From pool to white-water river: kayaking

Experience is Christensen's forte in instructing kayak class
Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 5:48pm

From the rapids of Price City's Desert Wave Pool to the rapids on Colorado's Westwater canyon, the College of Eastern Utah students have the opportunity to do it all in a kayaking class fall semester.

Here's a quick question and answer session with the instructor of the class, Bo Christensen.

Q: What are the biggest hazards that go with kayaking?

A: Strainers! (Anything that water can get through, but a kayaker can't, i.e. log jam, rock sieve) Stay away! Your life literally depends on it.

Q: What is the hardest part? Easiest?

A: Hardest - Staying relaxed. The more stressed you are the more rigid you are with the boat and easier you flip. Easiest - Having a good time. I dare somebody not to have a good time while they are kayaking ... impossible.

Q: What is the most important thing to know?

A: You must be confident in what and where you are kayaking. If you are not, just pass. It takes a lot more guts to portage a rapid than to just run it. There is humility to be learned with the sport of kayaking.

Q: What is the best part about kayaking for you?

A: The new experiences that come with every river trip. Kayaking has taken me all over the Western Hemisphere on many different river adventures.

Q: Where are some of the best places to go in Utah? The U.S.?

A: Utah has some of the most famous white-water river sections in the world. Running white-water rivers first started in Utah with John Wesley Powell's epic adventure down the full length of the Green River to the confluence with the Colorado and all the way through the Grand Canyon. It would take book to mention all of the great kayaking spots in Utah and across the U.S., but Utah is one of the best places you could be for every variety of river.

Q: Is kayaking primarily a fall or spring event?

A: Kayaking has become a year-round activity in recent years, only by a handful of us though. Most people get out between May and August.

Q: Will there be any more clinics this semester? Spring?

A: During spring semester there will be clinics in the wave pool and also free river trips available to students interested in learning to kayak, or just get out on the river for some rafting. Keep an eye on the CEU outdoors calendar for spring activities.

Q: Are there any more trips this semester?

A: We did our last trip on October 3-4 down Westwater Canyon.

Q: How many credits does the class offer?

A: Each class is one credit.

Q: When does the spring semester class begin?

A: The kayaking I class will be during the first block and kayaking II during the second block.

Hopefully some light has been shed on the subject of kayaking. Going out and having a good time is what they promote. Who could ask for better?

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