wildwildwes

Late Spring Heavenly Highland Whitewater

wildwildwes wrote 52 days ago:


This past winter and early spring was starting to look like we were not going to have much of a creek season in the southeast.  Warmer and dryer temperatures was the theme of the winter months in our region.  Then spring sprung and we had a few showers here in there in late March into early April that started getting an occasional run up to a runnable level for a day or so if you could catch it. 

At the end of April the weather changed and a more consistent heavy rain pattern started in the highlands region of northwest North Carolina and northeast Tennessee.  The highland area is centered in between Roan Mountain, Beech Mountain and Grandfather Mountain.  Out of this region flows some of the best rivers & creeks any Class IV-V boater would be thrilled to fire up such as: Watauga Gorge, Elk River Gorge, Doe River Gorge, Wilson Creek, Laurel Fork of the Doe, and the mighty Linville River Gorge.

  Running the bottom drop of Darwin’s Revenge on the Laurel Fork of the Doe. Photo by Matt Dalton.

I live only about 45 minutes to the center of this mecca of whitewater and we have truly been blessed with multiple option in the highlands region in late April and May.  I have been fortunate to catch many of these runs multiple times here lately and guide several first timers.

  Running Stateline Falls on the Watauga Gorge. Photo by Amos Ivey.

With all these local creeking options it has given me a chance to use both my trusty JK Karma Large and JK Zen Large on these runs back to back.  I still prefer my Karma for the harder steeper whitewater, but I love the sportiness of the Zen.  The extra buoyancy and boof ability of the Karma gets the job done well for me when I feel I need that extra safety net like on the Laurel Fork or the Elk.  However the Zen excels with speed and nimbleness in handling runs such as the Watauga and the Doe with the plethora of different moves and lines you can take on these runs.  The Zen also still amazes me at how well it stays on top of the whitewater despite my larger size.

Running the bottom drop of Groove Tube on the Laurel Fork of the Doe. Photo by Matt Dalton.

 

One of the highlights from this highland creek season was getting show down one of my best friends, Brain Vermillion, down the Elk Gorge as a birthday present with another best friend, Ryan Horn.  Check out Brian’s great video edit from the run:

YouTube Preview Image

 

 

 



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natefry

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown #1

natefry wrote 52 days ago:


The first event in the 2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown series was some fast paddling fun! We had a great turn out with 15 competitors joining in for some friendly downriver boatercross competition!  We had some spectators who watched and cheered on the competitors from the start line.  The event was held on the Lower Nolichucky River, TN with mild cloudy skies.

The river level was around 1,200 CFS and spirits were high with several first timers in this event!  The course start was at the USA Raft river access and the finish line was the Chestoa Pike Bridge 1.5 miles downstream.  The course have several class I-II rapids and a couple of islands to negotiate along the way.  We launched classes in a mass start format and good times were had by all!

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event #1 Results

Women’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Sarah Reis – Green Boat

2. Maggie Darden – Green Boat

Men’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Ryan Horn – Stinger

2. Jeff Vannoy – Green Boat

3. Wesley R. Bradley – Karma Unlimited

4. Steven Adams – Karma Unlimited

Men’s K-1 Short Boat:

1. Rahul Subramainian – Remix 69

2. Mike Crooks – Fun Runner 70

3. Elliot Wolff – Bazooka

4. Andy Woods – 9R

5. Isaac Balaicuis – Duckie

Women’s SUP:

1. Kathryn Bogdanescu

Men’s SUP:

1. Jack Nelson

2. Will Saylor

3. Tom Huml

 (Click here for a PDF copy of Event #1 Results)

 Thank you to all the racers for their participation and congrats to all of our class winners of Event #1!

Event Highlights:

*We had 1 SUP swimmer during the event at the finish.

*Some rocks may have been loaded into a racers boats prior to the race and going unnoticed complete the race in tow!

*Every competitor and/or volunteer in the event went home with a prize!

