Monday, November 20, 2006


I was lucky enough to get on Linville Gorge about a month ago with Spencer Cooke, Robert Peerson, Mefford Williams and Nate Elliott. It was running about 2'6", which is a little pushy, yet very manageable. The hike in is absolutely stunning, and we took a break at one of the overlooks to enjoy the beauty of the gorge. Nate had been down a dozen or so times so he led the rest of us, and we made pretty good time down the run. It was a really awesome day and I hope to get back there soon!

Nathan S

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Green River Narrows Race

Skip the bullshit and watch the video?

This was my first year in the Green Race, so I was pretty nervous. I really wanted to get a fast time and beat my friends, and I kept visualizing the lines over and over again before I ever got in my boat... It was pretty chilly out, so about 20 of us waited at the put-in parking lot so we could stay in the sun and play some hacky-sack. This was probably one of the more intense aspects of the race, knowing there were 500 people waiting downriver to scream and yell at you as you run the biggies. (Photo: Doug Silsbee).

My friend Saunders Southecorvo and I headed down to Bride after about an hour and a half, and timed it pretty well so both of us only had to wait for 20 minutes or so at Bride. (Saunders was to start 2 places behind me). Then it was on... (Photo: Casey Jones). I had great lines through Frankenstein and all the boogie above Boof or Consequences. Boof went well, and I made sure I was far right at the bottom so I wouldn't waste anytime above Go Left. I hit the race line at Go Left going up over the rocks in the entrance and charging over the log without losing any time. I hit the rock in the middle and braced off it with my hand, but lost no speed coming through. I could hear people yelling my name and I resisted the urge to look up.

This next move was my biggest mistake during the race. Immediately after Go Left I automatically went for the boof on the right which is a good second or two slower then the middle. This is the line I always take when not racing, so by instinct I went for that side. Luckily I didn't really stall after the boof and probably only lost one second here. I kept sprinting and nailed the race line at Zwick's and Chief's. HOLY $%#! That is a lot of people! I rounded the corner after chiefs and glanced up at the enormous crowd that lined the left bank at Gorilla. As I came into view I could hear everyone start yelling. DAMN this is awesome! I stuck pencil sharpener and made sure I was in position for the notch. My notch line went well and before I knew it I was flying off the pad. One of the important things here is to remember NOT to boof. It's much easier to stay in control and avoid a spin at speed trap if you just hold a stroke and fade off the pad. (Photo: Doug Silsbee).

I felt myself start to flip right when I landed and I managed to hold a brace so I would stay upright. WHAM I hit speed trap and it overwhelmed my brace flipping me right. I knew I wasn't in the eddy though as I rolled up and I didn't really lose much speed from the flip. At this point I was really drained and I was more concentrating on sticking the slides clean then trying to paddle real hard.

I had pretty clean lines through Scream machine and Nies' pieces. (See video). Powerslide was done in a flash, and I approached the last slide, Rapid Transit. This went smoothly, and I came out pointed directly at the finish rock. One last weak sprint with the remainder of my energy and the race was over. That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

I went back up to Gorilla to watch the rest of the racers. Coop bombing scream machine.
For everyone that wants to know where to sit next year: BETWEEN PENCIL SHARPENER AND THE NOTCH... (If you like carnage). I watched probably 8 people flip on the first part of pencil sharpener, then run the second part upside down. They would roll up exhausted and out of it from the PS crash... then there's the notch. It was really cool seeing people's faces at this point in the race. Some looked completely drained and out of it, floating into the notch. Others looked so determined and their faces were painted in a grimace as they put every ounce of strength into getting some speed for the notch. Someone off the lip, with Grace filming on the left. (Photo: Doug Silsbee).

After the Time Trials, Jason rounded up a few last minute head to head races... I wasn't going to do it, but after I saw the crazy expression on Jason's face as he gestured for me to get my ass down there on the rock, I changed my mind. We all lined up and Speed Trap was trying desperately to pull one of us in. Someone was holding my stern, thank god, and I didn't get washed in before I put my skirt on.

GO! GO! GO! I started paddling my ass off, and was side by side with Chan, Johnny Kentucky and Billy as we started crashing down the first slide. Cooper was just behind us threatening to spear someone. A sixth racer was stuck in the eddy behind Cooper. (Watch the video, Cooper does this amazing "thread the needle" between Johnny and Billy). I was the furthest right which was a big advantage on the first slide and the 3 of them all crashed into the hole together. I passed them and hit the gas. (Photo Joshua Coxe). Then Cooper came out of nowhere and started riding my stern. Where the hell did he come from? I thought he was going to pass me for sure in the landing, but somehow I came ontop and beat him to powerslide. After powerslide it was just a short stretch of flatwater until the end.

The party afterwards was a great time, and everyone got to see the results. Here is someone jumping over the fire. (Photo: Caroline Moon).

Pat won with a time of 4:36 in his new "Dagger Tank". Pat also won the shortboat class with a record time of 4:54. I personally got a time of 5:11, placing me in fifth in the shortboat class. I was really happy with this result as I hadn't trained much and this was my first year racing. I hope to see you all out there next year!

