Monday, January 2, 2012

Smokey Gorge, and the wet Kaimai's!

 Well! Happy new year everybody, hope you all have had a great relaxing time over the Christmas and new year celebrations! What will 2012 bring for us? If it's in the same calibur as 2011 hold on because its gonna be a crazy year!!
 The past 2 month I've been living with some great friends in Okere falls, a 5 minute walk to the Kaituna river with an amazing, accomodating community! All about the good vibes. I spent Christmas at home making music with family and friends from all over the show. Had a sweet lap down the lower gorges of the Kaituna with Hamish Tills, Mirko Sukany (Milky Man) and Johannes Warmbier (Flozzy Wozzy) on Christmas Eve then it was back home to Te Kawa to consume copious amounts of food and wine!
 The 29th came along and I was back to Okere falls, the last few days of play before work were about to begin.

[Cheers to Phil Mac, owner of Obey Kayaking Paddles for hooking me up with a couple of awesome blades! Strong, durable and super powerful. Boof a dream and slide through water like a knife in hot butter. Choice!]

 On the 29th Tillsy and I bombed the lower gorges straight off the bat, the best run we've had all season. Done in 3 hours on the dot; from control gates to take out of Smokey.

Couple stills for you to check out..

 Number 1 Smokey Gorge, High 500's. Perfect.
 Green. Warm Water. Paradise.
 Getting my wings off number 3.
 Beautiful gorge. Last Rapid (rude boy!)

Enjoying a wee dram of whiskey at take out. 

Thanks Kat from Quebec for driving shuttle!!

To the farmer for saving us a 2 hour flat paddle out, Really appreciated!

On the 30th we woke up after a night of heavy rain, wasn't hard to find the motivation to gear up and drive to the Kaimai ranges. Me Hamish and Ryan all arrived at the put in of the Tuakopai. We all smashed out 2 laps on the creek, After the second lap we carried on down to the juicy Mangakarengorengo! high water, big water! roudy, so sick!
Take out at Mc Laren falls. Mr. Baby Bird was feeling the fire and ran a stout line centre on Mc Laren falls. Chur Bro!  

New Years Eve came along, After a long night of rain. Off Hamish, Gordy, Chris Ewart and Myself to the Tuakopai. Started on the upper with 2 sweet drops, and the rain got harder. We made it to corkscrew and the whole river started to flash flood on us. Turned the day into an epic one, About a metre of brown gritty water rose on us within 5 minutes, we were now on some roudy shit!!!

Check a Few Go Pro stills from the day..

 Corkscrew, strat of the flash! Left to right, Hamish, Me, Gordy.

 Spa Falls, 10 metre boof ten minutes into the run. This section is stacked! Boys in the distance, watching from below!
 Sending the Spa.
 Next up my favourite drop on the creek, Douglas falls. Sweet, fast, sliding entrance into a perfect 20. BOOM!
 Douglas from below.
 Gordy and the boys taking it in.
 After the rowdy ramp PACE, feeling the buzz!
 Cheers Ryan for the use of your nomad!! The Bomb Flow sticker means one compulsory BROWN.
 Tillsy throwing a rude boy, fun boogie slide.
 The double drop, fast 8 metre ramp into a 3 metre boof.
 Looking back up at double drop, taking a bit of a swim. Lots of water, Rowdy!!
 Bypassing Chris taking a smashing half way down a rowdy slide!
High water, getting close to Curtain Falls. Now it was a major Big Water feeling on this tight little creek! Huge holes, steep rapids and drops, compression features off the walls. Was white-knuckling all the way to the take out.  
 We were all pretty jaded at the take out, exhausted, buzzing. Smashed some Subway in Tauranga and it was off to Ohope to get on the bender with the Okere falls crew!

Back to reality now, working to save money for the next mission.

 HAPPY NEW YEAR! bring on 2012.


  1. Very exciting Sam! Good pictures! Too many foreign words for me tho!
    Take Care! Love Grand Par and Hanne

  2. nice one Sam,sweet stills of Lower gorges and kaimai's