A few years back I started a whitewater women specific blog called Paddle In Pink and we started putting on two events each year that we named our Confidence Series. The first being a creeking event and the second being a playboating event. On July 9, 26 women gathered to paddle the pigeon river in Tennessee. Wes Bradley with JAW (Jackson Action Wagon) came armed with demos for the ladies to take out for the day.
The women were divided based on their boat and what they wanted to learn for the day: slicey boat, learning to splat and get vertical for the day or short stubby playboat, learning to surf, wave wheel, loop and whatever else anyone wanted to learn. The slicey groups were lead by Katie Dean (of Dagger) and Nikki Malatin (Pyranha) while I took on the playboat group. Not expecting such a big turn out, it was great to have Diane Brasuell (Jackson Kayak) and Katie Jackson (Jackson Kayak) help me out with the playboat group.
Time was spent working on various “moves” but one thing is certain, fun was the name of the game. I couldn’t stop smiling watching everyone try new things and learn moves they had been working on. It was great working with members from other teams and seeing everyone unite in one goal, gaining playboating confidence.
To end the day, SweetWater Brewing Company sponsored some adult beverages, music was played and with little to no energy left, most everyone played in the NOC hole at the end of the run. To conclude an amazing day on the water, schwag was given out and winners of the raffle were drawn. Paddle in Pink donated a few shirts, Astral donated pro-cards (50% off an entire purchase) and Jackson kayak donated a Rockstar. All proceeds went to the Humane Society in memory of Jennifer Watson who was a south eastern paddler that lost her life to the river 4 years ago. The event was a huge success with plans already starting for next year’s event so stay tuned!
A huge thanks to all the women that came out, all the help for leading and teaching, and to all the sponsors (Jackson Kayak, Dagger, Pyranha, SweetWater Brewing Company, Astral, and the NOC.)