Friday, November 26, 2010

Grand Canyon trip equipment supplier

and some useful links that I'm modifying this post with
(there were on NPMB and useful to me and others over the past year for getting useful beta about GC trips)

and always worth doing a search on

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


by Arshile Gorky

is in tonights Sotheby's Contemporary Art auction
(estimates between $800,000 and $1.2 million)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Grand Canyon launch date December 19

My friend pulled a permit last month for a Grand Canyon trip. In truth, I got a permit, and another friend on this trip got a permit. Three of us had applied, thinking we might have a chance to go this winter. Apparently the usual plans for Christmas and New Year's Eve are more exciting than a Grand Canyon trip, for most people. Considering how long many people wait to get on the canyon, I am a bit surprised that we were actually turning down two permits so we could all go on one.

After the initial excitement/confusion we decided that everyone on this trip needs to have a drysuit. I can't imagine winter paddling without one. I've used bibs that roll into a drytop, but it still does not compare to the comfort and actual dryness of a drysuit. I have an NRS Inversion Drysuit, that works well. A few people have Kokatat Meridian Drysuits, and we will order some of the new Level6 Barrier Drysuit

Two weeks (or more) in a drysuit made me wonder how to keep clean and dry. A drysuit will keep the river water out, but there is bound to be perspiration that will not totally escape, no matter how "breathable" a suit it. After hearing several suggestions of alcohol, or other wipe down scenarios for feet, pits, etc, the simplest solution came from a local Housatonic River paddler who was on the canyon two winters ago. He brought a new pair of wool socks for every day of the trip. Foot rot is a real issue for boaters. I thought that this sock idea made perfect sense. I'm going to add one or two extra layers of polypro base to be kept with the clean socks. Having a dry, clean base layer will go a long way towards maintaining comfort and cleanliness.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lock 32 WW Park

they did it low cost, grassroots, turning a forgotten, overgrown backwater into a terrific teaching and training spot

Lock 32 Documentary from Hope Alive Media on Vimeo.

A short documentary focusing on the designing and building of Lock 32 White Water Park in Pittsford, New York.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Is the Madboy a true Creek boat?

How does the Dragorossi, Madboy handle as a creeker? I have gotten this question asked of me many times over the last year and a half to two years that I have been paddling it. For me I absolutely love it as my creek boat. I feel that finally a company made a class V slalom boat. By that I mean very edgy compared to the modern standard of creek boats, a longer stern for sweeping around in quick tight S-turn style moves, but still have the volume that I need to float me safely in a class V creek setting. I understand that this is not most people’s preference when it comes to choosing a creek boat and because of that I try not to recommend it as such to beginning creek boaters. However for those of you that have some years of experience in a slalom boat and like the creeks or you are just a solid kayaker (or I suppose C1er) that is looking to make their home creek a little more playful the Madboy may be the boat for you. Disclaimer: playful: turning your creeks eddies into slalom gates, rockspins/wheels, freewheels, and big hole fun. This is not a playboat by any means.

I have had the advantage of having the Green River Narrows in my back yard for quite some time now. I know I will be contested for saying this, however the Narrows is one of the best “downriver play” rivers around. There are multiple high quality rockspins as well as two great freewheels. That does not include all the eddies there are to catch along the way and the couple descent waves to soul surf on. The edges are sharp at the ends of the bow and stern yet quite soft just in front of center. This allows paddlers to drive the boat into carves by leaning forward and engaging the edge. Having the edges soft just in front of center (where most of the paddlers weight is located) is what gives the Madboy its great initial and secondary stability. This transition from hard to soft edges allows for a smooth transition from the hard carve to charging downstream or just sitting in the eddy. The edges also allow for very playful soul surfing sessions from your small creek waves to your large volume river waves. The low sweeping progressive rocker helps give the Madboy its speed as well as its ability to boof and sweep over most holes. Keeping a larger volume bow with quick upturned bow help with getting over funny boily water as well as allowing it to surface smoothly and quickly. My personal favorite is how long and slicey the stern is. The stern really allows for sweeping pivot turns and squirting out of wave holes (if that’s your kind of thing). The length of the stern also allows for it’s ability to maintain its volume distribution for and aft.

Where the Madboy really excels is its ability to maintain speed and agility while running hard rapids. Do you like to catch a lot of eddies on the fly? Do you like to make a lot of S-turn moves? Do you like a boat that really helps you to use the rivers own features to enhance your own experience?

