Extreme Kayaking - Kayaking at Your Own Risk!
Extreme kayaking can be done in many ways, but most experienced kayakers prefer to slide down the face of a waterfall and land into the busy waters below. Therefore, the equipment used in extreme kayaking differs greatly from that in classic kayaking. Extreme kayaks are built to withstand the rugged waters and speed. The most popular materials used to make these boats are fiberglass and Kevlar, making for a durable surface if scratched or damaged in any way. The boats range in size for extreme kayaking, from big enough to hold one person to twelve feet or longer.
The International Scale of River Difficulty places the difficulty of rivers into classifications. This is how to decide where the best conditions are for extreme kayaking. Typical kayaking is done on rivers with a Class I grade, being the smoothest and tranquil waters. Extreme kayaking is done on Class III-IV grades, which are recommended for advanced kayakers only. There are different types of extreme kayaking and not all of them involve plunging down a waterfall into a flowing stream of rugged water. If you're comfortable with your ability to handle rough water but not yet ready to take a 45 foot plunge, you can try out river running. This is a form of extreme kayaking that promises bumps, twists, and turns down rocky waters, but doesn't involve kayaking off any cliffs or down great distances. An extension of this is called "creeking", where extreme kayakers can experience a little more excitement by closely riding the ledges and creeks and dropping down shorter waterfalls.
Freestyle extreme kayaking doesn't involve making your way from one point to another, but rather staying in one spot as you work against the current and using various maneuvers to stay above water. This is sure to be a physical challenge and should only be attempted by expert extreme kayakers.
Asheville, North Carolina is a popular spot for extreme kayaking. Asheville offers three different classes of river difficulty, making it ideal for beginners and expert extreme kayakers. The most famous creek for whitewater creek is Big Creek, and is used daily by extreme kayakers. You can also find rapid waters ideal for extreme kayaking in areas of Oregon and Colorado. A search of the internet will provide you a list of ideal locations nearby and all across the country.
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