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Learning Something New (Part 2)

An interview with Michael

Q:  When did you first show an interest in white water kayaking?

A:  We had ventured to the Ouachita River by suggestion of Jim Krueger to extend our canoe season.  At the ledge is where I caught my first glimpse at people play boating in a wave.  My first thought was what were these people in short goofy boats doing?  But it looked pretty cool. I watched for the remainder of that summer which was about 5 years ago now and learned some lingo, demo-d a boat from Triple O and eventually bought my first boat.  It was a liquid logic remix 69.

Q:  Talk about how you learned white water kayaking.

A:  I spent time watching from the sidelines picking up scrap information and meeting people like Jeremy Mackey, Joe Tarver and Jim Krueger. Then I made the plunge went to a roll session at UALR and Cowper Chadburn showed me how to roll and I started playing around at Rock Port in a creek boat that could only do so much.  I learned to side surf and developed my roll. Then I got a play boat, it was a Jackson rock star t this point I felt I began to develop a lot more skills.  I get a lot of practice at Rock Port.

Q:  Talk about running creeks and rivers.

A: I started running local runs like Lake Norrell spillway, Gulpha gorge in Hot Springs and the spillways in Hot Springs Village. My first real down river white water excursion was the Cossotot; this is kind of a rite of passage. You can’t  boast about being a white water paddler in Arkansas until you had been to the Tot. Cowper led the group down, the Tot was around 5 feet; I was in my Jackson Rockstar. Other trips Cadron Creek, Upper Little Missouri (little Mo), lower South Cedar, Balboa, upper and lower Alum, south fork of the Little Red, the Piney, Hot Springs Creek, Rock Creek (in Little Rock) and several urban runs through little creeks in Little Rock and Benton.

Q: If you could go boat anywhere where would you go?

A:  ….The Aqua Azulejo in Mexico. 

Q:  Give some advice for someone wanting to learn white water kayaking.

A:  Humble yourself; when I started I knew nothing but I was humble and asked around.  The Arkansas Boating Community is amazing; someone is always to teach you something.  Don’t give up when you are learning–there is always something new to learn when you are boating so you will always be learning.  And lastly always paddle with a friend–special thanks to Joe Tarver, Lance Dougherty, Cowper Chadburn and Tim Norwood.

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