Wesley's Wild World of Kayaking & the Jackson Action Wagon (JAW)

News, Info, & Events from my kayaking life

JK Antix Large Initial Thoughts as a Big Guy

I got to paddle the new JK Antix L for the first time at our local pool session on the evening of 2/7/17.  Here are my first thoughts after paddling this new design:

Fit – At my 6’-4” height, 235lbs, 38” waist, 36” inseam, and size 12 shoes I fit quite comfortably in the boat.  My hips are a bit snug for my wide frame, but not as snug as in my JK ROCKSTAR Lg for sure.  This is the only fit issue I have with the boat.  I’ve got room to spare in all other areas. 

The knee position feels to be around what I consider mid height and a bit more narrow than my JK Zen Lg.  Overall I really like how my knees fit. 

Seat height feels good in comparison to the parting line in the water and the sidewall reach over sits at about the same distance as my JK Zen Lg, which I like that position.  The 4Fun seems to have a bit more reach over than both these boats due to the taller sidewalls.   

I placed the seat in the rear position to see how much leg and foot room I have to play with and I can paddle the boat in the rear position and one hole forward from the rear with the stock 1.5” foam on the bulk head.  I can comfortably wear my Astral Loyak or Hiyak in the boat in either seat position.  Not sure if I could wear my Chaco Tedinho in the boat with its bulkier sole?

Float – I float surprisingly well in the boat.  I initially thought I would be maxing out the boat at my weight, but I have about 1.5” between the parting line and waterline at the cockpit area of the boat.

With the seat position in the rear the boat trims out a bit stern heavy and the bow trim is high, but the deck still floats above the water line when sitting flat.   When I have the boat in motion and lean back I can get part of the stern to dip down under water.

 With the seat position one up from the rear the boat trims out closer to level from bow to stern, but I’m still floating bow high.

I plan to try out both positions to see which works best on the river.

Stability – This was the area in the new boat design that shocked me!  The boat has very solid initial stability both sitting and paddling the boat around the pool.  This instantly gave me confidence for its river running/creeking abilities.  The secondary stability is a fine line for sure on edge.  The Antix has a short sidewall, compared to other JK designs, so naturally there is not as much secondary stability.   

Performance – The boat gets up to speed quick with only a couple of strokes and is quick, but it is not Zen or 9R fast for sure.  The boat is super zippy in the turns.  When you activate the edges in a turn the Antix responses!  There is plenty of volume up front to keep you riding high at speed and the slicey edges in the back act like a slalom boat in the turns!  The ride is incredible overall!!

Rolling – It’s a Jackson Kayak, so you know careful consideration went into this design on this aspect.  I found no major issue in rolling the boat.  The lesser sidewall reach made it easy for me to setup and execute the maneuver with ease.

There is more initial resistance in breaking the surface tension when initiating the roll.  I think this is due to the spoon shape design of the stern.  The lesser secondary stability also makes you stay on point with your follow through also.   

Summary – This Anitx is truly unique from anything JK has ever produced!  I thought the Fun Runner might be comparable, but they are nothing alike.  I am overall happy with the general fit and float of the boat at my size.  I can’t wait to get it out on some flow to see what I can do with it there to truly try out the stability and performance.  Could it be the best Watauga Gorge playboat ever?!  We soon will see…

Wesley’s 2016 Rain Gauge Report

The link below is to a spread sheet for my rain gauge I have installed at my house.  It’s a really nice gauge and it measures precipitation to the nearest 1/100th of an inch.  2016 was a little below average since I started recording daily rain amounts, but not far off normal.  Click the link below to view the spread sheet:

http://worldkayakblogs.com/wildwildwes/files/2017/01/2016-Rain-Gauge-Report.pdf

 

Yearly Rain Amount Total History:

  • 2013 = 58.50″
  • 2014 = 41.16″
  • 2015 = 52.07″
  • 2016 = 42.59″

2016 Ocoee River Race Report

The 8th annual TVCC Ocoee Race sponsored by WORLDKAYAK.COM went down on Saturday, October 8, 2016.  The race was a great time for the competitors and volunteers as always!  Big thanks to Jen Maxwell and the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club (TVCC Kayaking) volunteers who organized and hosted another fantastic event!!  It is amazing to many of us racers that the TVCC crew can get over 150 race runs down one of the USA’s busiest rivers with such poise.

