Archive for December, 2007


Lake Creek

Lake creek is in the Siuslaw drainage of the coastal range, Oregon.  It is about a 1 h drive from Eugene and 1.5 h drive from Newport and Corvallis. The run is classified as a 3/4, because of two rapids of consequence- the Horn and Bus stop. Both are big holes that could keep you busy for a while. The more or less continuous features include numerous waves, ledges and holes. Lake Creek is runnable from about 8.5 feet upwards and some of my friends have run it above 20 ft. At these levels Lake Creek is undoubtedly a world class playboat run. Here are some photos from yesterdays run. From L to R; Pat dropping into the wave below the horn, Mark on a random wave, Pat on a random wave, Steve at Grassy Lawn and theDave at Grassy Lawn.

  pathorn.jpg   markk.jpg   patw2.jpg   

stevegg.jpg  davegg.jpg

Several noteworthy features are: the wave below the horn (steep, fast and bouncy), grassy lawn (good wave/hole), mill wave (fairly steep) and red hill wave (best green river wave ever!!!). Of course, all these features change with changing levels. I’m taking my surf kayak to red hill wave next time- its the only river wave i’ve been on that responds well to very edgy and fast carving.


If you go down to the woods today, you’d better go… SQUATCHING?

Last night proved to be a wholly enlightening experience for me.  As with a lot of good stories, this one started at a local bar. I began chatting with a friend of a friend and the conversation turned to the outdoors, as it often does in Oregon. We were talking about Humbolt County, the redwoods and camping. Then I heard of one of the most novel ways to enjoy to outdoors I can think of- ‘squatching’. For those who don’t know, squatching is the phenomenon of sasquatch watching. Oh yes, there are apparently many squatchers lining the numerous forests of the Pacific Northwest, waiting to snap that rare photo, capture that video footage or even trap the illusive character. I decided to delve a bit deeper and started some internet research into squatching. Did you know, much like kayaking, you can go on squatching expeditions all over the country and even internationally? Like kayaking there is an inherent risk to squatching- one of Teddy Rooseavelt’s books recounts the story of two trappers who were stalked by a sasquatch-like animal in a remote region believed to be in present day Wyoming. I think that’s where the similarities end though.

According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, since 1960 there have been approx 3500 “credible” sightings of sasquatch/big foot and BFRO provided an estimated population size of 2000 to 6000 big foots (feet)- what’s the plural of big foot anyway? It is therefore unsurprising that since 1960, Lincoln County has had one sighting and Hood River 11. Readers should be especially vigilant in Lane County – a whopping 12 sightings reported. Personally, I think it’s possible they mistook Steve for a sighting when he had his gnarly beard. But who am I to call into question the eye sight or integrity of the reporting individuals?

I don’t know if sasquatch/ big foot exists, but I do have photographic evidence of a kayaking snufflupagus. It was last seen on the Truss about a year ago.


No snufflupagi were harmed in the making of this photo


Return to Neils @ 2.2 ft

Squark on the street is that Neils on the McKenzie is not very good at 2.2 ft.  If you are looking for an epic day at Neils, this is probably not the flow to go at. Having said that I went there yesterday with the Eugene crew and had a great day. Spins, left and right blunts are all still possible (if you know how to do them :-) ). Here we see Dave at Clover, Steve trying out his new JK Super Star and Jer taking the LL “Pop” for a spin.

daveaaa.jpg steveaa.jpg jer.jpg 


Note that its taking a while for the Google videos to go live currently.



Oh, the Fun of C1

Last night I headed to Echo Hollow pool in Eugene to paddle with Steve and Dave. It was a sad day because Steve decided to retire his C1 rocket. He’s going to convert back to its original state and put it up for sale; sniff, sniff. I took it for a spin for the second and final time. In trying to learn to roll that thing I discovered something new about my paddling; I’ve been rolling a K-1 wrongly for the last 17 years. The only way to roll a C1 is to keep the body forward and tucked. I have not been doing this in a K1, so trying to watch me even T-resuce a C1 is like watching a Benny Hill sketch. Instead of the women chasing Benny, its Steve chasing me in his playboat, trying to right me….One thing i do like about the C1 is the ability to sneak a breath while upside down. I even found time to wave to theDave while hanging out upside down, trying to work out how to tuck and to T-rescue.

