Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I made it to Thun, Switzerland last week on the 24th of August and I was ready to get on the wave to "thun" it in. We didn't start training sessions until Wednesday so we had all day on Tuesday to just hang out and get over the jet lag. The training sessions are one hour a day for the US Team, that puts every paddler on the wave for 3 minutes a day.
The women are all working on dialing in their roundhouses, blunts and attempting air screws every once in a while. The wave has a nice lefty shoulder and almost no righty shoulder. In the middle the wave gets pretty steep and nice, but people are flushing off of the side of the feature a lot.
I have been getting up at 230 am to get to the wave when there aren't a lot of people paddling. But last night I got out there and we had 30 people in the eddy. Lots of people are enjoying the late night kayaking
with the lit up wave.
All photos by Brian Jennings during the US team training sessions. I will have more photos up in a few days of the area and all of that sort.
Until next time.
Caio and Happy Paddling
Monday, August 24, 2009
My name is Maria Kallman and here's a little about me and kayaking that I realized recently when work obligations forced me to take a break from boating.
The sensation of floating and gliding on water, combined with the exhilaration of facing challenges both as an individual in my boat and with a group as a team is, for me, the definition of true joy. This sport is full of power, self-discovery, challenge, and gratification.
I grew up racing slalom, and while it brought me all over Europe for five summers when I was younger, competing eventually caused me to associate kayaking with pain from ongoing injuries, nervousness, and sometimes even failure if I didn't achieve a goal I'd set for myself. As you might imagine, this was not a very fun relationship with kayaking. While I wouldn't trade this past for anything because I learned the technical skills that allow me to run hard rapids with style (some of the time) and I got to travel to places many tourists never go, I believe that I've found a much more sustainable, healthy and fun pursuit in running creeks and rivers. Whatever you choose as your passion, in whatever realm, there's no better feeling than using your entire body, all your senses, and the power of logic to solve a problem, whether it's running rapids, climbing rocks or mountains, or navigating a mountain bike trail. It really forces you to live in the present moment.
I do still love to try to paddle fast though, and I started to dabble in creek racing last year which has been fun and humbling. But nowadays I paddle for the enjoyment of the intimacy with the river and friends, not to win races. If I race, it's the process of racing that counts more than the end result. The only race I did this year was the Gore race, details below! Enjoy.
There was hot weather and plenty of water
Racing off-the-couch made my day harder
But clean lines were had by BOTH women,
And both of us were winners in my opinion :) ...
But really, it was a fantastic weekend with water levels over 1300 and abundant carnage to watch! There were only two women (me and Natalie Kramer), and having been out of my boat for 5 weeks, I just tried to take it easy and have clean lines. That worked out most of the time, except when I got eddied out above Tunnel Falls and had to let someone pass me that I'd already passed... My time was 25 minutes and change, about five minutes slower than the fastest guy in a wavehopper!
Next year it would be fun to see more girls get out there and race!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
After work, Josh and I like to head up to Lava Island for a quick paddle and decompress from work. Here is a video shot with my helmet cam on one particularly nice day. The paddler is Josh Mckeown...he had the right helmet with the helmet mount that day so for now, here is Lava Island Falls...from Josh's perspective. Look for me in the background when Josh looks back to make sure I'm still in my boat :)
Some background: Lava Island is a quick mile long run with sweet, twisty-technical drops. As flows fluctuate, so does the difficulty. At the very high flow of 2165, it's a solid class V+ run. This happened to be the highest levels I have ever had the pleasure of running it at, and also one of the highest flows we Bendites have ever seen on the Deschutes! I'm lucky to have gotten on it! :D Hope you enjoy the video and if you ever come out to Bend to paddle, be safe out there and watch out for that good ol' lava rock!
Hope you all are gettin' out there!
Musical credits go to: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour "Around the Bend"