The race is a time trial event format with racers starting in one minute intervals between commercial raft groups.  The race starts at the Middle Ocoee put-in ramp above Grumpy Rapid and runs the entirety of the Middle Section to the finish line below Powerhouse Rapid (4.4 miles).  Due to the length of the race you really have to set a quick steady pace for yourself to finish well.  It is not a race that you hammer as hard as you can because you will wear out well before the finish. 

The finish line is a raft you have to tag tied to the river right bank directly below Powerhouse out of the main flow.  You really have to carve hard right coming out of Powerhouse rapid to tag the raft or else the main current sweeps you wide left around a pile rocks and you have to eddy out and paddle across flat water to tag the raft.  That mistake can easily cost you several seconds when you are trying to finish.

The Ocoee Race is also unique to itself, because it draws a very diverse crowd of men and women paddlers.  The kayak racing longboats has been the majority of the field in the past few years, but there are plenty of other crafts going fast also: rafts, open single & tandem canoes, tandem kayaks, shortboat kayaks, hand paddlers, SUP, C-1 and even a few play boats.  There are many classes and divisions to choose from during race registration to keep things fair to all who participate.  This gives ample opportunity for the top guns to duke it out with each other while the weekend warriors can have their own heated contest!

Unlike the Green Race and Lord of the Fork Race the Ocoee Race course is primarily on class III whitewater, making the race more accessible for many whitewater paddlers with an intermediate skillset.  However, it is a good step up from racing on the Nantahala Gorge, so the Ocoee Race makes a great bridge to step up the racing game!

One of the more fun aspects in racing for me is the friendly banter and trash talking that goes on in the weeks leading up to race day.  My best racing buddy and close rival, Brian Vermillion, and I had a go at it on social media to try and prove our supremacy this year.  Ryan Horn and Casey Jones also got in on the trash talking action with us this year making some high quality entertainment!  We had a blast racing with each other this year!! :-)

This was my third year racing in the event and I was pumped to put the hammer down with my Mitchell Paddle for some fast lap times!  This was my first year racing in both the Long Boat and Short Boat classes (Often referred to as the Iron Man League in our sport).  I raced my Jackson Kayak Karma Unlimited/UL in the Elite Men’s Longboat Class and I raced my Jackson Kayak Zen Lg in the Elite Men’s Shortboat Class.  I knew it was going to be an extremely difficult task to beat the time I posted last year, because we had some extra flow last year with rain and this year we were going to barley be at normal release flows with the dry weather we have been experiencing over the past couple of months.  So I set the goal to at least beat my original time I posted in 2014 as a benchmark.

My first race run was in my Karma/UL.  Iron Man Racing Tip – Typically you want to race your fastest boat first to be fresh to post the best time overall.  My longboat run was going very good and clean for me up until the second to last rapid in the course.  The right race line at Hell Hole is a fine line to ride through clean.  The line is only about 3 feet wide and since you are in a kayak that is a little over 2’ wide you don’t have much room for error.  If you enter the line with any angle to the left you end up taking a big chest full of water hitting the exploding wave of Hell Hole; which can result in an unintended extended surf session.  If you enter the line with any angle to the right you end up catching the eddy on the right.  I spun out in the river right eddy on accident and slammed into the rock bank losing all my forward momentum.  I tried to quickly spin my kayak back up stream to peel back out into the current to keep from losing too much time, but Casey Jones passed me at this exact moment and I knew that he was going to beat me by over a minute.  I peeled back out behind Casey and I used what energy I had left to charge hard to the finish line raft.  I was happy to find out later that I did complete my race goal of beating my 2014 longboat time even with the spin out at Hell Hole by almost 1 minute, but alas… Brian beat me for his 3rd time in a row in this race.  I guess there is always next year!

