Monday, November 3, 2014

Sacramento River SUP Weekend - Saturday

I had to be in Red Bluff Saturday night to promote the California 100 at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.  Red Bluff is 175 miles from the Bay Area, so I felt I should take advantage of being up there and hit up the Sacramento River in Redding for some playtime.  I loaded the car with paddling gear and planned to get at least two river sessions in with Jason from Just Kayak More.  JKM is the local paddling club in the Redding area and are highly active river paddlers, preferring upriver paddles and playing on river features over traditional flatwater or downriver paddling.  Jason has been an incredible resource to Rivers for Change and a number of Cal 100 competitors.

I met up with him Saturday morning and we quickly met the rest of group at Lake Redding for an 8am launch.  Lake Redding is actually a body of water on the Sacramento river sandwiched between two dams.  It has current and we paddled up it until we got to this fun little constriction that offered a center channel and two good play spots on each side of the river.  We were with a small group of regulars and everyone showed up with great paddling skill and positive attitudes.  Nice group of people to paddle with and I had some good success surfing the uppermost wave on a 14' board.  It took me a number of tries before dialing it in, but once I got it I was able to stick in the wave and surf back and forth.  River surfing is such fun and great training and I was ear to ear smiles.  Plus, I had the treat of paddling in freshwater which is always a nice change.

To cool down after playing, we finished the upriver paddle by making our way all the way up to Keswick Dam, the furthest place we could legally paddle without a portage.  Nice day.

William Holley ferrying to the play wave.  photo by Jason Montelongo.

Riding the Red Paddle Co 14' Elite Inflatable.  Photo by Jason Montelongo.

Ferrying over.  Photo by Jason Montelongo.
Getting comfortable on the wave.  Photo by Jason Montelongo.

Jason Montelongo puts down the camera to have a turn.

Nice paddling spot

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