Oct 06 2015

10 Years in Haliburton Highlands

Haliburton Algonquin Outfitters BoatwerksEstablished in 1961 at Oxtongue Lake in Haliburton County and expanding into 12 locations in the Algonquin Park, Haliburton Highlands and Muskoka regions, one can truly say that Algonquin Outfitters is the Outdoor Adventure Store of choice in Ontario cottage country. The growth has been organic over the years, driven not by a traditional business sense, but by the coolest places and the need for adventure gear at prime destinations. Each location is tailored to fit the activities you’ll find nearby. Touring all 12 is a must-do for anyone who loves canoeing, white water, biking, hiking, water skiing or wakeboarding, and pretty much everything that is all-out fun.

RNL_4056Algonquin Outfitters have 4 locations in the Haliburton Highlands. The Downtown Haliburton and Oxtongue Lake Stores are open all year. Minden and Gull River Paddling School are open in the summer and Sir Sam’s Ski and Bike Pro-Shop operates in the winter, making them a full four-season destination. This year Algonquin Outfitters will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in the Haliburton Highlands with Boatwerks. The only full service whitewater kayak and canoe shop in the area boasts the latest models of river running and playboating kayaks and canoes along with an extensive range of accessories. A rental and demo fleet is also on hand for the world class whitewater at the nearby Gull River. In addition, AO  Boatwerks also carries a full lineup of flatwater canoes and kayaks, wakeboards, waterskis, water toys and surfwear.

An exciting addition to the Algonquin Outfitters / AO Boatwerks management team in Haliburton Highlands is newly appointed regional manager Chris Varga. Chris will be managing the Haliburton store as the focus shifts from summer whitewater paddling and cottage watersports to all great outdoor winter activities like Skiing, Boarding, Snowshoeing.

Haliburton KayaksChris has made great strides to grow and develop AO customer experience in the local area. As the company continues to expand their horizons, they also continue to share their adventurous spirit within the communities they service. This year they will once again be featuring a winter special “buy a jacket, donate your old jacket and get a $50 AO Gift Card” offer.

They keep the community engaged with their annual photo contest. The Algonquin Outfitters 2015 Photo Contest is open to entries from Algonquin Park, Haliburton Highlands and Muskoka regions. Photos should depict outdoor activities that you enjoy like: backpacking, biking, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, sightseeing, skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, stargazing, standup paddleboarding, wakeboarding, waterskiing, etc. The contest features thousands of dollars’ worth of incredible prizes, rules and details can be found on their website. Contest closes November 30th 2015.

Algonquin Outfitters also dedicate significant time and resources to ensure that their customers are getting a fair price. They back this up with an in-store AO Price Match Guarantee. If you find a lower advertised price on an in-stock, new, identical item from an authorized Ontario dealer, now or within 14 days of your purchase, just show them the price and they will match it!

After more than 50 years of sharing your adventure Algonquin Outfitters want you to now share in some of the rewards too. It’s easier than planning your next canoe trip! Just sign up online or at one of the stores. There’s nothing to keep track of, no card, no receipts, no funny looking money. It’s so easy to just watch those AO Adventure Rewards add up each time you visit one of their 12 stores.

Haliburton Country Life

County Life October 8, 2015

Useful Links:

Contact AO Boatwerks – Haliburton:

218 Highland Street
Haliburton, ON, K0M 1S0
GPS location: 45.0460°, -78.5088°
Get Directions

Phone: 705-457-3737
Toll Free:1-866-KAYAKS-0

Contact AO Boatwerks – Minden:

Highway #35 Minden, ON, K0M 2K0
GPS location: 44.9314°, -78.7153°
Get Directions

Phone: 705-286-1492
Toll Free: 1-866-KAYAKS-0

Jul 14 2015

Orillia Power Generation proposes power generation station on the Gull River



By Chad Ingram

Original article from: http://mindentimes.ca/

The Orillia Power Generation Corporation wants to build a second power generation station near Minden.

Reps from the corporation, which owns and operates the power generation plant at Minden Lake just north of the village, visited Minden Hills councillors during their June 25 meeting.

Orillia Power wants to construct a second generation station harnessing the power of the Horseshoe Lake dam, which flows into the Gull River, and is seeking a support resolution from council.

That area is also home to the Minden Wild Water Preserve, operated by White Water Ontario.

It would generate between three and three and half megawatts of power, enough to power between 1,200 and 1,500 homes.