Event #1 Photo Album Link:

Cheryl Killman’s HTTD #1 photo album



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james

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown #1

james wrote 52 days ago:


The first event in the 2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown series was some fast paddling fun! We had a great turn out with 15 competitors joining in for some friendly downriver boatercross competition!  We had some spectators who watched and cheered on the competitors from the start line.  The event was held on the Lower Nolichucky River, TN with mild cloudy skies.

The river level was around 1,200 CFS and spirits were high with several first timers in this event!  The course start was at the USA Raft river access and the finish line was the Chestoa Pike Bridge 1.5 miles downstream.  The course have several class I-II rapids and a couple of islands to negotiate along the way.  We launched classes in a mass start format and good times were had by all!

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event #1 Results

Women’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Sarah Reis – Green Boat

2. Maggie Darden – Green Boat

Men’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Ryan Horn – Stinger

2. Jeff Vannoy – Green Boat

3. Wesley R. Bradley – Karma Unlimited

4. Steven Adams – Karma Unlimited

Men’s K-1 Short Boat:

1. Rahul Subramainian – Remix 69

2. Mike Crooks – Fun Runner 70

3. Elliot Wolff – Bazooka

4. Andy Woods – 9R

5. Isaac Balaicuis – Duckie

Women’s SUP:

1. Kathryn Bogdanescu

Men’s SUP:

1. Jack Nelson

2. Will Saylor

3. Tom Huml

 (Click here for a PDF copy of Event #1 Results)

 Thank you to all the racers for their participation and congrats to all of our class winners of Event #1!

Event Highlights:

*We had 1 SUP swimmer during the event at the finish.

*Some rocks may have been loaded into a racers boats prior to the race and going unnoticed complete the race in tow!

*Every competitor and/or volunteer in the event went home with a prize!

Event #1 Photo Album Link:

Cheryl Killman’s HTTD #1 photo album



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wildwildwes

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown #1

wildwildwes wrote 53 days ago:


The first event in the 2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown series was some fast paddling fun! We had a great turn out with 15 competitors joining in for some friendly downriver boatercross competition!  We had some spectators who watched and cheered on the competitors from the start line.  The event was held on the Lower Nolichucky River, TN with mild cloudy skies.

The river level was around 1,200 CFS and spirits were high with several first timers in this event!  The course start was at the USA Raft river access and the finish line was the Chestoa Pike Bridge 1.5 miles downstream.  The course have several class I-II rapids and a couple of islands to negotiate along the way.  We launched classes in a mass start format and good times were had by all!

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event #1 Results

Women’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Sarah Reis – Green Boat

2. Maggie Darden – Green Boat

Men’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Ryan Horn – Stinger

2. Jeff Vannoy – Green Boat

3. Wesley R. Bradley – Karma Unlimited

4. Steven Adams – Karma Unlimited

Men’s K-1 Short Boat:

1. Rahul Subramainian – Remix 69

2. Mike Crooks – Fun Runner 70

3. Elliot Wolff – Bazooka

4. Andy Woods – 9R

5. Isaac Balaicuis – Duckie

Women’s SUP:

1. Kathryn Bogdanescu

Men’s SUP:

1. Jack Nelson

2. Will Saylor

3. Tom Huml

 (Click here for a PDF copy of Event #1 Results)

 Thank you to all the racers for their participation and congrats to all of our class winners of Event #1!

Event Highlights:

*We had 1 SUP swimmer during the event at the finish.

*Some rocks may have been loaded into a racers boats prior to the race and going unnoticed complete the race in tow!

*Every competitor and/or volunteer in the event went home with a prize!

Event #1 Photo Album Link:

Cheryl Killman’s HTTD #1 photo album

 

A big thank you goes out to all of our great volunteers for their help in event #1:

Todd Emma – Finish Line Judge

Matthew Hart – Starter

Cheryl Killman – Photographer

 

A huge thank you goes out to our World Kayak Partners & the local sponsors below for all the great prizes & support of the events!

