Jackson Kayak & the Kayak Shed take on the John Day

We were thrilled to have the pros at Jackson Kayak join us for our second annual kayak fishing trip down the John Day river. We were almost as thrilled to receive this edit from them the other day so we could reminisce on what a great trip it was! Enjoy the amazing scenery and fishing of the John Day and stay tuned for details on next year’s trip!


2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : NRS Package

We have saved one of the very best packages for last! When NRS heard we were throwing a party to raise money for First Descents, they stepped up in a big way! The winner of this package is getting a brand spankin’ new kit, from helmet to kicks: an NRS Flux Drytop, a WRSI Current Pro helmet, an NRS Zen Rescue PFD AND NRS Velocity Water shoes! Many thanks to the folks at NRS for donating an amazing prize package and congratulations in advance for the lucky winner of all this booty!

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2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : Werner Prize Package

Werner Paddles is celebrating their 50th Year handcrafting paddles at the Gorge Paddling Film Festival! Year after year, Werner keeps crankin’ out the most durable and innovative paddle designs. We could not be more thrilled that they have agreed to celebrate their “birthday” by joining us in supporting First Descents and providing a prize package that anyone would be stoked to win! A top of the line, premium fiberglass Werner paddle, to fit the winner, a Werner hat, belt buckle and sweatshirt to help you represent! Get those cameras rolling and fire up your editing software – this sweet set up could be yours!

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World Kayak presents the Whitewater Family Fun Day

Saturday, June 22nd
11:00 am at Northwestern Park
Kayak Clinics
Kayak race held at Husum Falls
Free to All!
Raft rides, kayak clinics, BBQ, kayak races, throwbag golf and much more. Great prizes proivided by our sponsors. Demo boats will be provided by the Kayak Shed, Wet Planet is hosting the kayak clinics and the Oregon Rafting Team is providing rafts and safety equipment. We will also have some IK’s on hand as well.
The cost is free, but if you would like to bring a dessert or a side, we will have Ninkasi and brats.
Clay Ross with the University of Puget Sound Kayak Club will also be on hand with some of his club members to answer questions about kayaking and college. Local teen kayaker and Oregon Rafting Team member, Jeffery Steehler will be there as well to answer questions about kids and whitewater.
Come on out and participate because “Whitewater is Community”
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Take A Friend!

Until May 27th, our friends at Yakima Racks are providing an incentive to get a rack on your car so you can pick up some buddies on the way to the put in/trail head/launch/etc. The “Take More Friends” Promotion gets you $30 back on a $300+ purchase, $40 back on a $400+ purchase and $50 on a $500+ purchase. Pretty sweet deal! Additional details and rebate forms available at http://www.yakima.com/promotions/springrebate/.

So get that rack you’ve been drooling over, send in the form & you’ll have a little extra cha-ching to pick your crew up with!

Kayak Shed . http://www.kayakshed.com/blog/ . http://www.kayakshed.com

Jackson Rock Star Review

A couple of our local paddlers, Patrick and Jeffery Steehler, headed to the Reno Whitewater Festival with the Jackson Rock Star. Here’s what Patrick had to say about it.

So, I was getting off work at midnight thinking, “what was I thinking?” In four and a half short hours I was going to be heading to the airport to board a flight for Reno. By the time I arrived and saw what was waiting for me I knew exactly what I was thinking. There were tens of thousands of people there for the festivities. If you have never been to Reno for the whitewater, then make your plans today. You have been missing one of the best whitewater parks around. Imagine taking a fork in the river, one way goes to a nice challenging slalom course and the other follows the river through a stretch dotted with several waves and holes for paddlers of all skill levels.

I could not wait for a chance to try out this park, but I had one problem………no boat. So we went off to a meet and greet. We started walking toward an area where there were several motorhomes and boats scattered all over. As we approached the end of the vehicles, It was hard to not notice the Mini Cooper with Jackson Kayak plastered all over it with their signature yellow, black and white. Parked just beyond that was the Jackson motorhome with its trailer of goodies (and by goodies, I mean all the newest Jackson boats like the Rogue, Rock Star, Villain, etc. As we approached the motorhome we saw E.J. sitting down chatting with some other paddlers. Our good friend Jana introduced me to Eric and we had a great conversation about World Kayak and what bought us down to the festival. After learning about my boat dilemma, he offered to let me use one of his.

