Wednesday morning I got a call from Jan, a former instructor at Zoar Outdoor. He has lived in North Carolina for the past few years but was going to be back in town for the weekend. He wanted to get out and do some boating while he was back in town. Friday morning we met up and headed out to the Deerfield to get some laps on the Dryway. It was really good to boat with Jan again and any day on the Dryway is bound to be pretty fun. On Saturday, several of the other instructors had the day off and were able to join us on the river. Dylan, Hannah, Rodney, Jan, Janet and I were able to get out for a few laps on the Dryway. It was a really fun to paddle with a bunch of instructors on the Dryway. Unfortunately days like this are rare because often when the Dryway is running most of the instructors are teaching.
During our run everyone was having fun and trying new things. Unfortunately trying new things sometimes leads to some unexpected swims. When Janet tried to punch through rodeo hole in Dragon’s Tooth, she learned a few new rodeo tricks. She spent quite awhile in the hole showing us some pretty impressive freestyle moves (in her Zen) while trying to fight her way out the whole time. After getting windowshaded and cartwheeled for a little too long and putting up a pretty good fight, she decided to go for a swim. The group was well positioned and we were quickly able to deal with the swimmer and gear. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful with everyone having a lot of fun and trying new moves. There were lots of exciting boofs, ferries, hole surfs and slot moves. The Dryway is definitely one of my favorite rivers because it offers something for everyone.
As an instructor it is important to paddle many different boats and learn how they handle. Often understanding a boat will help you to understand what your students might be experiencing. I had spend a fair amount of time paddling the Dagger Mamba on class II water while teaching but really only had one day in it on harder water. I was really excited to get some Dryway laps in this boat. It turned out that most of our group was paddling in the Mamba. Everyone had a great time. I was really impressed with how quickly the bow resurfaced when punching through holes and waves. I was also really impressed with how the boat accelerated into eddies when put on edge. The boat is very responsive and fun to paddle. As it demonstrated at the Split Hair and Shark’s Fin boofs, in addition to many smaller spots, this boat boofs really well. I am really looking forward to getting this boat out on some of the creeks next time we get a good rain storm.
I’m looking forward to getting back out to the river this weekend for Riverfest and catching up with paddlers that I haven’t seen in awhile. Hopefully we’ll see you on the river this weekend.