Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Photos by Kenny Mutton from Kaituna Kayaks

Sam, Josh and Dylan at the bottom of the main section but still one more to go

Dylan clearing the weir - Sharn in front filming

Josh entering the rapid at the top.

Josh coming out of the melting drop feeling very small compared to the water

Josh at the weir

In December of last year I was lucky enough to join a film tour for the North Island part to paddle a number of cool rivers.  I just came across some photos that Kenny Mutton shot the day we ran Aratiatia Rapids for the second time. 

Sam at the top

We paddled it a few days before and this was our second attempt.  I think i was more nervous at the top this time than the first but all went well.  This would definatly be up there with one of the scariest things I have paddled.  It is not like a big waterfall that looks super impressive but is much harder.  This thing is committing from top to bottom. 
The crux comes in the middle at the weir but has many other parts that you need to be on your game for.  
Here are the SWEET shots from Kenny!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mangawhio - Blue duck Stream

While a bunch of us have been overseas in the northern hemisphere summers kayaking, some of the crew has been sticking it out here in the winter of New Zealand! One tends to see winter as a good opportunity to roll under a pile of leaves and hibernate for the duration of the cold but not these guys!

Ben Jackson and Brendan Bayly at an early confluence slide - Photo Bernard Oliver

A few years ago while studying with Brendan Bayly he told me about this little creek next to his house that had some big drops on it! he had a little video of him and his bro Darryl scouting it out. I was hooked! This thing was the business! That summer we went and stayed at B's house to check it out. It was low but we still wanted it. We bush bashed in to the lower section and ran a few small drops into the gorge. With minimal water and lots of trees in the bottom of the first drop we portaged to right about the 15m clean drop. We all ran it and it was sweet but we wanted more!

A view from the Bottom - Bernard Oliver

The next summer B told me there was more upstream that we needed to check out. While on a weekend in Taupo i got a call from B stayin it was raging and we needed to put on. I met him at his house and we ran from the top to bottom of this sick creek.

Drop 1 about 30 seconds into the run - Photo Bernard Oliver

With the second to last 10m drop still unpaddled we were left wanting more! While I was sitting in Norway this year I was talking to Ben on skype and he mentioned there was water in the area and he wanted to get this creek. I told him to ring B and go to it! They got on in good flow and B finally took out the drop we had been waiting for!

The one that kept us coming back! (this 10m drop is only 10m from the lip of 15m!)- photo Bernard Oliver

This is a Super classic river if you can catch it with water in it! Watch for trees and enjoy!
These photos are courtesy of Bernard Oliver who was on the latest descent of the Mangawhio!

Ben Jackson at the lip of drop 1 - Photo Bernard Oliver

Shot 2 - Bernard Oliver

Ben on the Boogie water heading into the gorge - Photo Bernard Oliver

Brendan setting up film at the 10m - photo Bernard Oliver

Brendan at one of many cool looking drops - photo Bernard Oliver

B sitting below the second to last drop - photo Bernard Oliver

Ben Jackson Lining it up - photo Bernard Oliver

The Last but not least drop! Is there anybody in there? Photo Bernard Oliver

Keep an eye out on as i hear there might be a little film coming out from this trip!
Cheers for the photos boys!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Words from the Wounded

Tim Starr (Timmy-9 Lives) checking off one on project 2000 - Photo Josh Neilson

The ideal year for me is long summers in beautiful countries, new rivers, new friends, good food etc etc... well this was how the year was going but i left out one thing... health! So far I have got away with a few broken bones, a few colds and flu's and the odd hang over. But this time its different. I feel good, Im healthy i want to go kayaking but i cant! Somewhere wrapped up in my neck, shoulder or arm is a nerve or something that is not happy. When Ii kayak it feels like my arm is stuck in a vice and i have no strength! So that beings be back to where the year has turned not so ideal... I am 1- injured and 2- not in a summer! I flew home to New Zealand a few days ago and now on my quest to get better!
With the lack of kayaking adventures i have been on in the past weeks and the lack of until im back in shape i can share pictures of my year so far before the injury.
Here are some shots from Norway! Land of abundant whitewater and beautiful....scenery!

Josh Neilson - Homerun section of the Mar - Photo Sam Sutton

Josh drop 2 homerun - Photo Sam Sutton

Sam at the top of the big one - Austbygdai - Photo Josh Neilson

Chilling in the sun at the lake in Austbygda

One of Norways many huge waterfalls - photo Josh Neilson

After a good day on Nose Breaker - photo Sam Sutton

Driving into the sunset that never gets dark! Off to Voss - Photo Josh Neilson

Yan, Mr Wong, Chingy, The man styling his line on Skoogsa Falls - photo Sam Sutton