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!
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.
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
Some of Mike’s kayaking is featured in “Mainely Boating.” He is also one of the principal cinematographers of the film.
We spent the morning whitewater kayaking at “Mitochondria,” one of the biggest waves in the state of Maine and the evening winding down at “Rumor Has It.” Mitochondria wave requires really high flows and comes in river left down stream of the infamous “Madison” wave. This video was shot at about 35k CFS dropping to about 33k. We think the wave might be more ideal at levels closer to 40k. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to find out over the next couple seasons. The end of the video was a fun evening session after we were all to tired to continue the big wave surfing and is the “Rumor Has It” wave on the Sandy River. Whitewater kayaking, especially playboating, is a blast in Maine.
Music by Archnemisis
Paul Friedman, local video boater for CrabApple Whitewater in The Forks, Maine has been creating a series of videos dubbed “The Forks.” This is the 4th installment in his series of small edits and provides an entertaining look into the life of a video boater. Paul spends his days shooting rafts on the Kennebec and Dead river, and his nights pouring drinks for the poor souls that spent the day swimming. When he’s lucky enough to have some time off he get’s to go boating. If you run into Paul on the river chances are you might end up in one of his films or be asked to hold a camera. Paul has some great new edits coming out, look him up on youtube: pfried89
It’s been raining for a couple days now and there doesn’t seem to be an end in the forecast. Send It, Whitewater is running an advanced whitewater kayaking clinic this weekend and with the weather like this you’ll get to enjoy whitewater kayak instruction on some of Maine’s finest creeks.
This course is for the advanced whitewater kayaker who wants to improve their overall creeking abilities. Practice the most up to date dynamic techniques while running slides, boofing, and catching all the eddies! We will also focus on river reading, scouting in and out of the boat, and risk management considerations. Participants must have class IV experience prior to taking this course. This is a 2 day course.
Visit www.senditwhitewater.com for more info and booking. There’s only one more advanced course in August and still a few spots available for this weekend. If you’re in the New England area don’t miss out.
“Let’s all make it known that Maine boaters not only have the skills to send, but also the skills to save”
Whitewater kayaking is a lot of fun, sometimes too much fun, and sometimes we all get lost in the moment and forget the basics, the basics that keep us alive. We’re all guilty of it, we’ve all been there. You put on your favorite creek, your whole crew has run it multiple times and you get casual about setting safety. While this might work for your crew, and you might all have the swiftwater rescue knowledge to make quick life saving decisions, this is not a good example to be setting for younger generations. There are a lot of younger paddlers entering the sport and a lot of the videos on the web show only the good side of paddling. Often times to get that one shot of someone running a clean drop there were many shots of carnage that you don’t see. I’ve personally seen a lot of videos on the web lately the lack severely in proper safety setting and while often times things play out ok, there’s always a chance that your number might be up. And when it is, you need to be ready. Through Send It, Whitewater, we’re bringing professional swiftwater rescue clinics to Maine taught by paddlers that know and use swiftwater rescue knowledge on a regular basis. I would like to personally call on Maine guides and paddlers of all sorts to strive towards being safe and knowledgable whitewater enthusiasts. We live in one of the most whitewater rich areas in the world, let’s all make it known that Maine boaters not only have the skills to send, but also the skills to save.
The live bait rescue at the end of the video was performed by Send It, Whitewater Instructor Jeremy Cass just above the lip of Toaster Falls on the New Haven River during the New Haven Race.
Well, it’s safe to say it’s boating season. We paddled the last two days in a row, and I’d be out there again today if not for my schedule. It’s starting to get warmer and with good snowpack still in the mountains everything is about to pop. The Carrabassett River is at about 1′ for the S-Turns section, on the very low end of runnable, but it’s sure to come up this weekend with warm temps and rain. Sandy Stream is in, Smalls Falls is in, Madison is close and I’m sure there’s tons of other runs currently in around the state. Above are a few shots from Smalls Falls yesterday. We also hit the North Anson Gorge section of the Carrabassett two days ago and it was at a pretty full on level. It’ll get a little bit cleaner as water continues to rise. Get out there and SEND IT!
We’re getting a Maine crew together to head to the New Haven Race this weekend. This is a little late notice for most but we’ll be heading down tomorrow (Thursday) evening and spending the weekend. It’s looking like it’ll be around 70 degrees and sunny for some practice laps on Friday, race day is Saturday. If anyone is planning on heading that way and wants to car-pool give us a shout. We’re excited to check out another New England whitewater kayak race and for myself it will be my first time on the New Haven. More details in the “Maine Flows” group, just click the link at the top of this page. Send It.