I would have loved to be able to have competed this year in the Green River Narrows giant slalom race to see how it would have compared. Fortunately I have been in California for almost a month testing it out on some bigger water as well as some multi day trips. The bigger water South Yuba and “Golden Gate” section of the South Fork of the American was not a problem at all. Punching large holes, grabbing diagonals and riding across them, crossing boily eddy lines, and large wave trains where par for both rivers. After getting a taste of some of the better day runs around it was time to really put the Madboy to the test. Loading her down for three days and two nights on the Royal Gorge of the North Fork of the American was the first time I had paddled the Madboy with weight other then that of myself and gear as well as my first aid drybag (Watershed, Ocoee). I weigh in at about 180 lbs. and had maybe 13-15 pounds of gear. I carried two Watershed, Ocoee duffels and one Futa float. One Ocoee contained my small camera, first aid kit, and food and snacks for the day (lunches included). The other contained my small cook pot with dinners (a combination of rice, ramen, and bratwursts), a spare set of clothes for camp, sunglasses, and my pen and journal. My Futa float had my 32-degree down sleeping bag, a lightweight nylon hammock and tarp, Thermarest, Neyolite sleeping pad, and a rain jacket for camp. As well as my three bags I carried a 1.5-liter water bottle, and a pair of Waldies for camp. I stowed the Futa on one side of my stern pillar and the lighter of the two Ocoee’s and my Waldies went into the other side. My water bottle went behind my seat and the heavier Ocoee I carried between my legs clipped to the center pillar in a way that it would fall out of the way incase of a swim.

I noticed the weight immediately. It made the boat a little slower and a little more edgy. Knowing I would be dealing with some bigger holes My aim was to keep as much weight close to the seat as possible as not to shift the for and aft balance of the boat. I honestly can’t say that the Madboy did not get the job done or that it was hard to get it done. That being said I sure wouldn’t have turned down the size of the Critical Mass if I had one to use. So far I have paddled the loaded Madboy for the three-day trip on the Royal, a two-day trip on Dinkey Creek, and another three-day trip down “Fantasy Falls” of the North Fork of the Mokelumne River. Admittedly hard committing runs, I would start to feel the edges more and more by the end of the third day but only in the sense that I was too tired to transition back off the edge and would be catching eddies I wasn’t planning on. I never got the random caught an edge and go over problems of some edgier boats. I still found the boat very agile while moving downstream but would feel the weight when I needed to accelerate quickly. Boofing still remained easy. The weight definitely did come in handy when charging downstream knowing that I had to break through that giant hole I was paddling towards. It may have been harder to get up to speed but once I was there the speed stayed and carried through features.

I still love the Madboy and would fully recommend it to the advanced creek boater who is of a similar build and doesn’t overnight on a regular basis. Although it works, when you are two days out in a class V gorge the size and ease of the Critical Mass make it the boat I would choose if I had the choice. Personally I just wish they made a larger version of the Madboy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New England Slalom Series

Q: Where did Eric Jackson and Corran Addison start to develop their skills?
A: Whitewater Slalom, where you learn how to train and gain very precise skills.

Q: How do you practice difficult moves without having to throw yourself down a scary creek?
A: Slalom. Learn precision on easier water BEFORE you need the skills on the creek.

a few images from the Punch Brook Slalom practice this past Saturday
part of the N.E.S.S.
a "citizen" level slalom series with experts and beginners alike
the advanced boaters are usually on hand for casual instruction to beginning slalom paddler

bring any whitewater boat you have
no need for a slalom boat in this series

2010 Triple Crown Video on YouTube

Friday, April 23, 2010

N.E.W. Triple Crown Championships Freestyle

freestyle was in the afternoon, the sun was shining, so the audience was large; enjoying all the hot moves, like....


donkey flops


screw ups

macho moves

wave wheels

sinus punshers

ear blasters

icecream headaches

and all the sweet moves that go with freestyle in the spring


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

iPhone Rescue App

My youngest brother graduates this May from Stevens.
He is on the design team for this project, so check it out.

from the front page of the website
here is a brief description:

"What is RescueMe Phone?

In recent earthquakes, those trapped underground could signal only their presence to rescuers by striking a stone, shouting, or blowing a whistle. From these percussive signals, rescuers know that someone is still alive, but not who is trapped, where they are, or what their status is. The RescueMe Phone application digitally encodes the information rescuers need into the timing between the victim’s percussive signals. Rather than just signaling their presence, the trapped person can send their location or cell phone number. Once their location is known, the rescuers can begin digging. Their cell phone number tells rescuers who is trapped. At the disaster site, rescuers use specialized radio equipment to make a cell phone call to the victim."

Ever been in a subway or a tunnel and lose cell service?
Ok, so then how does THIS work to make the underground connection?

oh yea, so far it's free

and, if you like it, be sure to give it a 5 star rating

N.E.W. Triple Crown Championships Wildwater


Wavehoppers and Speeders

creek boats and rec boats

super fast composite boats

all going as fast as they can

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

N.E.W. Triple Crown Championships Slalom

photos from the second event of the triple crown
(wildwater, SLALOM, freestyle)