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By Clay Wright

Opening weekend at the Gauley was like coming home again!

Cool clear water and plenty of it running through that secluded gorge is just the perfect place to be on a hot end of summer day.

The leaves are just starting to turn and while traditionally a really crowded weekend, we had the best playspots to ourselves at times each day.

Highlights of the weekend –

Bryan Kirk threw perhaps the first Helix ever on Insignificant, Stephen Wright was Mcnasty-ing every wave on the river, and all those old cartwheel spots are now ‘Phonics monkeyville’.

The new All-star’s speed made every little wave on the river playable and the extra speed was a big help driving into all those slots. Plus even bigger loops.

But the real highlight is remembering just how many downriver freestyle opportunities the Gauley offers. From kickflips and macho-moves to the perfect splat-wheel and rock 360 oportunites, and of course the big moves in big rapids..

My favorite spots:

Double boof – left side of Insig right above the waves (yes, you can still surf)
Loops at Iron Curtain’s top wave
Freewheel off ‘Volkswagon’ below Pillow Rock after a ‘room of doom’ visit
Trying to go ‘no touch’ on the mail slot at Tumblehome (Kirk’s throwing a downstream loop at the bottom)
The toughest slot – left of razor rock then right behind the big rock upstream of Ship Rock
Dynamite Crack or Left move to right ferry at Iron Ring
and of course, the Gauley classic:
360 ‘boof’ at Sweets to meltdown ( flat bottom – I’ve checked) before your splat on postage due.

Looking forwards to G-fest where Gomer’s, Insig, and Hungry Mother may be a madhouse but the downstream moves will still be wide-open.

The Gauley is probably the best play run in the world, and whether you are a hole-rider, creek-boater, squirt-boater, or rafter there are plenty of challenges for everyone.

See you next weekend!



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Hungry Mother goes empty!

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As Bryan, Moe, Jeremy, Adrian and friend take a break..