Nantahala Open Raffle Best Yet!

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom |


Nantahala Open Raffle

What’s So Great About AT Paddles

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom, Gear Reviews |



AT=Adventure Technology




Technology” is the operative word in a brand that prides itself on cutting-edge technology and thinking outside the box.  Thinking outside the box is particularly necessary when trying to come up with “something new” in the fairly complacent industry of kayak paddles. So what did AT do to catch our attention and make us proud to call them one of our partners?

It started with bent shaft paddles.  They reinvented the bent shaft paddle.  In the reinvention they created a flared egg-shaped grip that is more ergonomic. What does that mean to you? The grip ratio of palm of your hand to shaft is improved.  And it just feels better.  Additionally, AT’s bent shaft features a dual-axis bend which allows your hand position to be positioned with a slight downward angle (like the handlebars on a mountain bike or an ergonomic keyboard).

So then AT started thinking about straight shaft paddles. Reluctantly.  (There was a time when they thought everyone should use a bent shaft).  The feeling was they did not want to just reinvent the wheel and come out with nothing more than what was already on the market.  So product manager Hastings Blumer and his team thought outside the box and by the time it was done, came up with a new, state-of-the-art paddle series.


What’s so state-of-the-art about AT’s newest series of paddles?  Duraweave. Yep – a whole new patent-pending material that is the core material in AT’s Advanced Series whitewater paddles.  What is Duraweave? A specific combination of multiple composite fibers including Carbon, Fiberglass, and Innegra that increases durability without increasing weight. Add duraweave to paddles and what do you get?

  • Increased durability
  • Improved blade durability and impact resistance
  • Increased abrasion resistance
  • Improved secondary strength – If a shaft happens to crack, duraweave prevents the crack from spreading and greatly reduces the likelihood that it will break into two pieces
  • Minimized need to multi-layer composite parts

What does that mean for a paddle?  Stronger, lighter, better. Want to know more? Check out the AT video about Duraweave…..

Now – did the first round of this new state-of-the-art design have trouble. Oh yeah, blades fell off on some of the paddles.  Not good!  But AT took the steps to recall every paddle that had been delivered last spring despite the fact that the issue was isolated to a small portion.  Why? Because it was the right thing to do and safety is always the top priority. What caused it? Little lack of quality control.  Is it fixed? Sure was.  AT was surely not going to make that mistake again!

Are AT Paddles “Made in America”?

Okay paddling community! It is time to clarify “made in America.” And where AT stands in that definition.

AT manufacturers all their components in North America – split between the U.S. and Mexico.  None of their components come from China.  The paddles are then assembled in their factory less than 10 miles south of the border in Mexico.  So per the definition of “made in America” AT paddles are not.  Do a little research and you will learn that neither are some of the brands that proudly claim “made in America.”  Import data for everything brought into the US since 2002 is public information.  As much as we would love to see AT paddles manufactured in South Carolina like Wave Sport boats are, it is not economically viable.

We applaud AT for coming out with something new. Something better.  Something interesting in the world of kayaking.  And for that reason – we carry AT paddles in our boating store.





Help make Tallulah Successful!

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom |


Help make Tallulah 2015 successful!

2013 Kayaking World Championships Hits National Networks

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom |


Whether you were here in the Nantahala Gorge for last year’s 2013 Freestyle Kayaking World Championships, or tuned in for the live streaming,  you could not miss the cool drone circling above the freestyle wave… particularly during the evening semi-final event.  Coming out of that is a broadcast production that begins a month-long national television run this week.

The hour-long broadcast will feature footage of the Nantahala Gorge,  Swain County and exciting competition footage and interviews with some of the event’s top kayakers. The broadcast has the potential to expose millions to freestyle kayaking and to the compelling natural resources the North Carolina Smokies and Swain County.

Fox Sports Net National will carry the event on 14 regional sports networks and additional affiliate networks, reaching 100 million TV households in the first run and a cumulative total of more than 450 million TV households including repeat airings.

Broadcast schedules of the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships vary according to regional sports network coverage areas, so viewers should check local listings.   After the event’s initial run on Fox Sports Net National the event will enter syndication on regional television broadcasts.

