May 13, 2013

Whitewater SUP

Two weekends ago was the Vancouver Kayak Club Whitewater festival in Chilliwack. Whitewater SUP has been on my list of things to try for quite sometime now and this seemed like a great opportunity to give it a go. Thanks to Nikki Rekman Sales for connecting me with Laura, a knowledgeable and talented whitewater SUPer. You can stop by Western Canoeing and Kayaking to say hello! She was a great to have along for my first go down a river.

So Friday night before heading out to watch the premier of STAND (which is very well done and inspirational. I would recommend everyone to go see it, paddler or not) Andrew dusted off his whitewater kayak and paddle, we packed our gear and got ready for an earlyish Saturday morning.

Saturday, Andrew and I managed to get to Chilliwack just in the nick of time, we caught Laura and Marty as they were getting ready to head down the river. I decided not to have my first go begin with class 3 waters and so Andrew and I loaded the Jackson SUPer charger on the roof, grabbed the necessary gear and drove down to Osbourne put in and jumped in there. The first step was to ferry across to the other side of the river to meet Laura and Marty... I was paddling with a Werner Carve paddle, a predator helmet to protect my nogin, a Kokatat drysuit to keep me dry and warm, and I was paddling on a Jackson SUPer Charger, NO leash... The Chilliwack is not a high volume river and lots of rocks so a leash is not the safest option in this case.
Andrew coached me across the first ferry crossing... NO problems:) From there I followed Laura and Marty while Andrew played in the waves, eddie lines and whatever he could find:)... I felt way less nervous than I imagined, the board was super stable and I was loving the little waves. I had been whitewater kayaking twice before and didn't really like the feeling of being trapped in the kayak. The water seemed a lot scarier in the kayak but on the SUP although slightly nervous at times, I was never frozen scared:) I kept my legs strong but soft so I was able to move with the bumps....
I do find it weird that I am not strong enough to control the river... I can't just stop or go exactly where I want to go when I want to go, and if I missed something I couldn't go back.... it takes some getting used to the lack of control that I have and hoe much control the river has.

I made it down without a fall:) A very successfull first attempt at whitewater SUPin.... I am keen to get out again!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

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