My second race run in my Zen started well, but I was already tired early into the race at Gonzo Shoals from the previous longboat race run.  I came into Broken Nose and was lining up for the greasy race line that cuts through the top of the traditional right line to the left through a channel that connects to the sneak line left of the island.  I came into the top drop a little too far to the left and my bow pointing too far right, so I tried to correct with an air plane boof sweep stroke on the right to get me turning left in the drop toward the channel I wanted to hit.  Midway through the stroke, with my head turning left looking the way I want to go, my paddle tripped over the strong eddy line and decided to go for a mystery move taking me with it underwater.  At this point I was in a bit of a state of shock.  I’ve never been upside down in Broken Nose in all my years on the Ocoee and I’ve heard all the horror stories of flipping in this rapid.  I was also sucking wind profusely right before the unexpected flip occurred, so I was not quite ready to be in an non-oxygen rich environment such as I found being underwater!  I tried to setup for a roll and right before I began to execute the maneuver my head impacted into a rock underwater.  Casey Jones started behind me on our shortboat lap again and he said he saw me bounce up out of the water upside down from several hundred feet upriver when I hit the rock!  His exact words were, “It looked heinous!”  

Thankfully my trusty Sweet Protection Strutter helmet took the brunt of the blow and kept me from experiencing any kind of concussion.  However the hit was still hard enough to really ring my bell and leave a nasty looking scratch on my helmet that ripped all the way into the substrate of the helmet (You can see light through the helmet now when you pull back the interior padding).  I’ll have to replace my Strutter now, but I’m glad it did its job well on this crash! 

After the hit, I tried to regain my composure and I tried to roll on two attempts that both resulted in carping, but was thankful to get a couple of breaths on the missed attempts.  I knew I was drifting down river in the rapid, because I could feel the flow around me.  I decided that I had to hit my third roll attempt, before I go over the bottom hole of Broken Nose upside down, so I composed myself to setup correctly and execute the fundamentals as best I could.  I rolled up backwards just in time to find myself cresting over the left side of the bottom hole of Broken Nose.  I quickly placed a couple of back strokes to gain some speed to try and punch the hole backwards and the hole sucked my stern to the right as I began to drop into it. I quickly engaged a big left back sweep stroke to freewheel my Zen around 180 degrees and using my now forward momentum to escape the hole to continue downstream into the run out rapids below the main drop.  In the run out rapids I had to coast for a while to shake off the hit and make sure I was OK.  Once I assured myself I was well, I kept my eyes toward the finish to complete the lap.  I knew I had wasted several seconds with the crash at Broken Nose and I had no chance of trying to beat my goal of finishing the short boat lap in under 35 minutes.  I was happy I was able to finish the lap though coming into the finish line extremely exhausted from paddling hard two full laps!  

Complete overall 2016 Ocoee Race results at WORLDKAYAK.COM:

http://regions.worldkayak.com/tri-cities/2016/10/11/8th-annual-tvcc-ocoee-river-race-results/

No one likes to crash or not meet goals, but that is what going fast and taking chances is about sometimes.  I try to take these moments to develop myself into being a better paddler by embracing my failures and focusing on the recovery.  I find no use in making excuses and getting frustrated with myself; this makes me get scared and want to quit.  In this sport we are all in between swims and beatering due to the forces of nature we are dealing with in whitewater.  I have learned over the years that perseverance and shaking off a mistake is key to finishing a race or river run, if I’m within my skillset.  That way I get to come back another time to try again to be a winner! 

