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Hey Y’all! It’s Jedi Dave back with another update for upcoming events. Earlier this year I talked about water temps and staying safe in the cold, swift water rescue classes. Today I’m talking about being good river stewards. The first step to being a good river steward is “Packed In – Packed Out” also known as “Leave No Trace”. Its a real simple idea, and that anything we take with us, comes back with us. We can take it a step further and even try to leave it a cleaner place than we found it. That includes our campsites, the put in and take outs, and the river itself. Another way to be a good river steward is to help new paddlers experience the water in a safe and fun environment. It’s always best to paddle with friends for many reasons like safety, shuttle, and even having a friend to catch your awesome (or not so awesome) run on video. Encouraging new paddlers helps get more people on the river and helps you make new friends.

Speaking of new paddlers, locally there are a couple clinics coming up. First up is the BWA clinic on the Pigeon River. Although the BWA (Bluegrass Whitewater Association) is not directly affiliated with the Vikings, we share many of the same members, and ultimately have the same goal with clinics. The Viking beginner clinic is coming up soon as well and I want to encourage all boaters to participate in clinics when possible. New paddlers always benefit from beginner clinics, but many people don’t realize how much they can benefit from helping instruct, run safety, or chase boat. When you have to break down a technique or explain how to read rivers, you are practicing skills that “come naturally” and it causes you to refresh yourself somewhat.

My last note before I get to upcoming events where you may find Vikings in the wild, is another safety note. As the weather gets warmer, we will start to see more “recreational paddlers” on the water. Often referred to as “wreck boaters” these paddlers often have little clue the hazards ahead and are seriously unprepared. Ive seen families with kids and no PFD’s, I’ve seen kayaks being towed (adult towing young child) with no safe was to unhook, and I then theres the NUMEROUS times we have had to help local boaters that were hung up, swimming, or otherwise in trouble. Stay aware of your surroundings as well as paddlers around you, because you never know when a situation may develop right in front of you… and then you could be in trouble too.

Upcoming events where you may find Vikings in the wild:

  • May 12-14: BWA Beginner Clinic
  • May 20: Elkhorn River Cleanup
  • May 26-29: Memorial Day on the Ocoee
  • June 2-4: Russel Fork Trash Bash
  • June 9-10 Viking Beginner Clinic
  • June 23-25: Viking Summer Party
  • June 30-July 4: New River Party

These fall events to watch for:

  • Bridge Day – Fayetteville, WV
  • Gauley Season
  • Russel Fork Rendezvous
  • Guest Appreciation Festival – Nantahala Outdoor Center
  • Green Race