Monday, April 30, 2007

Tygart River Photo Bonanza...

This is the Arden section of the Tygart River (WV) in all of its glory. Here are some photos of the river and a bit of video. Enjoy!
Adam Freewheeling Moats Falls (1)
Adam Freewheeling Moats Falls (2)
Can you see me? Dropping into the depths of Undercut Rapid.
Boofing Moats Falls
Cleaning it up at the putin.
Getting some loop time in the Astro 58.
A cool shot from the Bridge
Nothing like a good ol' ender.
Resurfacing from Undercut Rapid.
Moats Falls 3, Wide angle

To see a short Freewheel Clip, CLICK HERE

All photos and video by Ryan Busch and Barry Miller. Thanks for capturing the moment fellas'.

See you on the water,
-Adam Johnson

Astro in the Ocean and on the River

I recently returned from the Santa Cruz International Ocean Surf Kayak Competition and had the opportunity to paddle my Riot Astro 58 at the World Famous Steamer Lane Wave. The sets that came in had some 8 foot + waves breaking right. Over the years, kayak ocean surf competitions have been dominated by fiberglass type kayaks, but now, plastic kayaks hold their own class of competition. My Astro 58 was great for aerial tricks, in fact, I got some of my biggest air ever in the ocean and in my Riot Astro.

What I like best about ocean surf kayaking is dropping in on a great wave and carving a fast bottom turn, feeling the speed of the wave and the occasional barrel ride. This trip concluded well for me and my Astro because I made it on the U.S. Ocean Surf Kayak Team (West) and will go to Spain to compete in the World Championships.

On the 20 hour drive back from Santa Cruz to Colorado somewhere in Utah, I saw a small creek with a little waterfall. My dad and I needed a driving break so we parked the truck off the side of the highway, ran the falls and got some pictures. There was no better place to take a break. The great thing is that I was in Santa Cruz carving turns on ocean waves and then just a few hours latter dropping off a waterfall in Utah all in my Astro 58 – Good Times.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Neil's Point Wave

Do you like to surf? If so and you are in the Oregon's McKenzie Valley
you must check out this feature. Neil's point is one of Oregon's premier play spots. I have been hitting this wave up most days it has been a nice level and I've been able to sneak away from work. This spot is a gem, try it out if you get a chance. Neil's Point is a good wave to practice spins, clean spins and blunts. It will also serve up bigger moves too. It is easy to set up and has a retentive left curler made for throwing blunts.

Going for a blunt but getting more of a roundhouse. I need to have my left blade lower than my right to increase the vertical aspect.

Recently, I have been paddling the Flair more and more. This boat is short and fast which makes it more fun than a barrel of monkeys. I am impressed with how well the Flair lands tricks (it's retentive), and it has amazing speed for a short boat.

Local boy Mater, short for Tomater, and roommate Jay going for the double surf in the Astro 54 and 58.

Going for the blunt at Neil's Point. This wave is lots fun for both and intermediate and advanced paddlers. For somebody who is comfortable surfing a wave and wants to move into spins and shuvits, this would be a good choice. I can't imagine a better spot for working on blunts too. This wave is level dependent so check out the water levels before you go.

See You on the River!

Huka Falls Images

I recently hooked up with New Zealand's leading sports photographer at one of the country's most iconic sceinic attractions, Huka Falls.

To check out the full story CLICK HERE

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Riot Extreme Race Weekend at the USNWC

