Monday, February 25, 2019

Why Sea Kayakers Should Learn to Whitewater Kayak

My partner Jeff Laxier and I often wonder why don't more sea kayakers paddle whitewater rivers - especially sea paddlers who like to play in rock gardens and surf.  Both Jeff and I see huge improvements in our students' skills when they take up whitewater river kayaking.  We both can attest to how our personal skills in the sea improve the more we run the river.
whitewater kayaking north fork smith river
Whitewater kayaking on the crystal clear waters of the North Fork Smith River
Jeff wrote the following post for Liquid Fusion Kayaking's February newsletter.  If you are interested in finding out more of what we have going on with Liquid Fusion Kayaking, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.
Whitewater kayaking on the Smith River
Jeff Laxier kayaking on the Smith River.

Do you want to improve your skills to have more fun paddling dynamic waters – rock gardens, tide races, over-falls?

by Jeff Laxier

If so, LEARN to RUN WHITEWATER RIVERS.  Becoming proficient on the river will accelerate your learning and performance on the sea. 

Whitewater kayaking on the Eel River
Jeff Laxier whitewater kayaking on Mendocino County's Eel River

Here are Jeff's top 10 reasons - 

Why Sea Kayakers Should Learn to Whitewater Kayak

1.  It’s Fun 
2.  Rinses off the Salt
3.  Adds river running as a possibility for future paddling adventures
4.  Develops whitewater strokes that apply to sea kayaking in dynamic water
5.  Improves Confidence
6.  Challenging
7.  Increases water reading skills
8.  Tunes up your roll
9.  Focuses on Paddling Posture
10. Builds skills for surfing standing waves and playing in current – tide races, over-falls, and tidal rapids
Students working on peeling out of eddies during a Whitewater River Kayaking Class on the Eel River.
Class II/III Whitewater Rivers are a lot of fun.  With systematic instruction and experienced guidance, the skills to paddle Class II/III rivers is attainable by most.  Once you know how to paddle a whitewater river, you may be tempted to plan multi day sea kayak river trips like on Oregon’s John Day River, Utah’s Colorado and Green Rivers, and even Northern California’s Eel River. 
Multi-day river running trip in sea kayaks on the John Day River.

Part 2 - Lessons Learned from Whitewater Kayaking (my personal journey)


3 comments:

  1. Wait.. so you WW in your sea kayak?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Occasionally on large volume rivers like the John Day or Colorado River. We definitely recommend learning to run whitewater rivers in whitewater kayaks. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers, Cate

      Delete
  2. Occasionally on large volume rivers like the John Day or Colorado River. We definitely recommend learning to run whitewater rivers in whitewater kayaks. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers, Cate

    ReplyDelete