Kayak Session Magazine – Summer 2023
English | 86 pages | pdf | 60.38 MB

Welcome at Kayak Session Magazine Summer 2023 Issue

What if the next (cool) thing to do was to do things more simply? If simple was synonymous with better, or better synonymous with simple? Every year and season, we look to raise the bar and find new challenges as we push limits with new rapids, bigger tricks, and taller waterfalls. This drive for progress is part of our nature as humans. In seeking the rush and the high of progression, of brushing against the edge of our capabilities, we push our skills, driving for greater precision and finesse, to go further, longer, and faster. Too often, we are drawn to do things on a bigger, grander scale, forgetting there is also progress and challenge to be found in doing something more simply. Simple, after all, doesn’t mean easy.
When Tomass Marnics, Kristof Stursa, Nouria Newman, Michiel De Ruytter, and Luka Rebersack set their sights on the Saryjaz, they weren’t focused on the river alone. Instead, it was the journey out that pushed their physical and mental limits as they hiked their kayaks up and over some of the steepest passes in the world. On the Grand Salmon Expedition, a multi-faceted, nearly
three-month,1000+ mile mission undertaken in the name of conservation, Brooke Hess, Libby Tobey, and Hailey Thompson were challenged most by the flatwater, the endless headwinds, and the emotional impact of being physically confronted by the damage we have wrought against our environment. The concrete of the lower Snake and Columbia dams creates just as many problems as it does benefits.
Both communities and ecosystems are destroyed by these feats of engineering whose consequences we have yet to fully understand, yet are replicated worldwide. In our effort to tame, to conquer, we sometimes forget the power that nature holds to challenge us, push us, humble us, and teach us, even in its smaller, gentler forms.
The green wave, rather than the foaming behemoth. The unsuspecting eddy line, rather than the largest waterfall. Evan Stafford, writing for American Whitewater, speaks to the power of nature based solutions, reminding us when it comes to some of the largest problems facing our world, we don’t need to reinvent thewheel. Nature has most likely already found a perfectly elegant solution. Often, the best we can do is step back and let it put our wrongs to right, to find a way to exist alongside it.
With a simpler approach, we find harmony with our world. Whether in succumbing to the power of the ocean tides at the Bitches, like Joe-Rae Dickins and generations of British and European paddlers, or being humbled by the power of a tropical storm and the Bolivian jungle, as Fabian Alejandro Bonanno experiences every time he returns to Villa Tunari.
By going slower and leaving a smaller trace, perhaps we can have a bigger impact. As we seek the next phase in our progression, whether as individuals or as a sport, let us remember the value of being “basic,” as Dane Jackson puts it. This is not to say we should stop pushing to go further, farther, and faster, but to push ourselves to be willing to do it better.
To go back to the basics. To find progress in moving slower, with purpose and intention. To generate less waste with greater awareness. For when we do, what we can accomplish and achieve is astounding.

By Anna Bruno,
Senior Editor

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