Overall I had a blast racing this year again in the Ocoee Race.  It was a great time with many good friends on the river.  Then Brian, Sam and I topped off the day with a delicious meal at the Ocoee Dam Deli!  Good times going fast for sure!!

Nolichucky High Motivation Day: Gorge Guiding & a Triathlon

My wife, Jennifer, and I had a very active day on the Nolichucky Saturday, August 27, 2016.  Together with the help of 3 other rive guides we lead a total of 28 paddlers with 7 first timers down the mighty Nolichucky Gorge for the Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts annual First Timer’s Trip in the morning.  Then we raced in a triathlon known as the Nolichucky Triple Threat in the afternoon.  Needless to say we were a bit tired after all of the day’s events, but we had a great time together and with many friends!

The day started out with Jen and me towing the Jackson Action Wagon to USA Raft to setup a demo for the Triathlon event.  Once I got all the boats set out for showcase Jen and I began organizing the large group to set shuttle for the gorge river trip using a USA Raft bus and some trailers to haul boats up to the put-in at Popular, NC.  The group worked together well to load up all the gear and boats to get moving efficiently.  On the way up the mountain in the bus I gave my river safety talk and explained how we would be breaking into smaller groups with our five river guides when we got on the river.

We were greeted with a warm summer day and sunny skies with temps in the high 80′s when we reached the put-in.  The river flow was on the low side of good at 515 CFS on the Embreeville Gauge, which made for a steeper more channelized run for our gorge first timers.  It turned out to be a fine level for all!

We all slide into the river in the large pool at the Popular put-in and split into our smaller groups.  Then we headed down river to enjoy a great late morning/early afternoon in the gorge.  All 7 of our first timers had a good time and were stoked to complete the run!  Big thanks to all the river guides and sweep/safety paddlers who supported the trip to make it another great success!!

We finished the 9 mile trip Noli Gorge trip around 2:00 P.M. back at USA Raft and that allowed us a couple of hours to rest up and refuel for the triathlon we would be racing at 4:00 P.M.  Jen and I were excited to be racing with our friends Amy Register, Brain Vermillion and Andrea Gass.  Brian & Andrea joined us on the gorge trip that morning also and we decided we needed some sort of Iron APE Award for trying both of these events in the same day!

The Nolichucky Triple Threat is a three part event that incorporates a 3 mile paddle trip down the Lower Nolichucky River, an obstacle course and a 5K Run.

Event website – http://nolitriplethreat.com/

YouTube Preview Image

The race started at USA Raft for the paddling portion (Class I-II) of the triathlon and headed down river to a spot known as Red Cliff below Radio Wave rapid.  I chose to use my Jackson Kayak Karma Unlimited racing boat to GO FAST and Jen used her Jackson Kayak Karma Sm.  Brain and I were there only racers there using racing long boats, so we were the first two finishers in the paddling portion of the race.

Brian and I had to wait for the girls for about 5 minutes to catch up with us once we were out of boats, b/c we all agreed that we would help each other in the 17 obstacles that awaited for us in the course ahead.  The race’s official timing did not start until you crossed a pad leading into the obstacle course.  Once the girls caught up to us we started the obstacle course.  The course proved to be a challenge for sure!  There was many different obstacles in the course that included: a barb wire crawl in water and sand, carrying heavy objects, throwing a large rock into the cockpit of a kayak, 6’, 8’, & 10’ vertical walls, flipping tractor tires, dragging kayaks filled with concrete bags, inverted wall, cargo net, monkey bars, balance beam, 15’ rope climb, and a slip wall.  If you did not complete any obstacle in the course you had to do 30 squat jumps for each failed obstacle.  I ended up doing about 120 squat jumps throughout the course!