Dave explained to me the importance of tucking when in a hole. If you are not tucked when you roll up, your weight’ll be on the back deck you’ll be more likely to be more likely to be sucked back in and chundered. Ho-hum, back to the drawing board with my roll, then back in the C1 as soon as I learn to tuck. Thanks to Steve and theDave for entertaining my efforts to C1

c1ehpoolnight.jpg  c1ehpoolnight2.jpg


Injury and a great PT

I injured my neck in August and since that time I have been going for PT twice a week at PT Northwest. My PT, Jason Ball, came highly recommended to me by a local pro boater. When I first met Jason (who is about 6.5 feet tall with a shaved head), I knew he was a good ‘un- PT that is…He primarily treats athletes and I immediately responded to his pro-active treatment style. Typically, I work-out under the supervision of Jason and Zach (the Sports Trainer) for about 1.5 hours then Jason combines manipulation of my neck with ASTYM. The ASTYM caused a rash that looked like hiccies for the first few treaments, so it was fun trying to explain those away…That said, I’ve found this form of treatment very effective in alleviating my neck pain. I think as a kayaker I tend to over use a lot of muscles whilst neglecting others. Jason has helped me improve my posture and become physiologically balanced, enabling strain to be taken off my neck and upper trapezius. I’m getting fitter and stronger everyday thanks to PT Northwest. Here is a picture of me working out at PT Northwest, Corvallis



Rip Currents and Rescues

I was going through some of my old photos when I happened upon some photos I took of a rescue of a surfer at Otter Rock, Dec 26th 2006. It got me thinking about rip currents. NOAA says ” Rip currentsare powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves.” Rip currents are used by experienced surfers as an energy saving route through the surfzone to the lineup. However,  newbie surfers sometimes get stuck in rip currents  and don’t know how to get out of them. If you are stuck in a rip, paddle parallel to the shore line and always paddle further than you think you need to- then paddle back to shore. 



The person being rescued in this photo had just rented a board for the first time. She paddled out into the rip, couldn’t exit it and got swept out to sea. Luckily for her the Newport Coasties were just around the corner and a rescue helicopter and boat were scrambled. The rescue took about 30 minutes and the girl was fine.


EJ Etherington Teams up with Riot

I’ve paddled with EJ for a few years now and I appreciate his calming nature on the water. Not only is he an extremely talented playboater, but he is equally at home on creeks and ocean waves. He’s not bad behind the lens of a camera either. He’s always one of the first to encourage, teach and lead (if you ask him to). Two of his creeking accomplishments immediately stand out. The Kenobi Gorge decent and the Salmon River Canyon decent. What I love more than anything about EJ (apart from the blue hair) is his ability to understand and appreciate kayaking from a women’s perspective. Right from how to outfit a boat through explaining technical moves, EJ has a unique ability to teach in a way that lacks ego and is mindful of the physiological differences between men and women. I think that EJ has been deserving of sponsorship for a long time and i’m glad that Team Riot recoginses how conducive to the paddling community it is to have people like EJ on the river. Here are a few pictures of EJ. One is EJ’s tootsies and the other is @ spencers hole on the N. Santiam.


ej-toesa.JPG  ejb.JPG


Blunt-o-licious @ Neils on the Mighty Mac

  Last satudrday James, EJ, Dave and I decided to head out to Niels on the McKenzie. We met up with Jason (from Riot) and Todd Baker and Glen (from wavesport). It was great to watch those guys hit their right blunts time and time again!

 todda.JPG  jamesa.JPG  glena.JPG  davea.JPG

It took me about an hour to figure out how to get to the wave, and it was worth the patience…I love neils, its steep, fast and has a good surfers left shoulder. I was just practicing my flat spins, but next time i’m opting for blunt attempts….