Check out the listings for Southeastern Regional Networks:

Fox Sports South  Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee Monday, May 5 @ 10am
Thursday, May 15 @ 3pm
Sunday May 18 @ 12:30pm
Sunday, May 18 @ 6pm
Thursday, May 29 @3pm
Fox Sports Florida 


Florida, Southwestern Alabama Tuesday, May 6 @ 4pm
Saturday, May 10 @ 8am
Thursday, May 15 @ 3pm
Saturday, May 17 @ 3pm
Monday, May 19 @ 9am
Mid-Atlantic Sports Network2  (MASN2) Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia Sunday, May 4 @ 12pm
Monday, May 5 @ 8am
Thursday, May 8 @ 3pm
Sunday, May 11 @ 12pm
Tuesday, May 12 @ 8am


Endless River Adventures-starting with Wave Sport

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom, Gear Reviews |


In celebration of our 20th anniversary it felt good to share some history of how we began, who was with us, and some special highlights. We want to begin this series with one of the key elements of Endless River Adventures: Wave Sport.

The year was 1993. Colorado-based kayaking manufacturer Wavesport, in business just six years, was exploring the marketplace east of the Mississippi. At the same time a small kayaking school called Endless River Adventures was being built high on a hill in the Nantahala Gorge.  Enjoy this fun interview with Chan Zwanzig, founder of Wave Sport, and Juliet, co-founder of Endless River Adventures…….


Thank you Andrea of for your great interview

9th Annual Wave Sport Nantahala Open – line up of events!

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom |


all day Saturday, April 27th 

 There is so much lined up for the weekend, we cannot imagine a better place to be! 

Line Up of the Days Events:

the Nantahala Open event:
Fun for everyone!!  Join Team Wave Sport and Team ERA down at the Falls any time from 10 – 3 – checking in at the staging area above the Falls to be part of the event. Pick your favorite line to run, favorite craft to use, best move, or best recovery….just sign in above the Falls and enjoy your ride. Photos and video will be taken by the Smax Brothers. Prizes will be awarded that night for all sorts of fun categories!!

Cascades/Upper Nantahala Release
Don’t miss jumping on the Cascades and/or Upper Nantahala for the spring 2013 releases, compliments of Duke Energy.  ERA and NOC will be providing free shuttle service (note: there will be no private parking alongside the river). Check the schedule for cfs and times…

delicious Dinner Option: Bryson City’s own The Filling Station Deli will be parked at ERA (easy to find – o-dog will be sitting right outside it).  Stop by for a delicious lunch or dinner sandwich!

Team River Runner Race
Attention all TRR chapters! Join us at 3PM at the Falls for a TRR Rally through the Falls. We will have the rafts and duckys for the competition and a few challenges to make it fun coming through the Falls. Prizes!! Following the race will be a TRR-exclusive drawing for a Wave Sport boat of Choice, compliments of a fellow vet and kayaker.

AW/ERA Celebration of the Restoration of Rivers
Please join  American Whitewater and Endless River Adventures in celebrating the successful relicensing of the Tuckasegee and Nantahala Rivers
5PM – 7PM at Endless River Adventures.

Nantahala Open Video
Best part of the event! A video compilation of all the participants of the event. 8PM – 10PM at ERA. In between we will have music by  DJ Terrence Young (and guest DJ Poncho).

Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!
Every participant will receive a participant packet with great coupons from our local partners in the Gorge and in Bryson City.  But make sure you are at the video screening as we have so many great prizes donated by the Open Sponsors. We cannot thank them enough.

Wave Sport Boat of Choice Raffle
The grand finale of the evening will be pulling the winning raffle ticket for a Wave Sport boat of choice!!!!!!!!  Raffle tickets may be purchase all day and evening prior to the drawing.  Proceeds from the raffle go to support TRR’s involvement in the Open, as well as helping to provide great gear and event opportunities. Yes-you do have to be present to win :-)

Find us on Facebook
Look for Updates on our page!
As if the Nantahala Open was not enough to keep you entertained!
Stop down at the Freestyle Wave to watch the competition for the 2013 Freestyle Team. This will be the group that competes at the International Competition in September.

2013 Team Trials Nantahala Open Weekend

And there is more!!!!!
the NOC will host their Spring Fling Event.

Stay for the weekend!!

Camping, Group Lodging, Cabins, Lodge & Hotel- we have it all! 

Stay the night – or the whole weekend wtih one of our wonderful accommodations partners…

9th Annual Wave Sport Nantahala Open

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom |


Endless River Adventures and Wave Sport
Host 9th Annual Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Nantahala River, NC. – 2013 –  Endless River Adventures and Team Wave Sport, as well as our industry sponsors are pleased to announce the 9th annual Nantahala Open. The date of this year’s event is Saturday, April 27th, 2013. The Nantahala Open will again be dedicated to Team River Runner.

