Sunday 16 May 2021
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Stephen’s Arkansas Canoe Club School of Whitewater Paddling Report

I had the opportunity to head to Arkansas for a weekend of great friends, awesome instruction, and surprisingly, a big wave in Oklahoma! This weekend of instruction has been going on for decades with thousands of kayakers getting their start here on the Mulberry Fork River. This year the weekend saw more than 100 students taking classes, 100+ volunteers, as well as 300+ other kayakers camping together, paddling together, and enjoying the festival atmosphere. I had a great time helping out with a class on Sunday–those poor students are all still recovering :).

I had the opportunity to head over to the Wister Wave (just below Wister Lake in Oklahoma) on Saturday with several cool local paddlers and Team JK’s Jake Ament, who is a recent transplant to that part of the country. The wave is world class! If it’s ever running and you’re anywhere nearby, it’s worth a trip to paddle a legit medium-large wave that reminded me in size and shape of 5-boat hole on the Gauley at perfect wave flows!

It was a great weekend, and a reminder about just how lucky we are to have whitewater all voer the world. We’re also extremely fortunate to have people in clubs like the Arkansas Canoe Club who have taken so much time to spread the joy of our sport. There are also several Jackson Dealers in the area who are helping to get folks into kayaking of all flavors.

Live from a van down by the river in Richmond, VA,
Stephen Wright

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