World Class Kayaker Doug Ammons presents Wildwater…A Love Story

Columbia Center for the Arts brings to the Gorge world Class kayaker Doug Ammons for a remarkable presentation of “Wildwater…a Love Story” on Thursday July 15th. The reception begins at 7:00pm and show begins at 8:00pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8.00 for students and are available at Columbia Arts and online at Columbia Center for the Arts is located at 215 Cascade Ave. Hood River, OR.

World class kayaker Doug Ammons presents “Wildwater…a Love Story” – an evening of incredible photos, video, and human insights into the beauty and challenge of wild rivers. Doug was recently named by Outside Magazine as “one of the top ten ‘game changers’ in adventure since 1900”, and compared to mountaineer Reinhold Messner for his mind-bending solo runs of the hardest rivers in the world. Doug is equally adept at speaking poetically and insightfully about risk, beauty, danger, and intimacy with the natural world. He will also preview a stunning movie in high definition that he is currently working on. His presentations have been called “spellbinding” and a “must see that will leave a fire in your heart for the outdoors”.

His two books will be for sale, “The Laugh of the Water Nymph” and “Whitewater Philosophy”. “The Laugh of the Water Nymph” was named “One of the best outdoor books of the year!” (National Outdoor Book Awards). For the last 15 years, Doug has donated all proceeds from his books and writing to support two small rural schools in the most remote part of Nepal.

Kayak Shed . .

Explosions and Whitewater…Learn about Dam Removal

Old and obsolete dams are starting to be removed throughout the Northwest, opening new stretches of rivers to spawning salmon and river runners.

Come and watch two entertaining documentary short films about recent dam removal success stories on the Sandy River, OR and Trout Creek of the Wind River, WA and join in a discussion afterwards.

There will be experts in the field present, like Paul Peirce–a Chair of the Skamania County Commission, James Dean–the demolition contractor that removed Hemlock Dam, and Bengt Coffin–a hydrologist with the USFS who put the Hemlock Dam removal project together.

The event is free and there will be two showings. We would love to see you there!

Tuesday, June 22nd at 7pm in the White Salmon Library
Thursday, June 24th at 7pm in the Hood River Springhouse Cellar, located in the parking lot of Mt. Hood RR.

Kayak Shed . .

Our Take on the 2010 Pyranha Burn

We asked the people in the shop to review the 2010 Pyranha Burn and here are the responses we got.

1) More Bow and Stern Rocker:

Robin: Great improvement over the old burn. I found being a heavier paddler and especially on self support trips the old burn would piton easily. Just got off of a 3 day self support trip with the new burn and not one piton!
Deborah: I noticed this helps keep my bow up when I am working on my boof stroke.
Nicole: I have always liked the maneuverability, but the added rocker makes it even more maneuverable.

2) Lifted and Softened Edges

Robin: A little less grabby than the old burn.
Todd: It is much more forgiving than the past burn model. The stern especially is a noticeable improvement.
Deborah: Definitely less edgy, which makes it more user friendly for beginners.
Nicole: I get caught as soon as I get distracted in my old Burn. I noticed that I was not getting caught off guard as easily in the 2010 Burn.

3) More Volume

Robin:There was not enough change in volume to notice.
Nicole: I don’t really paddle the gnar, but I felt like my stern wasn’t getting caught as much.

4) Peaked Deck

Robin: It might shed water a bit quicker, but it is hard to tell.
Nicole: I guess it would shed water more quickly, but whenever my boat disappears, I focus more on survival than how quickly it comes back up, haha.

5) Deck height

Robin: Being that I have short legs, the lower knee area makes for a bit more comfort.
Deborah: Much more comfortable in the thigh brace area. I don’t feel like I am sitting as awkwardly as in the old Burn.
Nicole: I’m flexible like a contortionist, so the deck height never affected my roll, but the lower knee area feels more comfortable.

6) Rollability

Robin: It felt about the same as the old one.
Deborah: Definitely felt a bit easier to roll than the old Burn.
Nicole: Like I said before, my flexibility makes rolling in most kayaks easy, but the lifted and softened edges meant that I didn’t have to roll as much.

