In the Fall of 1997 I was working in an outdoor store, and designing a small freestyle boat for myself. It was super short (very short by the standards of 1997) and I wanted it to be flat, stable, and spin on a wave. I ran into some posts by Corran Addison, started an email correspondence that turned into an offer to join up with Riot in January of 1998. I was happy to get involved with someone who was far ahead of the curve with what I wanted to do with a boat, but had no idea I would be witness to the start of a revolution in whitewater kayaking over the next five years.
Operation Zulu - Unsponsored from Unsponsored on Vimeo.
I remember the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City in which crowds gathered at the Riot booth to see the final sequence of Nico wave wheeling on the Zambezi River. Very few people in the U.S. had seen water that big, and nobody in the show had seen anyone throw wave wheels into features like that. Many have done similar feats since, but at the time it was an amazing site to behold.
(one fun fact: my friend still owns the same yellow Riot Hammer that was used in that sequence)