Jay Kincaid, 26, is the 2003 World Freestyle Kayak Champion and the 2001 U.S. National Freestyle Kayak Champion. He now lives in Reno, NV, where he is a consultant and athletic representative for the new Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield. He’s on the road right now, and has just won the rodeo at the 40th Annual Kern River Festival, but took a few minutes to chat with Canoe & Kayak:
C&K: What’s the new Reno whitewater park like? How many features are there?
JK: The whitewater park is 1,500 feet long, with two different channels and 11 different features. The northern channel is designed more for freestyle and the southern channel is all set up for slalom.
Keep up with Jay Kincaid in his online journal, www.renolaketahoe.com/outdoors/kayak/journal.
C&K: Are the features suitable for all levels? Are there some spots that are more demanding than others?
JK: The really nice thing about the park is that there is something for everyone. It is great for beginners, but still holds lots of good play for more advanced paddlers as well.
C&K:What kind of moves are possible at the park? Are the spots pretty dynamic?
JK: It all depends on the water level. There are always spins and cartwheel moves. When the water is higher during the spring and early summer, you can pretty much do all of the tricks.
C&K:Have you spent much time at other whitewater parks? How do they compare to Reno?
JK: I have paddled at lots of different kayak parks throughout the nation. Reno is truly unigue. It is most obviously unique because of where but it also has more play spots then most parks.
C&K:Are there many boats in the eddies? Any waiting in line?
JK: This time of year there 10 to 20 people out there on any given evening. I imagine that in the heat of the summer those numbers could double.
C&K: What is the Reno River Festival going to be like? What pros will be there?
Find out more about the Reno River Festival, May 14-16, at www.renoriverfestival.com.
JK: We have invited 12 men and 6 women to compete in the freestyle event. These will be some of the best kaykers in the world. There will also be a Boater Cross that anyone can enter. Also, Sunday will be totally dedicated to doing demos and getting new people involved in the sport.
C&K: Do you foresee more competitions being held in Reno?
JK:I think that this is just the beginning.
C&K: Any funny stories about Reno tourists and the kayak course?
JK: Every day there are literally hundreds of people who stop and watch thekayakers at the white water course. I have heard just about every question imaginable. 90% of the questions are, “Isn’t that water cold,” and “Do you ever make it back up stream?”
C&K: What about you – what are your personal goals for kayaking this year?
JK: To have as much fun as possible and to win lots of events.
C&K: Any big trips you are planning on?
JK: Lots of trips, mostly in California though.
C&K: And the big question…. Are you a gambler? Red or black?
JK: I have the wrong kind of personality to hang out in casinos. Maybe I am too competitive or something, but I know better then to even go there.