Archive for September, 2007

My Favorite Part of Kayaking…



I really liked this picture of my youngest daughter, Paige, who wanted me to work with her on rolling. It was early September, the Gutter was loaded with parents and kids paddling and it was just a great day.

To me, this is what paddling is all about – I may never run a class V, just give me a kid on the river :-)

Also go HERE and check out another Boise youngster, Connor, and his letter to EJ on the Jackson Kayak site.

A Week in Oregon


Oregon CoastWe took off last Thursday and headed for Oregon. Could not have asked for better weather :-)

For the first couple of days we stayed at my in-laws ranch near Glide. We happened to find that one of my Father-in-laws friends across the road paddled and not only that – had a cool surf wave in his back yard on the North Umpqua River. We paddled a few hours with Bruce on Friday. He had an Dagger Freefall which he paddled for a while, then jumped in my Rocker and paddled a bit – even surfed it. Then jumped in Tyler’s 4Fun, the shortest boat he had been in – and really carved up the wave! The water was cool and very clear – great to be on the river during the ‘off season’!

Then on Sunday we hit headed for the coast. Stopped in at our camp site at Honeyman Park just south of Florence. We have never ocean surfed before, so this was all new. Ran up to recon South Jetty and after a couple of calls to WelshKate we had our many questions answered for the most part (I thought of plenty more while I was crawling into my boat)! Thanks Kate!

Monday we parked at the end of the Jetty and hiked about 1/2 mile to a spot that looked good. Pulling boats over the sand has a lot more friction than I thought. Took off somewhat apprehensively into waves that looked to be 4 to 5 feet. Kate’s advice on getting out through the surf helped a lot! The waves were great – Man, I love front surfing :-)

Tuesday we paid the $5 fee and parked at Beach #3 on the Jetty and carried boats over the sand hill – much easier. Waves were either a little bigger or just steeper here – even more fun! After about 1-1/2 hours into it I was wiped out. Started catching edges and know it was time to get out. Had some great rides – a little grinding and 360′s.

I was surprised at some of the differences between river boating and surf kayaking.

- I found it a little more sandy
- The salt water was different to be in. Felt like I had eaten a bag of sunflower seeds after 1/2 hour
- We all found that when a wave is dumping you onto the beach really watch your edge! It’s not fun grinding up the beach for 20 feet on your shoulder and ear ;-)
- There was also a lot of sand.
- There is a wave about every 6 to 9 seconds.
- Lots of sand
- It is pretty shallow! Where we were the waves were breaking at about 6 feet deep, but about 1/2 way in you were in 2 feet of water.
- When the wave hits you it’s like 0 to 30 in .5 seconds
- Pulling your boat in sand is harder than I thought – gear up and carry that sucker!
- Did I mention lots of sand???

It was a great time with a big learning curve. Can’t wait until next year – already making plans! Here are a few pics – I’ll get some video on this weekend…

Carl’s Wave – hard to see with the lighting


Day 1: Pulling boats
Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

Day 2: Getting Ready
Oregon Coast

Up and over…
Oregon Coast

Troy and Tyler with their Grandpa Teel
Oregon Coast

Fish out of water…
Oregon Coast

Heading out
Oregon Coast

Tough life…
Oregon Coast

Looking for crab
Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast

The whole Tribe :-)
Oregon Coast

Devon Barker holding Women in Whitewater Session Oct 5th in Boise



From Devon:

Dear Friends,

Come learn to roll or work on your brace for free at BSU! Oct. 5th! I am holding a video presentation followed by a pool night at BSU. All the details you need are below and in the attachments. I cannot wait to see all of you right before I leave for the Surf Wolds in Spain! You can also check out the info on!

