OBJ Giant Slalom - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-23-2008   #1
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
OBJ Giant Slalom

After looking through the results for the LVM Giant Slalom event on OBJ, I was really suprised to see so few Rocky Mountain locals on the list (see link below). Hell, the first person that even lives in CO came in 7. The Little White Race was about a 70/30 locals to visitors ratio, and a local won. For the North Fork Payette Giant Slalom we had about 20 locals on the course, plus some visiting paddlers, and again a local won.

Personally, I thought that the Giant Slalom was one of the most fun competitions I have ever entered. The super challenging course, great venue, and grass roots vibes combined to make an event that is fun to watch and compete in. This is exactly what competitive kayaking should be, in my humble opinion. I love watching really good kayakers stress about lines and miss gates.

So, what gives? Water too high? Gas too expensive? Not enough pre-event hype? People didn't like the format? Too many out of town pros there stealing the lime light? If I understand the rules, most of the top 10 will still have to qualify back east, in their home region.

For those who competed, what did you think? Is this the event that will take competitive kayaking to the next level?



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Old 06-23-2008   #2
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Note to self: Perfect example of how not to make friends and influence people. Callin' Colo. boaters out on two message boards. Hope you don't need a shuttle.
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Old 06-23-2008   #3
placerville, Colorado
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limited promotion--lots of folks had no idea it was happening
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Old 06-23-2008   #4
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Why would I drive 5 hours, to be at yet another "something-fest/extreme race" w/ all my closest fellow outdoor enthusiasts...when tons of rivers within two hours are at, or close to, their 10 year highest flows -- to go leave skidmarks down something I can run every year and where the slides tear the ass-end out of your expensive, already-too-short-lived, boat?

I was on the Ark at 3,500 cfs on a beautiful Saturday and we saw just three other boaters.

OBJ = Totally fun, but THE most hyped run in CO

PS - If I lived in ID, I'd be running NF Clearwater at 23k surfing myself silly or the Lochsa for god's sake -- why were you at OBJ?

...wish there was a way to trade one ID river with round rocks on the bottom and real water in it for one CO creek with 200'/mile, a railroad on one side, highway on the other, and where we pray for 400 cfs so my boat will last more than one season.
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Old 06-23-2008   #5
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Eagle, Colorado
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I'd have to agree with the other Colorado boaters that posted here. Some of us have better things to do than drive 5 hours to OBJ so we can get 2-3 runs down while you time us. For me, I was packing my shit to move to Georgia.

But on top of that, I would rather have a 4-5 hour paddling trip around here than a 10 hour drive to OBJ and take a $200 gas tab for a few runs.

Call us soul boaters. Maybe that's the problem..
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Old 06-23-2008   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 787

I didn't take your post as 'calling out' CO boaters in a negative way, more just wondering at why there was not as much local participation....and there should be.

My guess is that CB is just far for a lot of people and that though they all come to run OBJ at some point in the year, they'll just come whenever they want and when it's convenient without placing much importance on coming up to compete or on a specific weekend. Just a guess...

I think the GS race format is awesome!

I also think having a national championship on the Green is unfair to most of the country (non SE/Asheville boaters). Though there will be gates and different flows on the Green for the big event, the locals will still have a big advantage.

Ideally the national championship should be on a run that is challenging but in very few competitors backyards like...ummm...well, I guess that's the question.

No doubt though, the Green is an exceptional venue.
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Old 06-23-2008   #7
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dropzone, Colorado
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Posts: 846
looks from the photos like the water was kind of low, not that high. did it drop a bunch over the weekend?
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Old 06-23-2008   #8
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Although I atteneded the first two giant slalom races, I also opted out of driving all the way to CB for the honor of having my runs timed. Sounds like you had a bunch of valid reasons to not go, I'm sure lots of folks did. Would you accept a weekend on the NF Payette (200'/mile in parts, highway on one side, railroad on the other, lots more than 400 cfs) and a lucrative morel hunting expedition on the Secesh as my excuse?

But, I wouldn't call this just another extreme race, the slalom aspect is something new on this kind of run. Plus, the format rewards the most consistent paddlers. You can't just win the time trial, coast through the slalom, and expect to win. Plus, it is really cool to watch paddlers who could normally paddle that run blindfolded screw up and miss gates. At the Payette, only the top five racers had clean runs through the gates and only a few did it twice.
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Old 06-23-2008   #9
Join Date: Feb 2006
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The Giant Slalom Event Format Kicks ass. Definitely a great idea. Anything that Ryan Casey, the McClaren's and Todd Anderson rule at is definitely cool.

The promotion on the OBJ race sucked bad.

Colorado Boaters just aer'nt very good, that's why they were'nt in the top.
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Old 06-23-2008   #10
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 169
know when to fold 'em

you gotta know when to hold 'em
know when to fold 'em
know when to walk away
know when to run

..its time to run
never question Colorado boaters. they live in Colorado and are the chosen few. except for the guy who gave props to the NFC. he's an idiot and it sucks and you should never boat it. ID vs CO you can see more boaters in one day on a Colorado run then you see all year in ID even with a couple weekends on the Lochsa.

random enough? start some fighting. i almost died when the lap belt on my c1 didn't release and my friend didn't use his happy thruster to PPR (phalic pulmonary rec(however you spell it)tate)) me back to life.
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