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Jackson family,

I wanted to send in a letter thanking you all and
share my son’s experience with whitewater thanks to
his Jackson 1.5. Devin, my 12 yr old son has been
inseparable from his kayak since last December. Devin
is my oldest of three children. Starting with us
goofing of wrestling in the living room in our kayaks.
The living room is also where he understood the
fundamentals of rolling a boat. It was easy for him to
mimic my paddle movements on the carpet.

Soon the local kayak club "Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club
or OKCC" started up the annual winter pool sessions at
a pool that features a wave machine that’s on for the
last 30 minutes. Once at the pool in was apparent he
was very comfortable with the boat in water. After
paddling the boat around for a few it was time to see
how he did upside down. He flipped over and I helped
him back up. A big smile on his face….so far so
good. Then I had him flip over and see how long he
could hold his breath. 30 seconds, tapped on his boat
and once again came up with a smile….

We then started on his roll. I’d have him flip, hold
his paddle in position, tap his boat and he’d hip snap
up. After several times he wanted to try it on his
own. I’ll never forget on his second attempt he rolled
up on his own and once again with a big smile on his
face… After a few more pool sessions he had a darn
good roll. Most people at the pool were amazed as was

Now’s time to mess him up. Offside. Within a few more
sessions he was almost as good on both sides. I
started throwing his boat around, hold his paddle or
boat to make it more of a challange. He loved it. Some
people joked it looked like I was trying to drowned

When I felt it was time to get him on the water it was
early February in Oregon and all the rivers were at
flood. Clackamas pumping 35k. We headed up to the
Klickitat R. in WA which was pretty high that makes
for fast current with most of the rapids filled in. He
styled his first run without any flips. Devin
commented on how colder the water was over the pool
when he practiced his rolls. A few weeks later we did
another run on the Klick. around 6K. It was on a OKCC
club trip. As we talked before putting about who
didn’t have a roll Devin raised his hand to say his
offside was a little shaky. Yah, it got a good
chuckle. This day too date is the only time in around
40 runs that he’s swam. His first time flipping on
river while crossing turbulant eddie.

Since then, he’s never looked back. He quickly picked
up all aspects of boating: safety, reading rivers on
his own, surfing waves and holes and boat control.
Class III quickly has became easy for him and is now
taking on IV’s. During the summer, after the two us
running Husum Falls, Class V, on the White Salmon in
WA., we ran into Nate and Heather Herbeck who’s now
part of the Jackson family. Nate produced "Liquid
Insanity" which featured Heather. They offered if
Devin wanted to run it again to video and photo him.
It took him a second to think it over and once agian a
big smile came to his face. And we were off. Once
again he styled it. Heather was quit impressed with
his abilty to hit his line.

Since then we’ve done a solo self contained trip down
the Rogue R. just the two of us. We spent alot of time
scounting everything. It’s 35 mile run in a remote
area, not something to be taken lightly. A raft
supported trip down the Lower Owyhee and endless local
river day trips.

I trust his judgement on the water. He’ll be the first
one to back out of a rapid if he’s not feeling it,
which is rare. I don’t recall any rapid yet that he’s
blown a line on.

One thing I should mention is four years ago he was
diagnosed with a rare skin cancer. After two surgeries
at one of the best childrens hospitals in the US. The
tumor was on his hip and it took part of the muscle to
remove it, he is now cancer free.

The pic attached is Devin in Bob’s hole on the
Clackamas last summer and before putting on for his
first time on the Klickitat.

Thank you all… still smiling

Corey Morton


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