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Discussion Starter #1
I'm headed to st.louis over christmas and san fran over new years. i'm in need of some paddling in a desperate kind of way. i need!!! suggestions within a short drive (two or so hours). III to IV (only because i'm not terriblly experienced at IV+ or V and i won't know the rivers/ocean or anyone to paddle with) is what i'm looking for. Also, i've never paddled in the ocean (i'm willing to try) and i'm hoping for playhole suggestions. Please help with suggestions and please be specific, i'm unfamiliar with either area.
Thanks,
aaron
 

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Can't help you St. Luis, but maybe for SF. Check the gage (mid-day) for the S. Fork American at Chili Bar. Good class III run with play. Chili Bar Hole and Second Threat (second drop in triple threat) are often popular spots for rodeo events. Flows are tricky this time of year though. All dam release, and dependent on power demand from Sacramento. Get a hold of The River Store for local info. For other ideas, check out California Creekin'. Great online guide book, put together by a bunch of IK guys several years ago. Drop me a line if you get any good ideas. I wasn't planning on taking my boat, but I'll be in San Jose (just south of SF) Christmas through New Year's. I may reconsider if anything looks promising. As for ocean surfing...try the Pipeline in Santa Cruz. The breaks are just off the cliffs by the lighthouse/surf museum. Pretty big to start off with though...and lots of surfers. There are usually smaller waves closer to shore between the lighthouse and the wharf. I'm sure there's something closer to SF too, but I'm more familiar with SC. Find a surf or kayak shop in SF and ask. If you mention "kayak" in a surf shop though, you may be directed to the flatest surf you've ever seen. Good luck and have fun!
 

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St Francis River

The river bear St. Louis is the St. Francis. I can't imagine it's running now. Post on Phateye.com to the Illinois boys and they might be able to help you.
It's really mellow II-III
 

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whoooaaa...

Yo Aaron, this is Menges, I met you in Gunny when you first started boating...
Anyway, for around SF.... You really dont want to go surf in Santa Cruz. earthnrg is talking about Steamers Lane, possibly the most territorial, hardcore surf spot in the country. As a kayaker, you will get your ass beat, threatened, heckled etc... unless you are a well known, respected local with renowned skills. This place is basically only 'open' to kayakers during the annual surf competition. As a beginner ocean surfer you would be wise to stay away if you have any interest in self preservation/respect.
Just tellin it like it is there.... Even good surfers get heckled if they are not known there. There are local gangs of surfers that battle each other for rights to the break. Its fucked up basically...
However, if in SF and you want to try ocean surfing (highly reccommended, its so fun and huge areals are a breeze) )there are some good options. The best might be Stinson Beach. Take HWY 1 north of SF to get there. Its a mellow beach break, with a very wide area and you can usually find you own peak to surf, staying out of surfers' way. Another good bet is Pacifica, just south of SF on hwy 1. More surfers, less room, but since its mostly beginner surfers you should be all good with proper etiquette and boat control.
If you want to drive about 2 hours, San Juan Hole in Sacramento is great. I'm pretty sure it always runs and will be running when you are there. Call California Kayak Supply in Sac. for directions. Like Earthnrg said, Chili bar section on the SF American is good 3/+ with good play. I think it usually releases on weekends. Check with the shop for this, and even people to hook up with. There's a bunch of boaters in Sac that go often and seem to hook up[ via the shop scene (pure conjecture there).
Have fun.
Oooh, one more surf spot is Greyhound Rock, just north of SC on hwy 1. It's definitely more intimidating than all the others though, but there will be no surfers and its very scenic.
And umm... dont worry about being in the 'red triangle' or the Great White attack warnings at Stinson. The great whites like surfers better than kayakers.
 

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Meng, thanks for the info on Steamers Lane. I've been out past the break, away from the surfers, but never had any encounters. I didn't realize the local dogs pissed in the water so fervently, but I'm not too surprized. Aaron, I apologize for potentially leading you into trouble and a generally unplesent experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks,
Of course any feedback is welcome. I got about eight buddies my size out in SF (none of which are kayakers) so maybe I'll head to that spot just to see what trouble I can make for snobby surfers. thanks again. menges, where are you? will you be back in town soon? give me a shout when you get back. are all these places i can handle? what about finding people to surf kayak with? shops? and i may have to rent a boat if the airline is not fun to deal with, suggestions on where? for the ocean should i get a playboat, more traditional sea kayak what do you suggest?

