Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Finally Here! The NOC/Dagger Freestyle Shootout 09

In addition to a $10,000 prize purse, the second-ever NOC/Dagger Freestyle Shootout is quickly becoming one of the coolest events all year for paddlers. Here's the lowdown on some of the details:


If you know nothing about freestyle kayaking, you're still in for a great weekend at NOC. Three musical acts are scheduled to keep the atmosphere festive. Throughout the event, DJ Terrence Young will spin from the judge's bridge, keeping the competitors pumped up as they thrash the wave. On Saturday, as the competition winds down, Drew Fowler will open a set of acoustic guitar on the deck at The Pourover, followed by headliners Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work. With their gritty tones and fast licks, expect these guys to rock out beside the river.


Local artist Andrew Montrie's work was recently spotted at Asheville's Big Crafty. He created one-of-a-kind pieces for NOC to use as competition medals. Montrie's work is always unique——"no molds, castings or stamps are used in the creation of Muddy Knees ceramics as every detail is attended to by human hands," says his website. Competitors will note that white pieces will be given to third placing contestants, red for second and blue for first.


This year's rodeo rules have been set up to encourage big moves, personal style and crowd interaction. Points are given for cartwheels, splitwheels, blunts, backstabs, loops, godzillas, sidekicks, air blunts, donkey flips, helixes, mystery moves, kickflips and macho moves. In addition to a set number of points for each of the preceeding tricks, judges are required to give a subjective style score, based on smoothness, control, variety and overall showmanship. That means kayakers will need the participation of spectators to give it up whenevery necessary.

Parking is limited for the event, due to the high volume of rafting guests. Please consider carpooling, and be patient with NOC parking attendants. The event begins roughly around noon, depending on when the water reaches NOC.

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