feeling it is also impacted heavily by people.   Its headwaters are a lake that is populated to busting with homes, and docks.  Its tributaries flow through construction sites, and appliance riddled hollows.  So there are times that it feels pristine but then you look closely and see more.  This day gave me a new perspective on just how much garbage there is but that search also had me standing and looking at the river from places I hadn't ever been before.

The Crew at the Get In

We chatted up the idea of having a full scale clean up session this weekend but I was pretty sure that we wouldn't have many folks considering the weekend also had a Tallulah release, and a Cheoah release.  It was awesome to roll into the parking lot and see the huge crowd that showed up to gather the garbage.  I don't really know how many folks but I am guessing over 30.  It was incredible.  At first many people didn't think there would be enough garbage for all the paddlers but within the first mile we all knew that was not the case.  It will take many more huge efforts like this one to really get it all done but this effort put the first big dent in it.  Hopefully we can start a tradition and continue to do spring cleanings on our home run.

The Tire was Epic!
photo by Jakob Kafer

One fire extinguisher, several tires, fishing rod, foam mattress, 37 tennis balls, a couple soccer balls, pvc pipe, part of a windsurfer, part of a port-a-john, lots and lots of styrofoam, and a great day giving back to the river that gives us soo much.   There are more photos below and a bunch more in the slide show at the bottom.


Wheelie Through the Notch
photo by Jakob Kafer

Fully loaded
photo by Jakob Kafer

The Prize at the end of a great day!
photo by Jakob Kafer

Here are all the photos from myself and Jakob Kafer.

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