Select Page

By Devon Barker

My drysuit, my squirt boat, my All Star, and the Little Pickey Lodge here at Wilderness Tours is the best! Joe Kowalski is our host here on the Ottawa River. It has been hard not having ideal training levels but we had a great option in New York. I just spent two days on Inner City Wave. Tommy Gunn from the Black Water Challenge Freestyle event let us use the cabins too. It wave was so good and there was a fire on shore to boot. This was my 43rd day in my drysuit. I was dry but it was cold out but I just stood by the fire until all my clothes were dry. My drysuit was steaming and I was warm and toasty. After three sessions I jetted back to the Ottawa Airport to pick up my folks. One of their bags was delayed. Sound familiar? I was glad as I had all of my gear and my All Star in the Ford Focus.

We are having a lovely time on the deck in the sunshine. It is really beautiful. I just returned from a session at the squirt eddy line. I am using a Punk Rocker to shuttle my squirt boat to the island where the eddy is for our competition. This morning I had my squirt boat jammed inside with the Punk Rocker hanging out the trunk. Who needs kayak racks?

Here is my routine for squirt

4 ended switchwheel 6
Mystery Move- head under 2 (5 seconds x2=10)
Mystery Style 5
Mush Move 1
Rt. Cartwheel 1
Rt. Washout 4
Left Cartwheel 1
Left Washout 4
Flatwater Style 5
Total Score of 39

Will add two more washouts if time remaining. The field will take two rides and then the judges will cut to top 5. I am not sure if we are doing knockout rounds or three rides with best ride counting but I hope to do my routine all the way to the end.

Then it is on to freestyle. I have not been on the feature yet so I am not sure how to plan my ride but I will know more after our training day on Tuesday. The Men on Wednesday and Women on Thursday with all of the finals on Friday. We are all saying our prayers that Mini Bus will come in at or over 14 feet. This is the established cut off for the comp. to be there. The back up is this great wave called Big Smoothie.

We are off to Opening Ceremonies tonight. The procession of athletes begins at 7:30. We have team uniforms, flags, and signs for USA. It is going to be really awesome. I just cannot wait for it all to begin.

Paddling in Peace,


Click to view larger image

Little Pickey Lodge on Ottawa

Click to view larger image

Paddling Punk Rocker back from Squirting

Click to view larger image

Rapid off our deck