From Corran Addison :
The kern river this weekend was an amazing experience. There is no question that we are taking SUP on whitewater to a whole new level. After my trip to South Africa I have been thinking about more ww sup – how to push the limits. Finally… Everything was right. The kern, a ww destination of note, was running at over 4000cfs. That’s a lot of water!
We started out running the Ant Canyon section. Solid class 4 at normal flows, this was an amazing challenge. My paddling partners Adam and Donnie did an amazing job of hanging in for guys who are expert SUP paddlers but have limited ww experience. The rapids were steep, rock and tree infested, and full of consequence. Everyone took a good fall and got a little scared, but it was all worth it in the end.
The next day we went down to the miracle section of the lower Kern above the Cataracts. This section is mostly good class 4 with one marginal class 5 called False Flush and one absolutely solid class 5 called Royal Flush. Seven miles of non stop class 4 ww had us on our toes for 4 hours, and we were all totally exhausted when we got to the take out.
False Flush is considered a portage by most, and so I was surprised with myself when looking at the rapid I decide to run it. It’s been awhile since I had that feeling in my stomach of fear and total commitment, and I certainly got my fix. A river wide hole with a tiny protected sneak on the left that runs into 200 yards of complete chaos. It was not an impossibly hard line, but missing it would certainly resulted in a severe thrashing in the hole itself. Not a prospect I cherished. But I decided that I was on my game that day, and so went for it, making the line and the rapid without falling at all. (sorry – no photos).
All in all, an amazing weekend. Well be back up in a few weeks to push this some more…