Saturday, June 30, 2007

Virginia Trip- Early June

In Early June Spencer Cooke, Alan Young, and I went up to Virginia for a Riot demo on the James. When we got there the river level was around 5 foot. At that level the Z-Dam is a great playspot. The Z-Dam is best between 5.8 foot all the way down to 4.8. The lower it gets the stickier it gets.

Here is a video of our trip.

In the Picture below Alan Young is doing the first part of a McNasty.The next day we ran up to the Potomac River at Great Falls. We ran the center line a few times before it began storming. This is the first time Alan or I have ever run anything like this. It was amazing, the feeling of your body going weightless as you boof over the lip of Grace Under Pressure.

Spencer Cooke Boofing Grace Under Pressure.
On our way out of the Potomac River we saw a ton of dear on the side of the road.

On the following day Alan and I headed back to the Z-Dam. The water was a little lower but it was still awesome.
Alan Young Looping big at Z-Dam.

A swan attacking me at my dads apartment.

Our new Riot Sales model.

See you on the river.

Joey Hall is the greatest donkey to ever live.

Andy Gates

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Riot Burlfest Charge #1

So the Colorado Burlfest has begun, and myself (Nathan Silsbee), David Finney, Cooper Lambla and Shane Groves have had an interesting two weeks! Our first stop was Vail, Colorado. Vail is a very resorty upper-class style town, and did not really fit with our style.
Burlfest in the parking lot. The sun in colorado is the preferred means of drying damp supplies.

Charging the Ramen. Notice the drips: water is key to softening cold Ramen.

The Homestake Creek race was a really cool event, located on Vail's local burlfester. Homestake creek is a super low-volume run with a lot of tight moves to be made. There were 50 competitors, including the world's best. Pat Keller, Tao Berman, Tommy Hilleke, Brad Ludden, Eric Jackson, Andrew Holcombe, were some of the names to watch out for.

Cooper and I made the top 25 cut to finals, with Cooper placing 11th and myself placing 17th. Cooper moving quickly through the boogie water.

In the Finals run, Cooper choked and had a costly spin which put him in 23rd. The average of his two runs placed him 18th overall. On my finals run I placed 9th, which averaged me at 12th place overall.
Me paddling hard.

Team Riot had respectable finishes for only a few practice runs down the course. Tao Berman placed first, Brad Ludden in Second, Andrew Holcombe in third. See full results here:

Coop-a-loop moving at light speed in the Homestake race.

A week or so later, we headed to Lyons, for the South Saint Vrain extreme race. Cooper cleaned up with 5th place. I got 9th after a dumb mistake on my part in the finishing eddy. Andrew Holcombe won it, with Eric Jackson in Second, and Todd Baker in third. The creek was similar to Homestake, and there were a lot of quick moves to be made to avoid getting burled.

Aside from competition, we've gotten on lots of great creeks, and one of the best was Gore Canyon at highwater. Big water, big boofs, big holes. Quality whitewater.
Dropping into Gore Rapid, a good one towards the beginning.

David Finney, styling Gore rapid.

Colorado is definitely the place to be in the summer, and for the first time in a long time, I'm really happy not to be in Asheville which is dryer then a dead lizard right now.

Nate Dawg signing off
Flow Rider

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Riot Magnum is a Great Kayak for Multi-day Trips

Recently I had two friends from Montana come out to Oregon for a little spring break kayaking trip. We decided to travel south and paddle the Illinois River. The stretch we paddled was a thirty-three mile stretch and we did it as an overnighter. I'm planning on doing some California overnighters this summer so I was eager to try out the Magnum as an overnighter creek boat. As you can tell I didn't hold back on gear for this trip. I was able to fit all this in my boat and the Magnum paddled good as ever.

A list of what went inside the Magnum:
Two person tent, therma rest, two Watershed Chattooga dry bags, one Watershed Ocoee dry bag, Aquabound break down paddle, sleeping bag, and a water filtration unit. I purposely packed way more than I needed to get a feel for how the Magnum would preform under these conditions. I was able to store all this in the stern and in my lap. I didn't even bother with bow storage. The boat paddled wonderful too!

The Riot Magnum's storage system is as good as any kayak I have seen. The backband is designed to lay down or be completely removed to allow major access to the stern. I was able to fit two Watershed Chattooga drybags, a break down paddle, and a tent behind the seat without removing the backband. Laying the backband down like this takes about five seconds. It's a wonderful design.

My favorite part of overnights is hanging out with my friends at camp and knowing that you can kakak the next morning without driving anywhere.

We didn't get any photos from this run but we did score a bit of video and I'll post it later. If you are looking for a creekboat and planning on doing overnighters I would highly suggest taking the Magnum for a test drive.

-J. Aytes

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Riot's Fluid Paddle -- 27 Ounces!

When you think of Riot paddles, the first thing that may come to your mind would be the burly creek paddles they make. Aha! The Riot Fluid paddle is here to change that. At 27oz, it is one of the lightest (if not the lightest) play paddle on the market.

The Fluid paddle from Riot is designed specifically for play. It is fully constructed with the highest quality carbon materials, both on the blades and shaft. Additionally, the blades are not connected like most other bent shaft paddles. Here, the blades and bend on the shaft are from one complete mold, giving the user an impeccable bent shaft paddle.

Did I mention that this paddle is sleek? The Riot Logo appears on each side of each blade and they have also placed their website on the shaft. Overall, this thing is stylin’!