“We’ve had detailed conversations with White Water Ontario,” Keith McAllister, president and CEO of Orillia Power, told Councillors.

McAllister said a power generation station would not impact water levels on Horseshoe Lake and could actually help control water flows at the wild water preserve, reducing the torrent of the spring freshet and providing adequate levels to extend the paddling season in the fall.

“In the end, we believe it will be a win-win situation for everybody,” he said.
The project is at very preliminary stages. An environmental assessment must be performed and a public input process will take place.

“We want to work with the public, we want to work with our neighbours to make this happen,” McAllister said.

The corporation is planning to host an initial public meeting July 16. 2015.  The meeting is from 2:30 until 8:30 pm at Milden  Hills Township Office at 7 Milne St in Minden.

Reeve Brent Devolin asked McAllister if he was aware of the $285-million Trent-Severn Waterway funding announcement the federal government made last week and that work would be performed on the dam at Horseshoe Lake.

“We knew they were planning to do some work on the Horseshoe Lake dam,” McAllister said, adding the corporation would be working closely with the TSW throughout the process.

The corporation has applied to purchase shoreline road allowances and the project would require passage over municipally owned property at three locations.
Councillor Pam Sayne wondered how many jobs a new generation station might create.

McAllister said the current facility requires an employee to be in Minden about half the week, so two facilities would equate to one full-time job in the area.

Sayne, noting that the City of Orillia owns the corporation and is therefore making profit, questioned whether the local economic impact was sufficient.

Councillor Jeanne Anthon wondered if the corporation would be communicating directly with lake associations.

McAllister reiterated the intent is to consult all stakeholders.

Devolin said councillors would need to gauge public reaction to the proposal.

Jun 05 2015

2015 Pan Am Games torch relay in Minden

The 2015 Pan Am Games torch relay arrived in Minden yesterday.  Minden AO Boatwerks staff were there to take part in the spirit of the games.

First stop was the Wild Water Preserve, where the Canoe & Kayak slalom portion of the Pan Am games will take place. Claudia Van Wijk,  owner/operator of Owl Rafting, avid white water enthusiast and an integral part of the Minden Wild Water Preserve, paddled the first leg of the Minden torch tour, down the rapids at the preserve.

The torch then made its way into the town centre via a few land travelling torch bearers, handing the flame over to avid white water canoe and kayaker Victor Ettel who paddled the torch down the Gull river to a short ceremony, which took place in the heart of the town centre.  Torch bearer (and local health promoter) Susan Shikaze, Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin, MP Barry Devolin, and MPP Laurie Scott, along with many other local dignitaries spoke of their pride in hosting the Canoe and Kayak slalom portion of  the Pan Am Games .  With a picture perfect day the event was very well attended.  We could tell that all who attended were proud to be part of the 2015 Pan Am games.

Torch Bearer, avid white water canoe and kayaker Victor Ettel (below) stopped by the store after his leg of the event for a visit and a little photo opp. Victor started kayaking when he was 49 buying his first kayak from us! It goes to show, it’s never too late if your young at heart. Oh, and by the way, in the winter Victor spends a lot of time down hill skiing at Sir Sam’s and is a multiple gold medallist in the Ontario Senior games!  What an inspiring day with so many inspiring people!

Pan Am torch bearer Victor Ettel

Pan Am torch bearer Victor Ettel nearing the end of his leg of the Pan Am torch relay in Minden, Ontario.

Pan Am at Minden Wild Water Preserve

Minden Wild Water Preserve parking lot full with a Pan Am parade of vehicles

Claudia Van Wijk

2015 Pan Am torch bearer and owner/operator of Owl Rafting Claudia Van Wijk pausing for a photo opp. after her leg of the torch relay.

Russ Duhaime lead volunteer at the Minden Wild Water Preserve

Russ Duhaime lead volunteer at the Minden Wild Water Preserve seen here paddling his Swift Caspian Sea flatwater kayak escorting Pan Am torch Bearer Victor Ettel down the Gull river in Minden Ontario

Russ Duhaime lead volunteer at the Minden Wild Water Preserve with students

Russ Duhaime lead volunteer at the Minden Wild Water Preserve, leading a few of his high school students in escorting Pan Am torch Bearer Victor Ettel down the Gull river in Minden Ontario.

Pan Am torch relay Minden 2015 2015-06-04 047 (1024x576)

Passing the torch (flame)

The official Olympic flame backup lanterns!

The official Olympic flame backup lanterns!

