2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : Sweet Helmets Package

What’s Sweet-er (hah!) than a new Sweet Wanderer Helmet? How about a new Sweet Wanderer helmet, a new Sweet sweatshirt AND a new pair of Sweet shorts! Any way you cut it, that is a SWEET deal for one of the lucky winners of the Gorge Paddling Film Festival!
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2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : Chaco prize

What paddler does not love their Chacos? Loyal, trustworthy, throw them in the river to wash them… kind of like your dog. With less fur (hopefully). The Chaco package has a little something for you and a little something for your best friend: a new pair of Z1 or Z2 Chacos, a new Chaco belt to keep the sag at bay and to help you open those apres paddle root beers AND a leash and collar for your four legged BFF. You and your best fuzzy bud will no doubt be a hit with all of the objects-of-your-affection at every take out!
Kayak Shed . http://kayakshed.blogspot.com . http://www.kayakshed.com

2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : Dolla Bills for the Pros

We’ve been posting some great prize packages for our winning Young Gun & Amateur division film entries – (with two more to come from Sweet & Chaco) but what about the pros? It’s like your grandma at Christmas – what do you get the person who has everything? Well, we’re hoping the pros will appreciate the same thing Grandma does: cold, hard cash! With $750 for the winner, $300 for 2nd place and $200 for 3rd, we’re looking forward to hearing about the spa trips and other splurges that will no doubt be happening in the ranks of the Gorge’s professional paddling/film making elite after payday at the Gorge Paddling Film Festival!

 

 

 

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2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : Important Update!

We are incredibly excited to announce that we are partnering with World Class Kayak Academy to move the date of the film fest to correspond with the Little White Salmon race! The new date for the film festival is May 1st, the new deadline for submissions is April 24th – giving you all an extra week to put together fresh footage!

Doors will open at River City at 6:30pm and we’ll start rolling film at 7pm to make sure there is plenty of time for the Young Guns to have their footage shown and to vote! We’re excited to have the kids from WCKA participating on the Film Fest and know having them involved will raise the bar in all of the categories!

Questions? Feel free to see additional details and hit us up with any questions on our event page: gorgepaddlingfilmfestival.com.

 

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2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : Immersion Research Arch Rival Drysuit

We all know that very few companies walk the walk like they talk the talk like Immersion Research. Truly a “for paddlers by paddlers” company, they are stepping it up again to support the great work of First Descents and the Gorge Paddling Film Festival by pitching in for one of our best prizes yet, an Arch Rival Drysuit! Made with IR’s proprietary WhiteOut laminate to withstand years of abuse, the Arch Rival is bound to make one of our film fest winners a very happy (and dry) paddler!

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

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!

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

2015 Gorge Paddling Film Festival : Astral Prize Package

Many, many thanks to the good folks at Astral for joining us in supporting First Descents! We are proud to announce a ridiculously cool prize package for one lucky winner of the 2015 Gorge Paddling Film Fest of an Astral Greenjacket and Astral Rasslers! We know safety is your first concern (it’s ours too, of course) – enter the Gorge Paddling Film Festival to have a chance to get yourself right with a safety vest and kicks from Astral!

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

The Legend of Big Sur

You may have heard her on the phone or met her in the store. Angie, Kayak Shed employee, just got back from an epic Colorado trip. Here’s her run-down.

Some say it ran last year. Some say this wave hasn’t really gone since 1989, others prefer 1991 as the date of the last genuine appearance of a legend. Or according to White Water of the Southern Rockies, the last sighting of this feature was in 1997. Sound a little like Big Foot? The Myth of Big Sur is well known by paddlers across the country. This legendary surf wave in the middle of Nowhere, Colorado requires extremely high run off to form. With huge snow packs in the Rockies I set my sights on getting out to Colorado to surf a legend.
Unfortunately, for the first time in years I have a full time job.

