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Old 06-30-2011   #1
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
The WWGP awakening and Newschool

By now most people have seen footage from the WWGP but I thought I would put down my thoughts on it as an "oldschooler". I had not heard much about the Whitewater Grand Prix in the months before it started. But slowly I started hearing about friends road tripping from the West to Eastern Canada, overseas friends were "flying to Canada cause I made it into the Grand Prix". From the first Road Trip reports from the Bomb Flow Crew I had a clue something big was up.

You can watch Bomb Flows updates every day here: BOMB FLOW TV: Whitewater Grand Prix 2011 – BOMB FLOW MAGAZINE Start at the bottom and work your way up.

Every day is worth watching, but Day 5 is great if you like freestyle, Day 10 will get you stoked if you're a creeker.

Pat's official site here Videos started it off in a salute to kayaking's legendary rebellious spirit that dug its claws into so many of us and never let go here:

From the Opening Party all the way through to a session after the event ended when Rush filmed Dane Jackson with the most progressive kayaking wave session to date:

As every day went by, the footage was stunning. Some of the most intense big water events and creeking competitions to the most progressive freestyle I had ever seen. 6 stages over 14 days. The best kayakers in the world were there and barely a competitor was over 30. Every video also featured a gratuitous party segment that showed the lifestyle that is so much a part of the sport.

As I watched the daily updates, I realized this is the spirit of kayaking that makes this sport so incredible. This is young people saying no matter how big the older generation tries to talk up their accomplishments, we can surpass it. Just like when so many of us were younger kayakers trying to push it and the horror stories of previous generations would keep you from going to a run. But when you just say screw it and put on, you realize it is not as bad as the crusties made it seem. It's great actually. When I see these guys pushing it, I see the same breaking through the stereotypes, legends and crusty old guys stories. I am stoked to see them not held back and pushing kayaking to such an awesome level.

Inspired by a quote on a ski site, I realized anybody can be Newschool, it is just a state of mind.

Oldschool is a state of mind where you feel your thoughts are better than others, and that your style of river running is the only thing that makes people a real river person. ("playboating sucks", "terrain parks are lame", "I only ski backcountry")

Newschool is a state of mind where you want to do something new and have fun on the river wherever you possibly can. ("dude can I try that on the river?")

Hobie is an old bag of guts, but that guy is so Newschool it is ridiculous. If you go to the river and do something new and have fun everytime, you're a newschooler.

What an awesome spring and summer to get all Newschool on some Old School Big Water out West. Thank you WWGP for the inspiration that kayaking still has a long way to go in its evolution. If anyone still thinks that "waterfalls take no skill" and these guys are just hucking, then that is alright because you cannot be progressive unless others are trying to hold you back. Be careful with the water and the booze in the long run, but in the meantime live it up as much as possible while you can and keep inspiring.

Here is the highlight video from the event. If you watch 1 video, watch this:

craporadon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2011   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,302
Wise words from a not so young New Schooler. My thoughts exactly about the event and the level of paddling. Wow. There are a lot of kids getting very good.

Kyle McCutchen
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Old 07-01-2011   #3
stubby's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 432
I like it, 'newschool' is a mindset.

Those guys are going so huge it's almost unbelievable.
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