The tallest mountains in the world surround us. Their brilliant, snow-encrusted peaks seem almost dull in comparison to the vibrant prayer flags and audaciously painted structures here in the quintessential Himalayan mountain town of Jagat. From this microscopic Nepali village, Garen Stephens and myself would start yet another trip of a lifetime. The plan was simple; kayak from just north of Jagat nineteen miles down to the slack water of the Mid-Marsyangdi hydro-dam, located just to the south of the town of Besisahar.
Check out the whole story of Chris Baer’s trip to Nepal
Peru – Machu Picchu Kayak Fest In just its first year, Machu Picchu Kayak Fest was one for the books. After two days of flights and a long shuttle from Cusco I made it to Cocalmayo Lodge, outside Santa Teresa, Peru, just in time to unload my gear and hop in the back of a truck to head into to town for… I wasn’t quite sure. We drove a few minutes arriving at the main square and were ushered into town hall where several of the town leaders welcomed all of the kayakers and the event into Santa Teresa. We were greeted with kind smiles full of love and camaraderie. After a full rundown of events for the weekend we were all fed amazing food, prepared in the traditional ways of the Inca. Beef, pork, lamb and chicken, along with potatoes, rice and drink were given to everyone. I immediately realized this was to be a weekend like I had never seen!
For full recap visit http://creeksides.blogspot.co.id/2016/12/peru-machu-picchu-kayak-fest.html
Oct 21 | The Stikine: A Season Finale by Kyle Smith IMG_2592Smitty is one trip away from eddying out and heading east, swapping whitewater hydraulics for pharmacology exams. After spending the spring charging peak run offs and the summer guiding in pristine wilderness, only one place could wrap up his season with such amplitude: the Stikine. I sat on the banks of the river as the spring flows lapped against the shore, waves whopping my boat because I was too lazy to drag it any farther onto the beach. A four-day descent of nearly 250 miles of Idaho whitewater was a pretty good way to kick off my final boating season before heading to nursing school on the East Coast. This was it. The last spring spent kayaking and reveling in mostly unhindered river logistic scheming. stikine_2_web Whenever the phone rang after a rainstorm, or a text pinged while I swam in anatomy and physiology flash cards, I begged for it to reveal a distraction from school life. Please be describing some hair-brained mission to escape onto a river. I suppose that’s why I had a kayak sitting in the garage, a mesh bag full of my paddling gear propped against it. I could be gone at a moment’s notice. The East Coast was calling, but I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to use my waning time out west to soak up as much paddling time as I could. Weekend trips to the Little White, followed by a four-day rally to California (me studying in the passenger seat until we arrived) to paddle the Yuba and Feather rivers. A handful of Idaho desert river self-supports. A few high-water South Fork Salmon laps. Catching the Middle Fork and Main Salmon at peak runoff for the year. Coming off a 200-mile, three-day paddle to catch the South Fork Salmon for its peak runoff, too. Flying into the backcountry to paddle three tributaries. stikine_4_web Yeah, the season was sizing up pretty well. A full summer of guiding on the Middle Fork was the only thing between now and filling my truck to the brim with the flotsam of school life and urban-apartment living. 16 months of pure mind-crushing academia and pharmacology. (My recreating buddies better be thankful when I know how to put them back together after a big crash.) With all of that coming down the pipe, there was just one last thing I yearned to be icing on the cake. (Drum roll.) The Stikine. Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if, by some grace of the paddling gods, I could wrap up an entire spring and summer of kayaking and guiding in pristine wilderness with amazing friends by pilgrimaging to the ‘Great White North’ of British Columbia? To paddle one of the most intimidating rivers on the planet, terrify myself, fry my nerves and adrenal glands, then mosey my ass to the East? “Yeah Kyle, it would be amazing,” I said to myself. But I never thought it would happen. Too many things would have to line up. “There’s work scheduling between myself and the crew. I’m nowhere ready for school. My girlfriend is waiting for me in Boston. I haven’t paid my tuition (hell, I don’t even know how I’m going to pay my tuition). The flows of the Stikine are fickle at best. And (for God’s sake!) I haven’t been paddling anything harder than class III for over two months.” I rattled off excuse after excuse. It was impossible—I wrote it off. Then, as I returned to service following a two-week trip in the Frank Church Wilderness, my phone pinged. A message from Big-Water-Bond: “Stikine is in!” I sighed. Son of a bitch. stikine_1_web I made phone calls to my university advisor(s), financial institutions, girlfriend (tears to be included) and family members. Straight off the grid, I had 48 hours to be packed, mentally prepped, and in the car heading north for one of the most committing river expeditions I know of. Luckily, I managed to squeeze in a run on the North Fork of the Payette to brush the rust off before leaving Boise in the Ford Taurus. Bond came straight off a 12-hour ER shift and we made way for the banks of the Stikine early in the morning. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was shitting myself—part giddy excitement, but mostly nerves. We had a 36-hour drive. Just enough time to read horrifying accounts from legends like Doug Ammons, peppered with plenty of disturbing stories of people hiking-out through wilderness, thick with grizzly and moose. Mental notes taken: Don’t swim and don’t put on when it’s raining. stikine_6_web As predicted, we arrived in British Columbia 36 hours after peeling out of the Boise hospital’s parking lot. We spent the next day packing, unpacking, and repacking before heading to the put-in. The following three days were filled with deep canyon walls the color of black onyx and speckled with white dots, which turned out to be mountain goats. We paddled extremely difficult and committing whitewater, often without an opportunity to scout any more than the first 50 yards of a quarter-mile long rapid. Roshambo and go! stikine_3_web The sand flies tore at our flesh insidiously. Slow and constant. We wrapped ourselves in every light piece of clothing we could, covering every possible inch of skin. They still got at our eye lids. Had I not learned my lesson in Peru? Man, the things we would have bartered for a little mosquito netting. Luckily, the weather was pleasant and sunny, uncharacteristic to the typical rainy and cold. We reveled in the warmth of the sun and the ability to dry our gear after long days locked in the canyon. stikine_7_web We had the pleasure of paddling alongside a few whitewater legends: Gerry Moffat, Willy Kern, Ryan Casey and Scott Lindgren. They’re veterans of the canyon, as well as of some of the greatest river explorers of all time. Psang Pso ring a bell? It was humbling, a little unsettling, but oddly reassuring, to see them as nervous as we were for what the following days would bring. They always set off a couple of hours before us, as we—four paddlers that had never experienced the Stikine—lingered in camp. They left us to explore the canyon for the first time on our own, with fresh eyes and little expectation. Navigating alone is an amazing way to see such a spectacular place, as well as to test one’s whitewater reading skills and team dynamics. We reached the take out roughly 72 hours after getting to the river. As Willy Kern has said before: “Nothing was different, but everything had changed.” As is with every river, we would take something special away from that place, a memory cemented in time. Full of laughter, fear, joy, awe, anxiety, and respect for places like these and the moments that we have with our friends in them. stikine-from-fb_web After a hardy intake of greasy food and poutine (a Canadian special of French fries topped with fried cheese curds and gravy) the crew dropped me off at the airport, where I left the country early in the morning and arrived back in Boise late that night. The next day, with adrenal glands exhausted, I loaded my truck. That just happened, I thought as I pulled onto the interstate heading east. I eased into the driver’s seat with a smile on my face. On to the next journey.
