I’m new Riot team paddler, I’m 21 years old and I’m from Slovakia. Few days ago I came back from New Zealand. I was there only for 6 weeks but it was an amazing trip.
After two days of traveling we landed in Auckland. We walked out from airport in the morning and we moved straight to Taupo and in the evening we ran one of the most famoust waterfall in New Zealan - the Huka falls. It was a great introduction to New Zealnds whitewater. Next few days we stayed on North island kayaking on Kaituna river and then we moved to West coast of South island. During the long traveling south we stopped on Maruia falls and ran it few times.It is clean 10 metres high waterfall and we enjoyed it a lot.
West coast is one of the best places for kayaking on the world. Great rivers, clean water, challenging and fun rapids, awesome scenery… Only disadvantage is that you should fly on the most of the rivers with helicopter, what is a little expensive but its fun. Our first river on the west coast was Kokatahi. It has continuous class 4-5 rapids and some deep gorges.
Entrance to one of the Kokatahi's deep gorges...
...and one of the rapids in this gorges
Next days we ran other west coast classics like Arahura, Upper Hokitika, Whitcomb, Kakapotahi and many more.
Wanganui river has same sweet drops
Honza running the Viagra falls on Upper Hokitika
Gates of Argonath
After two weeks of paddling on West coast we moved further south to Kawarau river. On this river are well known rapids Nevis Bluff and Citroen. Citroen is fun class 4 bigwater rapid with big waves. Nevis bluff is little bit harder, with flow of 200cumecs and some huge hydraulics it looks very impressive.
Me running the Nevis Bluff
Middle hole on Nevis bluff
Then we moved back to North Island to take part in Wairoa extreme race. It was a cool competition with a great atmosphere. I ran the river first time during the competition so it was very crazy but I ended 7th after Saturday prelims. On Sunday I wasn’t so lucky and I fell out in round 3. To the finals went Kenny Mutton vs. Mike Dawson, and Kenny took the firs place. You can check out the results on http://www.paddle-power.com/extremerace/results2008.htm
Wairoa extrem race
In New Zealand we traveled a lot, paddled a lot, but first of all we enjoyed it a lot.When I came home I realised that everything I heard about New Zealand is true. It is an awesome country with lots of great whitewater, friedly people and stunning scenery.
Thanks to Honza Lasko and Miro Sukany for the photos