The Near Death Experience, Choosing The Right Kayak.

13 min read

 

 

 

Best Kayak For Beginners and I almost drowned.

 

Hey you are ready to buy a kayak? Yeah I think everybody should own a kayak it’s such a fun, relaxing and stress relieving time. It really doesn’t matter if you have a lake kayak, a river kayak or an ocean kayak you could start thinking about kayaking gift ideas.

If your like me you already have a hybrid kayak or want a hybrid kayak. Either way it’s all about enjoying your time away from work and life stress but you want to buy the right kayak for what you want to use it for.

 

 

Grab Your Battle Buddy!

 

Trenton is my battle buddy, he always calls me at random times. I could get a call from him from him at 2 a.m. He will be like “hey dude what are you doing” and I’ll tell him I’m sleeping and Trent replies “That’s cool, well you want to go hike around Mount Hood?”.

That’s when I grumble “dude that’s… that’s over a 40 mile circumference trail…………..alright when do you want to do it?”. Trenton always replies “Well right now.”

 

 

I pack my hiking bag and rally my car over to trents house. Less then half hour passed from our 2 a.m phone call and we are in his truck pulling out of the drive leaving his tiny home in the rear view.

The all to familiar bounce of his old truck suspension, letting us know it’s time to hit the hills. I’d ride with Trent anytime anywhere true battle buddies.

A battle buddy is always down, someone you call whenever for whatever. When you get that call at any time and no matter what it is, out of respect for yourself and respect for them you gotta say yes.

 

 

The longest weekend paddle, I’m surprised I’m alive. He he he..

 

So Trent calls me up and he’s like “hey I really want to go kayak a long river, something that will take us 3 days to kayak. long enough for us to camp and kayak all the way to the ocean.” and I was like “oh shit, yeah let me start scouting”.

We took a couple days to get scouting to find the perfect kayak camping river. We ended our search with the Nehalem River in Oregon. We chose that River for it’s length and its perfect rate of flow.

Also because we get 117 miles of kayaking, from where we put in all the way to the mouth where where it meets the ocean. We figured shoot 117 Miles, that should give us the three days worth of kayaking that we wanted.

 

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We packed our kayak camping gear, being careful to only grab and add our lightweight camping Essentials because on a kayak you can only hold so much gear.

If you pack to much, it’s a pain in the ass to take on and off when all you’re trying to do is just get a simple matchbook out of the bottom of your packed kayak.

I packed up my sweet hammock, my Jet boil and loaded up a few other sweet Necessities that I would want along during the river float. Also packed my flashlight, my knife with other essentials.

 

I stuffed it all in my 3-day pack and tucked that pack into a waterproof bag. My gear has been soaked before and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen this time.

The river was calm, I decided I have to take my hybrid kayak because that’s the closest thing I have to match this rivers style. To get it on for 3 days straight I needed the hybrid kayak, I knew it was going to be the most comfortable.

Even though I have a really sweet hybrid kayak I like to do a lot of fishing off of, it’s actually meant for rivers and lakes not waterfalls.

 

The reason why I wanted a hybrid kayak was because it needed to be stable. I need to be able to concentrate on wrestling in the fish and real in a big fat piece of dinner not worrying about flipping.

The Nehalem River is really good for long distance kayaking because it’s a smooth flowing river. You know the type you just gently Cruise the whole way down? It’s like that although there is one crazy zigzag set of waterfalls where I almost drowned last time we went.

Also there’s another spot which is a fish ladder “thing” and you Do Not want to go through there even if you have the best whitewater kayak in the world. It’s essentially Suicide through an extremely narrow and totally crazy channel. The river gets pinched into it then the water zigzags back and forth as it smashes down along it’s concrete walls.

 

It’s basically built for Destruction if you’re human. Don’t wait to long checking it out before trying to float out of its heavy current pull, you’ll have a better day if you get out and walk your stuff around it.

 Patrick, Trent and I had the kayaks and gear all loaded and we where off to the coast, just as planned we got there without any speeding tickets. We dropped the pick-up vehicle off on the coastline and then drove the drop-in vehicle 117 miles up the river to our drop-in location.

