Sunday, May 30, 2010


Kayak Surfing and Playboating in Rivers and Ocean - California-Nevada Overview.

River Surfing Guide - California & Nevada Locations for Whitewater Freestyle Kayak Playboating.

American River NF-MF China Bar (III).
American River SF - Barking Dog Park & Surf.

Kern River NF - Camp 3 Wave.

Klamath River Marquis Playspot.
Klamath River Schoolhouse Playspot.

Trinity River - Pigeon Point Rodeo Hole.

Truckee River Whitewater Park, Reno Nevada.
Truckee River Whitewater Park, Sparks Nevada.

Ocean Surfing Guide - California Coast Locations for Freestyle Kayak Playboating.

Ocean Surf Kayaking Guide for the California Coast.

Surfing California & Nevada - Kayak Playboating Reports NEEDED !!

Please send your surfing trip reports from whitewater kayaking trips on rivers or ocean. Lets add more surfing locations to this guide. Stories, pictures & videos from kayak surfing and playboating trips will be linked here or posted here.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010


Shirttail Run, NF American River, whitewater kayaking class II+, trip report 15may2010.

California whitewater paddleboating on a glorious spring day!

PaulE, KimF, JimH, BruceH & I met at Hwy 80 Weimar Cross-Road exit 131 park & ride to kayak the NF American River Shirttail Run (guide & map) (Placer County, California, USA). The Ponderosa Road to take-out was in the worst condition than I've ever seen there, so high clearance vehicles are very helpful. Considering the bad condition of our government budgets these days who knows when they will give this road the regrading that it needs. The unusually high amount of late spring rain that we've had this year has sustained a little flow in Bunch Canyon Creek along Yankee Jim's Road to put-in. This has also enabled an explosion of wildflowers better than I have ever seen there in the past.

Click on the photo to see a larger version; use the back button to return.

NF American River Shirttail Run whitewater kayaking
• photo 20 - PauE

NF American River Shirttail Run whitewater kayaking
• photo 30 - KimF

With four Shirttail Run veterans and one newbie we had a nice mellow day on the river. Remembering to stretch my hamstring and lower back muscles at put-in really helped me to start the day with a good range of motion and comfort while paddling. I took it very easy and boated very carefully knowing that I was out-of-shape and out-of-practice from not boating the past few months. Nevertheless I did blunder into one medium-sized hole early in the run, but fortunately I punched it perpendicular and was able to get right through it and remained upright. I really enjoyed the way our group kept pretty close together throughout the day, but that made it hard to get good photos of other boaters. By the time I was semi-stabilized in an eddy the rest of the group was already zooming in to join me, so there often wasn't enough time to get the camera turned on to get all the shots that I wanted.

NF American River Shirttail Run whitewater kayaking
• photo 43 - BruceH

NF American River Shirttail Run whitewater kayaking
• photo 44 - JimH

• See more photos: NF American River Shirttail Run photo gallery.
• Camera: Olympus 720SW water-resistant.)

JimH photos from Shirttail Run NF American River kayaking.
• Camera: Olympus Stylus 850SW camera.
JimH trip report from NF American River Shirttail Run whitewater kayaking.

The crux of the run is Rapid 3 1/2 where some of us ran right of the island and some of us ran left. Fortunately we all stayed out of the holes, especially the big boat-eating hole at the bottom of the rapid on river-right. There was a rumor that Jim got a great long ride on the big wave at Surf City, but with few witnesses and no photos what can you say?

We had lunch on a nice beach just a little downstream from Surf City and Big Bend. A few commercial rafts went by, but mostly we had the river to ourselves all day. The other crux of the run is the giant boat-eating hole that is hiding in a bend of the river toward the end of the run. There was a nice wide channel on river-left to avoid the hole and we all got past it without any problems. We took out at ~2 PM, so I estimate that the 1700 cfs flow we boated on all day passed the gauge far downstream at ~4 PM.

On the way home we stopped to eat at The Burrito Shop in Auburn California (Hwy 80 exit 121 at Foresthill Auburn Ravine Road). Their Southwest Chicken Burrito was great after I added a little salsa to heat up the spicing a little.

My homemade sports drink recipe flavor of the day was made by precisely diluting juice from Langers Cranberry Pomegranate Blueberry Plus. I brought a whole gallon of the sports drink, finished the first quart while driving to the river, finished the second quart at lunch, the third quart at take-out and finished the last of the gallon on the drive home. This kept me pretty well hydrated for a short mellow run on a mild spring day. I peed at put-in, lunchtime, at the restaurant and immediately when I got home. I'm sure that most paddleboaters are significantly dehydrated most of the time on the river because I don't see other boaters drinking very often or peeing very often during boating trips. Muscle performance drops when the body is dehydrated, so how much of your paddling performance are you willing to sacrifice? Dehydration also adds to the muscle soreness and tired feelings we have at the end of a day of boating, so if drinking more helps me to perform better at my favorite sport and feel better afterwards that sounds pretty good to me!!

More about:
Shirttail Run, NF American River, kayaking class II+, trip report 06april2008.
California Whitewater Kayaking Trip Reports - BRT Insights.
California Whitewater Rivers and Creeks - Comprehensive Guide for Paddleboating Class II to IV.

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Monday, May 03, 2010


How to use whitewater river paddleboating guides.

1. All river guides are always out-of-date. Rivers are dynamic and changeable places, which is one of the main things that makes paddleboating such an awesome sport. The river that I run today & the river boating guide that I write immediately thereafter is expected to be out-of-date tomorrow due to possible changes in river flow, rockslide, tree fall, etc.

2. Additional sources of river information. More information about any whitewater river paddleboating run is typically available by contacting local whitewater businesses, local whitewater boating clubs, online whitewater forums, and recent river flow data.

3. Doctrine of personal responsibility. All whitewater boaters are personally responsible for their own decisions about when & where to boat, who to include in their boating team, when to scout from shore, when to portage and when to hike out from the river canyon. All whitewater boaters are personally responsible to understand the risks involved in this sport, to learn the paddleboating skills they need to navigate the river safely, and to be prepared for the unforeseen situations that often occur in the changing river environment. Those who want to get started in whitewater paddleboating are encouraged to take whitewater boater training classes with a qualified instructor and to continue learning on whitewater boating club river trips together with more experienced boaters.

4. Multiple sources of information. My whitewater river paddleboating guides are based on multiple sources of information wherever possible. These include my personal kayaking experience, printed river guides, online river guides, and trip reports from other paddleboaters. I have made a special effort to reference every book that has been published and hyperlink to every useful website that has been written on the subject of California/Nevada whitewater rivers. Many river runs that I have not personally boated are described exclusively from the second-hand sources referenced in the river guides. No single river guide should be used as a sole source of information when planning your paddleboating trip on an unfamiliar river. You too should read thoroughly from multiple printed river guides & online river guides and seek other sources of river information (see #2 above).

5. These river guides will be updated. River trip report updates from other boaters are greatly appreciated. These whitewater river guides will be updated when new information becomes available to me. Contact me to contribute your knowledge towards making these guides better for the whitewater boating community.

6. Disclaimers. I accept no liability for any of my whitewater river guides that are out-of-date, incomplete or innacurate (see #1 above). See the disclaimers from the whitewater river guidebooks that are frequently referenced in this guide: Dwyer disclaimer, Schwind disclaimer, Holbeck & Stanley disclaimer, & Cassady disclaimer.

California Whitewater River Paddleboating Guides.

California Whitewater Rivers & Creeks Guide - Geographic List.
California Whitewater Rivers & Creeks Guide - Alphabetical List.


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