Riot Kayaks will be hosting the second Head-to-Head Race of the Kayak Race Series being held at the US National Whitewater Center. Friday, May 4th at 7pm come on down to Charlotte to enjoy head-to-head action throughout the evening. Come race and enjoy the same quick course that will determine the USA Canoe and Kayak Olympic Team, but this time bring your elbow gaurds 'cause Rubbin's Racin' here in the South!!! If you don't want to be IN the action, come enjoy the evening's carnage under the lights and enjoy your beverage of choice at the newly open Eddy Restaurant and Bar next to the river. If you don't like kayaking, or even watching kayaking, then come enjoy some world-class Karaoke Acts as part of the 2007 Riot Karaoke Tour: Don't Quit Your Day Job! There's no excuse not to be at the US National Whitewater Center on Friday, May 4th!!!
On Saturday, May 5th come out and participate in the Extreme Racing Technique and Preparation Clinic hosted by Team Riot. Lead by Extreme Racing Legend, Chris Gragtmans, this two hour clinic will cover racing techniques and concepts to help start or progress your mad extreme racing skillz! More information about the clinic can be found HERE!

I've been working at the USNWC before it even opened. From pouring concrete to flipping the Stop/Slow sign to retailing it to cutting the grass to raft guiding to instructing to...well you get the point, I do it all out there as well as go kayaking! Here I am honkey-tonkin' a rock spin off the main drop on the competition channel. Thanks to Daniel Talley for taking the pics of me!

The river is constantly being tweaked, from improving playspots to switching race lines up, it's all able to change. Here I am splating one of the adjustable wooden wings. Dave Hepp, Paddlesports Dudeman at the Center, has been working hard lately to perfect Scott Shipley's design.

The Center's opening has really improved the Charlotte region's paddling community. More and more people are getting into the sport, and those who were already paddling have been seeing improved skills daily. Jon Angermeier, pictured here getting tricky with an Astro 54, is one of many stoked not to have to drive two hours away to get their fix.

Enough of the Flobbergobbin, We'll see YOU on the 4th!!!

-Cooper Lambla

Friday, April 20, 2007

Five new videos

Lately, our team has been so busy paddling and posting here on the blog that I've hardly had a chance to squeeze a post in. I'm not going to write much but wanted to give links for five new videos I have posted within the last month. These are all off of youtube. I like youtube for archiving my web videos but the image quality really suffers. My newest video (not on youtube) can always be seen at this link, , presented by Mion Footwear. I update this link with a new video, usually once a month.

You can always visit my youtube channel at

About a month ago I put together what I called my 2006 in Retrospect, which is just a collage of paddling shots of me from last year, + a quick slide show of my little boy at the end. What a great year.

Then, I had saved up a decent amount of footage from a few rivers in the Western North Carolina area. All of this was shot in December and January on the Rivers Linville, Toxaway, Green, Big Creek and Raven Fork (Raven footage by Nick Earquhart)

I spent a nice day down at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte NC back in January. I decided to take the Thunder for a drive around the course with my headcam. This gives a quick tour of the place without any stopping between rapids. It's been a while since I've paddled the Thunder. This litte jaunt reinforced to me just how ideal the Thunder is for the paddler who just wants to cruise and maybe surf a wave or two, or for the beginner who needs something predictable, stable and easy to roll. For a small person, say 115-130 lbs, I think the Thunder would be a good creek boat.

We did a blog post on the NAWFest and the first stop on the Riot Karaoke Tour and we showed this video. Here that is once again. I had a great time at NAWF. Those guys know how to host a great event.

Finally, I just posted a video of some of the finest play spots the southeastern US has to offer. It shows the Saluda River in Columbia SC at a couple different flows. This place is without a doubt the best play river around here. Then, it shows only a couple shots from Eternity hole on the East Fork of the Tuckaseegee and lastly several shots from the quarter mile hole at the Nolichucky. This has lots of Team Riot paddlers tearing it up.

Please enjoy all of these. Later,

Spencer Cooke, Team Riot

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A year with Steve Fisher.

Well it seems that with Steve's arrival back in North America comes a flurry of posts. Here is some news from his travels over the past year.


Here you'll find plenty of awesome photos and a number of video clips.

Steve Fisher on the Zambezi's #11 barrel

Steve Fisher describes his idea of adventure and shows an example on the Zambezi's #11.

Click here to see Zambezi #11 video!

