Spent a weekend with fellow sea kayakers at Kymijoki river, experiencing white water kayaking on Pernoonkoski rapids. Had really good time with fellows, on the rapids as well as evenings at club house.
The rapids were located some 10 km north from the city of Kotka and about 150 km east from Helsinki. The place is home for a white water kayaking club called Kohina. Our sea kayaking club owns right to use the club house and their equipment. Recently (Kohina and our) club members had built a new club house there, called Kontti. A remarkable craftsmanship and crowdsourcing work, well done! The house looks really cool, have a full equipped kitchen, a sauna of course, plus plenty of space to stay there and have fun.
The Pernoonkoski consisted of series of rapids in about 1 km distance. All rapids were class I, II and II+, Torminvirta being the boldest. Although not high class ones they had some (life) dangerous stoppers (hontto in Finnish) which you had to avoid. There were no creeks, as all waters were wide. All rapids had some standing waves offering surfing places.
We spent lots of time practicing very basics like: learning and reading the water, braces (tuennat), easy eddy hops (akanvirtaan tulo ja lähtö), simple surfing (surffaus), hugging stones (halata), quartering (lossaus) or crossing and rescuing.
I had a speedy kayak by LiquidLogic (model: Remix). That was easy to handle and it was pretty fast. Here in these waters a good helmet was a must.
What can I say about spending two full days on such waters? Don't really know, except to say that it was a great fun all the time. There was no time to think about anything else, e.g. boring topics from work etc.
All practicing was fun, too, as it was so much different that usual paddling on flat waters. Bumpy rapids were highlights of course; up and down, up and down, paddling like a maniac if the kayak decided to capsize (well, it didn't). As my technique wasn't so good for these water, spending a little bit more power from muscles helped a lot, although I felt it in body on Sunday evening. A bit shamed about not taking enough photos.
A place to go again.
|You didn't see the river but you certainly heard it, just around the corner!|
|My reliable buddy, we became good friends|
|Hmm, not sure what I was suppose to be filming|