Paddle in Peace, Devon




Spend the evening with not only a renowned kayaker, but also a renowned female kayaker. Devon is the World Surf Kayak Champion, a 2-time National Freestyle Kayak Champion, a National Certified Board Educator, and the creator of Dare to Kayak. Everyone is welcome to watch a slideshow of her incredible adventures on the World Kayak Tour and her other kayak trips around the world. Her story and experiences will inspire female kayakers of all skill level. Then spend a few hours in the pool working on rolling techniques and outfitting kayaks to be more specific to women.

Women and kayaking will be held on Friday, October 5 from 6:00pm until 7:00pm in the Student Recreation Center classroom for the slideshow, and then we will move to the Boise State Pool for rolling techniques from 7pm until 10pm. The cost is free. Don’t forget your water bottle and swimwear.

Contact: Geoff Harrison, Assistant Director for Outdoor Program, (208) 426-2628,

Media Contact: Heather Gribble, Promotions Coordinator for Campus Recreation, (208) 426-5674,

For additional details visit our web-site:

There’s a New Hero On the Horizon – And He Has a Sidekick!


New Hero/SideKickI just saw this on Westley’s Wild World – New Hero/Super Hero and SideKick design is out! This boat looks sweet! Really looks like a blend between a Fun and Rocker.

The best part is the smaller version for kids. I’m sure Troy will be picking up a SideKick this spring :-)

Go to the Jackson Kayak site for all the details.

Morgans Kayaking Comics


RapidPirateIf you haven’t checked out Morgan’s Chronicles then you are missing something. Morgan has really put together some great comics – check them out HERE  :-)

Fall kayaking Can Be a Rewarding Experience…


…if you’re ready for the cold Idaho Statesman – Edition Date: 09/11/07 By Dr. Collins – Link to article is HERE

