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Old 01-05-2011   #31
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Originally Posted by Canada View Post
...I agree river use is up, but think that is largely a rafting segment. Kayaking is the best sport in the world. Maybe it was just the meteoric rise through the 90's with parks coming into municipalities that caused my perception. I bet the boat reps could give some insight.
I'd say that it's improving then...

Who says kayaking is better than rafting? The kayakers of course. Rafters might say the same. Just because you're a kayaker, doesn't mean whitewater recreation is declining.

People's tastes change as well. Like skiing for example. Now ski areas are shared by boarders, skiers, mono skiis, teleskiers, etc. It's not just downhill skiing on two skiis. That doesn't mean snow sports are declining, they are eveolving.

I'd say the same for whitewater sports. Someone already "blamed" SUP. That's an eveloution of paddling IMO, not a degredation of it. To me, whitewater is kayaking, rafting, SUPing, tubing and even swimming if you're crazy enough (some gal swam Brown's not long ago I heard LOL).

And, as one of the first replies stated, it's January. Not much whitewater, in these parts anyway. Even if you're willing to let icicles form on your helmet...

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Old 01-05-2011   #32
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

It's winter and we have not grown gills yet.

I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 01-05-2011   #33
Favre's Avatar
Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 240
A few thoughts..

As a kayaker of over 15 years, I have watched many people come into and leave the sport. From what I've seen in my parts (Idaho,) kayaking maybe has declined in it's number of participants over recent years. Playboating was very popular ten years ago, and because playboating is more forgiving than class 5, lots of paddlers hopped on that bandwagon but many also left as the popularity of playboating decreased. I would say that somewhere around 2002-2004, the sport of whitewater kayaking seemed to have the most participants. Again, that's just what I've seen in one particular area.

Sean_Lee - if you want to see a bunch of 15 year olds that rip, come to the Payette River. We have an elite group of roughly ten kids early in high school that are all SOLID class 5 paddlers. Seth Stoenner, Alec Voorhees, Ethan McLeod, Tanner Griffith, and there are several others worth mentioning.

BoilermakerU, I love what you said about whitewater. Although the kayak is my choice craft, I enjoy every aspect of the river and have just about as much fun riding a piece of plywood down a class 3 as I do kayaking the length of the North Fork of the Payette. That's just me, but in my opinion, kayaking is not the God of whitewater disciplines, and there are many different and wonderful ways to enjoy the river.. To each their own.

-Micah Kneidl
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Old 01-05-2011   #34
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
I'd like to quit because I break 2 boats every year but I don't have the self control of Christian.

Other possible reasons for the decline:

1.) After everyone saw Sean Lee's lines in those silly movies they decided kayaking is ridiculously out of control. And apparently Sean is pregnant?

2.) Chris Morrison has been seen SUPing...if a dude as manly as Chris makes these life decisions who knows who might be next on that slippery slope. (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

3.) Tom Janney runs the shit but hasn't been with a woman in decades. Ergo one might be concerned that firing it up leads to a life of celibacy.

4.) Since Christian quit there is nobody to take the night shift on the long drives or probe the scary/dangerous drops that may or may not present an acceptable risk/reward ratio.

5.) Kayaking might actually be really lame and we're all just deluding ourselves.

6.) Joe Keck moved to TX so he isn't around to serve as de facto shuttle bunny after he gets beat down in one of his (frequent) swims.
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Old 01-05-2011   #35
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 138
NF Payette is class III+ with class V consequences if you swim.

Doublet, you are clearly a step ahead of the curve and the fact that you had the foresight to see this type of problem and act to save the sport definitely puts you in a league that only us lesser mortals can dream of. Moving to a state where polygamy is accepted could be the biggest power move of all time (and we never saw it coming). Just imagine the possibilities! While we are dreaming of nipple deep powder days, Doublet will be worshiping Joe Smith and spreading his "sick" seed around the entire town of Juniper Creek. Before we know it, kids will be hucking 400 footers, surfing 50+ ft river waves and doing aerial tricks that make what shawn white does in the half pipe look like C-MO on a good day. Doublet, keep up the good work out there... if you need money to feed the wives and little rippers, just start a Home Depot or open a casino.

