Whitewater Kayaking: What’s the Longest You’ve Ever Been Outta the Water?

Whitewater Kayaking
We are rusty af after being outta the water for 8 months, but that's ok, because kayaking is fun no matter how rusty or shiny you are!

You know us, we love whitewater kayaking. We tout it saying it changed the course of our lives forever. We are in our Jackson Kayak boats as often as possible! So, can you believe we’ve been out of the water for 8 months? 8 long, agonizing months! This is due to an exceptionally long winter (with very little snowfall) coupled with late fall travel.  So, let me tell you … it felt great to get back in our boats and tear up our local wave/hole. There is just nothing like whitewater kayaking to make you forget the insane world you live in! Fresh air, sun, water, and kids? Please, it’s the greatest feeling on earth.

Whitewater Kayaking
Dally messing around with Elly!

But, after 8 months of no kayaking, like none, not even pool time, we discovered we were pretty darn RUSTY! That muscle memory had a form of dementia, it was more than time to get it back into shape. It was great to get some time in a play spot that we know pretty well, at low levels at least, before sending the big stuff. After a few days, our bodies were sore, but this little gem took care of all of that. And there was some apprehension. I, for one, made Dally and Cardy watch the first few times I dropped into the meaty hole in the middle. “Come get me if I get stuck,” I laughed.

Coby, who was crushing it last summer was legit not having it at first. It took a few minutes and a lot of coaxing to convince him to even just try a roll. But, once he realized he could still roll, he was unstoppable. It’s insane how much that skill changes things, both mentally and physically. He had one swim, over the course of three days, when he lost his paddle, and countless combat rolls. Swimming though is celebrated in our family because it means you are pushing yourself. No bootie beers, no bootie milks, nothing but cheers and a special treat apres dinner. We are all about testing our limits and trying to go that extra inch! There are no failures, no shame … all positive reinforcement round here.

Whitewater Kayaking
Dan showing Emmy the way on the wave.

Emmy struggled as well to find her confidence. She isn’t the biggest fan of playboating, freestyle kayaking. She’s much more into running rivers. Just ask her, she likes the challenge of navigating rapids, reading the water and the amazing feeling of accomplishment that comes after.  Her favorite rivers to run are Numbers, on the Arkansas outside of Buena Vista, CO and the Ocoee, in TN. She is super stoked to be heading to the Arkansas Valley in a few weeks for some solid kayaking and dirt biking fun!

Whitewater Kayaking
Kenny isn’t rusty, at all!

Elly, though, was like bring it!  She loves all forms of whitewater kayaking, she just can’t get enough. This girl is an all pink and Barbies girl, so her adrenaline/fun junkie side is surprising to many. It was like she never was out of her boat. She hopped right in, ferried to the middle of the river, did a practice roll in the big eddy and started surfing. Her huge smile a manifestation of her joy!

And that joy is what keeps us coming back. I mean it doesn’t hurt that we are sitting in the mountains in an unprecedented heat wave where temperatures are hitting 103 degrees. The river is the only place to be. In fact, we have met so many people just coming down to cool off who have never seen a freestyle kayak. “Is it hard to learn?” they ask? “It depends on your goals,” I respond.” “It’s not hard if your goal is to have fun.”

Whitewater Kayaking
Elly is always smiling!

It’s so good to be back, traveling and adventuring with the whole crew…I mean, we never really stopped, but ya know what I mean, right? Other people are out and about, Covid a distant memory. It is absolutely awesome to play down at the river with all the other kids in the community, talk about agelessness!!

Oh, if you see us on the river, come say “Hey!” and offer me a shower at your place! 😊

Whitewater Gear That We Use

Dan:

Helmet: Sweet Protection Strutter
Drytop: Kokotat Rogue Drytop
PFD: Kokatat Maximus
Skirt: Snapdragon Spray Skirt
Paddle: Accent Paddle, 191
Kayak: Jackson Kayak Rockstar

Susie & Maddy:

Helmet: Sweet Protection Strutter
Drytop: Kokotat Rogue Drytop
PFD: Kokatat Orbit which is now the Hustle
Skirt: Snapdragon Spray Skirt
Paddle: Accent Paddle, Helix Advantage, 191
Kayak: Jackson Kayak Rockstar

Kenny, Dally, Cardy, Rowdy

Helmet: Sweet Protection Strutter
Drytop: Kokotat Rogue Drytop
PFD: Kokatat Orbit which is now the Hustle
Skirt: Snapdragon Spray Skirt
Paddle: Accent Paddle, Helix Advantage, 191
Kayak: Jackson Kayak Rockstar, 4.0

Emmy, Elly & Coby

Helmet: WRSI Current
Drytop: Kokotat Hydrus
PFD: Astral Otter PFD
Skirt: Snapdragon Spray Skirt
Paddle: Accent Paddle, Rage Advantage
Kayak: Jackson Kayak Rockstar XS & Shooting Star

 

 

 

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