2014 Maine Whitewater Championship – Whitewater Kayak Racing in Maine

Wave Sport Recon 83

WWW.MAINEWWC.COM - The new official website of the Maine Whitewater Championship

This year will mark our 3rd annual Maine Whitewater Championship, formerly known as the Send It, Whitewater Racing Series (a whitewater kayak racing series). Over the last few years we have learned a great deal about hosting these events and we have again made some changes to the format and schedule to continue to improve our races. This year we will be returning to the format of the first year with race events being held on a single day.

The Kennebec race will feature a time trials event in the morning and a mass start event in the afternoon, followed by awards, cold beer and music at The Marshall that evening.

The Penobscot race will feature a time trials event in the morning and a BoaterX event in the afternoon, followed by final awards, beers and celebration at a location that is yet to be determined.

Both events will occur on Saturdays. The Sunday following the Kennebec race is the day of Huckfest at Grand Falls and the Sunday following the Penobscot race we hope to have an impromptu mass start.

Registration will open soon and we will continue to release more details as things develop. For now, we’re stoked to announce that we will be giving away a WAVE SPORT RECON this year! And all you have to do for a chance to win it is register for one of our races!

Big thanks to Wave Sport and all of our other fantastic sponsors.

Hi-N-Dry (Shaft Float) – One of the most ridiculous inventions to hit whitewater kayaking

Hi-N-Dry

The Hi-N-Dry Shaft Float in action

I couldn’t help myself, I have to share my thoughts on this device. (See last video below for product description). The “Hi-N-Dry” Shaft Float might possibly be the worst invention to ever hit the whitewater kayak scene. Here’s a quote from their website:

The Hi-N-Dry allows for resting between roll attempts, makes rolling a breeze, allows one to breath and keep ones head out from under the water between roll attempts, and enables one to practice rolling while on the river or lake without constant fear of a failed roll leading to an unwanted wet-exit.

And here’s another quote directly from the creator:

Thanks to it, I’ve gone from a 70% chance to roll in a pool to a bomb-proof roll in class 4 [he does mean while using one]

And lastly, the two quotes that concern me the most:

It gives the ultimate sense of security and control.

With a device that makes rolling a piece of cake, one can get out there and kayak where they want to be kayaking more quickly.

Oh my… where to even start. Simply put, this device is BAD NEWS. There is no substitute for proper technique, experience and practice. Learning to roll with a “crutch” is only going to hinder your efforts at learning a real, efficient and effective roll. Having a bomber roll is something we all strive for and want to attain. You will never reach that goal using a “Shaft Float.” Might this device serve a purpose in the pool? Yeah, maybe (I’m not convinced). But it should certainly NEVER be on the river. The Hi-N-Dry is marketed to encourage people to paddle beyond their ability. This is very bad. You should not need a paddling “aid” to paddle challenging whitewater. Challenging whitewater is for experienced paddlers. Have you ever seen someone mountain biking with training wheels?

The inventors repeatedly state that the Hi-N-Dry allows you to paddle class IV whitewater without having a solid roll. This is WRONG. They ought to be sued (and I’m not a big supporter of such action). If you do not have an effective and reliable roll you simply DO NOT have the experience and the knowledge to be paddling class IV water. It takes years to learn how to effectively read water and make life saving decisions, something that happens at a much faster and more advanced rate in class IV paddling. This skill set can come only from years of experience, not a piece of foam granting false securities.

Once you build a dependency on a Shaft Float you will struggle much harder to remove it than you ever would have to learn without it in the first place. It will certainly develop (reward) bad habits, this is a fact, contrary to the opinion of the inventors.

So much could be said about the first quote above, and many other quotes on their website. But to address this issue as only one example of their naivety to whitewater – you should never be laying out with your core exposed in the water, also exposing your head to impact from below the chin. You should never be raising your head to the surface in between roll attempts, these are BAD HABITS and improper technique that will almost certainly lead to injury or worse. As a paddler you need to learn to tuck quickly into your set-up position, protect your head and core properly and execute an effective roll (it is ok to miss rolls when paddling easier water, thats how we learn). The inventors also claim that the Hi-N-Dry will protect your face while on your back-deck… I would like to see someone keep that firmly in front of their chin while being thrashed in turbulent water and trying to set-up for a roll.

The inventor of this product has been paddling for all of FOUR years. He himself is a beginner. Everything on his website is misinformation and dangerous to other beginners that don’t know any better. If you found this post while searching for more information about the Hi-N-Dry Shaft Float, PLEASE stop all considerations of purchasing immediately.

Oh yeah, You’ll look like a total gaper sporting this thing too!

Here are two prime examples of the Hi-N-Dry failing:

In this first video it is amazing that he did not hurt a shoulder, he is lucky. He also exposes his body when he rolls and sets himself up to smash his head on a windoshade due to poor form and extending his arms so far out.

In this second video the paddler is completely unaware of his surroundings and puts himself in an extremely life threatening situation. As he is paddling whitewater outside of his ability level he has no idea what to do, panics, and swims.

And lastly, for your comedic pleasure, the Hi-N-Dry Shaft Float promo video! (It’s a good one!)

For the love of whitewater kayaking, the sanity of those around you on the river and your own life, DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT.