 Once we arrived way up river we unloaded Patrick’s kayak which is a sweet River kayak he’s all about having the nice ass gear. Patricks gear it’s built for what is comfortable to him I get it. Trenton unpacked his River kayak and he’s also got a sweet kayak but Trenton is more invested into his other gear and it’s cool to me seeing both their unique style’s.

 

 Finally my bad to the bone dual purpose fishing kayak was unloaded, I’m a fan of it all. I even went hunting on this kayak I assisted two eagle’s for 1.5 hrs with their hunt for ducks. It was a successful hunt and they swooped every time I whistled letting them know I was in position, that’s a story for another time.

We slipped into the shallow beginning of the river and got to paddling right away. It’s an easy flowing river like I said so at this point we are aware that we have 10 hour days of straight paddling ahead of us.

It was the plan that after a rough 10 hrs of paddling we would pull our kayaks out of the river, find a camp spot on near the river throw up our hammock tents up, cook our meals in the jet boils and go to bed.

 

 


 

 

We ended up finally getting down to the point of the river where has that super crazy zig zag area. I give Trenton and Patrick a chance to go first, Patrick goes through and disappears about 30 seconds later Trent drops in and also disappears.

When you drop down into the zig zag immediately the people behind you can’t see you anymore so we just wait until you know about 30 seconds and then we drop through following the previous kayaker.

The thing is when I came up to drop in I noticed Trenton parked himself in the worst spot, he was stuck with his kayak pinned up against the cut out hard-right in the zig zag.

 

 He wasn’t going anywhere at this point there’s no way I was going to stop, I’m already committed, I’m already dropping into this crazy thing.

As soon as I dropped in the nose of my kayak goes straight underneath Trents kayak. I’m still inside my kayak and i go all the way under, the water just swallowed me down and I go straight underneath and now I’m sucked down to the bottom of this f****** swirly zig zag.

I’m stuck underneath there and thinking “okay, got to get out of this”. I am able to slide my legs out of my kayak, it’s pinned hardcore. As soon as I got out of my kayak I realize, the cord that’s attached holding my ore from floating away from me is stuck under my boat. There was no way of getting unpinned from between the rock and kayak until I was freed from the cord.

 

Now I’m stuck underneath the kayak still but I’m out of it just pinned against these rocks and the cord is is hooked on my life jacket so I don’t get the chance to breath, “Geeze will I ever get out of this alive?” I calmly pondered while working my situation.

I look up half looking for an answer and I see Trent looking down and he still stuck up against the rocks and he can’t do anything at least he’s up right in his kayak but not for long.

I was just in this moment like life paused and I have to wait it out, I’m pretty much at peace. This is it I’m either going to drowned or I’m going to get myself out of this situation, looking at Trenton’s face I realized that he was just as calm as I was. we both accepted we where fucked until shown otherwise.

 

Somehow I felt pretty damn calm. It was actually a great feeling being in the heat of life, I have been close to death many times and knew I just needed to relax and wait it out. Shoot I watched Trent at 2 a.m sliding down a crevasse covered  glacier in the dark he calmly said “Hey guys i’m sliding” as he was definitely sliding. His brother had to slide after him with his Bowie knife scraping as a brake for them, real movie type shit.

We knew all we had to do was, to just not stop using our brains and stay calm. Until we run out of options and time, you just keep going until you can’t keep going anymore.

 

So now I’m at peace with having a real mission and I know my battle buddy is just as much enjoying this Mission as I am. I was able to find where the cord was clipped to my life jacket, I jammed my hand down against the rock trying to get it between my pinned body and the rock. I finally un-clipped it was great being able to feel the resistance loosen up.

I was able to wiggle my body out enough to move my kayak, as soon as I was able to move my kayak Trenton was able to free himself and he busted loose and immediately he shot down the river.

 

He was just gone so I knew now it’s all up to me and my kayak was still stuck but popped free and shot down the next fall. Even though the stock I was in a good position of I now have freedom of movement and I was just making my way to break out of the water.

 Finally my head reach the surface and I took a giant gasp for air and gulped it in, it was delicious. Now my only problem is I’m up against these rocks that are super slimy and the water is just Smashing and down on my back and just holding me there.

I pull with all my strength in my fingernails and fingertips, just clinging to whatever Grooves in the Rocks I could. By this time I had already lost my shoes, just about everything out of my kayak was f****** spread everywhere gone floating, my bag was gone, everything gone.

