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2016 Lumpy Waters Sea Kayak Symposium

2016 Lumpy Waters Sea Kayak Symposium

Lumpy Waters

Alder Creek’s 2016 Lumpy Waters Sea Kayak Symposium was a great success!

A huge thanks go out to our participants and coaches for traveling far and wide to Pacific City, OR this year!  This Lumpy might have been our best yet.  Of course we have to thank our incredible sponsors for their support as well!

Check out photos HERE and the event video below!  (Huge shout out to Brent Williamson of Raging River Pictures for his excellent work on the video!)

And feel free to reach out to our sponsors on social media and thank them for their support!

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Presenting Sponsors:






Sterling Kayaks













Choosing The Right PFD For You – Feel Comfortable & Safe

Not sure how to choose the right PFD?  Here’s a simple walk-through to highlight some PFD features and their purposes!


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Lumpy Waters 2015 VIDEO and Wrap Up

Lumpy Waters 2015!

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Check out some photos from the event HERE or check out the Lumpy Waters Facebook page!

Lumpy Waters is a three day celebration of sea kayaking! With coaching aimed at advanced beginners, early intermediates, and advanced level paddlers, Lumpy provides an unparalleled opportunity to improve your skills on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Top coaches come from all over the world, making Lumpy Waters the premiere instructional destination for dynamic ocean paddling.

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe presents their 7th annual Lumpy Waters Symposium held in Pacific City, OR. This year’s event took place from October 16th – 18th, 2015. This film had a 36 hour turnaround, was shot on Friday and Saturday of the event, and was presented Saturday night for the attendants. Film by Brent Williamson of Raging River Pictures (

If you are interested in joining us next year, please check out for more information on next year’s event October 7-9, 2016!  Or, just click the Book Now button below!

Book Now

Chet Faker – Gold

Topher Mohr and Alex Elena – Stalling

Keller Williams – Vabeeotchay


Wrap-Up from Dave and Suzi:

Alder Creek would like to extend a HUGE thank YOU to the folks who make our Lumpy Waters Symposium possible!!

Every year the Alder Creek Lumpy Waters Symposium is a success due to people who make a GIANT effort.  First we couldn’t do it without the support staff who stay in Portland and run the stores, programs and work the Pumpkin Regatta!!  We have the best staff in the world and we truly appreciate the efforts made by the entire team.  Our retail staff, rental staff, guides, instructors and coaches work all year reaching out to folks with ideas and suggestions to improve their paddling skills or just more time on the water.  Paddlers encouraging other paddlers to reach for the limits and expanding their horizons by following a progression of skill building that leads a lucky group of people to Lumpy each year.

Thank you to our staff who believe!!

An ENORMOUS thanks to the coaches, staff and volunteers who are on site at Lumpy! Leading classes, assisting classes, filming, outfitting boats, loading boats, doing dishes, fitting helmets, working registration, organizing vehicles, driving shuttles, organizing students, organizing coaches, smiling, having fun and MAKING FUN happen. Endless work and Endless magic. Thank you.

A very special Thanks goes out to our manufacturers and vendors who support this event in ways too numerous to list. They truly make it possible and comfortable and certainly add a BIG FUN factor with the raffle items, beverage cups, drysuits, kayaks, hats, DVDs and endless schwag. Plus they are there to work and help which is priceless.
Thank you so much TEAM ALDER CREEK!

The Students are the MOST special part of Lumpy each year, bringing their enthusiasm and goals to the Oregon Coast with open eyes and rapidly beating hearts.
A brave bunch of paddlers putting their trust in the coach’s vision hoping for a break through moment or their first surf or improving their forward stroke or mastering that elusive roll.
Thank you for the chance to splash, cheer and laugh together.

See you next year!!

