Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Rains + Rising Creeks = Paddler’s Paradise!

From Jon Clark, Director of NOC's Paddling School. "Creeking" or "creek boating" is a type of whitewater paddling for kayakers and canoeists that takes place on smaller (both in width and volume) streams. Creeking tends to be steeper, more technically demanding and, if you take the word of many advanced paddlers, even more fun than running full-size rivers.

Rain in the Southeast means one thing for whitewater paddlers: creekin’! As cold fronts roll in off the Gulf of Mexico they creep into the Appalachian Mountains dumping massive amounts of rain. The creeks begin to rise, and I become reminiscent of days past creek boating with friends on some of my favorite Southeastern creeks.

Here at Nantahala Outdoor Center’s main outpost in Wesser, NC we’ve been experiencing heavy rain making for plenty of on-the-water action. The rivers are rising and NOC Paddling School instructors are back for the season just in time to join in on the fun. With so many creek boating options near NOC, part of the fun is just deciding which river to paddle.

Spend a week (or a weekend) with the pros and experience creeking at its best on a different river every day. With an instructional focus, Advanced Creek Clinics are designed to take advanced paddlers to the next level giving them the right tools and skills to do so safely. At the same time, you will be introduced to rivers and creeks that you may never have the opportunity to experience again on your own, creating the adventure of a lifetime.

NOC’s most distinguished instructors are teaming up to lead this year’s Advanced Creek Clinics. Our team will be by your side the entire time on the water aiding in the development of new skills and techniques as well as refining those you already have. Participants receive hands-on instruction that hone in on each individual’s specific needs and goals. Our instructors’ profound knowledge base and extensive creek boating experience create the perfect team to lead you down some of the best runs in the South.

Our goal at the NOC Paddling School is to teach both the hard and soft skills necessary to develop the most solid and competent paddlers. Just making it to the take-out is not enough. We want to see our paddlers come away from every course capable of adding to the overall experience of everyone on the river. Good decision-making, planning, and self-awareness are skills just as important as the boof stroke, dual sided roll and rescue. Often forgotten, these soft skills commonly create adventures that reach the “epic” level. We strive to teach a balance of these skills, helping paddlers excel at being not only a great paddler, rather a great paddler that is also a competent leader.

So come get your boof on and join us in one of the most rewarding courses you’ll ever experience! Advanced Creek Clinics have just kicked off with our first weeklong session and will be followed by two weekend sessions March 26-27 and April 16-17. A final weeklong course is available April 25-29 just in time to wrap up the peak of creeking season. These courses are all-inclusive with meals, lodging and daily transportation to all rivers and creeks. Gear is also available upon request.

Safe Paddling!

Jon Clark

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