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!

Monday, June 15, 2009


I'm now on the Kayaking rehab program. This is what I do when I get injured--go kayaking. It's the first sport I truly discovered on my own, and in some way will always be my "first" sport. Check this article out, I think it does a good job of explaining why I like kayaking.