River Magic

Kayaking and Trees that Fall

For over fifteen years, the southeastern United States has been struggling with the death of our beautiful hemlock trees due to Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.  Many of our rivers are lined with the remains of these once beautiful trees. The significance of this to boaters is...

The Lars Holbeck Zen of Walking a Rapid

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 scouting to note the...

Costa Rica Kayaking: Never the Same ‘ol

Twenty one years kayaking in Costa Rica.  Asked if it ever gets old the answer is no!!  Not the way rivers change in this country.  You never know from one week to the next - let alone one year to the next what new rapids will form, river beds will shift from one...

Gauley Prep Work

There are always questions about how to prep for a new river.  Much of running a new river is the mental aspect.  But there are things you can do on the river as well.  ERA instructor Craig Parks summed up a good way to prepare in advance using the Ocoee River: Do...

History of Slalom Events in the Southeast

History of slalom events held in the southeast It is an Olympic year! And an ambitious group of slalom kayakers will be working hard this summer to qualify for the few coveted slots on the US team headed to London. While slalom only hits the front page every four...

Following the Rubber Duck Home

by Juliet Look around western North Carolina and it is easy to list off all the reasons why you would move there if given the choice—especially if you are a kayaker. Setting aside all the obvious reasons, it was a rubber duck that sealed the deal for me. Ten hours....

Going International

Going International Sometime in your paddling, you get the bug.  The bug to paddle new rivers in new places – rivers with rapids you have never seen, with put-ins and take-outs you don’t know.  The bug to paddle in countries you have only dreamed of visiting, where...

Nantahala Experience to Share

We love hearing from folks that have shared time with us on the river!  We post their comments up on the board here at the shop, and include them on our testimonials pages on the website.  Sometimes a story comes through that needs to be shared even more. Following is...

The First True Creek Boat: the Noah Jeti

by Ken Kastorff The advent of the Noah Jetti revolutionized not just creek boating, but boating in general in the very early 80's.  I looked at the Jeti as being the first generation creek boat ever designed.   Prior to the Jeti most paddlers were still paddling 12 to...

Paddle Smart Not Hard

An afternoon session at the slalom gates reminded me of the kayaking adage that we all try and embrace: paddle smart not hard. I tested the theory today.  Running a sequence of gates that included a ferry, two eddy turns and a finish, I first paddled for time....

Learning to Have Fun at the Nantahala Freestyle Wave

The Nantahala Freestyle Wave is the favorite hometown freestyle spot around. It will be the site of the 2013 International Freestyle Competition.  The wave can be intimidating to a newbie. But between the supportive crowd that is always having fun at the wave, and...

Are you ever too good for instruction?

At what point in your paddling should you take instruction?  And do you ever get too good for instruction? Our approach to instruction is that the benefit is equivalent to the coaching an olympic-bound athlete receives.  The emphasis is on fine-tuning technique,...

What Makes for a Good Paddling Day?

A few years ago my friend Trish found herself burned out on the Ocoee by early May. And then one day she paddled with a whole different group of people and came back with an enlightenment: she had a great day on the river, helping her realize that paddling is as much...

So you want to be a creek boater….

Early spring forecasts of rain are a good indicator that rain-dependent creeks will run! And suddenly you want to be a creek boater.  Unfortunately, your timing is off if you wait until the creeks run to "be" a creek boater.  There is prep work to be done with boating...

Saying Good-Bye to a River: The Silverback

by Zoe Ross The Silverback section of the Nile River has provided so many people with excitement and thrill. Everyday for the past week that I have been here it has provided me with joy. I feel that I am becoming emotionally attached to this section of the river....

Slalom Techniques to Improve your Creeking

If you are not real keen to be running the gnar during the cold winter months, but are looking to keep in shape paddling-wise, slalom is a great alternative.  Check out Mary Mills' insightful article about how slalom boating has helped improve her creek boating. And...

Where River Guides Go in the Winter

The Nantahala is a bustling community in the summer. In the winter it seems the Gorge slows down and catches its breath. Where do all the guides go during the cold winter months? That was the theme of one of the latest articles in the Tuckasegee Reader (an online...