Care of the boys from LVM, an interview with Woody from Liquid Logic Kayaks on his mid-winter self support Remix XP trip down the Big Ditch. Good beta for those looking to get into expedition kayaking.
Sponsored by 4Corners Riversports.
Clear H2O Films embarks on the Final expedition for the Filming of Hotel Charley Vol: 4 set to hit paddle shops this spring. In the final days of 2008, Ben Stookesberry, Rafael Ortiz, Chris Korbulic, and Phil Boyer put up one of the most significant big water expeditions to date with an 11 day, 11 portage descent of the mighty Rondu Gorge of the Indus River in Pakistan. Now Stookesberry, Ortiz, and Korbulic are joining forces with with expedition juggernaut Jesse Coombs and the high hucking Brazilian Pedro Oliver on the exact opposite side of the earth in the jungle covered mesas of Central Brazil to search for the tallest runnable falls on earth.
Last year Stookesberry, Coombs, and Oliver found the veritable “North Shore” of big waterfall kayaking near Brazil’s Capital, Brasilia, with Stookesberry putting up a high-water free fall of 2.7 seconds translating to 105 to 115 feet of free fall. Unfortunately do to the flooded conditions the falls, the team was unable to get a truly accurate measurement of the falls and Stookesberry was forced to swim after an imploded skirt left him stranded deep in the base of the flooding falls.
This February these five Pro Team Jackson Kayak Paddlers return to the Rain swollen falls of Central Brazil in search of a new benchmark in whitewater kayaking: the 3 second freefall. In addition to pushing the boundaries of the their sport, the team hopes to raise awareness of agriculturalization that is threatening much of the high Brazilian Plateau, reducing vast regions of tropical mesa land to an Iowa esque peneplain of Soy and Bean plantations. The waterfalls and canyons of the regions in some cases represent the last refuge of the unique semi arid echo-system that are home to some of the most spectacular creatures on earth including the 7-meter giant yellow Anaconda.
Stay tuned to for updates and photos from this up coming expedition in search of 3 seconds river assisted free fall acceleration in Central Brazil.
Yesterday, Brazilian Pedro Olivia piloted his Jackson Rocker off the 127 foot Salto Belo falls on El Rio Sacre in Brazil, breaking the previous record of 108 feet. Olivia was paddling with Ben Stookesberry and crew, so be sure to look for footage of this record breaking drop in the next installment of the Hotel Charlie video series. More from Stookesberry below:
Yesterday the 4th of March, 2009, Brazilian kayaker and fellow Brazil World Record Attempt Expedition member Pedro Olivia shattered the existing world record (108 foot or 33 meter) with a 38. 7 meter (127 foot) waterfall descent on a tributary to the Amazon on the Rio Sacre in Campos Novos, Mata Grosso, Brazil. His 2.9 seconds of pure freefall sent Pedro rocketing into the pool at right around 70 miles per hour in his Jackson Kayak Rocker. Although people have certainly perished upon hitting a pool of water from such heights, the team counted on the massive, gushing rivers of Central Brazil to produce the softest water landings on earth. This particular falls was nearly a foot ball field in width, with approximately 5000 cfs of crystal clear 70 degree rain water spilling over the lip. This meant that although Pedro´s boat went over vertical, he and his boat were swept and kept intact into a deep mist filled pool. In fact Pedro resurfaced behind the falls were he was able to right himself with his hands on a conveniently located boulder bar. The place is truly beyond description, and I guess that is why it is aptly named Salto Belo or Beautiful falls.
Our team and Pedro in particular have been searching for a world record falls during the rainy season in Central Brazil for the last two years and it was certainly surreal to see both the Team´s and Pedro`s dream come true. I think it is now official that this Area of Mato Grosso and Goias is the true “North Shore´´ of big waterfall kayaking.
Make sure to check out this record breaking and mind boggling descent in this year´s late April debut of Hotel Charley volume 4: At your Own Risk.
Buy any new kayak or canoe from WaveSport, Dagger, Perception, Wilderness Systems or Mad River Canoe at 4Corners Riversports between now and April 5, 2009, and we’ll send you away with not only a great new boat, but a rebate for good for up to $100 cash back. Rebate prices are as follows:
$850 – $999.99 = $50 Rebate
$1000 – 1499.99 = $75 Rebate
$1500+ = $100 Rebate
On top of that, we’re still offering our standard deal of 10% off any accessories at the time you purchase your new boat. So come check out our fleet of 2009 boats and walk away ready for the rapidly approaching season.
So, you’ve got your new boat picked out. You’re stoked. You’re ready.
Admit it, you’ve got all your gear on, your boat set up in the living room and it’s February. COUCH BOOF!
