Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Riot Thunder and Magnum on the NFMF of the Willamette

The North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette, a.k.a The Miracle Mile, is known to be one of Eugene's closest quality creek runs. Recently my good friend and paddling partner Jay Gifford and I relocated to Oregon and we are excited to sample some of the country's best whitewater. At the moment water is limited so we chose to paddle the Miracle Mile because we heard rumors that it is almost always running. The Miracle Mile is located near Westfir, OR and has some amazing scenery along with some fun, continuous whitewater. Being from North Carolina this run reminded of Big Creek without Action Alley.

Oregon is known for its lumber and gigantic trees. Oregon's creeks and rivers are no exception! The water is cold but the weather is beautiful and we were blessed with a seldom seen bluebird sunny day in the valley.

The Riot Thunder has made every river trip so far this year and has become the boat of choice at my house. The Thunder is able to jet ferry, boof, carve a line in hard whitewater, and eddy hop with the best of them. In addition, the Riot Thunder will surf, spin, and cartwheel better than anyboat in its class. I think the Thunder is the perfect boat for one who loves to playboat but is not willing to sacrifice river running ability. I am excited to put kayak instruction clients in the Thunder this coming Summer because it is stable, carves well, easy to turn, and EASY TO ROLL. While on the Miracle Mile, Jay and I decided that the Thunder was perfect for a river of this nature. The NFMF of the Willamette drops 250 ft/mile and the biggest drop is four or five feet high. Due to the Thunder's planing hull design, it was able to boof a ledge and quickly eddy out, in the smallest eddies, before the next drop. Here's Jay boofing the Thunder.

The Riot Magnum is sweet. If you have paddled the Magnum then you known what a great boat it is. If you are not satisfied with your current creek boat situation then take the Magnum for a test drive. It will speak for itself.

Yours truly boofing the Riot Magnum on the NFMF of the Willamette. This boat is super easy to boof.

Happy Winter Time Paddling. Let's paddle sometime, Jason Aytes

Friday, January 26, 2007

Winter in West 'by god' Virginia

Early January has been a good time here in West Virginia. The weather was seasonably warm, with temperatures around 50 to 60 degrees. I, along with a couple of friends, were lucky enough to paddle Otter Creek.

Watch the "Winter in West Virginia" vid (5.75mb)

Otter Creek is a 9 miles long and takes a good amount of water for it to run. It also has a bit of a hike in (the best of all hikes), varying (depending on how much water there is) from 500 yards to 2 miles. This run is one of the ultimate "source to mouth" runs in WV. It starts as a small stream, and flows all the way down to the Dry Fork of the Cheat.

There is about 3 miles of bushwacking and portaging over down trees until the rapids steadily increase from class II to class IV-V. Somewhere after it starts to pick up, you come across a distinct horizon line, marking the entrance to the steeps. This is Otter Creek Falls, pictured below.

Nori Onishi on Otter Creek Falls, ~10' onto rocks.

After Otter Creek Falls, it continues to drop for the next 3 miles with lots of class IV boulder drops with various class V drops strewn in between. The last part of the river slowly boils its way down from IV to II before you reach the Dry Fork of the Cheat River.

Otter Creek runs through the Otter Creek Wilderness area, which gives you a truly unique wilderness experience. A virtually untouched and pristine West Virginian creek which runs through a beautiful deciduous gorge.

I found the Magnum to be the boat of choice for this creek; I was able to boof with ease and run every rapid with the confidence that I could hit my lines. The Magnum is truly an awesome creeker for everything--big and small.

Included are a few photos from a bit of wave boating following the day on Otter Creek. Enjoy!

A big thanks goes out to Max Harbert for the Otter Creek Video, thanks bud!

Watch the "Winter in West Virginia" vid (5.75mb)

Watch the "Winter in West Virginia" vid, low res (.8mb)

See you on the River!

-Adam Johnson

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Magic Trick Technique

Hey everyone, my name is Alan Young. My home river is the Saluda; which has my favorite play spot “pop up hole”. Pop up is best between 4,100 and 4,500 CFS, The Saluda also has some nice waves and a really fun rapid called Mills Race .

