Archives for April 2013

Holly Creek Laps

We hope everyone enjoyed the rain today as much as we did. If you didn’t or can’t, don’t fret because it will rain again.

Max Ovett gets a face full just before he makes the eddy on the uphill side of this watery wall.


Joe Gudger embraces the fold moments before the water enveloped both boat and boater. A familiar feeling for Joe on his backyard run.



Suck Creek Does Not Suck!

Max ducks the log to begin the first lap of the afternoon.

Suck Creek Does Not Suck!

With our new Wavesport Recon 83’s strapped to the top of the car, Max and I headed towards Chattanooga. As we drove into the band of rain moving west to east across the southeast, our goal was to see which creeks would fill up for an afternoon full of kayaking.

We got our Recon’s two days ago and had a wonderful time lapping the beautiful and scenic Chattooga river. Now we were both eager to get the boats on something steep and full of water. Since we had little knowledge of the Chattanooga rivers and creeks, we meet up with Joseph Gudger and dutifully followed him, caravan fashion, to the creek with the most water. That just happened to be Suck Creek.

I always get energized whenever I know I’m about to face a new creek or river. There is just something so exciting about being able to fly off rock ledges and through rock piles full of water for the first time. It doesn’t matter if the creek has been paddled thousands of times by others; the fact that it is all new to me is one of my favorite things about kayaking. I believe that comes from my desire to explore and experience different and new places.

We pulled up to the put-in and meet Bryce Evans who lives about 10 minutes from Suck Creek. We latter learned that Bryce has paddled Suck Creek 73-78 times since Christmas, can’t remember exactly how many he said. That said, we set shuttle and boogied down to the put-in.

Bryce told us the level. This meant little to me since I had never been here before and therefore had nothing as a reference. We slid in and ducked the log marking the start of the first rapid. After that it was rally time! Max stepped in line behind Bryce and I followed closely behind Joe. After the first lap we had a better idea of what to expect as far as what the rapids were like.

On lap two we kept up a good pace down the creek, until another paddler got banged around in a shallow spot and came out of his boat. As Max was driving downstream to help him out, Max tried to paddle over an rock ledge no taller than 2 feet. Unfortunately, his speed did not carry him all the way over; he slid back upstream and his stern chalked in between two rocks. After his stern filled with water, the boat flipped over and upside down and the boat got pinned in the rock pile. He tried to move the boat around thinking he could wiggle it free so he could roll it back upright. Then he made the right decision and got out of his boat, quickly gathered his gear and was back in his boat in a hurry.

The rest of lap two was smooth as butter and laps three and four followed suit with clean lines by everyone. We had great time and learned a lot from someone who knows the creek well – thanks Bryce.

Suck Creek does not Suck in fact it is super fun, short, steep and
jammed packed with rapids even if it does have road blast in spots.