What happens when Team Nantahala Outdoor Center, Team Dagger and Team Jackson Kayak combine forces to instruct a clinic together? 110% pure golden good times and this is exactly what happened on February 20, 2016 in the Nolichucky Gorge, NC/TN!
Chris Hipgrave initially envisioned this long boat racing clinic with me late in 2015 for the two of us to host this clinic for my local Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts club. Chris and I began organizing and promoting the clinic and the community really responded with overwhelming support! Chris Gragtmans from Team Dagger heard the news about the clinic and he rallied his team of Adrienne Levknecht, Mark “Snowy” Robertson, Wade Harrison and Hunter Cooper to help with instruction during the clinic. Soon after news of the clinic reached Emily Jackson and she rallied Eric “EJ” Jackson, Dane Jackson and Nick Troutman to support me with Team JK. Now that we had a Plethora of Pros to help instruct at the clinic Hipgrave and I decided we wanted a better representation from Team NOC also, so he brought along Tosh Arwood from the NOC paddling School for more instruction support!
The level of paddling talent was off the chart that had come together to make this clinic happen and our 19 clinic participates had an amazing day on the water learning all sorts of long boat racing tips and tricks. The day was made even better with superb shuttle support from USA Raft to expedite us all getting to the put-in together with 30 long boats!
Check out this compilation of footage clips including instructional segments of the clinic that Shaun Mullins captured with his GoPro while on the river trip.
After the clinic Chris Hipgrave followed up with this great post on his blog with some of the tips that were covered in the clinic at http://chrishipgrave.com/2016/03/06/top-5-ways-to-improve-your-longboating/
Chris and I decided that since the clinic was so well received by all in attendance that we want to make this an annual event and coin it as “Long Boat Camp”! Stay tuned for details for the 2017 Long Boat Racing Clinic in late winter/early spring if you want to join us next year…
Photos by: USA Raft & Sarah Ruhlen