Archive for the Kayaking Category

Grand Canyon of the Colorado

Posted in Kayaking on September 3, 2010 by Jim Kennedy

In January 2009, we ticked a major box on the kayaking hitlist – the Grand Canyon of the Colorado in Arizona. From top to bottom, the trip is about 225 miles and took us 15 days and 15 cold, cold nights. For this self-supported trip, the crew comprised fifteen hardy souls in a flotilla of four 16-foot rafts and four kayaks, carrying everything we needed for food, clothes, and shelter.

The canyon itself is, you know, deep, and the river is, eh, big. It pushes along at about six miles an hour so manning the oars isn’t the ordeal you might expect, particularly with so many people to rotate on the oars.

If you’re thinking of going you need to get a permit through the lottery system (the ‘waiting list’ system has been scrapped) and get a local rafting company to sort the logistics for you. We heartily recommend Brady at Moenkopi who made the whole thing hassle-free. All we really had to do was get to Las Vegas (Vegas, baby!) and cruise on up to Flagstaff.

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Long Day on the Inchavore River

Posted in Kayaking on September 17, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Two weeks back we got out to the Inchavore, one of the lesser-run classics of Wicklow boating. It’s a bit of an unknown quantity in terms of water levels and predictability. The put-on is reminiscent of the Source of the Liffey – when you get there, you think someone is winding you up, so narrow is it. It’s true ditch paddling for a good while, again similar to the Source.

Since the put-on is near the Sally Gap on the road to the Glenmacnass you never really get to ‘pass by’ and check it out. Maybe it’ll get run more often now that Warren has put up a river description over on IrishWhiteWater.

We took a chance that it would be running and headed that way when the Dargle was running at one-and-a-half blocks (or ‘bananas’ if you prefer). Another reason the Inchavore isn’t run that much is that the shuttle is perhaps the longest one in the country, with the usual takeout being the bottom of Lough Dan. Yes, you have to paddle the length of the lake after the river.

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Summer Boating in Ireland

Posted in Kayaking on August 19, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

There’s a fantastic rant by ‘tomas’ over on IrishFreeStyle and if I’m honest, I’m one of the people who are guilty of talking about foreign trips and never posting about Irish boating. Well, it’s a fairly moderate rant, but he’s spot on when you think about it…

What The Fu$% is wrong with this site??

With all the recent rain, surely people have been out paddling?Why are paddlers not talking?This has to be one of the shittist summers on record but a boom for kayaking. So why is this site not buzzing? Whats running? When? Where?What are paddlers experiences?

This weekend alot of rain forecast, why are kayakers not talking?

In recent weeks I have run various rivers purely on gut instinct and Met Eireann forecasts, surely as a supposed kayaking community it should be better than that?

It seems to me we buzz about all the sh1t abroad,and yet fail to talk to each other at home.

He’s right, of course, and we really should make a better effort. In response here’s a quick account of what some of us (well, me) have been up to with all the lovely summer weather we’ve been having…

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Selling my Pyranha S6X 185

Posted in Kayaking on July 25, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

UPDATE: The boat is sold.

This is not really a post, just an ad…

I’m selling my Pyranha S6X 185 as I don’t need it and I have no clue about playboating. It’s in good nick, with the usual scratches, but with new ratchets too! I’m looking for €350. If you want to try it out, the boat is in Dublin but I can have it in Cork easily too.

Pyranha S6X


I’ve put up some pictures; and there are some specs and information on Playak and Eddyflower.

Give me a shout if you’re interested.

Wind River Race

Posted in Kayaking on May 15, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

On the Saturday, the big event was the premiere of the new video from local boater Tao Berman. The kayaking talent in and around Hood River is fairly amazing. I think myself and Johno were the only ones in the bar who didn’t have videos on the market. Really must work on ‘pushing the brand’ – maybe mañana.

Sunday was the last day of boating for me – the Wind River Race. I’d run the race section of the Wind River twice during the week, once taking the longest swim of my boating life. Thanks for the rescue Jay; I appreciate that. Stupid swim really, coming off nothing more heinous than a crashing lateral and a failure to roll up. Embarrassing, and it was only a long-distance swim as it took me ages to get to the bank because I was trying to swim the boat and blades with me through decent volume water.

Anyway, let’s never speak of it again…

On race day, Austin opted for a friggin’ sea kayak for the speed, Christie in an old-school T-Canyon.

Tactics discussion…

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Canyon Creek

Posted in Kayaking on May 12, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Off to the Canyon Creek they go…

Myself, Austin, and Christie headed to Canyon Creek back towards Portland and then an hour northeast. With just one vehicle we were standing around playing river poker on the shuttle options. Everyone was feeling lazy and inventing reasons why they should be the one to run shuttle and not paddle.

The conversation was verging on ridiculous when Eli and Tony showed up, on a similar one-vehicle mission. Problem sorted, and as always once the laziness was thrown aside, it was another fantastic day on the water. God, I love this sport.

Austin charges off, setting the early pace…

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Green Truss

Posted in Kayaking on May 8, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

With a bigger group (three…), we went back to the Green Truss section of the White Salmon. It’s not as intense as the Little White Salmon by any means, but a lot of fun nonetheless. It’s an excellent piece of water to have as your default river in this part of the world. This is probably the most-often-run harder river in the Columbia River Gorge.

Austin ran Big Brother, but neither myself nor Johno (New Zealand paddler passing through town – check out his scurrilous blog) were up for it. You have to hit the flake just so or you face ending up in the river-right cave.

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Little White Salmon

Posted in Kayaking on May 1, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Up until myself and Austin went out to run the Little White Salmon, my topmost best-favouritest ever creek ever in the world had been the Codi in Corsica. There are a couple of other classics on my list too – the Castro Laborario in Portugal, the Gol Gol in Chile, the Toro in Costa Rica; but Washington’s Little White Salmon is an amazing thing, to put it mildly.

First of all we had to stop off at the AT paddle factory to do a little boat repair. Check out the ‘squishing’ tool.

Nice, eh? I’d imagine Simon will be looking for one of those for his birthday this year. What better way to test out a new plastic weld than head to the river? The ‘L Dub’ as they call it.

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Just Another Day on the Left Branch of the North Fork Little Upper

Posted in Kayaking on April 25, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Two days later we were off to the next river. I’m so bad for remembering names of rivers and so on, so the lovely river shown in these photos will be called the ‘Left Branch of the North Fork Little Upper’ until such time as someone tells me otherwise. It’s as likely to be the correct name as not.

At the put-in you can see that it’s the tail-end of winter…

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Advantages of Working For The Man

Posted in Kayaking on April 23, 2008 by Jim Kennedy

Over the Easter week, The Man needed me to visit the company office in Oregon. The conversation went a little like this:

The Man: ‘I need you to visit the company office in Oregon.’
Me: ‘What? You want me to go to Boating Country, USA, in the middle of their spring kayaking season? At a time when I need to buy loads of gear? When the dollar is really weak? To a place where I have great boating buddies and the weather is nice?’
The Man: ‘Yeah, would that be possible?’
Me: ‘I don’t know; it’s a big ask…’
The Man: ‘I’d really appreciate it, and it would help push the company’s revenue over $1 billion this year.’
Me: ‘OK, I’ll do it, but on one condition, The Man… Only if I can take a week off when I’m there…’

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