The blades on the Fluid are designed for playboaters who want the highest performance paddle. This blade wields power while, at the same time, minimizes flutter giving you the most effective stroke possible.

Thats all for now. Stay tuned for more later,

-Adam Johnson

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Colorado Creeking

In the last two weeks Colorado creeks have been cranking with high spring run off. I took advantage of it and ran the seldom paddled Class V Woods Creek in a remote area of the Colorado Front Range. In the newly published guide book, Whitewater of the Southern Rockies describes the run as " A crazy little steep creek with a 430 foot per mile gradient". This run has only seen a hand-full of paddlers.

I ran the creek in my Riot Magnum. I broke a paddle blade on the sluice show in the adjacent picture. Since there are no eddies I ran the rest of the class V section with one blade.... a true test of a great creek boat--check-out the sequence photo below. The Magnum was stable and yet responsive even with one blade.

As you can see from both pictures taken by Kalob, a professional kayak photographer and paddler, there is still melting snow pack down to the waters edge and the 14 thousand foot peaks feeding the front range creeks are still fully loaded.

After paddling Woods Creek, some of my Huge Experience kayaking High school buddies including Alex Mohn came out to Colorado to paddle in the Teva Games and FibArk rodeo competitions.I took them down my home town creek-- Bear Creek. This creek was runable only a few days last year but because of the big snow year it has been running for the last two months. The picture below is at "No Fun Falls"

Saturday, June 02, 2007


****Immediate action needed! Please help save Skookumchuck's fresh water and forests. Read details at the bottom of this post. Thanks****

The Skookumchuck Narrows is a place that I’ve wanted to visit ever since I first started kayaking. I’ve heard a million stories and seen hours of footage from the epic wave, but in spite of the large expectations I had built up, Skook lived up to and surpassed all of them. Spencer and I spent a total of 7 days at the wave, and experienced tides from 14 to 17.2 knots.

Click here to watch the Skook Video from

Ferry out to the Sechelt Peninsula.

The scene at Skook… Trip Jennings shoots while Karl Moser paddles.

One of the things that sets Skook apart from other big wave playspots is how dynamic and alive it is. The plankton-rich water that the flood tide brings in feeds starfish, anemones, kelp beds, and all sorts of other wildlife at the wave, and it’s pretty incredible to be surfing a big green wave and see the kelp waving on the rock shelf below you.

Oohhh. Preeeettty.

The wave itself is obviously very dynamic as well, and is at its best right before or right after it greens out on both sides of max flood. At these levels there is a small foam pile at the top, and it’s probably one of the best spots in the world for working out new tricks.

Spence works on his clean blunt.

Me enjoying the Flair 57.

I would love to have this as my home wave, and it was super fun to hang out with some of the locals who are fortunate enough to paddle here every time it comes in, especially Dru Lyall and Emily Lussin.

Dru and Emily cold-kickin it.

These guys are fellow members of Team Riot, former Canadian Team Members, and are two super cool people and very good kayakers. It was awesome hanging out with them.

Dru can throw some nasty clean blunts.

During max flood the wave greens out and playboats can’t catch it, but Dru was nice enough to let me use his Riot Boogie surf boat for a while during a big tide. After a number of vain attempts to catch the wave, I dropped in, paddled my ass off, and finally skipped down the face of that monster! “Walking on the Moon” by The Police came on my H2o Audio, and I had a ten minute, zen soul-surf out there. I really can’t describe how much fun it was, but I couldn’t stop laughing at what I was doing and yelling at the top of my lungs! It was a total spiritual moment and that single surf probably validated my whole trip out there, as well as reminding me how much I love what we kayakers are fortunate enough to be able to do.

So in conclusion, Skook is a truly special place to visit, and I’m sure I will be back. Unfortunately it looks as though the whole Skookumchuck area is under a serious threat from a local logging company. During our time there, we spoke to a number of locals who were working on petitions to protect their drinking water, and the natural aesthetic beauty of this part of the Sechelt Peninsula. Please help save this incredible paddling resource by writing an email before the proposed deadline, detailed below:

An Open Letter to all White Water Kayakers

The village of Egmont, BC, is asking for the help of all kayakers who have ridden (or aspire to ride) the waves of the Skookumchuck Rapids. We have learned that a logging company has acquired the logging license in this area. The logging plans involve three huge clear cuts on the local watershed with one that extends right to the Skookumchuck Trail within the Provincial Park. Also, there is a planned cutblock that would mow down the trees along Egmont Road from Highway 101 to North Lake; a huge cutblock off of Maple Road; and another cutblock on the watershed at the north end of Ruby Lake. As well, the company plans to log Sechelt Nation Reserve lands just inside the Sechelt Inlet just past the rapids.

The residents of Egmont asked if the logging company would take a sustainable logging approach but they said no and so the area's residents have said no to the logging company. We now ask for your support to keep the logging out of this area. We ask that you email the forestry rep before a June 6th deadline at
and copy that email to us at

Please address your email to:

Cam Forrester, R.P.F., Consulting Forester
6231 Sunshine Coast Highway, Sechelt, BC V0N 3A7
Tel: 604-885-7142, Fax: 604-885-7112

We will be posting all information about this proposed logging and our efforts to stop it on our blog at We look forward to your support.


Friends of Egmont

Click here to watch the Skook Video from including information regarding the logging.

I’d like to thank Aquabound Paddles and Craig Langford for hooking it up on this trip! See you on the rivers of Colorado, California or Oregon in the near future.

Chris Gragtmans