Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Slaloming- The Beginning

2nd place in my first ever slalom event!

So, even though I'm relatively well known for "extreme" kayaking, I have wanted to do something different for years. I have never had the time, money, or ability to do anything different than the stuff right in my backyard. This year is different. I have a job, some money, and a little bit more "free" time. 
Whee!!! Probably my favorite move on the USNWC course.
 I have now done three different slalom races. The NOC Glacier Breaker (2nd), the NOC Bank of America Open (5th), and the Spring Race at the USNWC (3rd). Slalom is very different than anything that I have done in a kayak. Yes, its in a kayak, yes, there are two blades, yes, its on a river (kind of). But pretty much everything else is different. The edging is backwards, there are poles you have to go around and make sure you dont hit your paddle (or head), and its very serious! 

Be very careful!!!
I have been very lucky with my "transition" into slalom with the US Team members (and others), who train at the USNWC. Most of them already knew who I was because of my other endeavors and I always have a big smile on my face. It's hard for them to not laugh at some of the things that I do. On the other hand, they see how much I want to do well in this sport and my affinity for learning very quickly, this could help me very much in the future. I am also very blessed to have the boyfriend that I have and the support of my family behind me, for the opening of this new chapter. 
Trying to go faster
So far in my slalom fun; I have flipped in class 2, almost swam at the USNWC, head butted more than 1 gate, and learned loads!! I need to thank Pablo McCandless at the USNWC for not only letting me borrow his slalom boat and skirt, but for coaching me and pushing me to always be better. For the time being, I have Pablo helping me out loads, and a lot of learning on my own to do. 
Snowy and I taking the time between races to explore the other  super fun activities that the USNWC has to offer!
Redefining what slalom kayakers should wear!!
So here's to the beginning of another chapter of my kayaking experience. For anyone who does not know, I am also doing a fundraiser to raise money for a foundation called First Descents. It is easy to donate, wether its 5$ or 500$ all donations go towards funding someone who has either beat cancer or is actively fighting cancer to camp to learn how to whitewater kayak. In June, I will be shaving my head (20 inches of hair) and donating it to a cause that will help out people who are losing, or can't grow, their own hair. Just push the click the link below and go for it, every cent counts. 

Huge thanks to all of my sponsors; Jen-ai apparel (best quick dry and cute skirts around), Werner Paddles, Liquid Logic kayaks, Kokatat, Shred Ready, and Smith Optics

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