David Silk 08/10/2016 | Posted in 2016 Rock Star Competition, 2016 WW events, Event Coverage, Events, Internationalisation, River Running, United States, Whitewater, Wrap Ups, WW Disciplines
Just finished up another amazing weekend down in West Virginia, at the Gauley River Festivities! This festival is like no other. Now we check in with David Silk and Kaelin Friedenson to find out what went down.
Interviewer- So, Kaelin, what is your favorite part of the festival?
Kaelin- Well, my favorite part was hanging out with all my friends and also, uh, eh… what was it? And also when Stevo asked if I wanted to stand on top of the Jackson RV and pick the winner the free boat and cooler! It felt so awesome, because ever since my first Gauley Fest I was at the bottom. I always wanted to go on top of the RV. It was also great to go check out the Werner tent, with the best paddles on the market! Yay!
Interviewer- And what about the river? What’s you’re favorite rapid?
Kaelin- I think my favorite part on the river was either, uh, paddling the Upper with my Keener friends, or paddling the Lower the next day with David, Bryce, Olivia, Todd, and my dad. My favorite rapid on the Gauley would be Lost Paddle. It’s my favorite because it has my two favorite slots- Mail Slot and Video Slot. I really like Video Slot because it starts off narrow, and then gets wider, and you go off a little ramp and it’s really fun to go into a tight spot and then be able to zoom off a ramp. I like Mail Slot because it is the tightest and longest slot that I’ve ever been in, and is really cool because the first time I ran it I was with Bren and he said “Let’s try Mail Slot!”, and I said ok. So when we went through I flipped over halfway through and wound up swimming because I thought both the walls on Mail Slot were undercut! of course, after that Bren told me that it’s a really safe slot and the walls aren’t undercut. Yay!
Interviewer- David Silk… Do you like the Upper or Lower Gauley more? Why?
David- That’s a hard question… there’s a lot of things I love about both of them. The Upper definitely has bigger rapids and playspots, but the Lower has more potential for downriver, and also has a couple really quality playspots. If I had to choose though, I’d have to say the Upper. It’s a perfect balance of hard moves mixed in with big and fun features and monster kick flips. There’s not many runs in the world where you can mix creek/slot moves with big water play, but the Upper Gauley is unquestionably one of them.
Interviewer- What is your favorite thing to do at the festival?
David- I think one of my favorite parts about Gauley Fest is that you get to see so many good friends from all over, and meet new people at the same time. With over 5,000 paddlers hanging out in a big field, you get the chance to make new friends, and hang out with ones who you haven’t seen in years. It’s the ultimate social hour for paddlers.
Thanks so much to Mr. Friedenson and Mr. Silk for their time! We sincerely hope to see them next year, at the greatest festival in sports.