Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kayaks: Best Invention Ever!!

Yeah, I know I said wheels are the best invention ever a couple of weeks ago, and they are great, but kayaks are the real dream machines. I had one of my all-time super-fun kayak runs early this week with a few friends, Cataract Creek, in the southern Rockies. I haven't been creek boating much in the last ten years, but it sure was fun!

The day started off with a seal launch into a 20-foot plus waterfall. Now, if this were to occur in the middle of the day it would be cool, but it's a bit much right off the bat. I was fired up though and went for it, made it clean but landed a bit hard after boofing like I was in an old-school boat that doesn't boof so well...

The rest of the run was big smiles. We all ran the final rapid, "Leviathan," and had good lines. It was a bit of a mental push for me, but I felt good about it and ran it clean with a nice deep low brace at the end to keep the hair dry.

Cataract Creek is a great run both for the whitwater and beause there are no roads near it--it's a full wilderness experience, just bopping down a beautiful river valley with some friends. The big drops all have good lines, which I love.

All the sports I do involve "lines." Lines connect together to take you places whether it's on skis, rock, ice, in the air, or on a river. I think river lines are the most interesting to me because you can only see the surface of the river; it's all really a mystery, but there's enough going on visually to give you clues. Paragliding lines are also cool because they are almost totally invisible; you have to rely on very subtle clues and then feel the line with your senses as you're on it. Come to think of it, kayaking a big drop is a little like flying a rowdy line in the sky--you have to feel rather than see, and react smoothly rather than jerkily. Ski lines are more visible, strips of white between rock walls, or meaningless in a way, as in skiing a big bowl full of deep powder. Ice lines are a big reason I still ice climb, they just go through such insane terrain...

It's really all about the line in any of these sports I think.

Here's to "lines!"


PS---and after a couple of weeks of kayaking, mountain biking and flying my elbow already feels better--I think it's mainly the kayaking, lots of motion without super-high gripping or curling forces. I've cured almost every serious elbow or finger injury I've ever had with kayaking, it sure works great!


Reedster said...

Spoken like a true multi-sports guy. The best sport is usually the one I am doing right now. The season is dying down now around here, but maybe I need to go get out in the boat.

~R Bartack

Will Gadd said...

Hey Mr. Bartack, drop me a pm or something, be great to catch up with you!!