Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Darn Those Fast Learners!


If you know me, then you know from the title that this is about someone else :-P Actually it is about my brother. Mike is seven years younger than I and is one of those guys that picks up everything he does quickly. I’ve had him rock and ice climbing – he got me into scuba. So now I’m throwing him in my wifes Java and having him bounce around in rivers.

He visits us from Seattle about twice each year and each time I’ve been getting him out to a pond or a pool at the Gutter and working on paddling basics. He learned to roll in 20 minutes at a pond by our house. So his next visit I took him to the Gutter and had him working on strokes and ferrying. A cold swim this spring convinced him to take time on his first roll and make it count. But he is also not afraid to hang in there and crank out 4 or 5 attempts.

So he visits this last week and we slated Friday, Saturday and Sunday to go and paddle. He has been begging me to run the Main Payette, but I’ve wanted it to be a good experience for him so I have balked until Friday when we were at the Gutter working on ferrying and eddy skills. He had one swim but really began to nail the eddy lines. He rolled a lot at first, but the got pretty clean until he got tired.

Saturday I decided to run him down the lower section from the bottom of AMF to the JetBoat ramp and that gave us some mild class IIs and one class III at the end. Worked him on eddy turns and even catching smaller eddies behind rocks in the middle of the river. Mike caught a few edges here and there, but did great really. My son Troy lead him down Climax and Mike didn’t follow the line close enough, hit a hole sideways, flipped and ran about half the rapid looking up. After getting knocked over by a wave on his second roll attempt, he did make his fourth. No swims which is better than I can say for myself on my first 3 runs down Climax! OK, he’s ready for the Main.

Sunday – woke to clouds and a little rain (which by the way put out most of the fires in the state!) but that doesn’t dampen Mikes ‘the show must go on’ attitude. Mike and I hit the road with my two boys – Troy (12) and Tyler (15) – and we slipped into drytops (for the first time in about 3-1/2 months!) just below GoLeft at Mile Post 77. Troy jumps into the lead with Mike following. Mike does well through the first three small II’s and then LunchCounter, Bennetts Rock and Constriction put a smile on his face. He finally flips below Mikes Hole in some swirly water, rolls up on an eddy line only to flip again, but busts out another roll and comes up smiling.

At MixMaster I called Tyler in closer to help clean up any boats, paddles, or his Uncle. Mike styled MixMaster and told me to make it a little harder on him. OK, we’re going to boof the rock on the right of Monicas Rock. He missed the line a little and slipped into the hole on the side of the rock – a flip and a roll. Another flip at the bottom of AMF, but again makes his roll. One more flip on the way to the take out in which he found out why we wear helmets – bounced off a couple of rocks and skinned some knuckles, but rolled up on attempt three.

So basically a little more work on edges and lines and Mike will be good to go – time to start having him reading water and leading.

So my little brother is a fast learner – must me nice….

Paddling with Your Kids


I look at most things I do as a family event and paddling is no different. I know there are many others out there including and Jim that have up and coming paddlers in the family – paddle partners for life.

With true whitewater boats now being produced for kids, new challenges have opened on the paddling frontier. I don’t think you can make a kid love paddling, but I think you have a huge impact in their decision by how you introduce them to the sport.

If you want some of my ideas on the subject – go HERE.

I would love to hear your ideas! Comment or EMAIL ME

Jay Kincaid in Boise July 31st for WK Boise Region Event!


Team Jackson's Jay KincaidCome meet Team Jackson Kayak paddler Jay Kincaid! Jay placed first in the 2007 Reno Whitewater Festival and is currently ranked in the topJay 4 freestyle paddlers in the world. Jay will be at Alpenglow Mountainsport at 1pm Tuesday July 31 for a Q&A – then paddle with him at the Gutter at 5pm.


In association with Alpenglow Mountainsport – Come out and try the new Jackson Kayaks for free and meet some new paddle partners! If you are newer to paddling this is a great place to work with eddy turns. If you like to surf it’s a great hole.

Bring your hot dogs and I’ll bring a grill and stuff to squirt on ‘em! :-)


EMAIL ME if you have any questions!







You know, we have really been enjoying the Gutter this year. Although it tends to be a little shallow (our friend Travis broke a paddle there just the other night), it’s still good for a lot of moves. Troy likes to hand-paddle since he has a solid hand roll. He is so small that he gets stuck in the hole the rest of us are trying to stay in during a move. Here is a shot fellow paddler Chuck K. took of Troy hand-paddling…

Troy Handpaddling

PBR off to a Great Start Friday Night…


The Payette Boise River revival got off to a good start on Friday night. Under the lights about 12 paddlers showed their stuff and for the youth finals Seth Stoener and Alec Voorhees put on a great show with Seth taking the popular vote. They were sure a lot of fun to watch. Troy was in the wave with his hand paddles and the crowd of about 150 or so loved it. Hope to see the event again next year – it seemed like a big hit!

What a great weekend!


Had a great weekend over Memorial Day. We had Colin Kemp from Team Jackson show up and paddle the Payette with us. Colin, aside from just being a great guy to be around, is an excellent instructor and really had the boys and I improving with great pointers.

The ‘Main’ was at a great level, Climax was in pretty well, and the Gutter was not bad.

If you ever have the privilege of paddling with Colin and his wife – expect to progress and have a great time! :-)

Looks like it’s going to get hot this week – oh, yea!

Troy’s Mind is in the Gutter…


The Gutter at Horseshoe Bend has been great this last week. Main Payette levels have been above 5,000 and water is spilling over the bladder – so the 4th wave has been washed out. But the 3rd wave has been awesome! Here is a shot of Troy getting in a little quality time…

Troy's Mind is in the Gutter

A Couple of Idaho Vids


Here is a clip from last September of my boys (Troy, 11, in the Red boat/black helmet – and Tyler, 14, in the blue boat/white helmet) as they ran the Cabarton section of the Payette. Here is a little footage of Howards Plunge…

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Here is some footage from the Salmon by idahosurfyak :

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The Big Chill


Wow, big cool down in Idaho this week. After a couple weeks of 70′s and mid-80′s – Horseshoe Bend was in the 50′s yesterday and 26 this morning. A chilly wind blew all day today. Warmer temps later this week though with mid 80′s forcast by Tuesday.

Spring is Here…Let’s get this started!


My oldest daughter, Brooke, and I

As the JK Ambassador for the Boise region I am really excited about what can be accomplished here. My goal is to help paddlers new to the sport, or new to the area, get networked in with other local paddlers. We will do this by scheduling weekly trips down the Payette. By using both easier sections of the river and the ‘Main’ Payette’s class III section – you will see what this great drainage has to offer and connect with other paddlers.

If you have any questions at all please feel free to email me 8)

My two sons, Tyler (15) and Troy (12) look forward to a great summer and we hope to see you on the river!
Gary Wilson