David working on his boof stroke timing. He waits patiently, hanging on his stroke until the lip of the drop and then--boom!--fires one off to clear the hole!
Ecuador, it turns out, is the perfect training ground for up and coming creek boaters.
Chris on the Cosanga River taking a late boof stroke since this hole slopes more without a defined "take off ledge." He's doing an excellent job of releasing the nose of his boat from the water to avoid plugging the hole
In recent conversations about the importance of practicing creeking skills like boofing and boat scouting over and over again, I realized just how lucky we are in Ecuador. Repetition is key for mastering skills and it’s often hard to fine repetition without boring yourself on the same stretch of river over and over again.
Martha, also being patient for her late boof stoke on another sloping hole on the Rio Piatua
Someone once said that you need 10,000 hours of practice before you can become and “expert” at anything.
David practicing boat scouting skills at "Eye of the Whale" on the Cosanga
We’ll, I’m sorry to say you won’t get 10,000 hours of paddling done in your week of kayaking with SWA, but you will get 7 full days of super quality practice in on an incredible variety of rivers. This will equal roughly 40 hours of practice which will set you right on your way to becoming an expert!
One of the best things about creeking is some of the incredible places it will take you. Don looks after the group in front of an amazing boulder on the Piatua.
With runs like the Upper Mis and the Piatua you can literally do 40 + new boofs in just a single run. That is some serious practice.
Kayakers in the jungle. Stiener, Daivd and Megi looking small amongst the giant ferns on the Upper Misahualli. Kayakers are always impressed by the "house plants on steroids" they see while boating in Ecuador
Both rivers are also equally good for boat scouting as the eddies are countless and the gradient is just the right steepness (130 fpm on the Upper Mis and 110 fpm on the Piatua) as to not make it too easy to bomb down but easy enough to learn to boat scout when you aren’t well practiced in this skill.
Martha, stoked on the sunshine, clear water, and granite boulders!
Then you have the Cosanga, Quijos (some of the upper sections) and Oyacachi which are bigger rivers that have a somewhat creeky feel. These rivers let new creekers feel the push of bigger water while still throwing boofs, boulders and tricky, technical moves in their way as well.
This is what Megi's boof looked like on day 1 of the trip. Her boat placement and angle are leaving a little to be desired...(Sorry Megi, I only put this up because the next boof is SICK! and I knew you could take it)
So, in 7 days of creeking in Ecuador, paddlers will get to encounter a wide variety of character and features which in the end will make them better, more experienced paddlers.
Megi's boof on day 4. Perfect boat placement, boat angle, body positioning, stroke placement and timing! Good work Megi!
It’s amazing how much we watch paddlers progress on these trips. 7 consecutive days of paddling with coaching, video review, and skills practice goes a LONG way in paddler’s development!
Paddlers enjoying some rainforest scenery on the Rio Cosanga
Couples boating! E.J. leads the way through the wall boof as his sweetie-pie Martha follows him down
El Polaka charging his way through the Upper Piatua
You gotta love Ecuadorian ingenuity! Rolling out empanadas with a beer bottle in Baeza
Steiner and Megi waiting patiently for their fresh out of the oil empanadas
So what are you waiting for? Get down to Ecuador and refine those paddling skills on some of the world’s most awesome rivers!