Thank you Doublet, you are the man
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Old 01-05-2011   #36
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
You had some vision. When you started confluence, was there even a park down in that hood? When you opened the boatyard, who would have guessed that section wouldn't run again for 5 years! Was it luck, planning, or a bit of both?

If doublet lives here, he's had plenty of hip deep powder this season. I miss Colorado boating, but seriously, if you do anything but moguls, Utah stands above. We'd have better moguls, but the powder buries them too often. Don't know polygamy. Any man who can survive multiple wives looks at class V as a sunny day at the park.
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Old 01-05-2011   #37
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 44
I blame the Rotator Cuff. The stupid weak @$$ muscles you didn't think about strengthening that get $&#%ed up after a decade of paddling, that keep you off the river for the rest of your miserable life. That and the World of Warcraft generation never wanting to leave their parents' basement, except to tell Mom they ran out of Pringles and Mountain Dew.
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Old 01-06-2011   #38
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,302
Kayaking isn't dead, although I agree that last season seemed more quiet.

Overcrowding only happens on pristine wilderness sections that are easily accessible and freestyle features. I'm lucky to find a campsite at Ruby Horsethief during the summer months. However, I found myself at the put-in of the Poudre Narrows, Goar or SSV on busy weekend days with prime levels and weather... and there aren't any other groups there. Three of us went to the Big South the week after it opened and had to put-on sans shuttle plan since nobody else was around. Although some of the permit systems can be pretty competitive, it isn't that hard to find rivers that you have to yourself. More kayakers would be just fine 9/10 times I get to the river.

I agree with Meng in that there is a lot of young talent. When I started kayaking I was 11, and my dad was told that I probably wouldn't learn to roll until I was 14 or 15 when we attended our first pool session. I didn't paddle with many Colorado teens my age, but out of the ones I did kayak with most of them still paddle today... Ben Coleman (still kayaks big, married Shannon Carrol I think), Charlie Beavers (the Beav taught me how to get worked in holes, RIP), Trip Jennings (yes, still rips), Andrew Lacy (still kayaks), Travis Winn (linked up with guiding in China/Tibet), Andy Blakeslee (still kayaks), Leif Anderson (kayaks overnights without overnight gear). My point is that kayakers that start kayaking in their teen years and become hooked don't stop kayaking. Instead they start families and buy kids kayaks, and now instead of kids starting when they are teens, they are starting when they are 5 or 6. Some of the 12 year olds of the 2010's are better than the 18 year olds of the 1990's.

Kayaking will continue to grow because in some middle school or high school there is a kayaker that is sketching a picture of themselves running a perfect 20 footer instead of paying attention to his science teacher.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 01-06-2011   #39
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Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 240
Class 3+?!? oh that's right, you Colorado types wait until Labor Day to make it out here.. By then, it's the trickle you are used to and the locals have retired to their autumn routine after a season of large whitewater (and we aren't talking large like Gore Canyon.)

Cutch - cheers on a salute to the young bucks. We have an exceptional group of kids where I come from and I promise they will be at the forefront of next generation paddling. I also agree that many that start in their teens (I started at age 12) tend to be lifelong boaters.

With the whitewater parks being developed I can only see the sport continuing to grow!
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Old 01-06-2011   #40
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
4 Steps in the Colorado Kayaker life cycle

1. Attend roll session after seeing a SICK Red bull Commercial. Successfully roll by pushing off the bottom of the pool. You are now a kayaker.

2. Participate in the Golden community rodeo and complete one full flat spin. The announcer calls it a helix. You are now a rodeo star.

3. Gore Canyon- flush through Tunnel and survive. 8 Dales Pale Ales later, you declare yourself a Class V boater.

4. Tom Janney invites you to the Black Canyon. Unbeknownst to you, this invitation is just a ruse to get you away from home so that Tom can make innapropriate advances toward your wife/girlfriend/mother/grandmother. You are so crushed by this betrayal that you buy a raft and SUP to kill the pain. You keep your old kayaks in your garage and tell people you meet on the river that you still kayak too.

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