Pan Am torch relay Minden 2015 2015-06-04 060 (1024x575)

Victor Ettel heading off for his leg of the torch relay down the Gull in the heart of Minden.

Victor Ettel on his leg of the Pan Am torch relay

2015 Pan Am torch bearer Victor Ettel on his leg of the Pan Am torch relay in Minden, Ontario. with a team of high school students in hot pursuit.

Pan Am torch bearer Victor Ettel on his leg of the torch relay

Pan Am torch bearer Victor Ettel on his leg of the Pan Am torch relay in Minden, Ontario. with a team of team of high school students in hot pursuit. — in Minden, Ontario.

Susan Shikaze

Torch bearer (and local health promoter) Susan Shikaze receives the Olympic torch from Victor Ettel.

Ceremony

Torch bearer (and local health promoter) Susan Shikaze with Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin, MP Barry Devolin, and MPP Laurie Scott.

Victor Ettel at Minden Boatwerks

2015 Pan Am Games torch Bearer, avid white water canoe and kayaker Victor Ettel stopped by the store after for a visit and a little photo opp. Victor started kayaking when he was 49 buying his first kayak from us! It goes to show, it’s never too late if your young at heart. Oh, and by the way, in the winter Victor spends a lot of time down hill skiing at Sir Sam’s and is a multiple gold medallist in the Ontario Senior games!

Follow us on Facebook for more event photos.

May 29 2015

2015 Reel Paddling Film Festival in Huntsville

Reel Paddling Film Festival

Reel Paddling Film Festival Film List

Huntsville, Ontario, Friday June 5th, 2015 – Algonquin Outfitters presents the 10th Annual Reel Paddling Film Festival at the Algonquin Theatre, 37 Main Street East, Huntsville, ON on Friday, June 5th, 2015 at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7 pm).

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is an international film tour presenting the world’s best whitewater, sea kayaking, canoeing, SUP and kayak fishing action and paddling lifestyle films of the year on screens in 100-plus cities across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.

With 23 inspiring paddling films short-listed for the World Tour, including the ten festival category winners, audiences can expect to see stand-up paddle surfing, hairy whitewater action, sea kayakers exploring remote coastlines, headwaters canoe expeditions, international river travel films, motivating environmental documentaries, grueling kayak fishing battles and hilarious short films capturing the lighter side of paddling life.

With your $15 ($12 youth) ticket to our Reel Paddling Film Festival screening you’ll receive free digital subscriptions to Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots and Kayak Angler magazines, a $39 value.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour is produced by Rapid Media and presented in Huntsville, Ontario by Algonquin Outfitters on Friday June 5th at 7:30pm.

For tickets and information call the Algonquin Theatre, toll free at 1-800-696-4255 or 705-789-4975, or purchase them online at www.algonquintheatre.ca.

 

 


 

Our Film Selection

 

Muskoka River XMuskoka River X (8 min, 57 sec)

Armed with a drone, several GoPros and a DSLR camera, one man follows the incredible Muskoka River X race. The race travels the Muskoka River system for a distance of 130 kilometers and must be completed unassisted in 24 hours.

Director and Producer: Andy Hansen – Pure Muskoka

The Muskoka River X is the longest single day expedition paddling race in the world. Canoe, Kayak and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) divisions. Tandem, Solo and Relay categories. Sept 11-13, 2015. Huntsville, Ontario. See http://muskokariverx.com/ for race details.

 

Caleb (4 min, 17 sec)

Caleb Brousseau lost the use of his legs in a snowboarding accident in 2007. While that would end many other people’s careers in action sports, for Caleb it was only the beginning. Caleb went on to become one of the best sit-skiers in the world, winning a medal at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. In the summertime, this Terrace, British Columbia native descends from the mountain and hits the river with an inspiring attitude and solid class IV skills.

Director and Producer: Blair Lion

 

Facing Waves: Outriggers and SUP in Tahiti (5 min, 58 sec) <<SUP Winner>>

Explore Tahiti by paddleboard, both above and below the tropical waters of Moorea. Featuring ACA SUP instructor and trainer Jimmy Blakeney and the queen of SUP, Nikki Gregg.