Our World Kayak Program Partners

Our local sponsors for this event:

    

A special thank you to USA Raft for hosting the event and providing shuttle for the competitors!

 

Stay tuned for details about HTTD event #2 coming soon to the Tri-Cities!  Hope to see you on the Noli to throwdown!!



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wildwildwes

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown #1

wildwildwes wrote 53 days ago:


The first event in the 2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown series was some fast paddling fun! We had a great turn out with 15 competitors joining in for some friendly downriver boatercross competition!  We had some spectators who watched and cheered on the competitors from the start line.  The event was held on the Lower Nolichucky River, TN with mild cloudy skies.

The river level was around 1,200 CFS and spirits were high with several first timers in this event!  The course start was at the USA Raft river access and the finish line was the Chestoa Pike Bridge 1.5 miles downstream.  The course have several class I-II rapids and a couple of islands to negotiate along the way.  We launched classes in a mass start format and good times were had by all!

2017 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event #1 Results

Women’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Sarah Reis – Green Boat

2. Maggie Darden – Green Boat

Men’s K-1 Long Boat:

1. Ryan Horn – Stinger

2. Jeff Vannoy – Green Boat

3. Wesley R. Bradley – Karma Unlimited

4. Steven Adams – Karma Unlimited

Men’s K-1 Short Boat:

1. Rahul Subramainian – Remix 69

2. Mike Crooks – Fun Runner 70

3. Elliot Wolff – Bazooka

4. Andy Woods – 9R

5. Isaac Balaicuis – Duckie

Women’s SUP:

1. Kathryn Bogdanescu

Men’s SUP:

1. Jack Nelson

2. Will Saylor

3. Tom Huml

 (Click here for a PDF copy of Event #1 Results)

 Thank you to all the racers for their participation and congrats to all of our class winners of Event #1!

Event Highlights:

*We had 1 SUP swimmer during the event at the finish.

*Some rocks may have been loaded into a racers boats prior to the race and going unnoticed complete the race in tow!

*Every competitor and/or volunteer in the event went home with a prize!

Event #1 Photo Album Link:

Cheryl Killman’s HTTD #1 photo album

 

A big thank you goes out to all of our great volunteers for their help in event #1:

Todd Emma – Finish Line Judge

Matthew Hart – Starter

Cheryl Killman – Photographer

 

A huge thank you goes out to our World Kayak Partners & the local sponsors below for all the great prizes & support of the events!

Our World Kayak Program Partners

Our local sponsors for this event:

    

A special thank you to USA Raft for hosting the event and providing shuttle for the competitors!

 

Stay tuned for details about HTTD event #2 coming soon to the Tri-Cities!  Hope to see you on the Noli to throwdown!!



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wildwildwes

After Work Doe River Gorge Goods

wildwildwes wrote 85 days ago:


Weekday after work runs are always a special treat for me.  Catching the Doe River Gorge at a good 750 CFS level is an even sweeter treat, because the take-out is only 10 minutes from my house!

Me and a group of 5 friends rallied earlier this week for delightful river trip in this under rated and hidden gem of a gorge!  Good times for sure with Todd Emma, Clay Landrum, Sarah Stine, Ryan Horn and Chris Clark on the Doe!! :-)

It was also nice to have a good place to take-out when we got to Hampton thanks to the partnership and work of the Elizabethton IDEAS Group and Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts Club in the development of the new river access site.

Congrats to Clay on his person first decent of this run and a nice video edit from the run!

YouTube Preview Image

 



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wildwildwes

JAW Demo at the Paddle In Pink Confidence Series: Dirty Bird

wildwildwes wrote 96 days ago:


When: June 24, 2017 @ 10:30 A.M.

Where: NOC Outpost on the Pigeon River

Who: Presented by Paddle in Pink for the ladies!