The Nantahala Open has gained the reputation as a fun competition; open to all boaters no matter the experience or ability, consisting of categories for every skill level–and the prizes that go along with them! The competition takes place at Nantahala Falls from 10:00AM through 3:00PM.  Following the competition Endless River Adventures invites everyone to an Open House After Party and screening of the day’s footage at Endless River Adventures

The best part of the event is the support that manufacturers give to an event that is purely for fun.  This is not a “sponsored” event; the participants are typically Nantahala boaters and those who just enjoy a great day of fun on the river. The support that sponsors have given has always been over and above.  The event would not be successful without them.

The Endless River team will be joined by Nantahala Open veteran /Team Wave Sport leader Bryan Kirk and supporting team members.  The group will coordinate the event from the launching pad at Nantahala Falls, with video cameras arranged to film Open participants.  Categories always include such events as Best Freestyle through the Falls, Best Top Hole Move, Most Creative Eddy Catching, Best Self-Rescue, Best Carnage, Cutest Run—and anything that comes to mind as the day unfolds!  In addition, there will be industry-wide support for the event in terms of prizes.  Industry sponsors make it possible to award great prizes for all categories.  Everyone comes out of the Nantahala Open a winner!

Schedule for the Day:

10AM – 3PM Set up at staging beach above Nantahala Falls. Come at the beginning of your run or finish up the day looking like a star!

4PM – 8PM – Music Food and Beer at Endless River Adventures. Bring your appetite as the Filling Station Deli will be selling delicious post-river food. And Highlands Brew will be on tap!

8PM(ish) – 10PM – viewing of 2013 Nantahala Open Video and prizes!! Finishing off with a raffle for the Wave Sport boat of choice with proceeds going to Team River Runner.

April 27th will be here before you know it so start making plans now and help make the 9th annual Nantahala Open an event that reflects what we all do– have fun on the river!

For updates on event specifics, keep an eye on the Nantahala Open Facebook and Endless River Adventures Facebook.   In addition, ERA’s website, and Wave Sport’s website.

For more information or questions about the event: 828-488-6199.

Endless River Adventures Celebrating 20 Years in Business

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom |


2013 marks the 20th year in business for Endless River Adventures (known to many as ERA).  For two decades, “the shop” at ERA has been the go-to place for quality kayak instruction, a gear store, rafting outfitter, fly-fishing headquarters, a great place to park in the Gorge, and a homey back porch for paddlers of all ages and abilities. Look for special events and parties to celebrate the landmark as well as articles and interviews with key partners, friends, and supporters.

The Put In
In 1993, Ken and Juliet opened Endless River Adventures with a philosophy of “success measured in quality of service, not sales.” Paddlers have come to rely on the extraordinary expertise of ERA and its team of hand-picked whitewater professionals when it comes to kayak instruction, purchasing top-performing boats and gear, fly fishing, and traveling to Latin American whitewater hotspots. Working to inspire others to appreciate and enjoy rivers that so inspire them, the two have built a loyal community of whitewater enthusiasts that includes parents, children, and grandchildren.

For owner Ken, creating Endless River Adventures was making a commitment to what you believe in. “It was about creating the type of quality experience and service that we ourselves would look for. I am proud of the fact that so many of our guests have become more than just valued clients but lifelong friends.”

Double Trouble
Ken was a whitewater pioneer in the 70s, when the sport was largely unknown. He’s credited with inventing the C-to-C roll, arguably one of the most efficient ways to roll a kayak. Company co-founder Juliet has been paddling since the late 80s. Over the years her adept instruction has turned hundreds of newbie boaters into serious kayakers—a number of whom have become a part of the ERA team as guides and instructors.

Making a Splash
Along the way, Endless River Adventures has been responsible for some key milestones in the southeastern whitewater world. Shop “firsts” include making one-on-one instruction the model for quality kayak instruction, being the first outfitter to promote self-bailing rafts and fully-guided raft trips on the Nantahala, showcasing the infamous boat designer Vladami Vanha, introducing guided ducky trips, and introducing Wave Sport kayaks to the Southeast at a time when Perception and Dagger dominated the river.

Stocked for paddlers and staffed by paddlers—ERA’s store motto for 20 years—rang even more true when in 2012 “the shop” got an expansion and a makeover as The Boater’s Store to better feature toys and gear options for whitewater enthusiasts.

A little further south, ERA opened the RioQuijos EcoLodge and Reserve in Ecuador. This piece of paradise located in the Quijos Valley in the Oriente of Ecuador serves as a sanctuary for native flora and fauna as well as intrepid gringos who venture to Ecuador with ERA in the winter for paddling, fly fishing, hiking, birding, and relaxation. The lodge and cabins were built using local woods, bamboo and rock from the property and employing local labor for the project (along with Ken’s little-known wizardry as a stone mason).