After we completed the course Brian had pulled ahead of the rest of us and he took off on the 5K run back to USA Raft.  He is a good runner!  I tried to hang with the girls on the run back, but I was struggling and had to walk several times.  Thankfully the girls were pretty tired too, so I was able to hang with them for the most part.  The run back was mostly on the road, but the last 0.3 mile was on an old spur the Appalachian Trail coming into the Nolichucky Gorge Campground.  I really enjoyed running through the woods in this section of the race and came though the campground to cross the finish line back at USA Raft with the girls finishing in front of me.

Event Results: https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-21004

After we crossed the finish line one last obstacle laid in front of us as a bonus and it was to jump across two rafts tied together like lily pads in a pond.  We all did this one at a time hoping from the bank of the pond into the first raft.  Then scurrying across the thorts to jump into the next raft.  Then came the tricky part of taking a big leap from the last raft to the other bank of the pond.  We all finished this final obstacle cheering for each other and we were happy to complete the race!  It was a good time for sure with each other!!

We headed to the river to jump in to clean up and cool down after the race.  It felt so good and a great way to end a high motivation day on the Nolichucky!

2016 J.A.W. End of Season SALE!

The Jackson Action Wagon has had another great paddling season with free demos & spreading the fun of kayaking.  It is now time to sell the current demo boat fleet to make room for next year’s 2017 fleet!  The Nirvana and Antix models are coming soon!!

Check out the link below for current stock and prices:

http://worldkayakblogs.com/wildwildwes/the-jaw/

 

All J.A.W. boat purchases include the original outfitting & swag that come with a new Jackson Kayak purchase.  The boats were primarily used in a pool for instruction and river trip demos.  The boats are in like new to very good condition.  I will be happy to send current photos of any boat if requested.

I will be at Gauley Fest & GAF to deliver boats to those locations.  I can also arrange shipping through Forward Air or FedEx if you desire to pay for that service.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in a boat purchase from the J.A.W. fleet.  All boats are sold on a first come, first served basis.

Wesley R. Bradley – 423-647-1321

JK Nirvana First Look Comparison with Pyranha 9R

There is already a lot of hype building on social media for JK’s new 9′-0″ creek racing boat, the Nirvana, coming out for the 2017 JK lineup!  I can’t wait to check out this boat myself and I’ll get one in the JAW fleet ASAP for folks to demo for FREE also!!  The boat is still in the prototype phase currently as it will be debuted at OR this week.

Shaun Mullins did a great first look comparison top view of the new Jackson Kayak Nirvana coming this fall with the Pyranha Kayaks 9R.

Shaun said, “Okay, since I’m becoming such a fan of faster whitewater kayaks, I’m sort of stoked about the new Jackson Kayak Nirvana.  Lots of people saying “They just copied the 9r”.  The side profile pics aren’t available yet, but it is clearly a significantly different design from the top view.  Overall lengths are the same.  Cockpit location on the nirvana is much further toward the rear vs the 9r, which has a cockpit forward positioning.  Also taper of the nirvana seems to peak at the cockpit, whereas the 9r is widest just behind the cockpit. Another obvious difference is the nirvana is much thinner point in the front and wider than the 9r in the stern.”

These are all great observations by Shaun that show many differences in the designs of each kayaks.

Stephen Wright & Boyd Ruppelt both have commented in this comparison:

Boyd said, “Having paddled the Nirvana… I can tell you that it is FAST and that I’m in LOVE. Definitely some tweeks have happened since I paddled it, but totally different design and actually very unique in terms of Jackson Kayak designs. It’s still a ways off from production I think but these are not copies… the comparisons happen with every new design. These will be very different and very worth the wait.”

Stephen said, “The Nirvana is still in the prototyping phases, so it’s tough to give too many specifics as to what the final will be like. The stated goal of the final version of the Nirvana is to be a fast, forgiving creek boat based on a Zen-like hull concept. We want it to be able to be easy to keep on line, on the surface, and moving fast for paddlers who want a very fast creeker. The photo above just shows one of the prototypes…not the final version, which doesn’t exist yet. We have folks like Dane, Nick, Clay, myself, Boyd, Rush, Isaac, Joe Gudger, and several others paddling prototypes and giving feedback on them. I’m sure that the Nirvana will be both easy to paddle and very fast and fun!”

