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Pike’s Peak Kayak Club sends in this article on the clinic in

Jackson Play Clinic for Pikes Peak Whitewater to support American Whitewater

Chris Brobin

Sunday June 10th, American Whitewater (AW) members of the Pikes Peak Whitewater Club joined Eric Jackson and his team for a clinic at the Pueblo Whitewater Play Park. Joining us were the AW members of the Pueblo Paddlers and a couple of other friends who also belong to AW. It started with EJ showing a few flat water drills to the 25 paddlers. Mercifully this was a short period of time. After twenty minutes or so he looked downstream and told us the only way he was going to do a clinic like this was if he got a chance to play and play he did.

Most people in the club were not interested in Number One at 3000 cfs, but those of us who did got the treat of watching EJ, Dane, Jason Craig and another fellow play in the hole. He was very free with his time and explained to me how to surf the new flatter boats (it helped, I did 5 flat spins in a row in my Jackson Four Fun). Ben Carter looked strong in number one. Andrew Dukes, the best play boater in the club at the clinic spent most of the day near EJ picking up pointers and showing his stuff to the club. His dad Rick was also able to impress.

We worked our way down the play holes and got to Number Four in time for lunch. I heard EJ say it was a very long park as it took two hours to get through four holes and then it was lunch time. We had pizza kindly supplied by the Pueblo Paddlers. Number four at this level was awesome. Watching the two best Junior paddlers around play the hole was truly a treat. Dane Jackson and Jason Craig were a cut above everyone in the club (they are both thirteen years old). Tim Walker was also able to get in a few impressive rides.

Somebody asked me if people slid off the wall into the river. I looked up and I was able to point out Dane Jackson and his friends sliding down the fifty foot retaining wall and splashing into the river. They certainly looked like they were having a great time.

When we got down to Number Six everyone was comfortable playing in the hole and EJ seemed to have tips for everyone. We did a group surf with as many as 6 people on the wave at one time. He and Andrew Dukes did tandem loops at one point (EJ showed us that you can loop anywhere in a Jackson Allstar). He pulled a few people over when they had a hard time rolling and always had something useful to tell them. One of the high points was when EJ got Kee Warner to try and surf Number Six. Kee is pretty new to the sport, so getting flipped was inevitable. Well he tried rolling and rolling and went over number 7 and kept trying (EJ pacing him the whole way) and finally rolled up to loud cheers from everyone.

This was certainly a lot of fun, but it did have its serious side. Mike Brown started the idea of tying pro clinics to AW memberships, and Greg Horton has continued. By the end of last year we had the highest percentage of AW members for any Whitewater Club in North America (we had 43 AW members). This year we have even more (44). AW put the Colorado Initiative on top of the priorities for 2007, and hired Nathan Fey as Colorado Stewardship Director. American Whitewater has 18 Athlete Ambassadors we have had five at club functions in the past year. Besides EJ we have seen fellow Jackson team member Clay Wright. Also Ambassadors Tommy Hilleke, John Grace and Katie Selby . EJ’s wife Kristine is a member of the AW Board of Directors.


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Chris and Ian Brobin

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Dane Jackson

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Pueblo Play Park taco stand

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Tips from EJ at Pueblo Play Park