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Showing posts from 2012

Going to the Grand Prix

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I am excited and honored to be invited to the 2012 Whitewater Grand Prix (WWGP) in Chile. The WWGP in its second year is fast becoming the event which defines and showcases the current elite group of paddlers in the world. I am one of only five females competing in this event and am super excited to get to know my fellow female racers, Congrats girls! Below is the video entry that earned me my spot. Here is a second video that is a bit more light-hearted that Leif and I made in 2011 when we thought that the 2012 WWGP would be in Canada and would include playboating.


Natalie Anderson Grand Prix entry video from Leif Anderson on Vimeo.
Although many people, kayakers and non kayakers alike, view this event as extreme and dangerous, I see it as a gathering of highly skilled athletes gracefully accomplishing a set of challenges laid out in front of them. I have worked hard to be where I am as a paddler today and I invite you to read my essay below detailing some of the reasons why I have…

Gear Auction

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In order to help fund our trip to the 2012 Grand Prix in Chile, our sponsors have graciously donated some gear that we are selling to support our trip. If you are interested in any of the items below,  make a bid in the comments section at the end of the blog.  Bidding ends the day we leave, Nov 26th.  If you are the winning bid, after you pay us we'll get the items shipped to you.  If you win the drysuit you may just have to wait until after we get back in January.  The other items will ship straight from the sponsors.

Also, note that this whole thing is sort of informal. We reserve the right at any time to totally change the rules, and by "bidding" here you are not entering into any formal legal agreement. This ain't ebay. And we don't want to get sued.
New Men's Large Bpod with neoprene gasket from Stohlquist. $700 value. The suit shown in the link above is black, but the one we have for sale is that nice yellow/mango type color. We have the suit and w…

Summer roadtrip video

If you live in Colorado, summer has been over for about 13 months now. However, if you're an international rock star, the party never stops, and the season is endless.

You can guess which category Natalie and I are in.

We had an awesome summer this year. Early in the season, we collected a lot of creekboating footage around Colorado for Natalie's 2012 Grand Prix application. It was good that we did that early, because the Colorado season never really happened this year. That didn't matter to us, though, because we were off to Idaho for the North Fork Championships and playboating on the Salmon, then onward to the Colombia Gorge, Skookumchuck, British Colombia, and finally our home away from home, the Slave River in the Northwest Territories.

We playboated, creekboated, and just had a great time traveling around. For the majority of the trip, we were joined by Markus and Maria from Germany, who are on a year-long sabbatical, traveling, kayaking, and raising money fo…

Natalie's Grand Prix audition video

For more than a year now, we have been scheming and plotting, hoping to get Natalie invited to the 2012 Whitewater Grand Prix in Chile. We were about 6 months ahead of schedule making an application video (which you can see here). We had it finished before they even announced the location and format of the 2012 Grand Prix. Of course, as we know now, the 2012 event is going to be exclusively creek races, no freestyle events, so our original video, which was designed to show how well rounded of a paddler she was, no longer actually addressed the event. So we gathered more footage around Colorado, British Colombia, and basically wherever we could find water, and we put together this video:

Natalie Anderson Grand Prix entry video from Leif Anderson on Vimeo. We barely got it done before the deadline, which was funny since in a way we had been working on it for over a year. I was pretty proud of my fancy editing work. Not so much the editing itself (although I am proud of that), but…

GoPro Philosophy (and another stern mount)

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I wrote a blog post a while back about some of the mounts and accessories that I had built for my GoPro, along with a video that got surprisingly popular (the article can be found right here). I've been thinking about it, and I decided to expand a little bit, and talk more directly about my philosophy of filming with the GoPro.

Also, I built another stern mount, which I'll describe first. If you want to skip straight to the philosophy, click here.

The new stern mount is a little lower profile. The Narwhal mount from last time provides a better view of the surroundings, but it's not right for every situation. It sticks up really high, so flipping over is not advised, and swimming is very bad. Also, if you do flip over, or brush the mount against a rock wall or something, it tends to get loose and start wobbling a lot. To fix all these issues in one fell swoop, I designed the new stern mount. It's a little specific to my boat (Fluid Bazooka) but the basic idea w…

Gore Race 2012

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Here is a video that I put together from the weekend. I didn't have much footage of other people, so it's mostly my personal race experience. Enjoy!

It's that time of year again, where I scramble into the car and book it back to Colorado from the Slave River, just barely in time for Gore Race. This year, I trained extra hard while I was up at the Slave, trying to paddle hard for about 10-20 minutes on flatwater every day. Also, this year I had the large Bazooka, a very fast but still very manuverable boat. I was primed for a rematch against Conor Flynn, my nemesis.

Conor is a fast paddler. We've had a rivalry for a long time. At the last Gore race, Conor took first in the creekboat class, with me in 6th. My private goal this year was to beat Conor.

Come race day, I was feeling pretty stoked. Conor and I paddled in together across the flatwater, each of us paddling a little faster than we were comfortable, but trying to pretend that it was easy. He was th…

Slave 2012 - Week 3

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Here are a couple handy Slave-related links:
Map of the rapids
last year (week 1, week 2, week 3, goodbye, wood video)

Best of this year

2012 Week 1
2012 Week 2
Week 3 - Or maybe week 3 and a half? How did a whole week go by without me updating the blog? I'll tell you how: there were sick waves in every day, so I paddled all day, then went to bed. The water levels have just risen back up to 5300 cms (187,000 cfs), so nothing really good is in. However, for the last week or so, we've been surfing Rollercoaster almost every day. We took a lot of video, so we don't have quite so many stills, but it's still a large amount of media to sort through for this post.

Paddle mount GoPro. Slave 2012The lighting is cool! Go do a trick right now! Photo by Mike Seitzinger. Slave 2012Clearly not staged at all. Slave 2012One of my favorite photos of all time. Slave 2012From Slave 2012From Slave 2012We built a staircase for the Cassette takeout. Here is Natalie trying it out. Slave 201…

Slave 2012 - Week 2

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Here are a couple handy Slave-related links:
Map of the rapids
last year (week 1, week 2, week 3, goodbye, wood video)

2012 Week 1
2012 Week 3
Best of this year
Week 2 - New rapid and Sweet Spot Right at the end of last week, there was an explosion of new people. On their first day, we led them through the new rapid. We made Jen Eddie and Markus Leppaenen run it blind, because you can only do that once. The line got a little narrower with the reduced flows, which led to some great laughs after the rapid.

After that, we headed over to Cassette Rapids, where we finally found the water level where the feature called "The Bitch" is good to surf. No, we did not make up the name. The name of that feature has a bit of a story behind it, but let's just say that it's a little too... shocking... for the blog. If you know the story, that was hilarious. If not, sorry, that was probably nonsense. And then I said, "yeah, left is fine. Hahaha!" Slave 2012From Slave 2…