Friday, February 13, 2009

Lets Play: OKCC Play Clinic #2

Saturday Feb 2,

Welcome to the second edition of the monthly Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club's Playboating clinic.The weather here lately has been sunny, cold and clear making for beautiful days, cold clear nights filled with stars and very low water. Last time we were on one of Oregon's best know play runs, Lake Creek. This time we were relying on dam release at a normal summer flow: The Niagra Run on the North Santiam.


Shuttling Boats

We had a gorgeous sunny put-in below Niagra rapid: a vaulted, short gorge with double undercut walls and an entrance that is just 5 ft wide. The rapid isn't hard, but the potential for carnage with a group of 11 just makes it not worth it so we put in right below it. Shuttling the boats down the walk way, on a gorgeous and relatively warm sunny day can get kind of warm in a drysuit so after a short cooling off period we got right to work at playing and found a squirt and a couple of holes right there


Cooling off and playing around in the water

Unfortunately, because of the low water, none of the normal eddy serviced playspots were in so we focused on eddy line and down river play in all the little spots, the type that every local knows on their home rivers. The North Santiam is no exception and conversations like, "So, just behind the next rock is a great little right cartwheel spot but you have to enter just square and be careful not to go to vertical or you'll hit the bottom" were pretty common. Sadly without any real spots, its hard to stop for photos.


Playing on one of the better eddylines

On a river with no "play spots" we still took several hours longer than usual having squirted, surfed, endoed and cartwheeled our way down the river so people were pretty exhausted and cold by the time we got to Spencer's Hole: the only well known, named hole on the river. Spencer's is a spot only a mother could love. It's intimidating, sticky and flushy, has a rock in the bottom, has a two stage attainment just to make it back up to the eddy, and a rock you can flush onto if you come off the surfer's right side of the wave upside down. That being said, its one of my favorite spots in the area and once you learn to work it, the possibilities are endless. Only a few of the troupe were still feeling up to throwing themselves in at the end of the day, with the sun going down behind the clouds that showed up.


Ann in Spencer's

We rounded out our day at the Sierra Mexican Restaurant in Gates Oregon and with our bellies full and our arms heavy we made our way back to Portland. Thanks to Michael for organizing and Shannon, Markus, Liane, William, Ann, Carey, Michele, Nobu and Willie for coming out, playing along, supporting and just plain having a good time!

Special Thanks to Liane for pickup up my camera at the end of the day at Spencer's!

OKCC Play Clinic #1

More Photos from OKCC Play Clinic #2

Throwing down in the Astro at Spencer's HoleThrowing down in the Astro at Spencers Hole


See you at the next one.


Lets Play: OKCC Play Clinic #1


A couple of months ago Michael Williams from the Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club asked me if I'd like to help out teaching some of the classes for the Club. I accepted gladly and offered to teach a monthly play boating class, on the first Saturday of each month with a few exceptions.

Saturday, Jan 10th was the first of those (We skipped the real first Saturday so we could all recover from New Years)

13 of us met in Portland to head to Lake Creek and one more from Eugene Oregon met us down there at the put in.

Group meeting at the put inGroup meeting at the put in

Eddy at Grassy Lawn
Eddy at Grassy Lawn

Lake Creek is one of the area bigger water play runs. There are tons of catch on the fly holes and waves to have fun on but we focused on the eddy-serviced feature know as Grassy Lawn. Its a 35ft wide wave/hole with good eddy service and good access. At the level we were there it was a bit shallow for big loops but it made for a less intimidating and more friendly hole for the group to go play and get some comfort on the feature and figure out lots of new things, even if that's just how to relax and side surf.

All Photos by Corey Morton

Aleece working on her righty cartwheelsAleese figuring out righty cartwheels

Shannon working on her spinsShannon working on her spins

Having a good time on Grassy! See you at the next clinic!Having a good time on Grassy! See you at the next clinic!

Check out more photos from the day!