Howdy Folks, Hope this finds everyone well! After a successful premiere at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, NC last week, and a film tour around the state (completed by bike!), I am very excited to announce that our latest short film, EXPLORE. Chapter Three, is now live online! The film, produced by the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC), shows a few of the highlights from a three week bike trip we took across Cuba earlier in the year. Check out the film, at… https://vimeo.com/169695186 And for still photos and a few stories from the adventure… http://explore.usnwc.org/ BIG Thanks to the USNWC, Tyler Allyn, Jeff Wise, Adam Bratton, Kira Tenney, Will White and everyone else who helped pull this project off, made this trip happen, or came out to support us at the Premiere and Film Tour! None of this would be possible without your ongoing enthusiasm, patience and support. Enjoy, and hope to see each of you soon! Chur to the CHUR, Coop
This past weekend I got the chance to run the Green River Narrows! It was most of the most technical runs I have every done and the funniest of them all! My favorite rapids were Zwicks, Scream Machine and Rapid Transit. I would like to give a huge thank you to Eric Bartl and Michael Ferraro IV for taking my down and putting up with my nonsense. It will go down as one of my favorite runs and I can’t wait until I can do the Big Three and and someday soon race in the famous Green Race
I made a quick video of the run. Check it out!
This is a short video of our time in Mexico. We at SUP Kentucky believe that its necessary to paddle all year long. We strive to stay on top of the SUP world by competing and running hard rapids. All of this experience transfers to our student through Knowledge and FUN!
Lets get out and paddle!
The state of Kentucky has more navigable waterways than you can imagine. What better way to explore this wonderful state than through its watery roads? SUP Kentucky has been established to do just that. We will get you out on the water. With the help of NRS and the local paddling clubs!
Lately I have found that SUP or Stand Up Paddling allows me to explore and enjoy these waters with minimal eqipment. Your point of view is unique because you are literally walking on water.
|First time SUP Kentucky|
Paddle Boarding is a new sport that offers exercise, fun and outdoor activity. Anyone can learn within just a few minutes. Adults and children alike love the SUP boards!
|kids sup kentucky|
What better way to get the whole family out of the house this summer! Come join us at WWW.SUPKENTUCKY.COM or find us on facebook.
I can’t believe that 2015 is already over. This last year I did more things that I would have ever thought I would do. 2015 was definitely the best and most fun year I have ever had.
In February I was able to go to Uganda for a month to surf the big waves on the Nile River. It was super good training for the 2015 World Championships on Garburator wave on the Ottawa River in Ontario, Canada. This was the highlight of the trip because I might not ever be able to go to Uganda and paddle the Nile again. I learned so many new tricks like the Pan Am and Helix. I was also able to sharpen up some other tricks like the Airscrew and clean blunt. Now after being there Nile Special is my favorite wave I have ever surfed in I think it is going to take a lot to change that. Ever since I learned about kayaking in Uganda I have wanted to go and it is most kayakers dream to kayak the Nile River.
Later that spring I started training to make the US team in Glenwood, CO. My dad and I went up to Riggins, ID to surf Gold’s Hole after we heard the Reno River Festival was canceled due to no water. This was probably the best wave to train on for the US team trials and such a fun wave. It was a similar shape to the wave in Glenwood which made me train a lot harder and also allowed me to make the transition from surfing super-fast wave like Nile special and Club wave on the Nile to slower and smaller waves
In early May and June, the Colorado tour started which included the Buena Vista Paddle Fest, Go Pro Mountain Games, and USA Team Trials. In Buena Vista I had some of my best rides in competition ever. I made it into finals in the 2nd place right behind my brother, as he had really good rides. In finals I had my single best score in competition ever with a 740 points. Alec still bettered my score with a 1100-point ride and Brody Kellogg was right behind me. I was still pretty stoked to improve my personal best of 500 points though. Afterwards we went straight to Glenwood to try and get as much time on the wave as possible before the competition. When we got there the water level was pretty low and it was tough to do some wave tricks. As the week went on the water level started rising slowly but surely and was turning more into a smooth, glassy wave. Team Trials was only two weeks away and there was a competition in Lyons, CO that I had skipped because I was still trying to figure out the wave. I had learned that the higher the water got, the more tricks I was able to do and I was able to get a routine down. One week later we went to the Go Pro Mountain games right before the competition with basically no practice. I was pretty surprised to take 8th place in Men’s Pro after only a couple hours in the hole beforehand. I had a lot of fun just trying to do some different tricks. At the beginning of my ride I threw a massive entry McNasty, which was my first in competition, and a Phonix Monkey, which was also a first. The next day we went back to Glenwood to start training again as the water level continued to rise. I finally started to feel confident in my routine.