Thank YOU all
Dave and Suzi


Dave Slover

Suzi Elle

Suzi Elle


Some Positive Feedback:

My son and I both had an awesome time at our first but not last Lumpy Waters. The coaches, sponsors and kayak comunity make it impossible not to have the best learning and all-round good time of the year. Things I liked: 1. The quality of the coaches and their ability to share their skills with kayakers new to the surf environment. Fear to fun was perfect for that. 2. The venues were varried for novice and advanced paddler. Some very close to camp. I liked hearing the surf at night when going to sleep. 3. The afternoon happy hour and evening activities where a BLAST!! Thanks to the sponsors and enthusiastic coaches.
Things to improve, I would like to see fun and feed back increase to a full day. We ran out of time before we had a chance to practice some of what was taught. 2. Maps of the different venue locations. I got separated from the group due to stop lights and had a tough time finding the launch.
Thanks for a fantastic program,

Suzi, thanks to you and Paul for all the hard work you put in at Lumpy Waters. Being there for the first time made me appreciate all the logistical work behind it. I really enjoyed it and plan to return next year.
David S

Had a great time at Lumpy. Nick Cunliff was awesome. I would endorse his return.
By now you should be relaxed and relishing the accomplishment of a very successful Lumpy. You and Paul should be very proud.
Donna S

Excellent class. Chris did a great job. Thanks for making it happen.

Paul (and staff),
I had a great time at my first Lumpy. I couldn’t begin to offer suggestions for improvement. You guys have this put together so well- its an impressive experience to be a part of. Do the things you guys need to do to make the job easier on yourselves so we all can continue to benefit from such a valuable event.
The video preview was huge. Such a quality capturing of the feeling of what we were all involved in. I’m sharing it with everyone.
I look forward to many more Lumpy’s.
Thank you,
Kevin M

Thanks so much, Paul. First let me just say that Lumpy was awesome and I plan to return next year. I really appreciated the variety of options and the great venues and awesome coaches.
Again, thanks so much for all your work.

Suzi –
Just another quick shout out that I had a really enjoyable time (and learned a lot!) at both BCU week and Lumpy. Thanks to you and all of the Alder Creek team for putting on such an excellent event. I know you are recovering and have to be exhausted. I certainly appreciate all the work put in.
Thanks again for a wonderful event!

Now I can see why everyone talks about Lumpy. The entire weekend was superb–the boating, the coaches, the lodging, the food and your flawless organization.
Thanks much; hope to come back up next year.

I want to thank you for getting Jeannie involved in Sunday’s activities. She had fun.
Putting Lumpy on was certainly a high energy effort and without the energy it wouldn’t be as successful as it was. Quality of instruction and general support of participants with food and evening activities keeps all focused on why we are there. Thank you.

Hi Paul, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much we enjoyed our time at Lumpy Waters. An amazing staff and great organization made this event really function. On top of that, the level of instruction was superb as was the level of comraderie. My Wife Claire and I were attending for the first time and we feel we gained so much kayaking knowledge as well as a great view of what it means to be part of the kayaking community. Thanks so much to you, the owners and of course Suzi and all the staff for making it happen. We are looking forward to next year. Mike

Paul, Dave and Suzi,
I wanted to thank you guys again for including me in your event. Very impressive again this year. I personally saw a lot of folks making big progress on their personal kayak skills in a short time. Your unique idea to allow so much real time changing to different classes goes a long ways toward creating a positive feeling towards the event.
Kim G

Suzi Just a super thanks for everything !

Suzi and Paul,
Thank you for a great event. I really enjoyed it.

Hey Paul,
Great event!
I’m looking at the questions you wanted answered and honestly can’t think of anyway to improve the event. Everything from the scheduling of classes to the wonderful people there would be hard to improve on. Thanks for letting me be part of this event! I would love to come back next year if there is room.

Hey Paul!
Just wanted to say thanks for inviting me up again, I had a blast and was happy to be a part of a great event. The classes went really well, Ryan and Malcom were great to work with and you have a great crew at Alder Creek too. I heard several students comment on how much they liked having lots of instructors on each class so they could get some more individualized instruction, and I think that worked really well in each class I was a part of. The Pub Quiz and the presentation were great, and having an open happy hour was a big hit. I think you guys have the entertainment down really well, it was great to see a really good venue where everything can be contained on site. I heard nothing but good feedback from students all weekend, people were really happy. I liked the duct tape on people’s helmets so the coaches could see names and how they placed themselves as a paddler. That was super helpful. Keep up all the great work, we will keep telling lots of students about Lumpy!

Magnificent job with Lumpy 2015!

