Monday, June 29, 2009
When Playboaters Attack
Like moths to a flame, playboaters were drawn to the Wausau Whitewater Park this weekend with the promise of three open holes at the top of the course. It was the Wausau Whitewater Weekend. A weekend filled with all kinds of slalom racing events. I have always loved the grace and discipline of slalom boating. It's an incredible sport. In recent years the playboating scene has exploded in Wausau and for good reason. Many playparks only offer one or two holes. Even with the course taken up by slalom racing there is a lot to offer every level of kayaker in the top three holes. With a whole flock of us players there we joined in on the fun. Always true to our natures... freestyle is so ingrained in our psychics that we couldn't hold to the discipline. Since Little Drop has gained popularity as a nice playspot it was quickly figured out that if you run a slalom race you could stop and...oops...play Little Drop. Of course it was on the second run. First runs were reserved for dominating their class. John McConville had the fastest time on the course in a Jackson followed by Drew Ehlert in...yes...another Jackson. Sunday was the Slalom Survivor. A fun new game brought to us by Joe Jacobi. Just a short slalom with a few tasks that had to be done. Like head butting the poles and tossing toys into a basket. It was quite entertaining for sure. Best of all was if you ran the SS you were entered into a drawing for prizes! Top prize being a new Shred Ready helmet. Drew, John, Justin and I looked over the box of prizes and made our wishes. Justin is a new kayaker being mentored by John McConville and doing great. This weekend was his third and fourth day of whitewater and he was competing in the races! Sound familiar? Being new he needs a bit more gear. A helmet being on top of the list. Drew won the helmet and gave it to Justin in exchange for the pair of Crocs he had won. Whitewater kayakers are just great people! With the decline in the slalom boater numbers and the increase of playboaters a lot of thought was given to how to improve next years event. Most everyone was thinking that a combination run of freestyle slalom would be fun where you could stop and throw down until washed from the hole...or something on that line. Personally I ran as many races as I could. It was the first time running slalom for me and I really liked it. It's a great way to improve your skills in boating. We'll see what next year brings. Wausau would love to hear any suggestions or comments on this. Many more releases coming up soon!!