Frias Properties broker Will Burggraf is our resident expert on kayaking. He’s spent the last decade paddling the rivers of the Roaring Fork Valley, and beyond. An East Coast native, Will first experienced whitewater as a child, canoeing on the Delaware River. When he moved to Colorado in 2001, he was immediately drawn to kayaking. Even with the advancement in gear and the increased technical levels of the rivers, Will said it still felt very familiar to those childhood weekends. “I was addicted when I laid down my first stroke,” he says.
This week, our blog team sits down with Will to reflect on 10 years of memories:
Q: What attracted you to kayaking?
A: “It is really one of the only times you can really shut everything off. Not only can the river setting be beautiful and peaceful, it can also be incredibly intense. So much so that you cannot think about anything but what you are doing. It is a great way to clear the mind. Every time I get off the river I am completely rejuvenated.”
Q: When does the season typically start?
A: “Depending on which river, up-valley or down-valley, you can start paddling around mid-April. I would say most people do not go until mid-May but if you want to get after it, there are certainly a few rivers that will have enough water earlier. The peak is typically around June 10th.”
Q: Where’s a good place for a beginner?
A: “The Lower Fork on a section called Pink to Black. It is a stretch of river between Carbondale and Glenwood. It is a Class II. For real beginner, you can go to pool sessions at the ARC.”
Q: Where do you like to go?
A: “We are fortunate enough to have one of the beefiest Class III+ whitewater runs in the state about two miles from our office. Slaughterhouse has to be done as much as possible as long as it is running. I like to hit it about three times a week if possible. I also like Castle Creek.”
Q: Do you go in a group? How many?
A: “We typically go with 2-6 people, depending on the day and flow of the river. It is not something you can or should do alone.”
Q: Do you have any secret spots?
A: “Not secret, but certainly favorite play holes in the river. That is one of the great things about Slaughterhouse. It runs different at every water level. No two days are ever the same.”
Q: What kind of gear do you have?
A: “I have several boats for different types of activity. For playing in surf waves or at low water, I love my Dagger Crazy 88. Super-fun easy-to-maneuver boat. Great for cartwheels, donkey flips and whatever else you want it to do. I mainly paddle my Jackson 4fun, which is a great all-around river runner and play boat, so you get the best of both worlds. If it’s super big water, I like the Liquid Logic Hefe Grande.”
Q: What’s your Number One safety tip?
A: “Stay in the boat!”
Q: What’s the biggest myth about whitewater rafting/kayaking?
A: “I guess the only thing I would say is respect the river. It is a very dangerous sport that can be relatively safe if you take proper precautions.”
Q: What’s the best time of year?
A: “For big, heart-pounding water? Definitely June. July is also a great time get on the river and cool off. Really it is whenever the water is flowing. It is a short season and you have to go when nature tells you to.”
To speak with Will about a vacation rental, real estate or kayaking, call him at (970) 429-2415 or e-mail Will@FriasProperties.com . To read more about Will, CLICK HERE.