Date: Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Writing From: Costa Rica

If you haven’t watched the new trailer for the upcoming kayaking movie from the Congo, do it now, it’s 30 seconds: (Warning: NSFW language)

It got me thinking even more than usual – what is the limit for the sport of riverboarding?

Right now what riverboarding usually hails as ‘epic’, extreme kayakers don’t even bother classifying, because it’s just the stuff they paddle between the really good rapids.

But, there are definite differences between riverboarding and kayaking.

A world class kayaker in a 90 gallon creekboat has a lot more speed, much more buoyancy (as well as weight – and both are important), and another very key factor, much higher placed vision.

So are kayaking’s limits beyond ours, or are they also riverboarding’s limits?

Should we be more realistic with our approach, and instead of comparing what riverboarders can do with what kayakers can do, just focus on what riverboarding’s potential is?

Last weekend a number of the world’s best kayakers raced down class 5.6B Jacob’s Ladder on the N. Fork Payette.

Some of them, including a couple of the paddlers who were on that Congo mission, stated that it’s always scary running those rapids, and that they’re among the most challenging on the planet.

Well, I was there as safety when 3 riverboarders (Docta P, Alex Koutzoukis, and Kevin Yount) successfully ran Jake’s a couple years ago (photo sequence). While one of the boarders stated afterwards that really, “it’s on the fine line of just being out of control”, I think most kayakers would also say the same thing.

So is the N. Fork Payette an isolated comparison that won’t work across the broader spectrum of whitewater, or is it an indication that yes, if it’s kayakable, we can find a way to riverboard it?

I’m curious what you think about riverboarding’s potential in terms of going big, and why you believe what you believe is possible.

Feel free to comment below.

Until next time, get outside and FLI!

Josh Galt ~ FLI
Face Level Industries