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Jackson Kayak Factory & Rock Island, Tennessee

Tennesse bound in our school van and suburban, each with a trailer loaded with boats and gear. Excitement arising and anticipation to kayak at the famous Rock Island! I was buzzing in the van, even though the drive was long. We arrived to our nicest accomodation so far. Two fully furnished double story houses. As soon as we arrived and admired our new homes, we got back in the vehicles to drive down to the waves. I was stoked to get in the water and roll as it was the warmest water to date(since Uganda). We trained in the top wave and bottom hole for a couple hours then went back to the houses for dinner and bed. I have been working on my entry moves here, which is a very important trick to learn as it can get points on the board right from the beginning! Since this hole was so trashy though…once I landed it I normally went into a beat down for the next short while. ( : It was still great fun though! I really enjoyed Rock Island, even though the water levels were less than perfect. Many students choose not to paddle which was fine with me as it meant,
less lines + more time for me to train = very happy Courtney!

But within a few days the rains where so strong that the river flooded and all the spill gates where set open on the dam, which meant everything was washed out and there was no longer anywhere to train, so the school made a quick decision to head back to West Virginia.

On our way out we stopped by the Jackson Kayak Factory for a tour. It was awesome to see the company behind my sponsorship and watch how the boats come together. Carmen Ratliff was our tour guide and explained everything to us from the history of Jackson Kayak, to how each color of plastic differs each boat. I picked up my new Little Hero creek boat that was waiting for me and am Loving it! Red, Yellow and Green – Rasta colored! Finally a creek boat that truly fits me. I now feel much more comfortable on a creek as I can reach for my strokes better and have more maneuverability!

Here’s a film I made about the Factory for you all to check out…

I had a really great time and just wanted to say thank you to Jackson Kayak and all the workers in the factory for the opportunity!