Aaron
 

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Glad you were ok out there. Maybe im just a wimp. I've always wanted to surf kayak there but never had the sack. They dont own the ocean, so i think their attutude is really lame. Relative safety at steamers might depend on when you are there... I have been in SC over Christmass/NewYears several times and its always super crowded cause locals are on vacation and surfing. Perhaps when its less crowded (does that ever happen?) its not soo intense there. Its too bad because its a beautifull break.
Theres a place called Pleasure Point in the next town South of SC that has close-to-equally epic waves and its a little less rough.... from what I understand the borders are pretty territorial there too though.

Just paddle with your river knife, and sharpen your paddle blades if you go out!

Naw, seriously though, those other spots are good to go, and if your ever in NorCal (Arcata) Moonstone beach is geat fun and very kayak friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven't been yet, I'm saying when I go I'll have to show these guys that they don't own the ocean. any info on the other questions?
 

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AAron, Im sure you can handle Stinson and Pacifica. Even if you swim, its just beack break and not far offshore. You will want a playboat if you want to go surfing... much easier and more fun than surfing a sea kayak. Most airlines, Delta and Continental aside, will fly a boat for $50-$80. If not, just use the online qwestdex for SF and Sac to find all the kayak shops in the area, and call asking about demos/rentals. If you end up in Coloma, Calif (near the SF American) go to Boil Line Productions/Bliss Stick Kayaks (at the only 'mall' in town) and ask for Peter (the Bliss Stick Rep) or Jared (the Dagger Rep-they will know where he's at) and they might have a boat you can demo.
Advice... Though their attitude might suck, respect the surfers and their rules. Read some articles on surf ettiquette if you want to be properly prepared....it may help things go smoother.
Im back east. Paddled the Green, Tallulah, Nollichucky and Chattoga last week, wahoo. going to Chile soon. see ya in CO next summer.
peace.
 

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Meng, will you be more specific on the whereabouts of Greyhound Rock? I'm pretty familiar with the area, but don't know all the names ;) Thanks!
 

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2 x Ass Rod

Hey swim team junior member. Missed you skiing yesterday. We got beat down by a lot of DEEP powder...too bad.

I just found a company called sportsexpress(.com) got to their site if you wanna ship your boat...way more affordable than paying airline rates.

When did you start paddling class IV water...I thought you liked swimming it instead. Either way. I'm heading out to the coast tomorrow morning to go paddle in Baja. I'll be thinking of you & the warm weather in Gunni while I'm sipping a beer on the beach. Happy turkey day if I don't talk to you before hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey guys thanks for the info!

I'll let you know how the trip is.

Twitch,
man, everytime you get on here you have to bad mouth me. are you insecure in your manhood and feel that i'm a threat to your self-esteem? i'll try to be more careful of showing you up at every activity we partake in. and don't forget who swam gore first. I think that makes you junior. what you don't think that i can handle IV- stuff? maybe i'm mistaken. with all seriousness how better should i describe my ability, you probably know better than i do? don't forget that no matter how you make this suggestion sound, i still kick your ass at polo (and picking up chicks, because after all the only reason any of us paddle is for the women and fame). give me a shout before you leave, you don't have a job so you should be free to get a drink.
later
aaron

oh yea, i kayak for the money too!
 

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EarthN- To get to Greyhound Rock from SC.... take hwy 1 north for about, umm... 10 miles (im a bit fuzzy on the exact distance). It is a Park, so there will be signs for Grehound Rouck State Beach or Park, etc... and a large parking lot. Whats different here is that the road and parking lot are about 500 feet above the ocean.... Park and walk down lots of stairs and your there. I've seen people kayak surfing there before.... when i went all the little rock clusters in the water made me kinda nervous.

If my beta doesnt work, just about anyone in SC will be able to give you directions.... drive North on 1...cant miss it.

peace.

and to above poster, good call on boof.com. Its the Cali equivalent of this site. Also check out www.caliproduct.com they have a forum and some sweet Cali pics etc...
 

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Thanks Meng. Aaron, I got on boof.com and was directed to the San Lorenzo, if it storms while we're there. You can get beta from the cali creekin site (see link in above post). Looks like fun class III. Let me know if you're interested.

Aaron (ya, ya...another Aaron)
 

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Mark West creek, north of SF, and the upper Carmel, near Carmel (go figure) look good, too. Hope we have water :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
hey earthNRG
my trip to san fran/ sac is definitly on I'll be there between dec.30th and jan. 6th let me know if you want to go get trashed in some breaks.
 
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