NOC is one of the longest running whitewater kayak shops and outdoor centers in the world and have always been a leader in everything from kayak instruction, accomodations, retail, and running events.    I have been going to NOC since 1984, at least once per year.    NOC Double Header (slalom races) had me driving from Washington, DC from 1984-1998, and then it was GAF, and other events.   Now NOC is doing freestyle events, starring the NOC Shootout from 2009-2011 and in the future.  They are hosting the World Cup Final in 2012, and the World Freestyle Kayak Championships in 2013!!    This fall they will break ground turning the rapid just downstream of the NOC Store into the World Championships feature!  They are making a variable system that will create a much more user friendly and fun hole for everyone to enjoy that is also the ultimate freestyle World Championships hole.   Bigger eddies, deeper water, slower runout for easy eddy out, etc..    This will turn the Southeast Playboating scene into one of the most dynamic in the world.   Young kids from summer camps all over Western North Carolina will be training for the 2013 USA Team Trials there, as well as the nations already top athletes, and by 2013 spring, look for athletes from all over the world decending upon NOC for training and playing in this new incredible resource.   I am getting off topic here, sorry, as I was supposed to be writing about NOC’s Demo days.   In reality you can’t talk about one without the other.

Some highlights from the weekend were:

1. Rick and Francesca created some super cool modifications to their Star series kayaks- a frog and the water friendly Easter Bunny!  1-francesca-shows-the-easter-spirit-as-week-early-wheres-the-baby1-this-man-is-just-plain-awesome-check-out-his-frog-all-star

2. I met a new friend- 75 years old- and fired up to get his first freeestyle kayak- the Rock Star!   Is this a record?  Anyone out there older than 75 and have a new playboat this year?   1-75-years-old-purchased-his-brand-new-rock-star-m-this-weekend

3.  The 2011 Hero, Rogue, and Rock  Star were getting huge thumbs up by those who tried them, our bought them!   This is good news as we hit a home run with all three.    1-clay-helping-these-sisters-learn-about-the-sweet-cheeks-200

4. NOC Shootout was awesome- Daniel Dutton, Charles, and the rest of the NOC Team (with Sutton Bacon giving them the support they need) did a great job.  (and for my lovely wifel Kristine, who volunteered the entire weekend with KC in tow.)1-my-girl-emily-having-fun-at-yet-another-event-three-wins-in-a-row-this-year

5.  Going onto the Dance floor to get Kristine’s computer we left at Slow Joe’s after the event (later that night) only to find a dude named “Julian” 1/2 naked with a hand drawn Jackson Kayak logo on his chest, and a “I love EJ” sign drawn on his back.   He was dominating the dance floor (like a hand grenade thrown in a crowd, everyone scattered before being blown up) with some pretty good slam dancing technique.   I spotted the computer next to the band, with only him in between me and the computer after I waded through the crowd.   when I saw the “I love EJ” on his back, I figured it would be rude to pass by and not at least acknowledge his body art.   So, in backwards order,  I grabbed Kristine’s computer and then did some quality slam dancing with him, managing only to do some big jumping chest slams, but not hurting the computer.   I vanished in the crowd as soon as he turned around.   that was a random experience.  Sorry, no photos.   I am sure somebody has some.

for the competition- it was a highlight, too.   

Dane won junior men, C1, and Oc1.    His kayak and C1 rides were unbelievable.   He is in his own league.    Scoring over 1,000 points for two rides in a row in finals, he is on fire and watching him it comes quite easy to him.   It is all fun.   He followed it up with a top to bottom Raven Fork Run with no scouting other than Big Boy.     My dream of having kids to paddle with that could keep up with me has long been acheived.   My new dream is to keep up with them in the future!

Emily won her third event in a row-  Alabama Mountain Games, T-Ville Triple Crown (CT), and then NOC Shootout.   She, too, is on fire and paddling so well.  Wow, is all I can say when i see her.

I won my first event I competed in this season.  I missed the first two events to go to the Summit Series and just getting back from Africa.    I won prelims, semi finals, and finals.    Feels good.   I was second in this event last year to Bryan Kirk, who got second this year.   Tommy Yon had a great third place finish.

6. Kc was awesome this weekend. He is truly a fan of the river and plays in the water until hypothermia sets in.   he is also quite enthralled with the awards stand and people clapping.  He loves clapping and cheering for the winners.

That is my summary of this event.

See you at NOC this fall!

EJ

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