Monday, June 08, 2009

Wausau Opener!

Talk about making the most of a cool, gloomy day. The temps were around 50 with a breeze that made it feel cooler. The sky was heavy overcast, just waiting to rain. The great thing about kayaking, though, is that none of that mattered at all. Once I got the gear on and got in the boat, I was warm and comfy. And, as a huge and surprising bonus, the water was extremely warm. All that water sitting in the sun up in the reservoir definitely pays off.

So, that's how the first Wausau release of the year began. I got on the water early and had the place pretty much to myself for almost 45 minutes. I think the weather took a bit of the hurry out of people's journey from parking lot to river, so there was room and hole time to spare!

As always, it's great to be back at Wausau. The course is nothing but fun from top to bottom with lots of variety and friendly features. It's also a great place to catch up with and meet other paddlers. It was really nice to see Team Pabst again after the off season and I look forward to paddling with them this summer!

Nora took some time to guide some newer paddlers through the course. All three handled it really well and were surfing and punching through the features on their way down the river.

I was making my maiden voyage in my new (used) boat. I got a great deal on another Kingpin and couldn't pass it up. Mine was getting pretty worn out, but I still hadn't found another boat that I liked that much, so when I saw this one up for sale I grabbed it. Looking forward to getting a few more good years out of it!

After a frustrating year of regressing freestyle skills last year, I finally feel like I'm starting to get some of the bugs worked out on my tricks. I've pretty much got my loop entry issues worked out, now I've just got to get my arms up and speed up my rotation. That said, I did hit 3/3 in little drop and about 1/2 in the street bridge hole. The rodeo hole remains my nemesis, but I'll keep working on it.

That's it for now. I was hoping to get some helmet cam footage, but my warm-up run never ended, so I didn't get back to the truck to grab it. Next time... This week will be the Canoe U Survivor's party, then I'll be spending this weekend here, likely doing dry activities for a change. Here's to another summer of Wausau whitewater!

1) checking out the new boat
2) Pamela running Big Drop
3) Doug, looking very Zen as he punches the rodeo hole
4) Pamela's brother (name? sorry!) punching Rodeo
5) Me getting a faceful
6) Mike M in the rodeo hole
7) Melissa in the rodeo hole
8) A huge, freaky looking bug on the rocks by Rodeo. Anyone know what it is?

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