Are you stoked to check out this new JK design with me and GO FAST!?

Sneak Peaks of New Jackson Kayaks for 2017!

JK will be unveiling two new whitewater kayak designs at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah from August 3-6 this week: the Antix and the Nirvana!!

I am super stoked to check out both of these new designs and look for them in the JAW for FREE demo ASAP!  Stay tuned for more details about these new boats…

Here is the inside info we have so far from Rapid Media on these two new whitewater kayaks:

Antix, Jackson’s playful creeking/river running kayak

The Antix is Jackson’s first ever playable creeking/river running kayak. “It’s a pretty exciting boat for us,” says Eric Jackson.

Designed as a river runner first, the length, volume, and edges are optimized to squirt, be lightweight compared to creek boats and be extremely maneuverable. Paddlers will love this boat on their local runs, replacing the need for a creek boat for many and increasing the fun factor with its playable features. The Antix is 45 pounds, with a width of 25” and a length of 7’4”.

Eric Jackson says that the Antix is a great boat to have because it gives kayakers one boat that they can do it all in. “You can run the river as confidently as you would in a creek boat but still have some fun.”

Antix features include:

  • Short, slicey ends that allow for squirting, splatting, and down river fun
  • Planing hull for great surfing, spinning and stability
  • Uni-shock bulkhead system and U-Channel track for quick adjustment and to protect paddler and kayak
  • Available in two sizes: small/medium and medium/large.

The Antix delivers a great experience for beginners, intermediate and advanced kayakers who want to take advantage of river features, technical rapids, downstream play moves and easy paddling.

Jackson’s race-ready Nirvana

Jackson Kayak is also introducing the Nirvana, a fast, race ready creeking boat designed to move kayakers through rapids quickly and with control.

Eric Jackson says they have been observing a trend in the marketplace of people paddling faster boats, and combined with the amount of racing the Jackson Kayak team is doing, the Nirvana seemed like a great fit. “It works really well for the high end and the beginner or intermediate,” he says.

The hull shares much of the Zen’s user-friendliness while the massive amount of rocker keeps the bow dry and clear of holes and waves. Racers will like paddling such a user-friendly and confidence-inspiring design in the 9-foot category. The Nirvana has high-end speed in the rapids and is perfect if you want to go fast but don’t plan on racing. The Nirvana is 48 pounds, 25.5” wide and 9’ long.

Nirvana features include:

  • User-friendly hull shape that allows racers to focus on their line and going fast versus just trying to keep the boat under control.
  • Ample stability to eliminate unwanted bracing and increase forward paddling time.
  • Unishock Bulkhead for easy adjustment (get super tight for a race, or stay loose for a cruise) and for safety.
  • Rocker profile allows for both a fast boat in pools and easy boofing.

 

Both kayaks will be available Fall 2016.

 

JK will also be unveiling two new recreational kayak designs at OR this week: the Tripper T and the Tupelo LT!!

Let me know if you want to demo one of these new designs in the 2017 JAW.

Here is the inside info we have so far from Rapid Media on these two new recreational kayaks:

Jackson Kayak’s New Tripper T

The Tripper T tandem sit-in recreational kayak from Jackson Kayak is a versatile and stable general-purpose kayak for beginner to expert recreational paddlers. The Tripper T provides a comfortable, fast ride for two with easy entry or can be used by a solo kayaker providing ample storage. The Tripper T is 84 pounds, 33” wide and 14’8” long.

“We know there’s a market for tandem boats,” says Jackson’s Joe Pulliam. He says the Tripper T is a great option for paddlers who want something high quality and may or may not be interested in fishing from their kayak. “Paddle around the lake, go fishing, spend the night, bring the dog.”

