Paddlefest is full of activities here in Buena Vista, Colorado. Kayaking, SUP clinic to the general public, free demos all weekend, parties at night, and a freestyle competition in the BV Whitewater Park make for a BUSY/FUN weekend!
There is a great local attitude here, from brewing your local beer, to buying, building, living, and a local pride that goes with it. Earl and Chad the owners of CKS, once the owners of Summit Kayak School, are hard working, fun, friendly folks with families that are a part of their business, and they hire great people to help them along the way as well. Colorado has a bunch of really good dealers for kayaks, and consequently there are a bunch of kayakers! They seem to be showing up here on the Arkansas River this weekend.
Low water in Colorado might not seem like a positive, but it only changes the paddling landscape. Last year the rivers were raging at record flows, scaring the daylights out of the less experienced boaters and offering thrills to the experts. THis year the rivers are tamer and easier to manage with low flows. The Arkansas is at 500 cfs now, while it was at 2,000 last year. The play hole we are competing at is quite small, slow, and definitely not scary! It is very beginner friendly. The pros, however, are having their way with the hole and putting down some big scores. Yesterday we did the preliminary rounds for the pro classes (Men and Women) and today we will be doing the semi-finals and finals. The crowds watching the prelims seemed entertained, and the atmosphere was fun. Lauren Burress got some good interviews on her iPad of the competitors and that played before each of their rides. It was a cool addition. Then she interviewed the competitors while still winded from the 8,000 feet of elevation and a 60 second ride.
Dinner at Eddyline Pub and restaurant with Marty, Clay, Chris Stafford, Nick, and Kristine last night was cool. I haven’t seen Marty in a while and it was awesome catching up with him and hanging out with him again. We are both on tour, he just got home from his two days ago.
The biggest event for me this weekend is that Dane and I got our new Kokatat gear that we are working on with Kokatat, that will be available in January in stores, but we have the final prototypes here and they are AWESOME! I don’t have photos yet, but will share with you this coming week! Awesome! Christmas in May!!!
Today I am teaching a clinic for seniors, something new! Cool!