Saturday, July 24, 2010

the paddle cam

Boyd filming Josh, photo by Samantha Brunner

So we met up with our friend Josh Oberleas in Crested Butte, CO to catch the last of Oh Be Joyful Creek for the season. With filming ambitions in mind all around, we broke out the GoPro Heros and put an idea Josh had been working on to good use: the GoPro paddle!

Josh Oberleas on the lip, patiently waiting with his GoPro paddle
photo by Samantha Brunner

Josh broke a paddle a while back and decided to put a flat mount on the paddle blade for his GoPro Hero HD. With the broomstick extender in place (high tech lol and true to a paddlers budget), we could hold it out over the drops, follow each other, and create more dramatic motion in our filming. Now obviously I'm sure we're not the first to do this; but it just goes to show that with the small helmet cams these days, a little imagination can go a long ways. I've taken the same idea to my break down, but with extra shaft segments, so it doubles as a filming tool... pretty sweet!

Boyd Ruppelt dropping in under the paddle cam while Josh films
photo by Samantha Brunner

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crystal Punch Bowls

With things getting low I decided to try for the punchbowls from the Crested Butte side, the easy way, especially since my Tacoma is a bit low and only 2WD. We got shut down on the first attempt by snow over the road early on. We went back a few days later and some more defined ruts in the snow (not in the video) made it a bit safer to cross. After hiking in we were met with the thunderstorm/slush/hail storm from got cold fast and we were pelted with large slush/ice balls mixed with rain and strong wind. After hiding under a tree for a little while things were getting worse, including the lightening. We narrowly escaped the muddy road in my 2WD truck, left my boat in the gorge for a sunny return, and returned the next day for an easy hike in (without a boat) and a beautiful day in the punchbowls. Seems like every trip in there is epic in its own way, making the rewards that much sweeter. So with the journey in mind as the destination in itself check out the video. :-)

Special thanks to Neal, Dalton, Samantha Brunner, and Bryant for fliming, taking pictures, and helping me get it done. good times...

Photos by Samantha Brunner and Bryant Haley

Sunday, July 04, 2010

OKC Kayak Visit

Above left to right: Tony, Austin, and yours truly

On our way to Colorado we had the pleasure of stopping by one of Jackson Kayak's incredible dealers, OKC Kayak. These guys definitely have it going on and despite the lack of whitewater, they have put together quite a shop and rental program! When you first walk in you can tell they're family, but that alone isn't what sets these guys apart. Hours from any whitewater, OKC has a paddlesports specific shop with kayaks and canoes everywhere and a constant flow of traffic. What really blew us away was their connection to the local community, the secret to their success. I've never found an outfitter or livery with consistent volunteers helping with everything from sales, to stocking, etc... just to be closer to the people they paddle with. OKC has weekly "Social Paddles" where the shop rents kayaks and paddles with their local club, community, and customers. Once they're hooked or ready for something new, OKC not only sets them up with gear and boats, but with a whole group of friends to paddle with. To us, this is what kayaking is all about.

Thanks OKC!

Boyd Ruppelt & Samantha Brunner