Tripper T specs:

  • Sit-inside design providing a lower center of gravity than sit-on-tops and better protection from weather
  • Open cockpit design making entry/exit and shouldering easier and minimizes weight
  • Open cockpit design allows for ample area for gear, dogs or extra passengers
  • YakAttack track systems to add accessories within reach or customize seating configuration
  • Elite Seat System with Hi-Low seating

 

Jackson Kayak’s New Tupelo LT

Jackson’s second new offering is the Tupelo LT, a lightweight, thermoformed version of the popular Tupelo recreational kayak series. “The Tupelo is by far the most popular rec boat Jackson has ever produced,” says Jackson’s Joe Pulliam. Pulliam explains that Jackson combined the success of the Tupelo with the market demand for lighter kayaks to produce the LT version. This ultra-light version is comfortable, loaded with features and ideal for those looking for an all-around boat that’s light, comfortable and easy to use. The Tupelo LT is 35 pounds, 28” wide and 12’2” long.

Tupelo LT specs:

  • Lightweight at 35 lbs.(40 lbs. with seat) for gliding and transporting with ease
  • Sit-inside design provides a lower center of gravity than sit-on-tops and offers better protection from weather
  • Open cockpit design for easier entry/exit, easier to shoulder and minimizes weight
  • Large cockpit design allows ample area for gear, dogs or extra passengers
  • Stern hatch and bulkhead storage to secure gear. Hatch has rubber seal to keep water out
  • Elite Seat System with Hi-Low and movable foot pegs for customized comfort
  • Grab handles for easy transporting
  • Standard accessories like a water bottle holder with Nalgene® bottle and screwed-in insert mount for Go Pro® cameras in several locations around the kayak
  • Outfitted with YakAttack track systems to add accessories within easy reach
  • Also available in Realtree AP® Camouflage

West Fork Tuckasegee at 3.0′ = $$$

Thank you Duke Energy for the extra 6″ of flow on WFT on 7/2/16!  It made the run a lot better!!  Good times, good times!!!

I got my PFD of the West Fork Tuck back in July 2013. The level was 2.4′ that day.  I thought the run could use more water to be really good.  I’ve ran it at least 4 more times since then from 2013-2015 in the 2.4′-2.6′ range and every time I get off the run I would think to myself this run would be really good at 3.0′.

Well I got my wish this past Saturday when Duke opened the gates a little more to give us a perfect 3.0′ level on the take-out bridge gauge.  The second part of the Mini Gorge was stout for sure with much sticker holes, but it padded out the rest of the run to make a really good run!  It really made for good padded lines on both sides of Flight Simulator!!

I had some good times leading Eric Mckeehan, Jerry Stevenson, Marty Vaughn & Ryan Horn on their PFD’s of the run and thanks to Jeff Vannoy, Bill Finger and & Nathan Vannoy for the support for the first timers. Thanks also to Kirk Eddlemon for helping our first timers get lined up good at Flight Simulator. That saved us a difficult scout.

Check out Eric’s Video of our trip:

http://www.vimeo.com/173468987

Joy in Leading Cheoah PFDs

Ryan Horn, Marty Vaughn and I had the pleasure to lead Eric Mckeehan & Jerry Stevenson down their personal first descent of the Cheoah River this past Saturday.  We may have had more fun than the legal limit boofing and shredding some great whitewater!  Then we topped off the day with some great food at Tapoco Lodge!!  Check out Eric’s video from the day:

http://www.vimeo.com/172566901

JAW Demo at the Dirty Bird Confidence Series

When: July 9, 2016 @ 11:00 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 2nd 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.

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

At the end, we will have a fun “competition” at the NOC hole with music and free beer (given by SweetWater Brewing).  There will be give aways for anyone that enters the fun competition and at the end a Jackson Kayak ROCKSTAR will be given away!!

Sponsors: Jackson Kayak, Pyranha, Dagger, SweetWater Brewing Company