But amidst your living room gnar awesomeness, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the hallway mirror on your way down your Class VII forged steel spiral staircase and realize that all that old gear just isn’t quite sexy enough for that shiny new boat. What’s the “hot” girl that you met at Orio’s last night gonna think when she’s walking the river trail and sees you flailing around in your beatered old gear? Welfare checks, Ramen noodles and Lost Lake that’s what. And despite what Johnny Love might say, such things are far from sexy.
And that’s why we’re bringing you the 2009 Whitewater Kayak New Gear Preview; packed with stuff that’s sure to make that river betty stare and ole’ Tony M. green with envy. So sit back, grab whatever credit card you haven’t maxed out and keep on reading.
First up is the much anticipated, long awaited Astral Greenjacket. Mmmmm…the hotness. The Greenjacket is the latest offering in Type V rescue PFDs, and it doesn’t fail to deliver. With Astral’s Tectonic front panel, internal backband, adjustable torso height, integrated back and shoulder protection, this is quite possibly the most flexible and versatile rescue PFD ever created. Add to that pockets galore, a full line of related accessories, and a true uni-sex design that fits female paddlers properly, you’ve got the makings of a classic Type V workhorse. And if that hottie from Orio’s happens to be the greenie, granola crunching type, you can woo her with the fact that it’s made from environmentally friendly, PVC-free Gaia foam. SCORE!
This sure-to-be-a-hit design is also available in the Type III Willis and Bella models.
New from AT Paddles this year is the AT2 Superlight. AT took their extremely popular AT2 and gave it a full braided carbon fiber makeover. Inside, it has the same closed cell foam core blades and bent shaft indexing as it’s non-carbon brethren. AT attributes their unique layup process to the surprising flexibility of this all carbon paddle, while retaining the inherent strength of the material itself, all in a package that weighs in at 36 ounces. This is one stick that will make your lady friend wide eyed AND impressed.
New to 4Corners this year are the ultimate in brain buckets: Sweet Protection Helmets. Coming in with 4 different offerings, there’s sure to be a Sweet helmet to satisfy your needs. The Strutter is the stylie, low profile fiberglass cap-cut helmet, perfect for play-boaters and river runners that want to keep the sun out of their face in style without sacrificing impact protection.
For those who want a little more coverage without breaking the bank, the Wanderer, a brand new offering from Sweet for ’09, is it. Retro skate-style inspired, the Wanderer has a high impact ABS shell with carbon fiber composite reinforcements in key impact spots for added protection.
If that’s not enough, the Rocker FC is sure to impress. With a carbon fiber reinforced main shell, Sweet’s occi-grip fit system and removable earpads and visor, the Rocker FC is the most protection available without going to a fullface.
If it is a full face you’re after, then go for the best: the Rocker FF. Built on the Rocker FC frame, the Rocker FF is the ultimate in safety with a carbon reinforced jaw protector in addition to all the specs of the Rocker FC. As Sweet claims, “This helmet will make your dentist proud”, and we figure that unless your “girlie” is a convict named Buford, we’re pretty sure she’ll appreciate those pearly whites of yours being in their rightful place.
2009 will also see the return of Bomber Gear to the 4Corners lineup. Impress your woman with the wavy graphics on your new KBomb skirt. She’ll also appreciate it when you come home dry thanks to the Kevlar deck and comb-fitting rubber rand. Add to that a Flash Burn shorty and Bombanation Neo-Surf shorts and you’re set for those after work Smelter throw downs.
Aside from a whole lot of new colors, such as the new plaid Flux Drytop, NRS brings us the Co-Pilot Knife. The little brother to the Pilot, the Co-Pilot is perfect for people with smaller hands or less space on their PFD. It utilizes NRS unique lateral release design that locks the blade in tight yet releases with a quick pinch. It also includes a built-in, handy little bottle opener and an oxygen tank valve wrench, perfect for those days you and granny want to slam tall boys on the Animas.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is quite possibly the most exciting product of the year: West Systems G/Flex epoxy. This is the first adhesive we’ve seen that has been capable of bonding Hypalon D-rings to our Coyote Groovers. It’s also one of the first epoxies that can bond to HDPE plastic, i.e. – kayaks. Check it out here and here. No more bituthene, no more cockpit rim shavings. Finally. Now you won’t miss that date with hot girl because you cracked your boat on the Piedra and had to hike out. You can thank us, and West Systems, later.
And for all you rafter types out there, be sure to check back in, or better yet subscribe to the 4Corners Kayak blog for the latest and greatest of rafting and river-running gear for 2009.
