On July 9th, 2016 we kicked off our Pacific Northwest (Hood River area) World Kayak season with a “Learn to Surf” clinic. This clinic was designed to help people develop better boat handling skills (eddy turns, peel outs and ferries) to prepare them to learn how to get on a river wave from an eddy and stay on it. 11 brave participants were accompanied by 7 safety boaters and we headed down the White Salmon River from Husum falls to the Northwest Park (commonly known as the Lower White Salmon run). The run starts off with a short class III drop known as Rattlesnake rapid. Several participants were challenged by this rapid and the safety boaters had their work cut out for them. From there we continued slowly down the class II river working on boat handling skills till we got to “Cave Wave”. This wave is well known around the Pacific Northwest and most boaters spend some time surfing away. The river level was a nice 2.6 feet which made the wave very stable. One by one the paddlers worked their way out onto the wave and tried to surf. We saw a lot of people trying which was evident with the rolls and swims. Once again the safety crew had their work cut out.
We finished the paddle 4 .25 hours later (for a normal 1 hour run) at Northwest Park and enjoyed some Ninkasi refreshments and handed out some World Kayak swag (or schwag if you prefer).
Good Times.