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We have now been in Costa Rica one week, and have paddled every day. We have done the “Super Pasqua” section two times, which is a 24 mile marathon with no flatwater, and mostly class 4+ big water. It is like the Gauley at 5,000 but on steroids. Tons of great play, and plenty of scary moves if you want to get the adrenaline going. Dane has inherited the desire to boof every hole, even the ones that Mario says to stay away from. This river has lots of rocks of all sizes, creating continuous wave trains, incredible rock spins, boofs, and of course massive holes. I have always loved to boof the largest holes, trying to get over them and not get sucked back in. I am successful 9 times out of 10 unless it is too big to get over and that one time is what makes it really exciting. Dane had no issue leading the river and since he was looking for the biggest holes, not looking to avoid them, he would say to me before each rapid, “Don’t follow too close, remember that really big hole in the middle, I might get stuck.”
We did a world cup on one of the better waves with eddy service and Nick and Emily both won. I was second, Mario was third, followed by Dane, Joel, and then Jud. Mario is paddling really well and has two moves down that we don’t really do much. The “Mop” which is a kickstart into a pan am, done in a wave or a hole. It would likely score as a Pan Am. The backwards airscrew, which we have been doing at rock island, but Mario has it down and does is just about anywhere. We score it as a Donkey Flip in a hole. Nick learned it really well, and I also have it down. Dane learned it as well and can do it as a downstream wave move and did about 100 of them last time.
Yesterday we banged out a bunch of the audio for the “EJ’s Strokes and Concepts” DVD we are making. We are using Mario’s “office” as he calls it where he brings beginners. It is at the confluence of the Pejebaje River and a small creek and really pretty. We went to a small playspot after that and did another world cup in a hole. I won, followed by Nick, and then Mario, Dane, Jud, and Joel. Ruth won, followed by Emily this time.
Today is the first cloudless day. You can see the steam coming from Turrialba Volcano. It became active since the last time I was here!
We need to do another two day run on the Paquare and film this time. Now we know where to go to film and the weather is co-operating. It is awesome having both the new Hero and the All-Star here!
We plan on doing some higher end creeking next week once we finish the filming of the strokes stuff and need a physical break from hard freestyle training. I can go about ten days non-stop but then need to use different muscles to avoid injury for a day and then back at it. Unfortunately I did something bad to my right shoulder trying to lift my max bench press during my first week of lifting. I thought it would go away since it is different than paddling, but my bicept tendon at the shoulder is wrecked and Advil is the only thing that keeps me going. It isn’t getting worse, but not getting better either. I will finish this training camp out and hope that the travel home and a day off will help.
Time for breakfast and a day of paddling!