Thursday, December 28, 2006

Canada's got the goods...

Greetings fellow whitewater enthusiasts!

I'm back in Asheville after what has so far been the best year of paddling of my whole life. Just thought I'd share a couple of pics from my favourite wave, High Tension on the Upper Gatineau. Click on the picture for a larger version.

I don't know how it could be more perfect...

I got to spend a total of six days at High Tension this year... which is kind of unheard of in the summer, and was brought about by some very large storms in the watershed. My friends and I decided to do a playboating overnighter in order to avoid the crowds, so we each hauled in like 50 pounds of crap through some pretty big water to make it to the wave. It was all worth it after our first session; I can't really imagine a cooler place to fall asleep.

Paradise Island.

Kelsey Thompson can make a very good fire!

And on to the paddling... This wave is unique because of its glassy face and uniform shoulder that helps you launch pretty much anything you want! It was awesome getting back in my Astro; it's the best boat that I've ever paddled at just sticking past vert, tweaked out tricks every time. I kept on thinking that I was just going to slam into the green water and flush under the pile while landing big tricks, but the boat would just land flat on the green water and plane sideways without even touching the pile. Very cool feeling...

Panam in the Astro.

The thing just launches...

Helix out in the green.

Here's a cool pic of my friend Ed Smith from Scotland going huge on Garb. Ed is one of the best wave paddlers I've ever boated with, and along with Ben Marr, I think there are going to be some serious dark horses in this World Cup. Good luck boys!

**All pics by Jon Best.**

Anyways, school's started again so I guess it's back to the real world... I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some Toxaway/Raven's/200% Green sometime soon!

Good lines.
-Chris Gragtmans

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