Good lines out there,
Nathan S

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Raven's Fork

If not the hardest run in North Carolina, it's probably in the top three. Raven's Fork has some of the most difficult drops in the southeast, and it puts some of the best boaters in the world to the test every time it runs. It doesn't take too much rain for it to run and I've been lucky enough to get on it twice in the past month. Big thanks to Chris Gragtmans for showing me down.

Here are a few photos from the two runs:

Put-in to Raven's.

Rob, Chance and Coop.

Entering the Headless Horseman. (Photo: Jared Seiler). The crux of this rapid is the very first ledge which lands in a sticky hole. Immediately after this hole, you must charge right, because half the water falls into a nasty cave on the left.

Tommy Hilleke stomping Big Boy. This is a a notorious 35-footer which lands on rock towards the river-right side of the waterfall.

Grace on Big Boy

Looking down the gorge from atop a rock at Mike Tyson's Punchout.

Drew entering the turmoil... Mike Tyson's is one of the biggies on Raven's.

Coop and Gragtmans scouting

Quite the crowd on this day. The Mangler looms in the background... (Photo: Jared Seiler)


Oh Canada

Hello Folks,
went to Canada this past summer with Nick Urquahart, Dylan Bruce, Chris Gragtmans and Matt Woodward.

Typical Ottawa Countryside:

It was a fantastic trip, and we were lucky enough to get on one of the best waves in the world... High Tension.

Gragtmans throwing a big pan-am:

Dylan blunting it up on High Tension:

Here I am getting a Mystery-flip thing...

Mid-beatdown in Phil's

Our trip started at High Tension. We paddled in with sleeping bags, tents, pads, food and water strapped to the outside of our boats, in order that we could camp next to the wave. We had a great day on the wave, then camped out on a beach right next to the wave. The next morning we got up around 8:00 and started paddling again. We had the wave completely to ourselves for about 4 hours before people started trickling in. Here's the Canada Video:

After High Tension, we spent a few days at the Ottawa so Gragtmans could show his premier of Enter The Donkey. We hit up Lachine next, which resides on the St Lawrence river. (An absolutely ENORMOUS river). Lachine is a big rapid with a number of fantastic waves. Watch the Lachine Video from last year with Huge Experiences:
We went back to the Ottawa for another week before finally heading home to Asheville. This was after making an 8-hour detour to see Niagara falls. Quite possibly the largest tourist-trap I've ever seen. They have built an entire city next to the waterfall, and have made the road system so it's really confusing, and difficult to escape. Well that's about all I have on that subject... Stay tuned for more updates. (Also, I just added a feature so you can subscribe at the top of the page).

Nathan Silsbee

Friday, November 10, 2006

Green River Narrows Collection

Even though the Green is probably the most all-around documented river in the world, it's always fun to look at even MORE photos and videos from it. Here are a bunch of photos and a video since I began paddling El Rio Verde. Enjoy this like you would microwave popcorn.

Now for the photos:
(Click photos to enlarge)

Green Race '06. (Photo: Doug Silsbee)

Brendan Garvey going left at Sunshine.

Spencer Cooke smoothing Go Left and Die

Spence on the Monk

Another of Spencer at Sunshine.

Flying off the pad with the beautiful fall colors in the background. (Photo: Jared Seiler)

Billy Murphy

Paul Stamilio going left at Sunshine

My first time going Left at Sunshine. Crashed on this one. (See video). Redemption didn't come for another 6 months after this. A truly scary, yet rewarding line. (Photo: Eric Chance)

Eric "The Tulip" Chance, fading the monkey like he loves to do. (Everyone knows the super-boof is the way to go).

Saunders Southecorvo on Scream Machine

Chance on Sunshine. I have no idea why the skin on his face is so orange in this picture

Matt Woodward. Nies' Pieces

Adam Bixby, old school style.

Saunders-Groove Tube.

Jared Seiler threading the needle at Go Left. (Photo: Saunders Southecorvo)

Saunders shot this pic of me Going Left.

Typical Sunshine-rock crew on a Saturday.

All of the following shots were taken by my Dad when he hiked into the green this past summer. Good job geezer!
Go Left and Die


The Notch


Nies' Pieces

Rapid Transit


You are probably all Greened out now, so get back to whatever you should be doing and leave my blog alone. More "posts from the past" are on the way though so stay tuned. Hopefully I'll catch up to the present at some point soon...
Nate Dogg signing out...

North Alabama Whitewater Festival

Here are some photos and video from the NAWF from last spring...
Driving to Alabama from Asheville...

Eric Chance and I showing our gangster heritage.

Freestyle off the waterfall competition. Yes you guessed it that's me.

Eric Chance, showing how it's done.

Jeremy Adkins backfreewheeling that shiat.

Thousands of spectators came out for the event...

Eric freewheeling the Response. He is such a bad-ass. This is why they call him "The Tulip".

Brian Jennings going for the screw on Mount Chaos.

And last but not least... The NAWF video.

peace out home slices,


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