 

The Way We Live – A Short Film Featuring Maine Whitewater Kayaking

The summer of 2013 was full of adventure. I was lucky to spend the duration of the summer on the West Branch of the Penobscot while helping Jeremy Cass get his business off the ground. It was a great year for Maine whitewater kayakers, with early season high water, consistent flows and some spectacular summer weather towards the end, we couldn’t have asked for much more. This was the second summer producing a Maine whitewater film for the Maine Outdoor Film Festival and it was a fantastic experience yet again. I was able to compile a film that represented many aspects of Maine’s whitewater scene. I owe that to all the dedicated paddlers that were willing to share their footage and to them I would like to extend a huge thank you. I was truly inspired by the community this year and we have set our sights high for next years film. Hopefully we will be able to bring you the details on that soon. In the mean time please take a moment to enjoy this years film and catch it one last time on the big screen at Empire in the Old Port. The MOFF awards ceremony and screening will be taking place on December 5th and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone there. Thanks again!

Limited Edition – Cribworks Night Canvas Print

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this page, life sure does get busy fast. I’ll have a summer recap and a look at what’s in store for next year up soon but in the mean time I am selling a very limited number of canvas prints of this beautiful night shot of the Crib. As of now there are 8 prints available. Printed on canvas and framed on a 1.5″ think wood frame. This shot was taken this past summer and was a 15 second exposure, we used fireworks to light the scene. The prints are 24″ x 36″ see below for a more visual representation of the size. Money raised from the sale of these prints goes toward our next film project. It’s to early to spill the details but our next film idea reaches far beyond anything we’ve done yet. Please allow 2 weeks for delivery, may be shorter if you are willing to pick up. Click the “Buy Now” button below images to order.

Cribworks Canvas PrintCRIBWALL

Only 8 of these will be sold. $285


30 Seconds of Mitch | The Maine Outdoor Film Festival

With the Maine Outdoor Film Festival coming up in late August we’ve begun compiling and editing footage. Mitch through together a little teaser edit of himself which came out pretty awesome. We’ll have a lot more footage of Mitch, and many others in our film at the film fest. Don’t miss out, it’s a fun evening of good beers and outdoor films in the field across from Three Rivers Whitewater in The Forks, Maine.

 

Class V Riverboarding…

Mike McVey is at it again. Just over a week after Huckfest Mike took to the rivers to show us that the Anvil isn’t just for hucking. We ventured to Sandy Stream, a classic and popular class IV-V run in Lexington Township, Maine. Mike fired up every rapid, styled the whole run and walked away only slightly battered and bruised… Killin’ it bud

Master River Boarder

Who is Mike McVey they ask…

River Boarding

Recently a river boarding website featured a few articles about this Mike McVey character. Who is he they ask… It’s hard to truly understand Mike until you’ve met him, to some he seems crazy, reckless, out of control… I mean what else would you think about someone body boarding off a 40′ waterfall. But in reality, Mike is the opposite. He is talented, calculated, meticulous and driven by a passion for the river that few people understand. Long before Mike took on the challenge of river boarding he was turning heads in his whitewater kayak. Growing up in the small town of Millinocket, just a short drive from the world class West Branch of the Penobscot, Mike was one of the few “townies” that made his way up to the river. Kayaking took over Mike’s life and his passion for the sport showed quickly in his abilities. Known around Maine as one of the most talented boaters in the area, he’s now turning heads on a river board. Mike’s passion for the river extends beyond his own personal sending however. He is dedicated to the whitewater community and constantly brainstorming ideas, shooting video, and coming up with ways to promote the places he truly loves, the rivers of Maine. Mike has been an important person on my journey into the world of whitewater and his passion for the river shines when he’s leading you through the “meat piles.” Still not sure who this Mike McVey character is? Come on up to West Branch, spend a few a days, you’ll meet him. I hope Mike’s adventures will continue to take him to new places, around the world and back. Way to go buddy, get them meat piles and put Maine on the map! Mike McVey SENDS

Maine

Maine River Boarding

Master River Boarder

Some of Mike’s kayaking is featured in “Mainely Boating.” He is also one of the principal cinematographers of the film.

Huckfest 2013 – A year to remember for whitewater kayakers in Maine

This year was by far the most epic Huckfest ever. We had a helicopter… we had the demerbox… we had a rowdy time. HoverFlow showed up to shoot aerial footage and the guys at DemerBox brought a concept waterproof boombox. The crowd that came out this year was bigger than ever and we saw a multitude of watercraft run the falls. 4 rafts, a Duo, a couple Duckies, some OC1′ers a ton of kayakers and even an Anvil River Board. With only a few minor injuries this year things went pretty smooth. Check out this edit from Paul Friedman and look for more footage in the Maine Outdoor Film Festival.

Send It, Whitewater Racing Series

Coming up this weekend is the first stop of the Send It, Whitewater Racing Series! Don’t miss out on a good time. Saturday is race day, followed by live music with SONIC PARADIGM, awards, beer specials and good times at The Marshalls in The Forks, Maine. Race day is followed by the infamous HUCKFEST on Sunday. Be there. Click the photo below for more info

SIW Racing Series