In prelims I was having ok rides and going into the finals in 5th place. All I could think about was that I needed to have at least one killer ride just to make it in the top three to make the team. I knew that every other junior was going to lay down some really good rides because of how much was on the line. I knew that they all wanted to be in the top 3 just as much I did and for some them it was their last chance to compete as a junior World Championships. I really wanted to get a good first ride to relieve some pressure, but I ended up flushing off of the wave before throwing a single trick and getting a zero-point ride. On my 2nd ride I did exactly what I wanted to and I got a pretty decent score. I finished just behind my older brother in 2nd place. I was so excited to be able to make the US team on my first try as junior and both of us making it on the team.
This year I also had the opportunity to teach at the Kelly’ Academy in Cascade, ID for my third year. Kayaking has been such a big part of my life and I am grateful that I get the opportunity to share it by teaching others. I thought that this was probably my favorite year of teaching because I was able to teach in all of the different classes there. Some days I was helping out with the river surfing class, the SUP class and also the kayaking class. It is really fun to teach kids my own age because it takes away the idea that the adults or pros can do things but then they look and me and realize that I am their same age and it is just a matter of learning the skills. It was super cool to be able to kayak every day at one of my favorite place in the world. Middle wave there was really good due to the lower water. I had a blast teaching for a couple hours and then going out with a surf board, kayak, or a SUP. I was also super lucky to get some coaching by Clay Wright, Claire O’Hare and Alec Voorhees after classes as well to prepare for World Championships.
Right after the academy, my brother and I were asked by Jessie Stone to help out with a clinic in New York that she does every year. I was pretty excited to go to New York for my first time. The clinic was for kids that had a rough time at home and lived on their school campus to introduce them to the rivers and to the let them see what it was like outside of the city. We started out teaching them the basics in a pool and then we took them out to the river. They all had a blast on the river after they got over their fear of flipping over and just being in the river. I had a great time with them because they were the same age as me and some a little older. We all had a lot of fun together the entire week we were there. Because it was my first time in New York I went to the big city with Alec and Jessie and it was way different than anything I am used to. I thought it was the weirdest thing that people only had tiny dogs.
Immediately after the clinic in New York I went to the Ottawa river in Ontario, CA to train for the World Championships. My brother and I got there six weeks before the competition to train. I ended up hurting my back in the first two weeks and had to spend the next two weeks going to the chiropractor and not boating. I was finally able to paddle right before Worlds. For anyone that has not been able to go to World Championships and compete or just be a spectator, I can tell you that it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I felt very honored to be able to represent the United States. I really got a sense of what I had accomplished just to make it on the team and to be able to compete as I walked in the parade at the opening ceremonies. I was able to use all of the experiences that I had had over the year from going to Uganda to train and spending time competing and getting ready for team trials and battling back from 5th place to making the team. With all that I had done, I was ready to compete but you could feel the pressure from all of the athletes. Competing on a wave that is considered non-attainable raised the stakes and the pressure because with one bad surge you can be surfed out and your ride can be over in a flash. I was able to do well in prelims and went into semi-finals in 8th place. I knew that I had battled back in team trials from 5th to 2nd, but the pressure and atmosphere was definitely different. I knew that I had the ride to score what I needed to be able to move up into the top 5 and make it to finals but I would have to be perfect on my tricks for them to score. Unfortunately, my rides didn’t go as well as I would have liked in semi-finals, but I was pretty stoked to be able to take 10th place in the juniors after battling the injury and the pressure of Worlds.
2015 was definitely the best and most exciting year I have had yet. I would not have been able to do any of the things I did without my sponsors: Jackson kayak, NRS, Asana, Snapdragon Skirts, WRSI, Premier Athlete, and Kelly’s White Water Park. I am super excited to see what happens in 2016 and in the future.
-do well at USA Nationals
-do well in all of the Colorado competitions
-train really hard
-Go to Brazil and Argentina for the World cup