Director: Kelsey Thompson | Producer: Ken Whiting

 

DamNation (51 min, 19 sec) <<Documentary Winner>>

PG – Language & Nudity

This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our
national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the
growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our
rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang
to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

Director: Ben Knight, Travis Rummel | Producer: Matt Stoecker, Travis Rummel

 

 

Delta Dawn (15 min, 55 sec) <<Environmental Winner>>

The Colorado River had not kissed the sea in almost two decades, until the spring of 2014 when an experimental pulse of water was released into this forgotten delta. A team of river runners followed the water to witness this unprecedented restoration effort, and attempted to be the only, and potentially the last, to float the Colorado River to the sea by paddleboard.

Director and Producer: Peter McBride

 

We Belong To It (13 min, 07 sec) <<Canoeing Winner>>

We Belong To It follows renowned traveler and British TV personality Ray Mears’ journey into the heart of

Wabakimi Provincial Park in northern Ontario, Canada. The film explores the visual beauty of the Boreal forest landscape, and delves into Mears’ reflections on nature and his mastered skill set in bushcraft.

Director and Producer: Goh Iromoto

 

How Not To Steal A Kayak… (3 min, 57 sec) <<Amatuer Winner>>

FTS Style is a group of professional amateur kayakers who bring paddling movies to another level. The goal of their game is to put a smile on your face. In this short, they offer a few examples of how not to steal a kayak.

Director: Sebastien Leger | Producer: FTS Style

 

The Grand Canyon of the Stikine (16 min, 50 sec) <<Whitewater Winner>>

Shrouded in darkness and legend, the Grand Canyon of the Stikine River
is the Everest of whitewater. For

over 30 years, its menacing difficulty has
lured expedition kayakers looking for the ultimate challenge. Once the river
casts its spell, a kayaker cannot stay away. Olaf Obsommer has collected
some of the best kayakers in the world for this descent of the Stikine. His team includes Sam Sutton, Gerd and younger brother Aniol Serrasolses and Jared Meehan.

Director and Producer: Olaf Obsommer

 

 


 

 

Date: Friday, June 05, 2015 7:30 PM
Description:

Reel Paddling Film Festival

at the Algonquin Theatre, Friday June 5th 2015 7:30pm
Tickets: Adult $15 Youth $12 – www.algonquintheatre.ca

Rapid Media’s 10th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival showcases the world’s best paddling films to audiences in Canada, United States and around the world. The festival inspires more people to explore rivers, lakes and oceans, push physical and emotional extremes, embrace the lifestyle and appreciate the heritage of the wild places we paddle.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is a film contest awarding winning films in 10 categories. The winners and other shortlisted films are then toured to more than 100 cities around the world, screening for an audience of more than 30,000 outdoor adventure enthusiasts and their friends and families.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is produced by Rapid Media. Rapid Media also publishes four leading paddlesports magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots andKayak Angler magazines. Your ticket to a Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour stop includes a free one-year digital edition subscription to all of the above magazines. Special offer details are available in your evening program.

Tickets: Adults $15.00 Students $12.00
> Click Here for Tickets <
Venue Address: Algonquin Theatre, 37 Main Street East, Huntsville, ON P1H 1A1
Box Office Phone: 705-789-4975
Box Office Toll Free: 1-888-696-4255
Box Office Hours: Box Office Hours

May 11 2015

2015 Gull River Instructor

AO Boatwerks Whitewater SRT Instructor

The AO Boatwerks Paddling School on the Gull River in Minden, Ontario is seeking an experienced and certified SRT whitewater instructor for groups and individuals this summer.  The ideal candidate will have 3-5 years of whitewater paddling / instructing experience, teaching and training individuals, groups and instructors.  In depth experience and knowledge of the Gull River is also an asset.  Some retail work will be involved at the Minden AO Boatwerks store.

The right candidate will possess:

  • 3 to 5 years experience instructing whitewater kayaking / rafting
  • Must be (SRT) Swiftwater Rescue Training Certified Instructor
  • Current First Aid & CPR
  • Whitewater instructing experience with groups and individuals
  • Ontario Drivers License

Contact Paul Zimmer (email) for further details.

Submit Your Resume

Jun 04 2014

EMERGENCY – GULL RIVER

Hi everyone,

Just posting to inform of a hazard in the Gull River dam, right under the dam itself and pinned to the ledge is an access dock that has left it’s metal supports protruding vertically from the river.

I urge folks to skip the dam if they are planning a trip down the Gull River until further notice when the dock has been removed.

Please help get the word out if you are going out to the river or know someone who is!

Photos attached.

