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Kayak Session Magazine Winter 2019

The biggest whitewater kayaking magazine in the world. If a photo speaks a thousand words, then Kayak Session is an encyclopedia. Dubbed the ‘National Geographic’ of whitewater kayaking, we collaborate with some of the best photographers and most acclaimed writers in the outdoor industry. Our photo concept is to show stunning images of kayakers in their element. This photos-first idea is coupled with a creative layout and fresh content, sure to inspire our readers with every issue. Kayak Session is the essential reading for whitewater kayakers worldwide.

United States
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
why we kayak

Think back to your first time on whitewater. Chances are, it was cold, or scary, or both. Learning to whitewater kayaking is the worst. Even for those comfortable being in the water, the sensation of being inside a boat, upside down, in fast-moving current is distinctly foreign. In fact, so many paddlers list moments of fear or discomfort in their early days, on the surface it seems a wonder the sport continues to grow. But to focus only on the discomfort would be foolish. Whitewater kayaking is full of surprisingly dedicated individuals who describe their passion for the sport as an addiction, or as our interviewee, Adrian Mattern, declares, “What I live for; what I do.” Despite intimidating introductions to the indiscriminate power of the river, both Adrian Mattern and Anup…

3 min
world whitewater news

NEWS AND HAPPENINGS PADDLE EXPO, NUREMBERG, GERMANY, OCTOBER 4TH-6TH 2019 Once again, the month of October brought the industry’s finest together in Nuremberg, Germany, for what has become the leading paddlesports tradeshow. PaddleExpo 2019 continued to build on its legacy of showcasing new and innovative products, and facilitating conversation and collaboration across paddles-ports. The industry dinner, accompanied by the paddlesport Product of the Year Awards, was honored to welcome the 2019 Inductees to the Whitewater Hall of Fame: Dagger Founder Joe Pulliam, the family of Hermann & Christa Kerckhoff, and Chris Hawkesworth. After the awards, the Kayak Session movie night entertained and wowed. For more information on PaddleExpo or new products, check PaddleExpo.com and PaddlerGuide.com. TOBA WILD ASAHAN RIVER FESTIVAL, SUMATRA, INDONESIA, DECEMBER 1ST-8TH 2019 The Asahan River festival is on again in North…

18 min

RIVER DRAS, INDIA-PAKISTAN BORDER, JULY 2019 Ladakh is already known as a haven for kayakers. It offers world-renowned classic runs as well as a thriving rafting industry on the Zanskar and Indus rivers. Nevertheless, even in this whitewater paradise, some rivers stand out. One of the very last entries in the 2014 Ladakh guidebook (collated by Darren Clarkson-King and Tsering Chotak) is for the Dras, described as 80 km of world-class, roadside whitewater. At first glance, this sounds like an instant classic. Yet since the first descent by Peter Knowles' team in 1985, it has seldom been attempted. The hitch, it turns out, is the river’s location. Situated almost directly on the (at times) volatile border between India and Pakistan, the military presence in the region is high and hardly welcoming…

24 min

MALABAR RIVER FESTIVAL 2019, KERALA, INDIA, JULY 2019 The 7th edition of the Malabar River Festival was held in the Calicut district of Kerala, from the 26th - 28th of July 2019. This year’s festival focused on the development of the Indian paddling community, and therefore saw the largest participation of Indian kayakers to date, with a total of 75 participants from across 15 states in India and 9 participants from other countries. Highlights of the 2019 edition of the Malabar River Festival include receiving official recognition as an ICF (International Canoe Federation) event, being listed on the official calendar of ICF events, and hosting selections for the Indian Extreme Slalom National Team. The winners will be representing India at the ICF Worlds Extreme Slalom competition next year. Additionally, this year,…

5 min

KEEP THE PIATUA RIVER FREE-FLOWING, ECUADOR The Piatua River’s pristine waters form one of Ecuador’s whitewater gems, are home to many Kichwa people, and habitat to hundreds of species of birds, animals, amphibians, and fish. A company called Genefran S.A is currently building a trans-basin diversion hydro-project that would dewater the bottom 15 kilometers of the Piatua—the entire whitewater section. The Ecuadorian Rivers Institute (ERI) has been battling this project in the courts, as the local communities believe the permits for the project were issued without following the proper legal channels. Locals who live along the river, the whitewater community, and many others throughout Ecuador oppose this hydro-project, and thousands have come out in support of a free-flowing Piatua River. On September 5, 2019, the appellate court of the Pastaza province…

19 min
in patagonia a journey of picnics and first descents across southern chile.

We have been hiking all day. We will keep hiking all day tomorrow and probably most of the next. My back hurts. My legs hurt. Everything hurts. I’ve lost track of how many falls I had today. Every time I crash, I end up stuck in my carrying system, legs in the air, unable to get back up. We call this the “awkward turtle.” We usually joke about it, but today I don’t have the strength to find it funny. I have cried a few times already. Sometimes from pain. Sometimes from anger. We don’t even know if the river goes. We might have to hike our loaded boats right back down. Ben knows that already. This is his third attempt to run the Ano Nuevo; He, Pedro Oliveira, and Chris…