No one likes to paddle the Truss when water levels fall below 2 feet, but switching your 80 gallon creekboat for a low volume playboat can really liven up the run. The majority of warm-up drops aren't too difficult, but in a playboat the class Vs offer a whole new challenge. Launching off 20ft. Big Brother in a 6ft. playboat is always thrilling and 10ft. Little Brother is a great waterfall to throw freewheels and kickflips. After a couple laps on Little Brother you'll paddle down a couple hundred yards and boof Double Drop (the second hole is stickier at low flows so be cautious in a playboat). After Double Drop the river flattens out for a while and the next class Vs you'll come up on are Upper and Lower Zig-Zag. If it's your first time in playboat on this run, or your first paddling the run at low flows the Zig-Zags are worth a quick scout (scout right for Upper Zig-Zag and left for Lower Zig-Zag). From here on out it's frothy class III and IV rapids with occasional play opportunities. A quarter mile before the take-out at BZ is BZ falls. Running this drop in a playboat at low flows is just of the dice. Get right and take a big boof stroke before you throw some ends in the hole below. Playboats can make the Truss much more exciting, but having a knowing the dynamics of each rapid is important before trading in your creekboat.
Freestylin' Little Brother
The little brother on Little Brother
Monday, September 21, 2009
For the 19th and 20th of September, my brother and I joined Nate and Heather Herbeck for a trip to the Tieton River. While Heather taught kayak lessons or guided rafts Nate, my brother and I ran laps on the upper section of the Tieton. The run is continuous with standing waves and catch on the go surf waves the whole way down. After throwing dozens of wavewheels and kickflips on the standing waves, we came up on the Bridge Wave. The Bridge Wave is a relatively slow river-wide wave with a sticky left side. After I figured out the dynamics of the wave I was able throw consistent blunts and spins and occasional loops. Because the river is dam controlled it only flows in September, which means large crowds show up each weekend. Watching cat-rafts, paddle rafts, and inflatable kayakers surf the bridge wave was always entertaining, and the bridge over the wave provided for a unique viewing angle.