Thanks,

Jeff C.DAM EMERGENCY - Gull River IMG_20140604_145410

Oct 01 2013

First Paddle In the Wave Sport Mobius

I just got into a Mobius this past Friday for about an hour after work. And, what can I say, this boat definitely plays to my style.

It took about 5 minutes to outfit, which meant more time on the water. The first thing I noticed sitting in it was it definitely felt shorter than my Project X56. I’m a tall guy, at 6’1″, and despite feeling shorter, it was still pretty comfortable on my feet.

Rather than a warm up paddle I just dropped right in… here’s the highlights of the hour

The first things I noticed, the boat felt pretty smooth to throw around. The edges weren’t grabby, but were still there when you needed them. At first I threw a few loops and space godzillas, which I did with barely trying hard at all. This thing provides some pretty great pop and whips around easily.

It took me a couple tries to get the feel of some harder tricks like Mcnasties and Ponics Monkeys but once I dialed it in, it stayed that way! Some other moves like carthweels and felixes followed which all felt pretty natural. It was a pretty bad level at Earls, being a little flushy, and a little fast and normally speaking I have a hard time with it at these levels. The only thing the level held back was some combos.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the amount of pop this boat provides. It added a lot of extra fun into loops and made them pretty easy ( like really easy!) The volume distribution on this boat is well tuned. The stern comes around beautifully.

I was curious to see how Wave Sports new designer, Hans Nutz, would do on a play boat. He definitely delivered. He also designed the Recon, which I also really love.

I’m stoked to take this boat on a wave next which should happen sometime soon! For now I’m stoked for tomorrows paddle! If you haven’t tried it, definitely give it a test paddle. It makes the basics really easy to learn… easier than most boats I’ve paddled.

Jul 16 2013

Coaching, Instruction and Strong Opinion

So it recently came to light that I have some strong opinions on coaching and instruction, and opinionated articles usually make great articles.

As a result I am putting out there some of my thoughts regarding Kayaking Instruction and Coaching. Disclaimer is you may not agree and also get offended.

1) Great Coaches don’t have to be great kayakers
For some reason the kayaking world is twisted in the sense that there is a widespread belief that in order to properly coach someone, you have to be really good yourself. Let’s face facts: this isn’t true. Look at other sports. Michael Phelps has a coach, and you can be damn sure that coach isn’t nearly as good as him. Add to that, he definitely doesn’t jump in the water with him and show him how to do it. Same with say, Tiger Woods – that guy has a swing coach, and that coach isn’t as good as Tiger.

But, Kayakers still believe the coach has to be better than them. What you’re thinking of is called teaching. Google search Coaching vs. Teaching.

2) Great Kayakers don’t always make great coaches
I’ve witnessed this on the Ottawa specifically. Now, I don’t mean to knock the Ottawa coaches too much, but they bring the worlds best kayakers to coach. They are great paddlers, and good, well meaning guys. But, how are these guys in any way qualified to coach high end kayaking? Do they coach a national team? Are they highly recommended? Generally my perception of the Ottawa coaches is “watch me throw down, then I’m going to tell you to work on something and offer very little real advice”. Again, my perception is most of their athletes/students improve from simply time on the water and working with their peers, and little to do with coaching from the ‘pros’.

I’ve seen coaches on the Ottawa
– Mix up who was in their group and start coaching people not in their group
– Aggressive yelling and swearing at athletes/students
– Lose athletes (didn’t know where they went)
– Ignore swimming athletes in favor of another ride on garb
– Say practically nothing during an entire session

This may or may not be correct, but it is the perception the coaches on the Ottawa have given me regardless of reality. Credit where credit is due, I am both impressed by some professional kayakers ability to coach and their ability to kayak. Guys like Billy Harris can claim this – except he’s too modest.

The biggest, and fore most reason people think they learn from these types of coaches is the halo effect.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect

3) Just because you can kayak doesn’t mean you can teach kayaking
I’ve seen this all the time. You’ve seen it all the time. Some dude (or woman) who has reasonably good skills feel the need to impart their ‘god-like’ knowledge of kayaking on an unsuspecting newbie. It’s really bad concerning the roll. I’ve seen more people quit the sport rather than take it up because of crappy instruction – the newbie has an awful time as a result, and never kayaks again. I’ve seen terrible teaching lead to miserable failures. If want to teach people, get certified.

If you haven’t learned the proper way to teach something through an instructional course, don’t teach it! Get your buddy or whoever to take a lesson from a certified instructor. Your friend will learn faster, and enjoy it more.

