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Good DAY EVERAH BODDDAY and what a show we have for you this fine February in the year 2. Today we pull back the curtain on the deep state of whitewater paddling to talk with the OG whitewater industry, Joe Pulliam.
Joe, for those of you who don’t know, has been building boats since the 70s and could be considered the father of whitewater kayaking in the US. He began his career as the marketing manager for Perception eventually co-founding Dagger Kayaks. From there he began working with Jackson Kayaks eventually heading up that brand until his recent retirement.
Now, as is our want, it is time for Louis “Ask your doctor if Zoloft right for you” Geltman to take it away with a segment we call “#everything is fucked”.
Possible topics: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/01/22/zinke-to-sign-land-swap-deal-allowing-road-through-alaskas-izembek-wilderness/?utm_term=.fafee3be28e6
close to home: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bills_text.cfm?billdoc=SB270%20INTR.htm&yr=2018&sesstype=RS&i=270
or this- https://bea.gov/newsreleases/industry/orsa/orsanewsrelease.htm
Motorized vehicles as (the largest) outdoor recreation? whats that all about, braj? Do these kinds of studies hurt, help or do nothing for us?
Holy crap, are we getting viewer mail. So here’s the thing. We get a lot of questions, and in an effort to fulfill our role as arbiters of all things whitewater we feel a responsibility to take the listeners under our wings and protect them from trolls and fake news. In pursuit of this, we’re introducing a new segment- 5 questions in 30 seconds. This where- on a rotating basis- one of us will ask another 5 listener questions, which will be answered as succinctly as possible. While this may seem glib and dismissive, nothing could be farther from the truth. You can rest assured that the answers we give WILL BE THE VERY BEST POSSIBLE, AND THE FINAL WORD ON THIS SUBJECT.
OK, to start off, Grace will read the questions, and weld will answer:
1. Fernando Palacios: Bow lines or now bow lines?
2. Robert Fleishel: should I buy $75 sweat pants from IR?
3. Ramone: does weld laugh like beavis (or butthead)?
4. Bernie: is Boone a good place to live for whitewater?
5. Chico: It seems like the U.S. is the only place that names rivers with the whole “fork” thing. Are Americans just too lazy to come up with different names for rivers?
Fernando Palacios also wrote us and asked about the possible dangers of the bootie beer- ie getting sick. I actually called Hammer Factor’s own in-house medical expert Doc Rocco on this issue, and have the full story. In short, no it will not make you sick.
On to other viewer mail that requires our full attention:
Billy Hearn (yes that billy hearn) writes to catch us up to speed on the blade design convo:
FYI: To the best of my knowledge Keith Backlund was the first paddle maker to produce an asymmetrical blade for whitewater that wasn’t specifically for wildwater or flatwater racing. Backlund’s were the pinnacle of wood paddle craft and many are still being paddled on whitewater 30+ years after they were built.
All slalom kayak blades prior to the Backlund Slasher were symmetrical. The Backlund Slasher was licensed to Schlegel, a German synthetic paddle maker sometime around 1985. I believe the profusion of asymmetrical whitewater blade shapes that began in the 1990’s are inspired by the Backlund Slasher.
Tim Kennedy wrote a great boat review on the Sabre. One of the better features of the review was that he compared what he recalled about the boat to how he found it today.
How he remembered it:
• Stern squirtable/blastable/splatable • Stable, fast and responsive in technical water • Boofable, due to the ability to sink the outside rear edges with a sweep • Comfortable, way more so than a glass squirt boat • A bit heavy, but durable. It’s plastic. • Couldn’t get a Tight Skirt brand sprayskirt to stay on the rim after any sizable hit or drop.
And his most recent impressions:
• Much harder to get the stern down than I remember. Most stern squirt attempts resulted in an immediate upstream power flip. I did get the bow belly/chest high a few times, but far from the overhead and near vertical squirts that teenage me could do.
• Incredibly tippy in the slightest current/feature. Barely able to sit still without having to engage my deeply buried abdomen muscles.
• I could maybe boof it, if I ran the bow up over the sloping edge of the rock making the drop. But, I surmise it boofs like a lawn dart.
• Fitting my 40+ year old ass and ankles into the boat was a struggle, best accomplished on dry land (never with the boat afloat in an eddy). Wiggling out of the small cockpit and thigh braces was an equally embarrassing struggle, resulting in a fall towards shore with my numbed legs still halfway in the boat. This wasn’t aided at all by the situation of my hip bones sitting a good four inches above the cockpit rim when fully in the seat.
• Surprisingly light! A joy to carry from the car to the river. Also, the 25+ year old plastic was still strong and somewhat flexible.
• Modern skirts are much easier to afix to the rim, and stayed in place during all my upside down time (as long as you have one with a small enough deck size) Final thoughts: In one word, I would describe the Perception Sabre as TERRIFYING! It was like I would imagine trying to ride a unicycle with a twelve foot long 2×4 tied to the seat post (6’ sticking out front and back) down a rocky hiking trail with a paddle in your hands. Or as anxiety ridden as trying to carry a brimful cup of scalding hot tea on a saucer through a crowded restaurant without spilling a drop. Maybe with some reduction in my current waist/thigh size and a some improvement in my core strength, I may come to embrace the uniqueness of the Sabre design once again. But, until then, it’s gonna take a warm day with some mellow water levels to encourage me to hop back in that tippy, pointy mess. On a final note before we bring on our guests, Anna Wagner from the HERMIT KINGDOM wrote and asked about Nikki Kelly. Grace- what gives? What was paddling with Nikki like? Did you learn anything from paddling with her in CA? Have you paddled with her since then? Whats she up to now?
annnnnd JOE PULLIAM
RANTS AND RAVES!!