Whitewater Kayaking Adventure

Mike Berg


By: Trigg Skoe


Graduating high school was a memorable moment, but for me that was the day my kayaking obsession began. The hour before the ceremony I was catching my first wave at the whitewater park and ever since then the stoke has only grown.

Trigg Skoe attacks a waterfall.

I was introduced to whitewater through invitations from friends and their families that went rafting occasionally. On one of these rafting trips my friends had brought kayaks along and I figured why not try it. I ended up flipping over and almost drowning soon after launching off the raft. This scared me, but it is a similar feeling that drives me everytime I kayak. It is a mental state of mind that you have to overcome to be comfortable upside stuck under the water, but its worth all the effort and time. After the first incident I was fearful of the river and it took me 2 years, multiple kayaks, and my brother Ty to fall in love with whitewater. The best days now are the days spent on the river.

I love being on the river and the community that comes with it is like no other. No matter what river you are paddling, you can find new friends willing to show you the lines for those sick boofs and splats. Being involved in whitewater opens up a whole new world of places and people. Sure, you will have your favorite run and favorite group to paddle with, but being on the river is being on the river. The festivals that come along with whitewater bring a whole variety of participants and people. You’ll get all kinds of paddlers ranging from all ages. The community is very welcoming, any paddler even sponsored pros like Dane Jackson or Pat Keller are stoked to have a conversation about whitewater.

Poudre River Canyon river put ins and pull outs. (Upper)
Poudre River Canyon river put ins and pull outs. (Lower)

In Fort Collins we have the Cache La Poudre River. This is an awesome river and the farther you drive up the canyon the more difficult it becomes. Sadly the Poudre season doesn’t last long, usually April to the end of August. At CSU there is an established rafting club and at Epic pool there are kayak roll sessions during the winter. Learning to kayak and raft isn’t easy at first, but it is the best decision I have made. When you’re scouting your heart beats fast and you get butterflies in your stomach questioning everything and thinking about all the pros and cons. Then, when you make your decision to go big and the lip of the waterfall is in sight and your boof stroke is ready, a state of euphoria comes over you and explodes when you stomp it. The same feeling happens when playing in whitewater parks doing Mcnastys, Loops, Cartwheels and Space Godzillas. Getting that feeling hasn’t come anywhere else for me as much as it has in the river. Kayaking and rafting are great sports to get into and it can be done affordably. Paddle hard and be safe!