Field Tested: 4 Expedition-Worthy Crossover Kayaks
Words: Joe Jackson Photos: Aaron Schmidt The Wild and Scenic stretch of Oregon’s Lower Rogue could well be defined as a crossover river. Ambling miles of emerald Class II punctuated with whoop-worthy Class III (and the occasional Class IV drop) make it a perfect place for beginner whitewater boaters to cross into the intermediate range. This heavenly protected stretch made famous by the likes of author Zane Grey and Meryl Streep (a la The River Wild) also toes the line between rugged and luxurious. Deep in the canyon, outfitters such as Rogue Wilderness Adventures serve rib-eye steaks to clients reclining on inflatable couches. This dichotomous stretch of river was the perfect testing ground for a quiver of four crossover kayaks. Our group of C&K staffers and regular contributors spent three long summer days on the Rogue, evaluating how each of these boats would serve as a do (almost) everything river craft. Over these 34 low-stress miles we sprinted in flatwater, dropped the crossovers’ retractable skegs to drift, peeled in and out of every eddy, and left no riffle unsurfed. In the evenings, we compared notes over delicious local craft brew from Ninkasi. After we left the Wild and Scenic section, we
How to Bombproof Your Combat Roll
By Grady Kellogg Ed note: Nineteen-year-old Grady Kellogg is the second oldest of eleven Kellogg children who, along with their parents, are traveling the country full time in an RV in search of rivers. Swimming sucks! We all know how it feels: you reach for that pull tab at the front of your skirt, your boat fills with water, and now you’re floating downstream looking for your paddle. Later, if your friends are persistent, you’ll be forced to drink the dreaded bootie beer. Everybody swims sometimes, but beginning paddlers will have a lot more fun on the water if they develop a bomber combat roll. So what is the best way to do that? Practice. Here are some of the best tips for practicing your combat roll that my ten siblings and I have been following since we started to kayak. If your local pool hosts a kayak roll session, you are in luck. The safest place to work on your roll is in stationary water with lifeguards watching you. Take a lesson or get pointers on the basics so you can roll up on your own at least some of the time. The following video shows the stages of getting
All My Sons
Leather backpack straps tear into shoulders on a long carry; chewy, thick-sliced salami for lunch; jokes and banter echo over calm water; pine trees whisper in the breeze; the scrub of granite on bare feet; the tug of a hefty northern pike: These are the collective summertime memories of Gary Sundberg and his sons, Martin, Aaron and Craig. The timeless sensations of canoe-tripping may fade over time, but as the Sundbergs discovered last July, young families, high-paced jobs and thousands of miles of separation cannot displace deep-set traditions rooted in Minnesota’s North Woods.
PHOTO ESSAY: A Whitewater Journey through Chile
Photographer Tait Trautman and an international crew rally a weathered Toyota pickup "Gypsy Wagon" to run Patagonia's finest steep creeks and classic runs.
FACES OF WHITEWATER: North Fork Championship IV
In the latest installment of Mountain Mind Collective's 'Faces of Whitewater' series, Todd and Brendan Wells chronicle this weekend's fourth iteration of The North Fork Championship, a three-day, three-contest weekend which starts with a Thursday sprint race and Friday boatercross competition on Idaho's storied North Fork Payette River, and then concludes Saturday with a seven-gated giant slalom race starting atop Jacob's Ladder, the stretch's Class V-plus signature rapid.
Seattle to San Diego by sea kayak
How do you follow up 2,400 miles of “pure adventure” paddling the length of the Mississippi River? If you’re Denver-based adventurer Rich Brand, you move on to saltwater, and set out to sea kayak the entire west coast of the United States. Brand is the man behind Captured Heartbeats, movement that seeks to “inspire others to adventure while photographing the people, culture and environment.” After traveling and photographing much of North America by Jeep and motorcycle, he made his first kayak journey in 2014—a Mississippi source to sea. With the Ol’ Muddy behind him, Brand launched his sea kayak in Seattle in early May. We caught up with Brand on the Oregon coast, midway through his 1,000-mile journey to San Diego. CanoeKayak.com: What was the impetus for Captured Heartbeats? Rich Brand: It’s more than just traveling. It’s the ability to meet and be part of people’s lives. I have been welcomed by so many different lives and lifestyles. I interpret this as being able to see and experience the heartbeats of their lives. When the opportunity allows, I like to capture those through imagery. When did you get into paddling? I see up until the Mississippi, most of your travels were motorized.
On Sale Now: June 2015
Cliff Jacobson Unfiltered
An interview with canoeing author and north country legend Cliff Jacobson