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Showing posts with label Riverboarding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Riverboarding. Show all posts

What The Hell Is River Bugging ?

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Here, I present you another relatively new, crazy, adrenaline-filled water sport -river bugging.
"What is river bugging?" - you ask. In a nutshell, it's river tubing with a twist.

Instead of a tube, you sit in an ... inflatable armchair, pitting your wits (and other parts of your anatomy) against fast-moving rapids, bouncing off rocks and rafting down eddies into icy pools of water below. Your hands are covered in webbed gloves and you also wear short flippers, to help you manoeuvre around the river currents. You also wear the standard "whitewater outfit"- (full body) wetsuit, PFD and a helmet.

Riverboarding In Washington.

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The goal of my blog is to introduce "regular" people to the variety of outdoor activities and help them experience every adventure that our state has to offer in the most affordable and safe way. So far, I've covered many activities and adventures. But today, I want to write about one that will not be available to the general public ( at least in our state) any time soon - Riverboarding.
Riverboarding is the North American name for a watersport in which the participant is prone on the board with fins on his/her feet for propulsion and steering. This sport is also known as hydrospeed in Europe and white-water sledging in New Zealand.
I have tried bodyboarding in the ocean, on my trips to Hawaii and California. But I have to tell you, there is absolutely no comparison between these two sports ( actually, I wouldn't even call bodyboarding a sport). Don't believe me? Check out this video:

What Is Bungee Surfing ?

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I was absolutely stoked to find out about river surfing a couple years ago. Whitewater stand up paddleboarding is getting more and more popular. Riverboarding and river bugging is huge in New Zealand.

But not many people heard about bungee surfing yet. And till recently, I had no idea it originated in ...Idaho !

Though thousand miles away from the nearest ocean, Idaho has an abundance of rivers with Snake and Salmon Rivers are among the most famous and popular among whitewater community.

But unlike whitewater rafting or kayaking, bungee surfing takes place on a different kind of water - “Fast Glass”, water that is moving fast, but has a smooth surface.

Comparing to river surfing ( where you "drop into" a standing wave ), I like the concept behind bungee surfing a bit more. It's not easy to explain, so to better understand what bungee surfing is al about, check out the video below:

I learned about bungee surfing from the Man behind this sport, Robert Geier, inventor and CEO of EVEN Surf Company

After watching the video, and reading a few posts on the companies' blog, I got a general idea how bungee surfing works.

But a few things still remain a mystery to me.

While you can find a bungee cord online or at your local skateboard shop, I still have hard time figuring out how the patented release system works.

Also, if you've ever been in fast moving water, you know that it has its dangers :
strainers, sieves, rocks, derbies, bridge pillars, unacceptable river banks, dams...
Not wearing PFD ( life vest ) will increase your chances of drowning. Not wearing a helmet ( and sometimes pads ) might result in sever injuries.

And finally, according to the information provided, bungee surfing is more difficult than ocean surfing.

How hard could it be ? It it just for "young and restless", or for all ages ? Is it going to be a new popular mainstream water sport, or just for a few chosen ones and most dedicated ?

Personally, I can't wait to try it, and may be later, to introduce bungee surfing in Washington...

River surfing and river boarding the mighty Zambezi River

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As I wrote in my previous post, the Zambezi River is recognized by rafting and kayaking enthusiasts as one of the top ten paddling rivers on the planet.
Home to the famous Victoria Falls, with the rapids like " "Stairway to Heaven" and "Oblivion" , the Zambezi River is classified as Grade 5 - "extremely difficult, long and violent rapids, steep gradients, big drops and pressure areas". Meaning ? It's pretty wild !

Pioneered by river boaders in 1996, it was only a matter of time before someone thought about surfing one of it's standing waves.

Depending on the season ( somewhere around mid- January and early July ) when the water level in Zambezi is dropping naturally, it creates an opportunity for some fantastic surfing, both for beginner and expert surfers.

Riverboarding is going to be huge in Washington.

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This summer I wrote a post about a new and exciting water sport of riverboarding. And though , popular in Europe and New Zealand, and making its way in the North America, in Washington state this water sport is relatively new. But it's all going to change...

The Washington state pioneer of the sport and a former professional bodyboarder ( you can't be "former " if you still practice the sport) Rochelle Parry is planning on starting a riverboarding class at Western Washington University, where she works as a graphic designer.
She plans to work with the University's outdoor program to provide gear rentals and instruction. While it is cold, the Pacific NW has some of the best whitewater in the US and because of all the rain, rivers typically run most of the year.
The rumor is, as soon as next spring , anybody interested in the emerging sport of riverboarding ( or anybody interested in experiencing the life in its full capacity) will be able to give it a try ( and get hooked !) in a "safe and controlled" environment.

For now, visit Rochelle's web site to learn more about the sport ( don't mind that its spelled F.U.Q.. She is a funny girl ) and get a better idea of what to expect ( watch the videos and get stoked!).