To paraphrase the words of Joker in Batman, “this sport needs an enema.” And for Colorado, the Downstream Edge youth kayaking program is ready to flush through a new generation of whitewater athletes.
New to Denver and Boulder – and coming soon to other Colorado boating communities –Downstream Edge, founded by Boulder local Nick Wigston, has created a coaching system designed “to develop young paddlers into safe and competent kayakers. All aspects of kayaking are taught…including paddling skills, safety and rescue, on-river communication, leadership and organization, teamwork, fitness, logistics and of course fun.” Boaters of all skill levels between the ages of 10 and 18 are invited to participate.
The Downstream Edge Junior Kayak Team will meet twice a week from June through August, and boaters are divided into groups based on skill, age, fitness, goals and schedules so as to maintain a learning environment conducive to all. Experience and equipment are not necessary to participate: Downstream Edge has partnered with Jackson Kayaks and Colorado retailers, and team members can lease gear that may be traded in for larger sizes the next season. Discounted gear packages are available as well.
Downstream edge team members may also compete in the Colorado Kayak Rodeo series as well as downriver and slalom races. Several friendly competitions have also been organized between individual Downstream Edge teams, and the events are tiered to allow paddlers of all levels to compete within their own abilities. No member is required to compete.
Downstream Edge instructors include Nick Wigston, Kyle McCutchen and Tommy Hilleke. Private and small-group instruction is also available in all boating disciplines, including freestyle, canoeing and sea kayaking.
For more info check out Downstreamedge.com