7) Primary and Secondary stability

Robin: Primary stability is great as before, but the secondary stability seems a bit better than the old version.
Todd: Better secondary stability than the older version. I have put many students in this kayak and they have excelled due to its balance between primary and secondary stability. Boats that focus too much on primary stability give students confidence when going through basic rapids but are difficult to edge and roll. On the other end, round boats will full displacement hulls give confidence for rolling and edging but feel unstable in the rapids. I have had trouble finding a kayak that allows for both, but this new Burn is appearing to fit the students’ needs very well.
Nicole: The one thing that I didn’t like as much about the old Burn was the secondary stability. I’ve got a pretty good brace, but it didn’t do much for me in the old Burn. I feel like the 2010 Burn has way better secondary stability, so getting knocked off center doesn’t mean certain flip.

8) Outfitting

Todd: The new outfitting is great, with the velcro addition in the hip pads, it makes for easier outfitting that isn’t going to shift around on you.
Deborah: Just as comfortable as the old outfitting!

9) Ability as a Creeker

Robin: Great! Love it. Boofs Well!!!
Todd: I have always loved the Pyranha Burn, and I love the new Burn too.

10) Ability as a River Runner

Robin: It really surfs well for a big boat.
Deborah: The planing hull definitely helps it surf well.
Nicole: I only River Run and I have always liked the Burn. The 2010 Burn is no exception.

11) Speed

Robin: Definitely not the fastest boat out there, but it has enough to make the moves.
Deborah: It is definitely fast enough for me!

12) Crossing Eddy Lines

Robin: One big improvement over the old version is more volume in the stern, which in turn makes crossing boiling eddy lines easier.
Deborah: One of my favorite things to do in the Burn is carve into eddies, and the 2010 makes it just as fun!
Nicole: Boily eddy lines…you won’t get me anymore!

13) Who is this boat best for?

Robin: Intermediates to Experts
Todd: This boat is best for the extreme kayaker running difficult creeks, but also for the beginning kayaker who wants a quick, but doable learning curve.
Deborah: Adventurous Beginners/Intermediates as well as hardcore advanced kayakers.
Nicole: I guess I can only speak for myself, but I really like it. I often feel that the old Burn is too advanced for me, but the 2010 Burn seems more forgiving and therefore more beginner/intermediate friendly.

Robin‘s favorite river is the Little White Salmon (Class V), which he paddles regularly after a day in the shop. On the weekends, Robin takes off for overnight trips and he recently self-supported the Jarbridge/Bruneau in the 2010 Burn. He usually paddles the old Pyranha Burn, Everest, and Wavesport Project 62.

Todd is a professional kayaker as well as owner and instructor at Columbia Gorge Kayak School. His favorite river is the Little White Salmon (Class V), where he goes after working at the Klickitat with new kayakers (Class II). Todd paddled the old Pyranha Burn, but he has stepped up to the 2010 Medium Burn. He has recently upgraded his school fleet so that it includes all sizes of the 2010 Burn, which he puts students in regularly.

Deborah is the customer service extraordinaire at the Kayak Shed and this June marks her 2 year kayaking anniversary. Her favorite river is the Rogue River (Class III), though she loves the White Salmon too, because it is always there for her. She paddles the new Jackson Villain S, which she is really enjoying.

Nicole‘s favorite river is the Middle White Salmon (Class III), which she kayaks whenever it is too wet to mountain bike. She normally paddles the old Pyranha Burn (size small) or the Dagger Kingpin 6.2.

Kayak Shed . .

Don’t have plans for this Sunday? Come to the “Down and Out” Paddle, Picnic, and Raffle!

If you’re headed to The White Salmon River Symposium on Saturday, then stick around on Sunday to join Tim and Patrick for the “Down and Out” Paddle, Picnic, and Raffle. This is for all of us who want to get together, paddle, talk about what’s new, and eat some free food.