Additionally, if there is a lesson going on, for the love all that is good in this world, don’t interfere and try to offer advice to the lesson; the instructor just wants you to leave well enough alone and not undo the progress they’ve made. This applies to EVERYONE. It’s OK to offer encouragement, like “You can do it!” or, “You’re doing great!” but don’t offer technical skills advice to a commercial operators group. You are in fact, not helping.

 4) Ask before you offer
If you are an instructor, coach, etc. and you see someone having troubles overcoming a challenge, ask them if they would like advice before you lay it on them. It’s the courteous thing to do as not everyone wants advice all the time.

So there you have it, a very opinionated and possibly mildly offensive rant concerning kayak instruction and coaching. I’m not saying I’m infallible and some super coach by any means –  I make mistakes like anyone and have personal bias like everyone so take this with a grain of salt…

Jul 07 2013

After the Sun Goes Down…

As opposed to just saying ‘here is this sweet video from our night paddle and check it out’ which would be easy and fast, I figured it’d be better to write up something with some actual substance. Namely the challenges of paddling at night.

So why bother going at night? It’s the same feature, the same water. More or less the same thing we do every day. The main reason is that it makes for a pretty unique experience. It’s probably a fair bit more difficult to paddle at night because you can’t focus correctly on anything – it’s all a blur. All your tricks go down a lot more by feel rather than sight. You can still see with the lighting, just not very well. If you’ve ever paddled at twilight you’ll know what I mean.

For one reason or another, it also attracts a huge crowd. (relative). There were maybe 20 people on-shore watching. Which is 20 more than normal. While some people shy away from paddling in front of others, there are more that love paddling for a crowd. Add in the coolness factor of it being at night, trying some sweet new combos and you’ve got a sweet play session on your hands.

So, check out the video:

The video is not really what I wanted… most of the good shots were really rushed and barely any time spent setting anything up since realistically we had one hour to film and the crew were going to throw their tricks whether the camera was rolling or not. So that also makes for some so-so shots. Good ideas, sloppily executed. Fortunately Tam was there not paddling and managed to capture some decent shots (all the clear and stable ones). I’m also really impatient if I want to go paddling. But, at the end of the night, the vid turned out alright.

I’d challenge anyone to film something better with zero prep time, one hour to shoot, and our calibre of equipment (mediocre at best).

But, obviously it was awesome to get out there at 10:30 at night, and we’re totally doing it again on the August long weekend!

Jun 09 2013

The Bus(s)y Season

Yeah, it is a little over done to some degree. Buseater. Bussy. Appearing in every YGP film and more or less every kayak movie ever.

Obviously I was there recently, with Cam, and it was pretty damn fun

cam-pan-am-clean
But. this isn’t just another “Check me out, I am so sick, look at me on Buseater going big!” photo laden article. So bear with as I set some pretext.

I don’t entirely consider myself a hole boater, but I know what I’m better at. I enjoy a waves and holes equally. But I can throw combo’s in a hole, and not so much on a wave, being limited to right side KY’s and that’s about it. I am pretty consistent on small-medium waves, being able to blunt, backstab, flashback, and helix just about on demand both sides. I placed pretty well at World Cup last year at Rock Island which was more of a wave, in the small/medium size. So knowing all that here’s how Buseater went…

I was brutally horrible at it.

Until the end of the session. Then I got a handle on it. (I also blame poor confidence in my still recovering shoulder)

cam pan-am

Big wave surfing is a different ball game. You have to adjust your approach to it, and realize you’re going to be out of control half the time. Moves don’t happen exactly when you want them to, you just have to roll with it sometimes and take advantage of some surging opportunities. The last time I was at Bussy was a few years ago. I don’t count high tension or skook as the same caliber of big wave (they’re big-ish, but you’re in control). It took me a while before I got always being out of control half the time under control.

neal pan-am
The door swings both ways though. Big wave surfing is it’s own little niche of freestyle, different then normal waves in a way. Looking like a hero on big waves is easy, especially with photographs (as demonstrated by the photos in this blog). Throwing big and sticking it on a big wave is pretty tough. But being deadly consistent on a medium wave takes equal skill. So is linking a split-phonics. They all need different skill sets.

So, I have all the respect for the guys who are good a big waves. Unfortunately that  door doesn’t always go both ways. Stereotypically the big wave guys despise hole paddling and small features. Things are changing though.

That all being said, Bussy is still a ton of fun, and if you haven’t, get out there on it because it’s a ton of fun!

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