I am sixteen years old, and a sophomore at Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina. I have been paddling for about four years. Recently I was added to Team Riot.

I have been paddling the Astro 58. I really have enjoyed paddling this boat it is great in the hole especially when looping. I am five feet nine inches and onehundred and fifty pounds so the Astro 58 is a large boat for someone my size. The Astro is made for a paddler much larger than myself but I enjoy the larger boat with more volume because it goes really big in verticle hole moves.
I have been doing a trick that is really fun and cool to watch. I call it the Magic Trick.

You start by getting on top of the hole on the back of the foam pile.

Once you get on the back of the pile you need to gather speed as you come down toward the green water. Once you reach the green water push the bow down as hard as possible, (like a loop) this will give you the pop you need to get in the air.

Once the boat starts to pop up out of the water, stand up on the foot pegs, and bring your paddle up to your face.

Then, once the boat is vertical, throw your paddle out and forward. Be sure to throw them far enough up stream that you don’t land on them. At the same time as you throw your paddle curl forward and push your heels down and back as hard as possible to complete the rotation.

Once you feel the stern of the boat hit the water put your arms out from your sides to steady your self and sit up quickly. While you are doing all of this, your paddle if thrown correctly will have been floating back down stream and in to the hole.

Immediately after landing look around to see where your paddle has gone. Then comes the magic, reach down in to the foam pile and feel around for your paddle, if you catch it paddle quickly to make sure you keep the trick retentive.

It takes a lot of practice, a lot of paddle chasing, and a little luck, but it definitely gives everyone in the eddy something cool to watch.

Until next time happy paddling.

Alan Young

Monday, January 22, 2007

Riot Launches Newly Revised Web Site

This is an announcement to let folks know that Riot Kayaks has launched their newly revised web site. Check out all the new info on the 2007 whitewater line at www.RiotKayaks.com . You will find that Riot is very modest and objective with their boat recommendations. They are not going to tell you that all of their boats are "the only one" for you, regardless of size, skill level and preference. If Riot does have a boat for you they will give you their best recommendation for what suits you best, whether you are 150 lbs and paddle small creeks or 250 and paddle big water. Riot offers one of the most complete lines of kayaks in the world and it gets better every year.

Find out all the specs on the new Astro 58 , the big guy version of our most popular play boat

(16 year old, Alan Young does the "magic trick" in his Astro 58)

and the Thunder 65 , our new "all river" kayak, built with the beginner/intermediate river runner or the more advanced playful creek paddler in mind.

(Joey Hall runs the Green in the Thunder 65)

All Riot boats are in stores now. Visit our Dealer Request page to locate your closest Riot Kayaks dealership and try out a demo boat.

Also keep up with the goings on of Team Riot. We are traveling constantly and will be attending lots of events this year. Some of our US team paddlers to look for on the scene this year are:
David Finney - VA/WV - Mid-Atlantic
Adam Johnson - VA/MD - Mid-Atlantic
Paul Twist - NY - Northeast
Jason Aytes - OR - Northwest
Alan Young - SC - Southeast
Zach Mitchell - CO - West
Cooper Lambla - NC - Southeast
Nathan Silsbee - NC - Southeast
Joey Hall - SC - Southeast
Chris Gragtmans - NC - Southeast
Here is a link to our Google Calendar, which is constantly being updated.
Team Riot Kayaks Calendar
(Safari users may need to use this link to view the calendar .)

Don't run with scissors.

Spencer Cooke, Team Riot

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

VA Creeking and some 200% Green

Greetings earthlings. Rain has been aplenty in the southeast the last few weeks, and there's been some really quality creeking to be had. (Gorilla at 200%). (See below for video).

Lots of stuff has been running and I got on the Toxaway at low water a week or so ago. A truly scary, yet amazing run. There were a load of people out there that day, go HERE for that trip report.

A couple days after the Tox, my buddy Saunders Southecorvo and I headed north for some Virginia action. Saunders got a Magnum recently and is super happy with his new boat.

We met up with Nate Bell and Michael Shields from Virginia Tech. Big thanks to them for showing me down. (Saunders had been twice before). We set off for the river from Blacksburg. Our destination: Bottom Feeder creek. This creek is super low volume and abundant with cool boofs and tight lines. Here's a sequence of me at Kettles.

