An Action Packed Summer in a Nutshell!! by Bennett Smith | Sep 17, 2014 | United States, Whitewater | 0 comments Summer 2014 has been one of, if not THE best, summers of my life! A lot of things have happened that are hard to sum up in one short post. Before summer, I wasn’t kayaking as much as I would have liked to, but once school was out I headed to Colorado for the kayak competition circuit. I loaded up with three of my friends and we headed west, taking our time exploring the states we traveled through. From checking out the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico to discovering the Great Sand Dunes and Zapata Falls at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado, we made the daunting drive from Alabama to Colorado exciting. Driving Loveland and Independence Pass to the continental divide was awesome too. It was great seeing all my kayaking pals out west and getting to spend time with a few of my closest friends from Alabama. I competed in the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail and placed 7th in the men’s division. From there I competed in Salida, Colorado at FIBArk but had bad rides and struggled to qualify. Despite the tough competitions I felt like I gained all of my skills back and even improved. It was also cool to be able to paddle at Glenwood Springs, Colorado where the Colorado River was at historic levels. The trip was amazing and I hope to continue going out west in years to come. After my arrival back home from Colorado my summer was filled with hanging out with friends and some short kayaking trips here-and-there. Also, the woman’s division better watch out because I taught my girlfriend to roll! My summer break was topped off with a trip up to the Pigeon River in Tennessee for the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Nationals. My training paid off and I had my personal highest score of 1360, which placed me in 2nd. Here is a video of the ride. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1_y7gi9DwQ[/youtube] Just this past weekend was the last competition of the season: The Pan-American Championships. The Pan-Ams were held at the Nantahala in North Carolina. I ended up setting my personal best in the International Scoring System with an 1140. It was great to finish out the season with a win! All in all it was a great summer and I feel like I’ve improved in kayaking. I am now back in school and training for the competitions next year! Hope to see everyone on the water soon! Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.