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By Jez

So I randomly had a week off from work and thought I needed to use this time wisely. I made a few frantic bookings and the next day I was on a plane to the North Island of New Zealand. It really is such a green country. I met up with Callum who I met on the World Cup tour and Ryan as well as Sam Sutton and the Kaituna Krew.

The Kaituna river is short but has it all. Some nice boof moves, rapids and an awesome waterfall.

Downstream we took on the "Awesome Gorge" section which is indeed an Awesome Gorge. The walls narrow in to an extremely tight narrow section of river where there are no eddies, no way of turning your boat around, and you are entirely committed to paddling downstream as the sheer cliff walls enclose over you. Without a doubt, this is something to experience. It has had its share of deaths due to log jams and I can see why as it is an extremely tight section. Just downstream is Gnarly Gorge, very similar in tightness, but faster and also has some very gnarly hidden logs to overcome. GNARLY INDEED!!

As the locals call it…Character: A bit like what would happen if they tripled the flow, halved the width and added 100m high gorge walls to a theme park water ride. Here is the bad news. The lower section of the river is under threat from a power station and you can help. You can find out more about it at

My final day in NZ saw us head to the infamous Wairoa River. Yet another amazing river where weekend warriors take on the gorge. At the put in is a spectacular waterfall called McLaren Falls which is another great waterfall with some consequence as there is a submerged rock that’s very easy to hit. Most missed the rock however a few hit it, and hit it hard. Luckily there was only one snapped paddle, a little blood and a few bruised egos however no real problems.

As per usual, all the trip will be in our next Skippy Films video.

It was a fantastic trip that I should have done a long time ago. I haven’t even got to the South Island yet and from all accounts the West Coast is the place to be. If you are thinking about heading to NZ, then do it!! You won’t regret it.

Jackson Kayak Coordinator of Karma

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