Monday, December 12, 2011

Huka Falls!

The Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drains Lake Taupo in New Zealand. At the top of the falls is a set of small waterfalls dropping over about 8 metres. The most impressive, final stage of the falls is an 11 metre drop. This 11metre drop is a large mass of clear blue water and a great spectacle wonder for many. It is a well known section of pushy white-water to not just the kayaking community but to most Kiwi's and tourists.
When at low flows (50-75cumecs) it is quite runnable and not a very technically demanding piece of work. A large number of white water kayakers that are able enough have run it at these flows. At higher flows (100-200cumecs) it becomes quite the maneater and it should be left to only a select few such as the Ryan Lukus's of the world.
I have been meaning to run Huka falls for years now, but everytime I go to Taupo I either don't have my gear or the river is too high! On Friday night Luuka Jones and I roadtripped to Taupo to meet my parents for dinner. On arrival we stopped in at CanoeandKayak Taupo only to hear that Huka Falls was running at a nice low flow of 50! Unfortunately earlier in the day Luuka had damaged her AC joint while we were out mountain biking in the redwoods so this put her out of action! I was not super keen to run it for my first time so Laura and Dave (owners of Canoeandkayak) rung up a young local boy named Scotty to come and join me. I was a little unprepared as I didn't have my kayak with me but lukily Canoeandkayak had a few spare:). They gave me a Bliss-Stick Huka, a kayak I had never paddled in my life but was stoked to try out!!:) It seemed quite suitable to use on Huka Falls too!
So me and Scotty were off to the falls only to realise on arrival that it was flowing slightly higher then 50...a bit more like 75 or 80. But I wasn't going to miss the chance so jumped on and boosted down anyway. Scotty led the way and after a little surf in the top ware I decided to maybe take my own lines:). All went well in the end and I was stoked to finally run it, its been a long time coming! My parents even rocked up just in time to watch too! Pictures are from the lead in rapids.
Checkout the video of me on Luuka Jone's blog-

Wish Si was here as he would have been stoked as always!:)
Big thanks to Canoeandkayak Taupo for sussing me the boat and Scotty for hitting it with me!

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