The “Down and Out” Paddle will start at BZ Corner and go to Northwestern Lake. If you’re not up for paddling the Middle White Salmon (Class III) but still want to join in, you can meet the group halfway and paddle the Lower White Salmon (Class II).

If you want to run the Middle White Salmon, meet at Husum at 2:00 pm. If you want to paddle the Lower White Salmon, meet at Husum between 3:00 and 3:15 pm.

Once the paddle is over, there will be a Picnic and Raffle at Tim Hardin’s house. The Kayak Shed and World Kayak have donated schwag that will be raffled off. Food will be provided, so all you have to do is show up with your favorite beverage and a chair.

If you plan on coming, send Tim an RSVP at so they know how much food to get and we hope to see you on the river!

When: Sunday, June 6th at 2pm for the folks paddling the Middle or 3pm for those paddling the Lower

Where: Kayakers meet at Husum, but the picnic will be held at Tim Hardin’s house

What to bring: your favorite beverage, a chair, kayak gear

Kayak Shed . .

Visit the Kayak Shed’s New On-Water Location

The Kayak Shed now has waterfront access to the Columbia River between the Event Site and AirTime, including a private dock for launching kayaks and stand up paddle boards (SUPs). Our on water location is great for trying out the newest kayaks without having to load and transport them anywhere. Whether you are looking to buy a new boat or just get some sun and exercise, all you have to do is show up!

If you are interested in paddling, but aren’t sure where to go, you can pack a lunch and paddle west to Wells Island then back to the site, which makes for a leisurely 2.5 mile journey. Along the way you can spot the kiteboarders and windsurfers, stop at the swim park, and watch for bald eagles. If you’re up for a longer paddle, you can head east to Koberg Beach, which rounds out to a 5 mile trip. Once you get there, you can hike up tall rock formations that drop off into deep pools, picnic on the sandy beach, and enjoy the scenic views. When it gets windy and the swell grows, you can still paddle in our wind sheltered inlet.


Rentals……………………….2 hrs………………………Additional hr(s)



Single Sit on Top………….$20………………………….$10

Tandem Sit on Top………$40………………………….$20

Hobie Pedal Drive……….$40………………………….$20


5 time punch pass*……….$90

*Punch pass: 1 punch per 2 hours use per person, 2 punches per 2 hr use per tandem or Hobie pedal drive

**All rentals include paddle and personal flotation device.

Guided Tours:

If there are strong winds on the Columbia River, it is often wise to have a guide to assist you on your kayaking adventures. Tours are available daily from our friends at the Columbia Gorge Kayak School. View their website at to register for a trip.

Beginner Recreational Tour: This trip meets at 10 am or 2:30pm. It is designed for people who have never been kayaking, family outings, or individuals that are uncomfortable in water and are looking to experience a few hours of stress free paddling.

Sunset Kayaking Tour: This trip meets at 6pm. This tour gives you the best seat in the house for an evening in the Gorge. Paddle right into the sunset through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area! If it’s too windy on the Columbia, trips will take place on Northwester Lake in the protected White Salmon River canyon. This is a great trip for dates, team building, family, and out-of-town guests.


Guided Tours……………………………………………….$60 per person

Group rate (sign up with 3 or more)…………….$48 per person
Kayak Shed . .

Olympic Sized Dedication

There are sure to be inspirational stories throughout the 2010 Winter Olympics, but as we sit here getting ready to watch the opening ceremonies, when I think of dedication to your sport, I think of something I saw on Jackson Kayaks blog the other day.

Ben Stooksberry, Darin McQuoid, Chris Korbulic, and Rush Sturges make up a strong crew of expedition paddlers. Check out the video to see what Olympic sized dedication looks like:

Middle Kings: First October descent from Ben Stookesberry on Vimeo.

Oh – and Go Team USA!

Kayak Shed . .

NYT on Dam Removal & New Whitewater

A lot of folks have brought an article from the NY Times Travel section to our attention this week. The article discusses the national trend of dam removal and waterway restoration – an exciting time for environmentalists and whitewater paddlers. With the removal of Condit dam on the horizon, those of us who paddle the White Salmon river are soon to be among the lucky beneficiaries of this trend.

