French Broad: Section 9

Early this winter break I was able to have my personal first decent down Section 9 of the French Broad. My friend Travis took me down with a couple of his other friends and it was a huge learning experience. Although most of the learning was about preparation than actually kayaking skills. It was a colder day in December and I thought a double layer of neoprene and a dry top would be all the gear I would need. I was extremely wrong. I ended up swimming at one point and I was so cold afterwards that I couldn’t even get my spray skirt back on. I had to paddle through a few rapids before I could catch and eddy and get some help from the other kayakers in the group. Thankfully, this guy Bret switched paddles with me so that I could use his pogies.
The lesson I learned was this: I am a wimp when it comes to the cold. If I don’t have the right gear from no on, I ain’t paddling. I wouldn’t have been so miserable after that swim if I had had a drysuit on. Wetsuits and dry tops just don’t cut it during a North Carolina winter. I honestly don’t want to be a fair weather paddler but, I am going to have to prepare more from now on so that I can paddle in the winter. To all of those who bear this cold with minimal gear, props to you!
Even though I was cold, I was thankful that I was able to go down and get a taste of Section 9. It was the first river I got to go down with my new boat! I can now cross it off my list of things I need to paddle. Plus, I am quite sure I will be down it a lot this summer while I am in Asheville. So I can hone my eddy catching, my surfing, and other paddling skills. I am quite excited!!

Peace Ya’ll. 🙂

The French Broad

french_broad_riverlarge

I have rafted the French Broad before, but it has been so long that I barely even remember it. I want to go again, maybe even at high water!!

The French Broad River consist of many different types of experiences. There are generally three types of trips that happen on the French Broad: a half day trip that consists of class II and III rapids, a full day trip with II, III+, and a class IV, and the easy goin’ float down the river that starts in Hot Springs, NC.

If you want to take a trip check out:  http://www.frenchbroadrafting.com/

They’re a great local company and my Aunt who lives in Hot Springs says their guides are awesome!