Kayaker (definition) "Yak jockey," "river maggot;" In the words of an open-boater friend of mine . . . . "twice the paddle, half the man," kayakers are perceived by non-kayakers as: (1) the watery equivalent of Hell's Angels; or (2) brain-damaged river loonies, or both. Easily recognized on the river for their penchant for traveling in large, loud groups and surfing every wave or hole on the river no matter how small. Kayakers have a reputation for peeling out in front of canoes and rafts, getting run over by canoes, rafts and other kayakers while surfing holes, and/or mooning rafters and open boaters. Kayakers view all other types of river craft as slow-moving impediments to wave and hole playing. Canoeists are occasionally tolerated by kayakers for their entertainment value when they perform canoe crash and burns in every other rapid. Decked canoeists (particularly C-1 paddlers) are tolerated by kayakers primarily for their verbal abuse value if they eat it in front of the kayakers. " - William Nealy.
Paddling is the ability to intimately play with a force of nature, to be in the middle of chaos and yet find freedom with a single stroke. - Unknown.
"There is a fine line--you have to be afraid in this situation due to the seriousness of what you are committing to, but the key is to allow the fear to only come into play to the point that it creates enough adrenaline to make you able to perform at 100% of your body and mind's potential--if you let it get away from you an inch and become overwhelmed by the situation it can completely fu<k you up, and can be responsible for foolish and costly errors--this has always been a very bothersome aspect of kayaking stuff on the edge--when you fu<k up due to the effects of fear and get in trouble by not paddling up to your ability." - Shaun Boughen on hair boating.
Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
Swimmer of 1998 award:
Has to go to 'Grateful' Gord DeBruyn who at the beginning of the season ran the right side of the Rock Garden on the Tatshenshini and promptly dropped into a great big hole, causing him to flip and swim... all the way through the Gardens and the 'Big C'. He was a little shaken (and no doubt quite cold) but had a grin on his face once re-united with his boat.
And special thanks to 'Smiling' Sly Jack for dropping sideways into No-show-off on the last run of Tutshi on September 20th, and showing us just how many times one can bang their helmet while getting flipped upstream and still have a smile on their face - or maybe he was a grinning dazed fool at that point. It was a great ride - and eventually a short swim. (Actually that part made me feel quite good, as my swim out of the hole at the bottom of the waterfall was causing me much deserved abuse from my fellow paddlers... karma Sly, karma!)
Swimmer of 1997 award:
(only because nobody sent any other reports in...) goes to Martin Lacroix who on July 6th, 1997 broke his paddle in half while running Twin Holes on the Tatshenshini (bad place to have it happen). He swam and became the target of much abuse by fellow paddlers! Thanks for the show!
Most unusual 'first descent': I can't imagine anyone else doing this before but 'Wild' Brian Bell decided to take advantage of the fantastic weather on the Tatshenshini on June 30th, 1997 by kayaking naked, that is, with only a PFD and a spray skirt. He did however, eventually don a spray top as the glacial water was just a bit nippy (nipply??). He even provided the best show of the day by sidesurfing/cartwheeling/endering Twin Holes in high water (it's on video!). When asked if he was worried at any time, Brian replied "naw, I just didn't want to swim". But the rest of us sure did! ;-)
TURNBACK CANYON: First
A group of Whitehorse paddlers; Bob Daffe, Dallas Eng, Pat Doyle, Graham Baird, and Theresa Landman completed the notorious Turnback Canyon on the Alsek River on September 20, 1996. This is only the second Canadian group to have successfully run this Class V monstrosity, and "Turnback Theresa" is the first woman to have ever kayaked this part of the Alsek. Kick it Girrrrl!
Check out The 1997 Complete Guide to Whitewater Paddling Magazine , page 78 for the whole story (by Graham Baird) and photo's.
Here you go Ben.. you wanted your tattoo
online so here it is... finally! Click to see full size.
Kayakers truck stolen and torched August 20th, 1997