The days seem so short now, and there is frost up on the peaks in the Frank Church. Winter is coming on strong, and we all hope for a great snow year, both for the critters, the farmers and the skiers. For the kayakers, the season is still going strong.
Gone are the rafts full of screaming people, gone are the crowds at the put-ins, and gone are the lines at the favorite waves. What has not gone is the pure joy of seeing the river with a different face the fall face. It is a very pretty one indeed, but beware of the smile; there are still dangers out there.
In fact, most people think low water means safer water, and this is definitely not true. Low fall water means not only cold water but also bigger rocks and tighter runs. All those routes you used down various rapids just won’t work with low water, and new rapids surface that you may have never seen before. As an example, just below Mike’s Hole there is a rapid that is pretty much washed out all spring and summer, until now. If you stick to the left, that hole that sprang up just might give you a surprise. The message is clear: This is a new river at lower flows. Rocks pop up, logs become problems, and even things like cars in the river start to surface!
After adjusting to the low water changes in the river, you also need to consider your own preparation and how to prepare your boat. It is definitely a team effort out there. For starters, the main Payette will soon be about 50 degrees. Not freezing, but not warm either. Spending several hours in 50-degree water will definitely chill you out, so you need to dress appropriately.
Start on the skin level. The first layer should be a non-cotton, sweat-transfer layer like polypro. Even though you are mainly concerned with the cold, you need to have a way to get rid of skin moisture and sweat in order to stay warm. Next, a thicker synthetic fleece vest or shirt will help keep the warmth you generate in and the chill from the water out. For the outer layer, either a paddling jacket with a tight neck and arm closure is the ticket. Gaskets on a dry top work great, of course, as does a dry suit.
If you are going the gasket route, make sure you take a close look at them before you head up. The cold weather will make them less flexible and will encourage them to split. If you see cracks in them at home, you can count on these cracks failing when you try to slip your head through in the cold. Duct tape does not work to fix them either, not even temporarily. People have died from a duct-tape repair to a dry suit that failed and allowed the suit to fill up during a swim. The answer is to get them to the river shop and get them fixed before you find out how much water can leak in through a small split in a gasket.
Since the head is like the radiator for the body, you need to pay special attention to heat loss there. There are great inner head liners that will fit under most helmets and provide enough of a head-seal that you won’t get that “ice cream headache” when you roll. They are great stocking stuffers, by the way. Really, spend the bucks to get one of these and you will never boat without one in the cooler weather again.
Ear protection is also important in cold water. There are special ear plugs for boaters, and they do work well. Dousing your ear canal with cold water is not only painful but can lead to overgrowth of the canal. In some cases this may require surgery to repair. Since the water is lower, and there is a chance of scraping against a rock if you flip, some folks are using face-guards on their helmets. These can protect against kissing a rock and having dental work done. Consider them.
Finally, the hands are especially vulnerable to the cold, and, lucky for you, there are paddling-specific gloves out now that can solve this problem. They work great and are pretty lifelike. The old standard pogies are always an option. They don’t work as well as the new gloves, but with them, you keep your hand directly on the paddle. It is your choice.
What about the boat? Trying to get one of those newer, tighter spray skirts on can be a real chore, and almost impossible when it really gets cold. Think about using a skirt that is not so tight around the cockpit. Try leaving it on the boat to stretch it out a bit, too. Also, a dab of Vaseline may do wonders to help them slip on and off. Inside the boat, pack a few items that you might not otherwise take. Consider an extra throw rope and carabiners, maybe even a pulley. The lower water exposes more rocks and the channels are tighter, so you may be dealing with a higher chance of getting the boat caught. At home you might also review Les Bechdel’s River Rescue book and bone up on z-drags and so on.
As for creature comforts, consider taking a hot beverage in your water bottle. It will not only heat the inside of the boat a bit but will really do wonders for your core body heat. Another safety item is a few bags of “instant heat.” These packs of chemicals heat up when you smack them and stay warm for hours. If you are really cold, pack them under your armpits and you will heat up like a gas grille.
This time of year, signal devices like whistles are very helpful to keep in contact, especially where the rocks might hide a trapped boater. Again, they are easy to carry and easy to use. Finally, penguin boaters should be on the lookout for ice jams as the season gets later. They can show up in the most unexpected places, and getting swept under one is no one’s idea of fun. If there are ice rims on the shore, be alert to the jam possibility.
Having said all this, know that boating in the fall and winter can be like snow camping all the beauty plus the solitude we rarely see these days. Just make sure you are prepared, and you will be rewarded many times over for your efforts.
Paul Collins, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Orthopedic Health Care in Boise. Collins is an avid participant in many of Idaho’s outdoor activities. Send your sports medicine questions to  outdoors at or to the Idaho Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

Weekend Paddling


We paddled Friday night with Jim Grossman and his son Buey (5). Jim gave Troy some great tips for 360s and getting out of the hole, which for Troy can be extremely retentive since he only weighs 65 pounds.

Saturday we met the the McLeod and Jackson families and had a great afternoon. Check out CJ’s and Brindi’s blogs. Great to see these kids getting together outside of RiverKids. They are all becoming very good paddlers.

Sunday hooked up with Jim and Buey again for a run down the lower section of the Main – Beehive Bend through Climax Wave.

Here are some pics from the weekend…

Jim and Buey
Jim and Buey

Seth and Hayden
Seth and Hayden

Jim and Troy (“Now watch and learn, Grasshop-ahh…”)

Jim Grossman
Jim Grossman


Fire still affects paddling on Payette today…


This is from the Idaho Dept of Transportation.

SH 55: from after The North Horseshoe Bend City Limits to before Garden Valley Road
wildfire, roadway reduced to one lane, long delays — pilot car in operation
Comment: Pilot cars will guide motorists through milepost 77 to 78 near Banks. Delays of up to 30 minutes.

last updated today at 4:05 AM

A Rare Moment…


If you have paddled the Gutter, no doubt you have seen Shadow (A.K.A Gutter Dog). He lives nearby and spends dawn to dusk at the Gutter – just waiting for someone to throw a stick or rock. He will actually have is entire body underwater for 10 seconds with only his tail sticking out to retrieve a rock. Here he is in a rare moment actually sitting and wanting me to pet him… :-)