Great conference, I plan on returning.
I liked courses, instructors, attendees, beer & atmosphere.
It was great ending on Sunday, attempting to surf at Netarts.
I want to get more surfing in this winter & hope to find someone from conference to go with. Maybe more lessons?
Best coaching experiences where when the coaches would adapt the lesson plan to each individual’s skill level.
Could be better: food.

Paul, Lumpy rocked. Last year was smooth, this year was pureed smooth. Can’t wait til next year!

I loved Lumpy and I’m very excited about my new Progression.

Thanks for putting together and amazing event; this year was great! Great coaches, great students, great classes and the ratio of coaches and assistant coaches and students was pretty amazing and made the challenging conditions possible!
I had a lot of fun and paddled my butt off and was thoroughly exhausted when i got home!

Advanced Creeking Clinic on Canyon Creek

Enjoy Dave Trageser’s recount of his Personal First Descent of Canyon Creek during an Advanced Creeking Clinic!
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“A successful descent of Washington’s Canyon Creek was on my bucket list for 2015.  This gem of a run located just outside of Amboy, WA, is a staple of the steep creeking community in Portland and a wintertime playground for whitewater boaters from all over the region due to its incredibly favorable fun to consequence ratio.  In my mind, I had pictured myself checking Canyon Creek off the list sometime in April or May once I had spent all winter preparing myself for such a steep, intimidating class IV run.  Part of this preparation was supposed to be participating in one of Alder Creek’s Advanced Creeking Clinics on a less committing run. However, the script got flipped on me when a sunny weekend dried up all of our options for the class and the call was made: Canyon Creek would be had on Sunday, January 25th.
“Canyon Creek starts with some benign rapids in a beautiful setting just downstream from the Fly Creek bridge before picking up pace and delivering several miles of fun and exciting drops that carry you through an immensely deep & steep gorge before crashing to a halt when the creek dumps into Lake Merwin.  Most of the rapids are ledges, with some bouldery jumbles interspersed to keep you on your toes.  The first named rapid on Canyon Creek is Swizzle Sticks, a series of sporty holes which marks the beginning of the upper gorge section that should most definitely be scouted for wood.  Fortunately for us the whole section was clean & clear. The upper gorge ends with Terminator, a funky 5 foot ledge that requires a move up high on the left to avoid a very nasty hole at the base of this drop on the right.  Miss a stroke like I did and you’ll definitely need to show off the old combat roll for your friends 🙂
“Below Terminator, several more ledges and bouldery drops carry you downstream to Prelude and Thrasher, two of the most fun drops on the whole creek.  Prelude requires a big boof off the very right side of this broken ledge and then some solid paddle strokes upon landing, as the hole at the base is sticky and carries a powerful upstream current.  Thrasher itself has a more straightforward line. The most important component to a successful run is to point your bow to the right when you land (a big old lefty boof off the rock in the middle of that ledge).  Thrasher also marks the start line for the Canyon Creek race every Spring, something I hope to be able to participate in this season!
“Below Thrasher, a long and complex boulder garden follows and climaxes with… you guessed it, another ledge and several sporty holes.  One of these absolutely crushed me, which was fine since I was feeling warm and needed to check out the scenery below river level anyhow 🙂  After more than my fair share of fun taking the tour of the boulder garden, the creek reaches a fairly large horizon line that is the lip of the Big Falls, or Big Kahuna.  Kahuna is 18 feet or so of sheer fun & excitement. The classic line is down the right and off a very obvious rock flake that auto-boofs you down into the aerated pool below.  Take note: you should keep your weight trimmed forwards as the water gets very swirly and dynamic at the base of this waterfall. I ended up in the back seat of my kayak and had to show off the combat roll again for the whole group.  Despite a pounding ice cream headache from the icy waters and more than a little fatigue, this drop is a classic that I would gladly lap again & again if it wasn’t such a pain to get back up to the top!
“After Kahuna there’s plenty of bouldery mank to keep you excited before you reach Champagne and the Hammering Spot, two picturesque waterfalls that are each 10 feet or so.  I gladly followed Paul off the middle of Champagne, and with a healthy boof stroke I stomped the landing and then immediately headed for the very right side of the Hammering Spot (go left and discover why that rapid got its name at your own peril) and repeated the process: giant stroke, knees up, stomp the landing, war cry of triumph in the eddy below.  The last major rapid is Toby’s, a very ugly, broken ledge that is backed up with all kinds of manky boulders that I chose to portage on the left.  Below Toby’s is lake Merwin and about a mile of flatwater paddling to the takeout. Make sure you keep some victory beers in your kayak or at the takeout, because they will be well deserved after that much hard boating.  I feel so fortunate to have had such an amazing opportunity to explore a truly magical place that is off limits to most people out there. Without the skills, confidence and a capable craft, there’s no other way to see it.  Next up on my bucket list for 2015 is another descent of Canyon Creek – maybe with less time spent probing the juiciest holes and more time spent airing out some massive boofs :)”
-Dave Trageser

