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What is your favorite moment in Whitewater History? The invention of squirt boating? Plastic boats? Canoe tricks? The first waterfalls? Kayaks arriving from Europe?

Best answer by Monday Dec 21st wins a copy of "The Call of the River DVD" in time for Christmas. I am the final judge, unless someone wants to run a more formal poll!

Check out a preview of the new historical documentary "Call of the River" at Performance Video (then put it on your Christmas list!)
 

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Powell's expedition down the Green/Colorado.
 

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No contest. The greatest moment in whitewater history is the first day I ever got to paddle a kayak. It was on the Casselman River in PA at the age of 9 way back in June of 1971. Back when the point was to miss the rocks entirely. Picture this: Jeans, t-shirt, canvas sneakers, horsecollar lifejacket (they called them lifejackets back then), Cooper hockey helmet, cotton and rubber sprayskirt, old school wood paddle, homemade 13 foot fiberglass boat (with painters), and one very psyched kid. Hooked for life.
 

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American Sportsman episodes

I think it really got going with Perception's Mirage and Dancer designs (the Hollowform was the first plastic, but Perception had superior designs). Nonetheless, it all began earlier in glass boats. The real moment may have been the televised episodes on The American Sportsman of Blackadar in AK, Cully Erdman in Cross Mtn (14,000 cfs?), Kevin Padden and Matt Gaines running Barrel Springs at 19,000, Paris, Lesser, Wasson and ? running the North Fork of the Payette at 5000. The rest of us were doing radical stuff too, but they were going huge and set the bar high. Those accomplishments are arguably still some of the greatest highlights in the history of kayaking.
 

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Pretty much every time I slide into the fluid nirvana of an isolated river.

To me, anyway.
 

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No contest. The greatest moment in whitewater history is the first day I ever got to paddle a kayak. It was on the Casselman River in PA at the age of 9 way back in June of 1971. Back when the point was to miss the rocks entirely. Picture this: Jeans, t-shirt, canvas sneakers, horsecollar lifejacket (they called them lifejackets back then), Cooper hockey helmet, cotton and rubber sprayskirt, old school wood paddle, homemade 13 foot fiberglass boat (with painters), and one very psyched kid. Hooked for life.
This is awesome!
 

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Not documented, but my vote goes to the first native american to successfully roll a kayak. That opened the way for all whitewater advancements since then.
 

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Eskimo rolling a packraft

for me as a packrafter, when Tim Johnson rolled his packraft in an icy Alaskan creek in October this year -- now that was history right there, a moment when things for a style of boating qualitatively changed
 

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I'd have to say the days when the Disco, Mr. Clean, and other similar playboats came out. I remember playboats changing from the Dagger RPM to the Redline to the Vengence, or the Wavesport Kinetic to the Stubby to the EZ seemingly overnight! With some of the most radical designs of Savage and Riot... those were the days that I remember being the most exciting. Tricks changing from the ender to the cartwheel/splitwheel/wavewheel to the loop... the sport seemed to progress so fast, it was hard to keep up.

I just miss how excited everyone was at that time! The "pro" scene was finally getting more recognition, instead of the vanishing rodeos of today... I do love the creeking scene of today, but, damnit, I miss the fun of rodeo days!!!
 

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Hmmm...well, my (new) fav. is an account of a first descent on a tributary of the Amazon. My previous was Powell's expedition....goes without saying how HUGE it was, historically speaking for the evolution of whitewater pursuits. But I just finished a book that retells the story of a first D. in the amazonian jungle with less provisions, longer expedition, and danger. It's amazing to me that it's not more well known.

Theodore Roosevelt.....I just think it's so damn cool that an ex-president accomplished this (considering the type of people elected to office these days).

The man traveled through S. America for six months...it took them 2.5 months hiking through the jungle just to reach the headwaters of this particular river (The River of Doubt, renamed Rio Roosevelt after the expedition). They descended the uncharted river in old dugout canoe's and were on the water for 2 months. All told, Roosevelt and his expedition spent 4.5 months in the Jungle....which in my opinion poses greater threats than the desert. Sounds like there was some significant whitewater to navigate....MANY portages, waterfalls, etc....in friggen dugout canoe's!! It's a remarkable feat.

Very highly recommended read......if you're into first D's in uncharted territory.

The River of Doubt.
 
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