Jun 15

West Virginia Review

by in Travel Tips

I wanted to do some white water kayaking lessons for my first trip of 2011. Whenever I went white water rafting I seen them bring kayakers along and it seemed more fun than rafting. I also did a tandem kayak in New Zealand which was awesome, so I really wanted to take some classes.

I googled “white water kayaking lessons” and found a nice looking place in West Virginia to take the classes. The place was called Ace Adventure Resort. So after looking through their website I was ready to book. I booked a starter class starting at 6pm the first day. Then all-day water kayaking lessons the following 2 days. I found out the closest city to fly into was Charleston West Virginia, and for me the cheapest airline was Spirit. So, I booked my hotel and car on Spirit Vacations.

cabin tentWhen we arrived at Charleston West Virginia, we picked up our car rental and head out. Ace Adventure Resort is about 45 minutes away so you will need a car. It was pretty easy to find though. When we arrived at Ace we checked in and got told where our Cabin Tent was. We wanted to rough it a little, so we got this Cabin Tent which is pretty much a big tent with 2 beds inside on a wooded platform and also a wooden top. The bathrooms are shared and a very short walk. I was surprised how clean the toilet was, the only thing dirty were some bugs inside.

Our first night of kayaking we learned very fast how hard white water kayaking actually was. It took the trainer 3-weeks to learn how to roll properly themselves, but the classes were very fun and their staff is awesome.

kayakingThe second day we got up early and hopped on their bus and they took us to the New River. We went over some details from the night before then started heading down the river. Our first rapid was a class 3, and I have no idea how I got through it without flipping, but I did and was very confident after that. The day went on and we learned about eddys and how to get in and out. It was a lot more work than I thought, my legs kept getting numb and I was exhausted from paddling. I only flipped once, but my friend flipped 10 times, so he had a rough day. By the end of the day we decided we wanted to do something a little more easier the next day.

So, on our 3rd day we decided to go on some duckies. Duckies are inflatable kayaks. They are a lot eaiser because when you fall out , you just flip them over and jump on top. In the real kayaks, you have to drain them and then put the skirt back on and it takes a while. You also would have to swim more, since you couldn’t just jump right back on top. We did the duckies on the Mid-Gauley River.

kayaking west virginiaThe Gauley may be the best river I’ve been on. It was lots of Class 4 and 5 rapids, and they were back to back, just constant rapids. The day was lots of fun. It was a big group and 8 people were on regular duckies, but they gave me and my friend the high performance ones. Which turn easier, but man they flipped a lot easier. The flipping made it fun though, watching the other person fall out is the best.
That night we just met up with the people we kayaked with the first day. We went to the bar at Ace and had some beer, then had some shots, listened to some live music and had a great time.

Then next day we slept late then when to Charleston to eat before the flight back home. I highly recommend Ace Adventure Resort. They offer a lot more that we didn’t get a chance to do like Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Paintball, Mountain Biking and more. By the way, the kayaing pictures I took with a WATERPROOF digital camera a bought right before the trip. It worked great, because we did get tossed in the river a few times. Here’s a link to the camera.