The Takeout
Embracing the “endless” part of Endless River Adventures, the two seem too busy enjoying the ride to look for the takeout; each continuing to build, invent, and innovate at home in North Carolina and abroad.

“Being a small company, we have always been able to think outside the box,” reflects Juliet. “We were not stuck in a business model that limited our ability to evolve as the social culture of outdoor recreation and the industry have changed. This has also allowed us to prioritize what is important to us – particularly our role in community service, within both the local community and the paddling community.”

See You on the River
Endless River Adventures is located on Hwy 19/74 near Bryson City, NC, on the outskirts of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To learn more about rafting, kayak instruction, gear sales, and international paddling—or to see if the rumors about Ken’s fly fishing prowess are true—call 828-488-6199 or visit For more on the kayaking, hiking, whitewater rafting, biking, horseback riding, fly fishing, and birding opportunities in Ecuador visit

Participate in Outdoor Program, Improve Your Interview Chances

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom |


Thousands of college graduates this spring, and everyone will be looking for the same thing, whether it be a job, a sweet internship or acceptance into graduate school.  It is a long line of applicants  going through the interview process.  A good number of interviewers will soon start to get bored of the same ol’ candidates coming in with good grades, the “right” resume, and the list of community service projects done to pad out the resume.  It is not too late to separate yourself from the crowd and prove that you are a better candidate than everyone else!  One way to stand out in the crowd is to have participated in your college outdoor program.

College Outdoor Programs are often seen as the place the wanna be hippies, tree huggers, or loners gravitate to in college, those who eschew the frat party scene for a night in a tent under the stars, those who find getting wet or dirty or cold or scared more interesting than primping for that Friday night party.  While there might be a small ring of truth there, what outdoor programs also do is create leaders, train individuals to work under pressure, encourage teamwork, and develop management and organizational skills.

Go into a job interview and sit down with a resume that includes the fact that you were a trip leader, a kayaker, a climber or hiked the AT one summer. Suddenly the person sitting behind the desk loses that bored glazed over look and sits up and gives you a bit more scrutiny.  The standard interview questions get shuffled under the desk and the conversation turns to something like:
“So you kayak? So do I.” Or “I tried it and got so scared just turning upside down. How did you deal with that fear?”

“You are a trip leader for backpacking trips?” “How many participants were you dealing with/how long were the trips/how much responsibility did you have? Did anything ever go wrong? How did you handle it?”

“As a trip leader, what was your biggest challenge?” “Did you ever have someone succumb to fear? Get hurt? Not want to continue? Panic? How did you talk them through their issue and turn their experience around to a positive one?”

An interviewer’s job is to sort through the masses for the cream of the crop, but also look out for individuals they can relate to since they are looking for good teammates. If they can relate to you on a personal level, if you intrigue them, show them you are a leader with skills that are not taught in the classroom, you will stand out in the crowd.

If you have not stopped into the outdoor program office on campus, now is the time to do so. As a graduating student, find an activity that can give you a one-up on the rest of the graduates – even if it is just going on a hang gliding trip.  If you are an underclassman, now is the time to get to know the head of the program so that you can come in and start training to be a trip leader next year.  Programs are losing their senior leaders at graduation.  Attrition is expected each year, so now is your chance to learn what it would take not just to participate in an outdoor activity that interests you, but to use that skill  to build your own resume for that day when you begin the interview process.

The Lars Holbeck Zen of Walking a Rapid

| Posted in Endless River Adventures Newsroom, Kayak Technique/Skill Development |


Zeta Rapid photo compliments Tyler Curtis

Zeta Rapid on the Futaleafu.  Even to the unitiated the rapid looks crazy. Take 5,000 – 25,000 cfs and stuff all that volume into a z-shaped mini canyon only about 20 feet wide.   For the kayaker scouting the rapid, it takes only a few minutes to note the over-hanging wall with a violently recirculating eddy tucked underneath it, the undercut walls looming downstream, and the eddy lines that look like they can (and in fact will) swallow full-volume boats without hesitation.  For those with knowledge of the history of the rapid, add sives that cannot be immediately spotted (and in fact were learned of only when swimmers ended up in them).  Zeta has a well-worn path where many an experienced paddler has gladly picked up their boat and walked around it.  Zeta is where Lars Holbeck taught me one of my most important lessons in kayaking: when to be okay with walking a rapid.  Read more….