 

Ladies get out your playboats and your slicey boats, Paddle in Pink is putting on its 3rd annual Dirty Bird Confidence Series.  Come on out and join Crystal Gustin, Nikki Winkler Malatin and Katie Dean for this fun day on the Pigeon River Gorge!!  They will be guiding you down the river and showing you how to play your way down the river.

Last year was a big success with over 20 women learning how to get vertical and throw about in a playboat. This year the format will be very similar to last year; we will divide into two groups: short  playboats and slicey get vertical boats. If we have the interest, we will send a group directly down to the hole at NOC and work on park-n-play moves. Team members from Dagger, Pyranha and Jackson will lead the groups down the pigeon and instruct rock splats, eddie line squirts, surfing, loops and any request you want to throw at them.

The groups will progress to the NOC play hole where music and SweetWater beer will be enjoyed. A friendly competition will be in store to show off any move you would like to showcase. Pretty or otherwise.

The day will conclude with a raffle of prizes by various sponsors. This year the top prize will be an Orion cooler loaded with SweetWater Brewing Beer that is in Paddle in Pink colors, hot pink and black! All proceeds will go to a local animal shelter in memory of Jennifer Watson (our inspiration behind Paddle In Pink).

Please invite your friends!

Facebook event website for all the latest 411: https://www.facebook.com/events/772239839602140/

Don’t have a playboat or a slicey boat?  The Jackson Action Wagon is looking forward to supporting the event with FREE Jackson Kayak demos on-site!

Sponsors: Jackson Kayak, Orion Coolers, SweetWater Brewing Company and Kokatat



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wildwildwes

NoliFest Was Gnarly!

wildwildwes wrote 108 days ago:


The third annual 2017 NoliFest was so much fun on and off the river!  We were blessed with rain in the week leading up to the event and had some high river levels to enjoy the might Nolichucky River.  River trips were enjoyed by many paddling groups both in the gorge and on the lower .  We saw river levels from over 7,000 CFS on Friday to 2,400 CFS on Sunday!

There was lots to do off the river too for folks attending the event!  The vendor area was filled with many paddling and outdoor businesses/organizations representing.  Several tasty food vendors were on site.  There were many other activities going on throughout the weekend: One Wheel demos/race, SUP jousting, bands, trail run, kids nature scavenger hunt, SUP yoga & race, AT hike, kids fishing derby, fly fishing lessons & fireworks.  There was a  ton of fun to be had for sure!  USA Raft & Mountain River Guides did a stellar job of hosting and organizing everything!

The Jackson Action Wagon was proud to be a part of NoliFest again this year!  It has been amazing to watch this event grow each year!  The J.A.W. had a great demo/showcase event for Jackson Kayak on Saturday of the festival!  We raised $782 for Camp Bays Mountain in a raffle to give away a #JKAntix!! Congrats to Will Saylor as our lucky winner of the new boat.

Nolifest for the win! Enjoy this quick recap video and see you next year:

https://www.facebook.com/Nolifest/videos/1895198834090776/

#nolifest



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wildwildwes

The JAW is Giving Away a JK Antix at NoliFest!

wildwildwes wrote 115 days ago:


Where: USA Raft – 2 Jones Branch Rd, Erwin, Tennessee 37650

Check out all the announcements of event sponsors, bands, demos and more at:

http://www.nolifest.com/home.html and https://www.facebook.com/Nolifest/



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wildwildwes

2017 JAW Fleet Rolls into Action!

wildwildwes wrote 117 days ago:


Are you ready for FREE Jackson Kayak demos in 2017?  They’re here now!

Check out the full fleet on the Jackson Action Wagon page: http://worldkayakblogs.com/wildwildwes/the-jaw/

You can see more photos of the new fleet on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1267105856701809.1073741837.615362971876104&type=1&l=6ab8db7104

Schedule your FREE demo soon! :-)



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