I opted for the Rock Star since Jeffery has been using the boat for about a month thanks to a generous extended demo from John Hart at the Kayak Shed. John even allowed us to take the boat to Reno for Jeffery to compete with. Getting in the Rock Star looked like it might be a challenge for me with my long legs and big build, but it had a lot of room inside. I opted for the large size even though I could have fit in a medium. E.J. said I would be a better fit in the large. Jeffery and I started on the first rapid just off the put in in the left channel. We stayed for several minutes entering and exiting the rapid and attempted to surf side to side and pull off some 180’s. The surprising thing for me in this boat was the ability for me not to get flipped while I was attempting to initiate my spins. The boat stays on edge very well and carves nicely on the face of the wave. After a few more minutes playing around, we inched downstream to try our hand at some of the harder waves. We floated down past where they held the freestyle competition and found a river wide wave that had a nice trough. After entering the wave I was easily able to ride the wave to the other side almost effortlessly. For those of you who know me, you are probably reading this thinking, “Patrick finally learned how to kayak.”

This boat is THAT amazing.

For the final test we took out and headed back to the put in for a run on the slalom course. After doing some more surfing, we took a stab at slalom in the Rock Star. Now if you are a competitor, I am not suggesting you use this in a competition, I merely wanted to see about the maneuverability and stability. After running the troughs and making the gates, I found the boat to be very maneuverable and stable for a playboat.

Now for those of you who are thinking about a playboat for river running, this may not be your boat. For those who are looking for a boat that is going to dominate freestyle competition, you have found your boat. Eight out of the ten boats that moved to the finals at the Reno Whitewater Festival were Rock Stars. There was no question that Steven Wright and Eric Jackson absolutely dominated in their carbon Rock Stars. The air they were able to catch was unbelievable.

So what’s in your quiver?

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Wavesport Project X Review

We just got the Project X 64 and Project X 48 into the shop, so we asked our local Wavesport expert and pro paddler Kim Russell to let us know what she thinks. Here’s what she has to say:

The New Project X:

-Higher Volume (48 vs 45)
-More aggressive rocker profile
-Slicier bow

I have been paddling a Wave Sport Project 45 since 2007, and never thought I would make the switch to any other boat; I love my Project 45! However, from the first time I took a seat in my Project X, I now have a new favorite playboat. Let me tell you why…

The Outfitting:

Outfitting wise, the boat feels very similar to the Project: same foot block, thigh braces, hip pads, and seat pad, however, the new outfitting is white and has been dubbed “Whiteout.” It is softer, does not collect dirt, and does not absorb nearly as much water as the old outfitting. Pretty cool, eh?

In general, the Project X “feels” like the Project in regards to positioning, although I feel as though my knees sit up a little higher in the boat, making it more comfortable for a long day on the river, as well as giving me more leverage for tricks.

First Impression on the Water:

On the water, the boat feels very stable. It has good primary as well as secondary stability. End-to-end it is very well balanced, and never feels as though it is “falling” end-over-end through moves. With its slicey bow, and its shorter length, the Project X allows me to more easily control and link ends than most other boats I have paddled. Finally, as a smaller paddler, the Project X is easy to paddle because the volume is located so close to the body.


You might expect such a “spud-boat” to not do so well, however, the Project X excels downriver. There is a lot of volume in the front, and while the X is a pretty short boat, it maintains just enough length to be very stable downriver. In addition, I witnessed a complete and utter lack of pearling thanks to the aggressive rocker profile of the X. Whether I was paddling over boily seams or eddylines, the bow never pearled once.

On a Wave:

The Project X is FUN FUN FUN on a wave! It carves easily, and smoothly back and forth. It is very quick edge-to-edge, and releases with very little effort on the paddler’s part. Forward and backward, the Project X did not flush easily, even from the smallest of waves.

Having only been in the Project X only a handful of times, I still have to get used to the boat myself. What I can be sure of is whether paddling downriver, or on a feature, it will bring a smile to your face! For more information, go to your local dealer and ask to demo the new Project X! You won’t be disappointed!

Cheers and Enjoy the new Project X!

Kim Russell

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We’re Getting Kids into Kayaking!

This Summer, the Kayak Shed is teaming up with the Columbia Gorge Kayak School to get kids into Kayaking. The Kayak Shed joined the Hood River County Library for a kid-oriented river recreation and safety demonstration, where attendees learned about kayak equipment, the difference between swimming in a river and pool, and how to use throw bags.

To beat the heat, the Kayak Shed and Columbia Gorge Kayak School are sponsoring affordable kids kayak lessons, which take place July 14, 21, 28, and August 4th from 10am-2pm at the Kayak Shed’s on-water location. Kids can attend the whole series for only $80 each or $20 per session. If you want to sign up, contact the Columbia Gorge Kayak School at 541-806-4190 or info@gorgekayaker.com

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