 

Finally I’m able to pull myself free from the heavy water flow and start pulling myself up but as soon as I could get out of the water I realize that I’m stuck half on this rock. I now realize I have to jump back into the waterfall in order to cross this section and get to back to real land.

I immediately jumped across into the water so that where I landed I would be as close to the side of the river as possible. I was able to land grabbing the rock bank with my hands. The water immediately tried to throw me around but I was able to pull myself just enough to get another fingertip hold and hang on for dear life.

This rock was just as slippery, I was trying so hard and I finally pulled myself up the rock just enough to where now only my lower half was left in the water. I was dragging my body across the rock when my pants button popped open and the water grab them filling them up, my pants instantly filled with water and they just shot him down to my f****** ankles.

 

Damn i’m screwed and so tired at this point, my pants are creating an underwater parachute trying to hold my my body down and I’m like “what is going on I’m really supposed to die today, this river wants me” I just new i was going in for the second round but this time I was even closer to the main flow and would drowned if I got stuck in that hole.

 

 


 

 

Picking Right Kayak

At this point I was thinking I screwed up and used the wrong kayak for the job I mean it’s a beautiful. I love my kayak but it was one of those best kayak for beginners kayak and was not made for this particular waterfall I needed a whitewater kayak.

I’m thinking “I’m going to lose my freaking pants too, I’ve nothing but and I don’t know if my pants are going to be stolen from me by this River”, “no way!” I was able to slip my pants off before they pulled my grip. I grabbed my pants, I was able to get them out and I was able to get out of that mess up onto the Rock.

Standing on safe land I was just so freaking happy my face lit up with pure joy, so much joy that I just threw my fists in the air with my pants in my hands nothing but boxes and a kayaking t shirt. I was just in celebration like my life was a trophy, I made it out! “I’m alive the river didn’t take my f****** pants.”

 

As soon as it clicks into my head my pants aren’t my biggest worry, I thought about my gear and I was gonna look up the rocks to find a good view to see where my stuff went.

As soon as I looked up I see this deck, people have a house right on the river they purposely built it right on the craziest section of the entire freaking Nehalem River.

Their Deck hanging right over, I could underhand toss a stone up onto their deck and they’re standing there with blank faces. Still in their bathrobes with coffee cups in hand husband and wife like they’re were just enjoying their Saturday.

 

The funniest thing was the look on their face was like “what the hell did we just watch, did we just watch this crazy kayak dude almost die in front of us? Why is this guy with no pants on is so excited?”

They probably had the funniest kayaking story to tell, just from watching that ordeal. Back to the story, I scrambled up onto a rock and that’s where I was able to see down the river. Patrick dumped, Trent dumped they had lost there s*** too.

They pulled whats left of their stuff up on the river bank and they both had started running down to get my stuff and theirs. As quickly as I could with no shoes I scrambled to meet up with them.

 

We gathered almost everything they were able to catch almost all my stuff, I only ended up never getting back one of my shoes I lost half my ore. Luckily we always keep backup ore’s.

You always want a good backup ore, I also lost one more thing but I can’t remember what it is at the moment. The whole moral of the story is if you buy the correct kayak for the job then kayaking is so fun. Actually I take that back, all miss adventures are amazing.

But you can’t take just any kayak down waterfalls, okay and you can’t just take any kayak out into the ocean when you want to go kayak around islands. You will enjoy ocean kayaking in the most beautiful places when you have an ocean kayak you don’t want no Lake kayak in the ocean.

 

The length, stabilization and the design of the haul is completely different for each one of these kayaks. I totally recommend that the best gifts you can get someone is is showing up with a kayak and being like “dude enjoy”.

Just make sure you buy the kayak according to what type of things that you think you might be doing or whoever you’re gifting the kayak to might do with it.

What do you think they might be doing? Do they live closer to lakes or they do do they live close to Rivers? How active are they because if they are crazy people they might want to hit whitewater or are they people who just would rather just relax on a lake?


Outfit Your Adventure at ACK!

 

Either way check them out, you’ll have a blast. Your probably wondering where buy kayaks its easiest to find the right one when you buy kayaks online.

I hope you enjoy this article I’m going to go shoot my my airsoft gun now.

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