Saturday, 22 May 2010

USA - South East road-trippin

In March we spent just over two weeks travelling around the South East States hitting up some classic boating along the way. We managed a different run every day and caught up with a lot of friends - old and new. Combine this with some sweet BBQ and micro-brews you don't get much better. The South East is still one of my favourite places to paddle, the variety of boating and the warm welcome you get makes it an essential destination for any travelling boater.

This trip also gave me a chance to really put the Big Dog Force OC1 through it's paces. Apart from having some gluing malfunctions, I found it did everything I wanted it to. The speed was good, it was predictable, forgiving, resurfaced nicely, and boofed well. This was all good news as there were times I needed all the help I could get!!! I look forward to this boat going into production.

There's literally thousands of pictures from our trip so I've just dumped a few of them on here. For those of you interested in lists here's the low-down of what we ran and where they were.........

Blyth Shoals / Hooker falls - Saluda (SC)
North fork French Broad (NC)
Lower Rocky Broad (NC)
Wilson's Creek (NC)
Watuaga (NC)
Play boating at the Ledges in Asheville (NC)
Green Narrows (NC)
Chattooga ( section 4) (GA)
Cheoah (NC)
Tellico ledges (TN)
Little River Canyon (AL)
Cranberry (WV)
Middle Meadow (WV)
Lower Big Sandy (WV)

Team America 2010

First drop of the trip - Hooker Falls

Jo flying off Hooker Falls

Beef starts the show-boating

Three's never a crowd.....

Pedro man-vesting Reedy Falls

Jamie really does enjoy boating......honestly

Look he's proving it.......

Tom drops into Redneck on the Lower Rocky Broad

Eli runs Walker Falls

Beef loves the Rocky Broad

I love it too......

We all do!!!!

Wilson's Creek Ten foot falls

Frankie smearing all over a Wilson's rock

Eli get's some air

Playboating at the Ledges park

Eli and Frankie going tandem

Cartwheeling the Ledges

Can you guess where it is yet?

Beef getting ready to run a Green Narrows rapid

Barney and Snowy explain another line to us

Eli at the bottom of a Green drop

Pedro sliding below Gorilla

Eli leads me through Rapid's so fast!!!

The Groove Tube

Taking the Groove Tube boof

The Green really is awesome

Landing it

You can take the boy out of Salford........

Low water release on the Cheoah

Snowy loves the Tellico

It's the little things that make you a pro-boater.........

Lord Lyle leads the way on Baby Falls

Beef follows

Making Frankie nervous

The gang at the bottom of Jared's Knee

The LRC - fantastic!!!

Lord Lyle shows us the beautiful LRC

Looking to the bottom of Pinball on the LRC

Tom on Wonder Falls - Big Sandy River, West Virginia

An awesome way to finish the trip

Big big thanks to Snowy, Eli and Megan, Lord Lyle, Corey and Jess, Barney, Chris, and everyone else who let us sleep in their houses, showed us where to get good food and beer, and took us to the fantastic rivers. You guys made the trip!!!!

Also big thanks to Big Dog who made the the river fun happen with their cool boats.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Big Dog Force OC1 - Day 2

Well the crazy winter continues with no sign of a break and not much opportunity for boating. It's been frustrating as I've been dying to get out in the new Force OC1. Anyway a tiny bit of water arrived yesterday and I was able to get it out for another quick blast. There was a lot of flat, plenty of cold, and low low flows but it was something................

The boat boofs really nicely, can't wait to get it on a steep boulder garden

Was able to run it through some tight little felt really nimble

It flew over the little drops

Was able to test it in some sections of pretty fast turbulent water, it felt stable, which meant I could concentrate on the rapids

Another enjoyable day, hope to get it out again before I head to the USA next week!!!