“There’s also the excitement of the unknown,” said Tao Berman, a professional kayaker who lives in White Salmon, Wash., not far from the White Salmon River, which is known for its whitewater runs by kayakers the world over.

Mr. Berman has good reason to be excited these days. The Condit Dam, a 125-foot-high hydroelectric dam that has plugged the White Salmon River for 96 years, is expected to come out as early as next year. When that happens, a mile-long section behind the dam, which had been submerged under the artificial lake, will once again flow freely. There could be a series of gentle rapids or something more exciting, like a boat-flipping cataract.

“I just can’t wait to see it,” Mr. Berman, 30, said. “Is it going to unearth a great play spot, or is there going to be one really steep, difficult rapid? I have no idea.”

That said, I’d like to remember all of the work that has gone into the Condit removal (and, I’m sure, the other dams mentioned in the article). The effort of local paddlers, conservationists and American Whitewater to see through the removal of the dam has been an amazing, long term commitment. We were talking around the shop and are guessing that this has been in the works for approximately 12 years. I’m sure AW could give us a more solid number, but regardless – it’s been a long time.

So, here’s to the dedication of those of you who were involved in the discussions, the studies, and the meetings that has made the removal of Condit dam – and the subsequent opening of some new whitewater for us and the fish to enjoy – possible. Many thanks from us and future generations!

Kayak Shed . .

Outdoor Retailer : Day 2 : Immersion Research

A few additions and updates to Immersion’s Research line of paddling gear. As always, in addition to doing a great job across their line, the IR team is spearheading technical women’s paddling gear that the usual “shrink it and pink it” methodology can’t touch.

Starting with their dry gear, IR is moving all of their 4 layer garments to a new, heavier duty 4 layer fabric. Many of their existing pieces are already in the new material, but they’ll continue to roll out those that aren’t.

The 2010 drysuit gets a new zipper this year that is drier and feet that are treated with an extra layer of polyurethane to improve durability.

If you require the driest of the dry, IR makes a stitchless drytop, the X Jacket, that is the dry top for you. Made of entirely glued construction, there isn’t a place in this top for the tape to peel up and leak. White Salmon paddlers, you asked for – they made it!

We’ve been looking for some good splash pants and IR’s version with neoprene gaskets, reinforced abrasion locations, and a well placed hidden pocket is a strong contender.

Ladies – this year’s Comp LX in Butter looks great! Made with 4 layer Entrant, it’s the closest thing to X-Jacket-dry this side of the X jacket and will have the great women’s specific fit that has become the hallmark of IR’s ladies line up.

Also with the ladies in mind: the union with the drop seat. Between these and products like Go Girl and Whiz Freedom, the women are getting some options!

Skirts are the only thing to receive a complete overhaul this year. With Jackson taking the boat market by storm, IR redesigned their skirts with every JK boat from the All Star to the Hero in mind. That said, don’t worry all of you Liquid Logic, Pyranha & Confluence fans – they made sure they fit your boats too! Two of the skirts we really liked are the Lucky Charm, a great rand skirt, and the Shockwave, a bungee skirt. Brand new to the line up, the Lucky Charm will be great fit for the intermediate/advanced boater while the Shockwave, with it’s user friendly bungee and user friendly price ($100), will take care of the someone just getting into the sport.

In addition to their dry gear, layers & skirts, IR always does a great job with paddle wear. If you’re familiar with it, the Guide Short gets its grommet back this year and everything from the surf trunks to the business casual shirts (paddler style, of course) looked really good.

On a side note, John Weld – who along with his wife, Kara, owns/operates IR – called us ninnies and said he thinks the cold water of the PNW is over-rated. He promises to leave his balmy East Coast bath water and come out with a Silk Skin, a Shorty, a Speedo and some sun screen and show us how it’s done. If we can hold him to it, I promise some entertaining pictures for the blog.

Kayak Shed . .