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WNC Update

Last week, the Clemson University Whitewater Club hosted an LVM 27 premiere at Fike Recreation Building. Following dinner and the movie, Pyranha Kayaks hosted a demo and pool rodeo. Casey and I headed down to Clemson Friday evening from Franklin with a pile of boats to join the festivities. We were met with a good turnout of folks at the premiere who blew off homework and other responsibilities to join us in the pool for a bit of fun.

Most of the time we spent in the pool was for folks to spend trying the different boats we had available but the highlight of the evening was the pool rodeo we held at the end of the night. The judges decided to keep things simple by having two classes: Funniest Trick and Coolest Trick. There were no rules, as long as your ride involved a kayak and was the best thing you could come up with in the pool. Some amazing feats of skill and daring were displayed but winners had to be chosen.
Mac does an airscrew off a diving board at the Clemson Demo Mac, mid-airscrew off the diving board at the Clemson demo
After much deliberation by the judges, it was decided that Todd Henry had performed the Funniest Trick – a bouncing seal launch to faceplant off the high diving board. Mac McGee did the Coolest Trick, an airscrew off the low diving board. Our winners walked away with Pyranha shirts, stickers, and other swag, but we brought enough that everyone who attended got something.
Mac stoked on his new Pyranha shirt Mac stoked on his new Pyranha shirt
Handing out prizes to the winners Handing out prizes to the winners
Thanks to Brian and Dave at Pyranha Kayaks for hooking us up with boats and swag for the event, to Penstock Productions for the video, to the Clemson Whitewater Club for organizing and promoting the event and getting food, and to Clemson University for hosting the event. We hope to be back!

Other news in the drought-ridden southeastern US is a recent rain event. After said rain, the aforementioned wonderboy Mac from Clemson met up with me at the Cullasaja River near Highlands, NC to fire off the seldom-run Bricklayer Falls. I’ve heard about this drop and seen the circulating photos of Pat Keller or Joe Barkley running it years ago but never knew exactly where it was. FOUND IT! And…now I understand why this drop isn’t run very often. It’s a nasty 30 foot drop with a sloping entrance, tricky landing, and a terrible cave at the bottom. Mac and I loaded up our Burns, ran the falls at first light the morning after the rain, at a perfect level, and found perfect lines. Here are the goods, as well as a few other shots from that day.
Mac taking one last look while I head for my boat Mac taking one last look while I head for my boat
Me rolling over the lip Me rolling over the lip
Mac givin' er Mac givin’ er
And the man behind the lense - fellow Pyranha paddler and brother, Casey Jones And the man behind the lense – fellow Pyranha paddler and brother, Casey Jones

Now, all that there’s left to do is wait in anticipation of the Green Race this weekend and try to control my nerves heading into this event. I’m picking up my new Karnali in a day or two and can’t wait! The weather is chilly now (we just had our first snow of the year last night!) but weather forecasts for Saturday are looking to be perfect for racing. More to follow after the race!

Good lines out there.