Steve is in New Zealand; Part 1

It’s the first week of my family’s vacation in New Zealand. In a month we’ll be covering most of both islands. This last week while visiting family friends on the North Island, I got the chance to tag along on a whitewater rafting trip down the Rangitikei River. There were over 30 other young people piled into 6 rafts and myself in an inflatable kayak as well as the safety boaters/photographers. Before loading up, I learned that the water had been exceptionally low but rising quickly because of heavy rainfall the night before. By the time we were on the water the levels had raised to a great flow.

The section of river ran was about 6 miles of steep canyon walls with large smooth boulders to navigate around. It reminded me of a more scenic version of the Lower Wind River with endless technical moves and ledges to drop. The upper section was a relatively mild warm up of forgiving class III moves. The lower was a bit spicier with a good drop and speedy chutes. I had plenty of boat to move by solo piloting a tandem IK! I would have preferred to be in a hard shell kayak but It was good to error on the side of caution considering it was a river I had never paddled with people I had just met.

Over all it was an absolute blast. New Zealand is an endless haven for whitewater paddlers, and this river left me just as awe-struck as ever. I caught a little footage on the way down and spliced it together, so please have a look considering my words can’t do this place justice. I’m looking forward to another run down this river with some new friends when I’m on the North Island again in a couple weeks.

In the meantime, as one of the guides said, “I’ll be back paddling”.


5th Annual Lumpy Waters Symposium 2013 coaches’ play day

After an excellent weekend of saltwater fun and instruction at the 5th Annual Lumpy Waters Symposium, many of the coaches stuck around to do some playing of their own.  And the waves were WAY more powerful.  Check out Chris Bensch’s sweet edit below!

5th Annual Lumpy Waters Symposium 2013 event video


Thanks to White Sea Magazine for this excellent edit of the 2013 Lumpy Waters Symposium!  Of course a great thanks goes to the folks that make this possible: all of the wonderful participants and coaches that travel to our fair coast!  And a most sincere thank you to Paul Kuthe, Dave Slover, and Suzi Elle for their exquisite organization of this incredible event.

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Kayak Crabbing

Kayak Crabbing.

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Watch Jason Self go kayak crabbing  on the Oregon coast. Check out the Crab Hawk here.

Lumpy Waters 2012

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The 2012 Lumpy Waters Symposium!

kayak surfing at the Oregon Coast

Kayak surfing with the Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe Staff off the Coast of Portland Oregon. If you are looking to learn how to Kayak surf, white water kayak, or tour in a sea kayak then let us take you there. Our instructors are ACA and BCU certified with passion and drive to teach.

Kayak surfing and waveski Oregon Coast


Tempest Sea Kayak by Wilderness Systems

The Wilderness Systems Tempest Sea Kayak is carried at Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe. Call us at 888.285.0465.

How to put on dry suit gaskets on your wrist and neck

Putting on a drysuit gasket should be done carefully. If you use force on the gasket you will tear an old gasket easier. Keep your gaskets lubed and treated to last longer.

Check out our drysuit selection!

Nigel Dennis Kayaks – NDK Explorer Sea Kayak

Nigel Dennis Sea Kayaks are built for rough kayak paddling on expedition. The NDK Explorer is known for a tough layup as a Fiberglass Sea Kayak.

Rafting on the Colorado River

Paul Kuthe Kate Ross of Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe Portland Oregon. 2008. Check with Paul K. for date 🙂

Rafting gear at Alder Creek