Fortunately, I work at the Kayak Shed. A week before I headed out to Colorado I franticly called John, telling him I had to leave the next day to catch Big Sur before it disappeared for another ten years. We couldn’t quite work the schedule out, so instead I booked a ticket for the following week, crossing my fingers there might still be some kind of feature left to surf when I got there. As luck would have it I arrived just in time to ride Big Sur around 30,000 cfs- a truly prime level for the top feature. Had I gone a week earlier I would have surfed the Bonus Wave, while the top wave would have been a river wide prism of brown glass. The top wave Big Sur is famous for only forms above 25,000 cfs, and the first morning we were there it held steady all morning at 29,500.

My friend and I drove up from the truck stop we camped at the night before and got there around 10am. The only other folks at Big Sur were these two dudes from New Mexico. They had been surfing since the sun came up and were happy to share the feature with us. Until around one we were the only people there. It was easy to take turns because the rides were so long and the paddle to the side and hike back up were tiring, especially for my lungs fresh off the plane from White Salmon. Gradually other boaters showed up. There were surfers on long boards, and all kinds of paddlers with everything from squirt boats and Pirouettes to shiny new play boats, all waiting their turn to surf.

It was amazing to see how many people had traveled great distances to catch this novelty wave. I had come from Washington, there were the dudes from New Mexico, folks from all over Colorado, a guy from New York even showed up, and of course the random South East boaters that filter through Colorado every spring were there too. It wasn’t just boaters. The obligatory tourists showed up to gawk and even the local law enforcement made an appearance to make sure there wasn’t anyone on surf boards (apparently the surf board is a banned craft.) As the sun sank behind the canyon the crowds cleared out and the rest of our posse arrived. The boys stayed out until it started to really get dark.

We camped in the canyon and repeated our session the next day. This time we got there at 8am and it didn’t get really crowded until three. The whole two days are a blur of foam pile and glass. The second day I got my longest surf of the trip, clocking in at right around 20 minutes. Honestly, my surf was nothing compared to the length of time the old school boats were clocking in. One chick in an old Red Line surfed the glass on river left for over an hour! The second day was a bit crazier and Queen/King of the Wave was an all afternoon event. We left around six and headed to Glenwood to see what all the fuss was there.

Glenwood was fun, but not at all the same experience as Big Sur. I was surprised to learn The Denver Post had published an article declaring Big Sur to be a waste of time, a thing of the past, and hailed the Glenwood wave as the place to be. True, Glenwood was spectacular, huge, bouncy, fast, and ideally suited for this years cutting edge play boats, but it was not the same experience. Honestly, Glenwood played second fiddle to Big Sur in my book.

Big Sur was smooth, deep, and wide making it perfect for half hour long soul surfs and flat spins until you’re dizzy. It was super forgiving and wide enough for five or six of your friends to join the party, and when you’re sitting in the trough next to two buddies and a surfer drops in next to you it clicks. This is why Big Sur is a legend. It’s a unique experience. You’re not just sitting in an eddy with your friends; you’re down it together, just surfing. Big Sur is pure river magic. Anyone that’s surfed Big Sur knows. It’s not the place you go to impress people with all the cool new tricks; it’s where you go for your soul.

Thanks for reading!

Angie

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Girls at Play Summer Tour Comes to Hood River July 16th and 17th

Whether you’re just starting or starting to master more advanced moves, meet other women in the paddling community and take your paddling to the next level with Anna Levesque and the Kayak Shed at the Girls at Play Summer Tour. Register early, as spaces are limited.

Saturday, July 16th will focus on paddling fundamentals. Saturday will be held on the Klickitat or Lower White Salmon.

Sunday, July 17th will focus on teaching and/or improving the moves you need to take your paddling to the next level. Sunday will be held on the Middle White Salmon. Strong combat roll is required.

To keep Girls at Play coming to Hood River, there is a $75 suggested donation per person per day. Have questions or want to register? Call the Kayak Shed at 541-386-4286.

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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:

-Shorter
-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.

Downriver:

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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