This footage gives a glimpse of what is to come on SLP's new moive, "Black Book."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Steve Fisher reporting on the Astro 58

Steve Fisher reports on the Astro 58 with some great video footage.

click here to see video!


Friday, April 06, 2007

Flat Water Drills

Hey everyone, it is starting to warm up, so it’s not too bad when you get your face in the water. I have a few tips and a drill that can greatly help with flat water cart wheeling technique and improve edge control for flat water and hole moves.

A problem most faced by paddlers trying to learn flat water moves is getting the bow or stern under the water with out pulling the boat on top of yourself or falling forward on to your face. A good way to learn where your boats balance point(the angle of your boat in relation to the water where the boat wants to neither fall forward or flatten back out)is to try a drill called pivoting.

To bow pivot you sit flat in your boat and place your paddle in the water a little farther back than your body. By doing this you are twisting your torso storing energy like a rubber band.

Once you have your paddle positioned, you edge your boats bow down slightly on the same side as your paddle and pull your paddle forward toward your toes, while you pull your paddle forward bring your body slightly forward as well to help steady yourself.

Once you have your bow about eight inches below the surface of the water, flatten out your edge and lift the knee up that is on the same side of your boat as your paddle. This will cause your boat to scoop under the water and pop up smoothly, if done correctly you should spin out of your pivot.

To stern pivot you place your paddle on the water near your feet on the opposite side of your boat as your bow pivot, again twisting you torso.

With the stern pivot you want to edge on the back corner of your boat that is on the same side as your paddle.
While sitting up slightly, pull your paddle back toward your stern, and just like your bow pivot, once your stern is about eight inches below the surface of the water flatten out your boat and bring your knee up to scoop your stern up, causing your boat to spin out of your pivot.

You can connect your bow and stern pivots once you feel comfortable with them separately. When you can do the pivots smoothly you can experiment with increasing the depth of the boats ends, and soon you will be flat water cart wheeling.

See you on the gnarr!
Alan young

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Van Down by the River Tour 2007

Yep. Summer time and the livin's easy. I'm taking the big step and moving into an '85 VW Vanagon I just picked up from a friendly chap just down the road. With the help of the good people at Thule I am putting it up with a full rack as well as building in a bed, propane stove, a solar shower, and all-conditions outdoor kitchen. All the comforts of a modern home. I'll be touring with some infamous locals a lot this summer to events, festivals, put ins and take outs so keep an eye out for a shedule to be posted soon. Power to the people: coming soon to a river near you

In the meantime, I've been putting the magnum through its paces on a couple more great local runs. Witness the sickness:

A sweet launch pad on Copper Creek WA Photo: Brian Little

Pulling it through on Canyon Creek WA Photo: Turin Hill

So watch for the van at your local run and stop by for a chat, tour, or a nice solar shower.

Keepin it eye level


Monday, April 02, 2007

SE Creekin' Update

So unfortunately it's been dry for the last couple weeks, but at least I've had the time to edit video and reflect on the great kayaking from before the drout.
SE creekin' vid

On Daniel Delavergne's birthday we all headed down to the notch to catch the 'birthday eddy' which is a scary eddy poised just above Gorilla. It was around 150% and 5 people stepped up to catch it. Then we gathered around and watched as Toby poured some of Daniel's ashes into the notch. I didn't actually know Daniel, but it's awesome that a group of people gathered on his birthday and ran the shit as a tribute to him.

The birthday eddy= a good mix of precision and cojones.

The Magnum really whips around into the eddy nicely. Here's Chris Gragtmans on his first run.

Carving in.

Peeling out into the notch

A week or so later, we got some good old fashioned high-water green.

Gragtmans, large and in charge.

Walking up for another go.

A couple weeks later, the water dissipated and we had no other option but some low-water triple falls. Clayton Gaar and I headed to Dupont for some park-and-huck.

Second drop

Hope you enjoyed the post, don't forget to floss.

Nathan Silsbee
Flow Rider