Prizes include: Panama kayak trip, Fluid Solo, Predator Helmet camera, Kokatat PFDs, Level Six Spray-skirts, Shred Ready Helmets, Keen Shoes, Smith Sunglasses, Tech 40 Watches, NRS Dry Tops, Aquabound Carbon Paddles, Gaia Water Proof bags, Loki Hoodies and Red Bull.
All proceeds benefit First Descents.
Click here for more information and registration.
Listed below are some of the qualifying local runs and their ‘official’ vertical feet. So get your team together and get after it!
|Colorado||Animas River||Pandora’s Box Section||V+||180|
|Colorado||Animas River||Play Park – Durango||III||135|
|Colorado||Animas River||Silverton Daily||III-||500|
|Colorado||Animas River||Upper Animas||V||2145|
|Colorado||Canyon Creek||Canyon Creek||V+||680|
|Colorado||Cascade Creek||Cascade Slot||V||200|
|Colorado||Dolores River||Slickrock to Bedrock||II+||440|
|Colorado||Dolores River||Stoner Stampede||III||680|
|Colorado||Florida River||Florida River||IV-||300|
|Colorado||Henson Creek||Lower Henson||V||460|
|Colorado||Henson Creek||Middle Henson||IV||360|
|Colorado||Henson Creek||Upper Henson||V+||880|
|Colorado||Hermosa Creek||Hermosa Creek||IV+||770|
|Colorado||Lime Creek||1st Gorge||V||450|
|Colorado||Lime Creek||2nd Gorge||V+||1000|
|Colorado||Lime Creek (Cascade Creek)||3rd Gorge||IV+||515|
|Colorado||Los Pinos River||Los Pinos||V+||1300|
|Colorado||San Juan River||East Fork||III||250|
|Colorado||San Juan River||Mesa Canyon||III-||430|
|Colorado||San Juan River, West Fork||West Fork San Juan||V||600|
|Colorado||San Miguel River||Ledges||III||315|
|Colorado||San Miguel River||Norwood Canyon||III||735|
|Colorado||San Miguel River||Sawpit||III||500|
|Colorado||South Mineral Creek||South Mineral Creek||V+||240|
|Colorado||Uncompaghre River||Ouray Run||IV+||320|
|Colorado||Uncompahgre River||Lower Uncompahgre||III-||315|
|Colorado||Vallecito Creek||Vallecito Creek||V+||245|
|Colorado||Wolf Creek||Wolf Creek||V||35|
So it’s the middle of winter. It’s cold. There’s snow on the ground. Boo.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Permit season is upon us and Arizona is already starting to run. And what does that mean? Time to start strengthening those shoulders, hitting up the local pool roll sessions, packing the car for a desert road trip and most importantly, looking at NEW GEAR!
Here at 4Corners Riversports, we’re already gearing up with the latest offerings from the best manufacturers in the biz. With new 09 gear rolling in daily, it’s time to start spreading the word on whats new in the world of riversports.
First off, because you whitewater kayaking addicts are probably the most likely to be sitting at your computer, browsing for new gear in the middle of winter and dreaming of sweet lines and large boofs, here’s what’s in store for new 2009 whitewater kayaks:
First up is the new Biscuit playboat from the boys at Liquid Logic. A mix of new and old, the Biscuit borrows the spin-disk platform from the ever popular CR series, softening the edges and making it longer and narrower, making edge transitions smoother, faster and “super loose”.
It also incorporates the new sidewall “bumper” design, which stiffens up the side of the boat, breaks up the vertical chine, making rolls easy and providing a larger platform for more bounce.
The new Biscuit comes in three offerings: 45, 55 and 65 gallons. Each comes outfitted with the BadAss outfit system, providing plenty of room and cush for those extended throwdown sessions or those long days of raft support playboating on the Salt, Westwater and the like.
Also new in the Liquid Logic lineup is the new Remix XP series. Based off the popular Remix series, the XPs are the new offering of beginner friendly, expedition style kayaks. Coming in either a 9 or 10 foot model, the XP is perfect for those flatwater paddlers looking to venture into class II/III whitewater, yet still be able to paddle their favorite lake or stillwater river all in one boat. To achieve this, Liquid Logic lengthened both the boat and the waterline, while reducing the rocker and adding a stainless-steel spring loaded skeg. The result is a super stable and fast boat that tracks as straight as an arrow on flatwater. But Shane and Co. didn’t stop there; by adding a dry hatch and swapping out the standard whitewater bulkhead to footpegs for ease of access to the front of the boat, they’ve created the ultimate camping kayak, perfect for those self-support trips down the San Juan, Deso-Gray and the like.
