Monday, December 24, 2007

Headed to New Zealand

Let me first say, Happy Holidays. I hope everyone has had time to relax and enjoy the company of some fine friends during this festive time of year!

The past semester I have been living back in Charlotte, NC, my hometown, working at the US National Whitewater Center. (This is a picture of me working really hard out there!) The previous two years had been spent in Boonetown, NC studying geography at Appalachian State University. (Yes, the same App State who just became the first college to win THREE consecutive National Football Titles in a row, that's right!) The move back to the Car-lot wasn't for my love of paddling in a cement ditch, or for my love of road-rage-infested-SUV-driving-soccer-moms. The purpose was to save money for a grand adventure to the far away paradise known as New Zealand.

I will be arriving in New Zealand the 1st day of the New Year. I will spend just under one year there studying abroad at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch (on the South Island.) This is a part of the world I have always dreamed of visiting, so when the opportunity came up to do so, I a ninja.

I will be bringing three Riot Kayaks of choice (Magnum, Boogie, and Astro 58) down to continue my adventures in the realm of paddlesporting. I am very excited to go to one of the sikest places on earth!!! Please keep checking on the Team Riot Blog as well as this blog to find stories, pictures, and videos documenting my travels on the water.

I'd like to give a very special THANK YOU to Spencer Cooke of for hooking it up with a video camera to shoot footy on the trip! Thanks duder!!! Effort Inc. is your headquarters for grassroots kayaking porn, check out the Video Archives page to find some of the most awesomest kayaking footy on the world wide web.

For adventures OFF the water I am starting another blog...Coop's New Zealand. This will be a very informal random report of what I've been up to down there. I really can't even begin to forecast what will appear on this new site, but it could be entertaining, so check it out!

Check ya' next time from the Southern Hemi!!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

My Brain on Kayaking...

There's been a gnome in my shoulder. It has been repairing a torn AC ligament. He's just about 100% complete, so I went kayaking. This is my brain on kayaking...

I've paddled the Gnars twice now and they have been some of the best runs on the Green I've ever had. I love kayaking. Pat loves kayaking too, some people say he's crazy, but I bet they're probably crazy in their own little way as well.

I paddled at the US National Whitewater Center before paddling the Green, to test out my newly recovered shoulder. This is not me testing out my shoulder; it's a picture from this summer's action out there. Dave Hepp has been working on tweaking some of the features on the course to allow for better play, it's finally paying off. This here's M-Wave, Charlotte style, while not as epic as the original, air is in the game now. (Thanks to Jon Angermier for snapping this pic!)

This is another play feature we've been working on, we call it Sketchy Wave due to its close proximity to the river left cement wall, and high probabillity of spearage from the spear-fish.
EDIT: It has been decided that Sketchy Wave is way too lame of a name for this wave, so it has now officially been dubbed...BRAIN SPLATTER. (The original purpose of naming it Sketchy Wave was to keep boaters that shouldn't be on it, OFF, I think Brain Splatter gets the point across!)
It's fast, not too shallow, and allows for some fun wave moves; here we have Chris Stafford and Mark Cain mid-summer session.

Wilson Bell is my home-boy. Here he is launching left off Sunshine, seems to be the hot move to do these days, I reckon. WIIILLLLSSSSSSSOOOOONNNNN!!!!!!!

My shoulder injury took me off the water for my favorite day of the entire year...The Green Race. Needless to say, it was hard to be on the spectating side of things, but it gave me a new perspective, and also a bunch of motivation for next time I will be able to race.

Mad props out to Andrew Holcombe for taking the crown this year. Big ups to Pat for protecting his Ironman title, as well as absolutely destroying his Short Boat Record! Let me give a Who-daa-whooo out to Dave Hepp for setting a new C-1 record! (Where were ya, Cluck?) I'm going to holler a SPRINKLES!!!!!! out to my main man, Keith Sprinkles, for AGAIN crushing the knuckle-draggers. And finally, last but certainly not least, Hells Yeah! to Robin Betz, for re-claiming the women's title.

And for anyone wondering if Tommy Tsunami is still the man, check the last clip of this LVMtv episode. Ill say it for him...Boo-ya-ka-SHA!!!

Ever heard of fore-shadowing? This is foreshadowing at it's finest...Mark Miller gettin' ready to win the party. Rawk on, brotha!