Saunders dropping into Kettles.

A very beautiful creek indeed.

Pullin the bow up at "Crash Test Dummy".

Saunders engulfed at "Gorilla North."

No turning back now.

Mouse trap.

Saunders getting himself a taste of "Two blind mice"

Following Saunders' excellent example.

All good things come to an end.

After the trip to Virginia, we got rewarded with some highwater green for about a week. Here's a video from Gorilla earlier today.

Hope you all enjoyed the post,
and don't forget to shower at least once a week.

-Nathan Silsbee
Flow Rider

Monday, January 15, 2007

Off Season Training Session #2 The Theraband

Session #2 Shoulder Strengthening Using a Theraband or Resistance Band

I'm currently living in snowy Sun River, Oregon where the closest paddling is a three- hour drive. I will be able to get in my boat during the winter months but a good bit of my kayaking will be replaced with skiing for the next three months. Therefore, I have decided to concentrate on an off-season training plan that will help keep me in shape for paddling. Off-season training is great because it improves performance when one is able to go paddling, reduce the time it takes one to get into paddling shape and helps reduce the chance of injury. An off-season training program can also be used as a supplemental activity during the week for a "weekend warrior."

This session is going to concentrate on the use of a Theraband to strengthen the shoulder joint. This is to be used as a preventative maintenance measure and not designed as a rehab protocol. When using the Theraband I prefer to do this workout four to five times weekly. The Theraband is also a great tool to warm up the shoulder joint before paddling. The Theraband rubber bands come in different colors for different resistance. The yellow is the least resistance then red, green, blue and black. For preventative maintenance I recommend the black band. If one doesn't have access to a Theraband, you can also use surgical tubing, bike tubes, or anything that provides resistance. You can find yoga bands in most any department store that will work.

Resistance band exercises are designed to be high rep and low impact. Therefore, one should be doing 15+ reps for each exercise listed. If you are having trouble completing 15 reps for a particular exercise then you should choose a band with less resistance. For each exercise listed one should do 3 sets of 15+ reps per shoulder. When using the resistance bands you need to tie or fix one end and use the other end as a handle for the exercises.

Exercise #1
Internal rotation with the elbow next to the body

Your arm should be hanging directly next to your body, now bend at the elbow to make a 90-degree bend in your arm. In this position you will rotate your hand, inward, across your body. Pull the band across the body then slowly let the arm return to its original position. For best results keep the elbow glued close to the body. The idea is to have the shoulder joint doing the work, not the arm. The resistance band should be approximately the same height as your lower arm. Do three sets per shoulder of 15+ reps.

Exercise #2
External rotation with the elbow next to the body

Your arm will be in the same position as exercise #1, arm next to body with a bend in the elbow. For this exercise one will rotate the hand, outward, away from the body, keeping the elbow glued next to the body. Complete 3 sets of 15+ reps per shoulder.

Exercise #3
Abduction with arm bent 90-degrees at elbow

For this exercise you will have the same arm and band position as exercise #2. In this exercise you will allow your elbow to move away from your body while moving your arm and elbow in an upward movement. The elbow and upper arm should move upward to a 45-degree position, relative to the body. This is similar to a dumbbell fly movement. Again, complete 3 sets of 15+ reps per shoulder.

Exercise #4
Internal rotation with the elbow and shoulder at the same height (this is the throwing motion)

In this exercise you will have the resistance band tied behind you and a little higher than head height. The arm should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow. One's elbow should be the same height as his/her shoulder. From this position rotate the hand forward until it is the same height as the shoulder and elbow. This is a similar motion to throwing a baseball.

Exercise #5
External rotation with the elbow and shoulder at the same height

For this exercise you will stand on one end of your resistance band. The arm should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow with the elbow and shoulder at the same height. You will pull your hand, in an upward motion until your hand is directly over your elbow.

The resistance band is a great, simple, and cheap way for kayakers to strengthen their shoulder joints to improve performance and help prevent injury. These oversized rubber bands are an economical, effective, and portable. Pick one up and you can use it at home, car, work, or anywhere.

These websites are excellent shoulder strengthening websites.