New from the Jackson crew are three new boats this year. First off, the addition of the Little Hero, filling the gap between the SideKick and the standard Hero, perfect for all you smaller framed paddlers out there. With a planning hull taken from the Fun series paired with a riverrunning/creek boat design, the Hero is the perfect all around boat for beginners and experts alike.
Second is the Dynamic Duo, Jackson’s new tandem whitewater offering. Jackson basically took two Heros and fused them together, creating a 142 gallon, 12 foot two-person monster of a kayak. Perfect for instruction, taking your beginner friends down something they wouldn’t be comfortable on themselves, paddling your favorite river with your significant other or simply making a spectacle of yourself on your local urban stretch (think Animas River Days Parade).
Third is the new Allwater series. As of the time of posting, this boat is still in the prototype phase, but be sure to look for this one later this spring. Along the same lines as the XP, the new Allwater boats will be offered in both a 9 and 10 foot and will include such features as a rear dry hatch, drop down skeg and full Boat Armor outfitting, as is standard on all other Jackson whitewater boats. Stay tuned for more info on this one.
WaveSport is offering 2 new spins on two old designs as well as a new downriver playboat. First is the redesign on the extremely popular Diesel series. The Diesels, which have been around for a number of years now, have been the go-to riverrunning boat and are now offered in three new sizes: 60, 70 and 80 gallons. Along with new size offerings, the Diesels have been tweeked here and there to bring this design up to date. By redesigning the rocker profile and flaring the sidewalls, they’ve made the Diesels’ faster AND more manueverable. Add to that a peaked deck for better resurfacing and big water performance, and updated outfitting, you’ve got yourself a tried and true river runner ready to handle just about anything you throw at it.
Also from WS this year is the new carbon fiber Project 54Cx. Designed around the standard 54, WaveSport added rocker, took some volume out of the bow and stern and moved it into the cockpit and knee area, offering more carve and pop on the wave a
s well as more leg room for larger paddlers. Add to that a carbon seat, leg lifter, and redesigned thigh braces, along with the inherent stiffness of carbon fiber and you’ve got the highest performance and lightest playboat (a scant 20 lbs) on the market today. Production is limited to 50 total worldwide so hurry and get one before they’re gone. Warren Starrett, this means you!
Finally, from WaveSport, is the new Fuse downriver play series. The Fuse series arrived mid-season last year, just in time for us to run out of water in D-town, so in a sense, they’re new to us this year. The Fuses’ stem from the EZ and EZG series of boats, one of, if not THE best selling boats in history. With a fast yet stable hull and easy-to-roll design that performs well on both holes and waves, the Fuse is an extremely versatile offering for those that want a boat that can do it “all”. The Fuse comes in four sizes: 35, 48, 56 and 64 gallons.
All of these boats, with the exception of the Project Cx, will be available for demo this season at 4Corners Riversports. So stop by and check out all of our 2009 fleet as well as blow out deals on our 2008 boats and gear.
And be sure to check in to the 4Corners Kayak blog for more previews of new gear and boats. Up next: New 2009 whitewater paddles, pfds, drytops and the like, so stay tuned!
4Corners paddler Chris Baer checks in with his final three trip reports from his trip to Mexico. Enjoy!
Another run with almost no beta. We were told, “there is a 50 footer, a rapid that killed someone and a 90 footer at the take out that someone ran accidentally. Have fun!”
Writing this a while later, I really wonder why we went in. Oh yeah, because it’s Mexico and it’s rad and it couldn’t be any worse then our first Big Banana epic.
We headed in and it was low flow, lots of bouncing off of rocks, but there are a hand-full of good moves here and there.
All of us had the 50 footer in the back of our heads. So we pressed on, bounced off of more rock, I got pinned and we all just got beat up. Definitely low water.
We bounced into another rapid, “Wow, that’s a horizon line.”
We took some time getting people out on the ultra sketchy scouting rock.
If you look close you can see everyone’s boats piled up on the small beach in the top right corner.
Get out of your boat and swim up to a sketchy ledge 5 feet before the 50 footer. It goes better than it sounds.
Lance looked down at me in the pool, “It looks good. Just ride off the curler.”
“What about safety?”
“I’ll jump if you get hurt”
I paddled back up the eddy and fired off the drop totally blind. What a rush.
You can only run something blind once.
After the last good drop it goes back into a few boulder gardens. Be super heads up, the 90 footer is down there and it would be very easy to run it unintentionally. It also doesn’t look that good; all the water in the landing zone is swirling clockwise and there is no aeration on the right side of the falls, which is exactly where you would land. OUCH.
The hike out is a bitch, super steep and the bar at the top is usually closed.
Well, that’s it for Mexico. Stay heads up for my next installment: The Grand Canyon.