This June in Glenwood Springs, CO marked my 8th time competing for a spot on the US Freestyle Kayak Team - and my 7th time making the team. It was the 2nd time that the trials have been held on the artificial wave on the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. This feature is arguably the best manmade playspot on the planet - not counting the old mill dams in France whose ruins happened to form good waves at high flows. Thanks to Leif & Natalie Anderson for the pictures:…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on July 6, 2015 at 6:33pm — No Comments
This October I was based around the DC/MD/VA area with my fiance Courtney during her away rotation at GWU's pathology dept. Luckily, Great Falls happened to be just up the road.
I put together a little edit showing the MD and VA lines in the…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on November 7, 2014 at 9:00pm — No Comments
If I were told that I could only have one kayak to take with me for a full year to paddle every river in Costa Rica, the choice would be too easy. A destination like Costa Rica - much like Fayetteville, WV - has literally every type of whitewater from ultra high volume powerful runs(Gauley/Reventazon) to medium-sized pushy creek runs(Pacuare/Meadow), to the tiny little micro-creeks like the Orosi(comparable to Wolf Creek, WV).
Here's the 80 on a newly discovered micro creek in…Continue
Ive been getting more and more comfortable in the Mobius 57 as we just slipped into the 'Team Training" phase from now until Worlds. The US Team has been training together for an hour slot for the past couple days and it's really brought us all together to support one another and exchange tips like a big family.
A couple weekends ago we had our US Nationals, which was a perfect way of getting back into the groove of competing again. My last comp was way back in June at Fibark…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on August 27, 2013 at 2:50pm — No Comments
It's exhilarating when a new boat design comes along every once in a while that totally rejuvenates your love for the sport of kayaking. Well, this has happened to me recently, and I am more fired up about freestyle kayaking now than I have been in quite some time - and that's really saying something!
We are now less than 2 weeks away from the US Freestyle Team Trials. This means that there are quite a few freestyle boaters right now who are feeling anxious, excited, focused, and generally fired up to try out for the opportunity to represent the USA in the 2013 Worlds in September.
Worlds and Team Trials are unique this year. They are both held on the Nantahala River in NC, which means Team USA will get quite the home field advantage at Worlds. Our trials should select the…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on April 14, 2013 at 8:00pm — No Comments
These days the loop, or front flip, is the most popular trick in the book for the current crop of playboats. There are a few variations of the loop, such as the Space Godzilla, Phonix Monkey(360-Flip), and the Mcnasty. Dan Gavere called the Mcnasty a 180-Flip while announcing at the Reno Whitewater Fest a few years back - and I thought that described the move perfectly.
A Mcnasty is a loop initiated from a back surf, or in a steeper hole, a back blast. It is one of the…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on December 30, 2012 at 10:30pm — No Comments
As we roll into the coldest time of the year for the northern hemisphere, I am keeping myself fired up by setting my sights on the 2013 Freestyle World Championship. I am especially excited and motivated this time around since the site of the Worlds is in North Carolina - only 5 hours from my home base of Fayetteville, WV. If there is any single advantage to preparing for a kayaking event, it is being able to spend many hours at the actual competition site. This does wonders to prepare…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on December 29, 2012 at 11:00pm — No Comments
The beginning of November will bring on Wave Sport's first new creek boat in around 6 years, in 3 sizes. This may be the most-prototyped creeker of all time, with hoards of different prototypes in the different sizes being tested and carefully refined over the past year. We set out with the goal of shaping the most predictable and safe creek boat ever designed.
After numerous rounds of prototypes of Wave Sport's latest creek boat, the Recon is coming into its own as one of…Continue
The men kicked off the 1st event of the 2012 World Cup of Freestyle promptly at 10am. Competitors only had a handful of short practice rides in the past couple days, which was an interestingly even playing field amongst non-locals. As expected, the locals are all right on up there in the standings, and some talent from various other countries did quite well considering. Team WS's Martin Koll from Germany took the #9 spot with an amazing blunt-mcnasty combo.
Team Wave Sport made the absolute most of the freestyle events despite a less-than-ideal Colorado runoff this season. Lyons, CO arranged a great water release for their sweet playpark to defeat the 30% snowpack and give us the best hole of the comp season.
Elaine Campbell hucking ends in the Lyons hole:…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on June 19, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Wolf Creek is the stuff of legend in West Virginia. It rarely gets run, let alone seen by anyone, as there is no hiking trail up the gorge at all. Most folks simply wonder what could be lurking in Fayetteville's local deep crevasse in the Earth. What lies in this 800 ft/mile gorge is something only a lucky few kayakers will ever see; house-sized rocks covered in glowing-green moss and lichen. Rhododendron bushes so old and thick that the only way to get around is to navigate the maze of…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on March 14, 2012 at 1:26pm — No Comments
You hear a lot about Green Racers attaining the Ledges on the French Broad River in Asheville to get in shape for the race. Boaters at Virginia Tech do the same types of workouts at McCoy Falls, site of the old New River Rodeo, to keep their forward strokes fit.
I actually began my paddling career following my dad up the Potomac River from Anglers to the base of Great Falls in slalom boats. Now that I'm back in the DC area for a few days for the holidays, I've been excited to hop back…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on December 22, 2011 at 1:45pm — No Comments
It took me around a dozen runs down Manns creek before I actually felt like I wasn't lost in its labyrinth of steep chutes. By Manns Creek, I am referring to Glade Creek at the Gristmill in Babcock State Park, past the confluence with Manns Creek(Real Manns) and down to the New River at Cunard, WV.
Here is a Manns Creek headcam movie from around 4": …Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on October 29, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments
Ever since the original Project came out back in 2005, I've been picking the boat apart with the help of Robert Peerson and the rest of Team WS trying to find ways to make an incredible design even better. We came out with an improvement - the carbon-only Project 54cx in 2009. This boat went better backwards and had ultra-slicey ends yet big pop for loops.
We've been working on fine tuning the next freestyle design ever since. The New River Dries in West Virginia is only 8…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on March 16, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments
So it's this time of the year again....cold temps, not a whole lot of water, and a handful of small playspots. I've found the ultimate cure for the winter timer blues - the Project X! This new design has allowed me to look at the low-water Gauley in a whole new light, and I am stoked to get this new boat on the river any chance I can get!
Canyon Doors at 2100 cfs!…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on February 8, 2011 at 3:24pm — No Comments
When most people talk about running Manns Creek in WV, they almost always refer to running Glade Creek to the confluence of Manns Creek and continuing down to the New River. This in itself is arguably the best all-around, most 'classic' West Virginia creek.
'Real Manns Creek' refers to Manns Creek proper, which starts near the horse stables in Babcock State Park and continues to the confluence of Glade Creek. On the map below, the differentiation between the two different…Continue
Added by Bryan Kirk on January 5, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments
Added by Bryan Kirk on July 5, 2010 at 1:30am — No Comments