Mexican Freeride - Kalob GradyWhitewater Kayaking - Feb 07, 2019
Written by: Werner Athlete Kalob Grady
The jungles of Veracruz are a mystical place, where imaginations flourish and ideas come to life. In the spring of 2018, Nick Troutman, Dane Jackson and I orchestrating a quick mission to Veracruz State and the Alseseca River. Our goals were simple and founded in the constant progression of downriver/waterfall freestyle. We dreamt of taking the JK Antix – a new school slicey kayak but with friendly edges and playful hull – to the pristine waterfalls of the Alseseca to put it, and down river freestyle limits to the test.
Nick and I arrived without Dane, (he would join us a few days later) and went straight to work. The classic sections provided a great warmup to feeling out low volume creeking in these kayaks and with each passing day, Nick and I not only gained confidence in our small kayaks, but our vision for what was possible constantly expanded and exceeded our original expectations.
Dane joined us as the entire river became our playground. Every waterfall had something to offer; a clean freewheel, a splat wall above or below, an eddy line for stern ends. Everything was in play. We began to see the waterfalls of the Alseseca and the Jalacingo in a whole new light.
Nick getting comfortable with his Antix in tight places on the infamous S-turn rapid on the Roadside section of the Alseseca.
Kalob getting vertical and into the flow of the trip.
Nick riding out the wall through some classics.
Nick whipping it around on a lesser run section of the Alseseca.
Kalob goes verticle on the aptly named freestyle drop on the lower reaches of the Alseseca.
Dane immediately making an impact on the trip with this epic switch reewheel off the Mexican 20 waterfall on the Big Banana section of the Alseseca.
Kalob striving to get his bow down on Silenco.
The stoke always builds as we walk into the river, the smiles get bigger, and the walk turns into a run!
Dane talking it to a new level and throwing a massive, perfect switch freewheel on Sidechick, a waterfall he First descended a few years ago.
Kalob follows suit on Sidechick but opts to throw a normal freewheel, already thinking about the double for next time!
Nick slicing up the perfect post river snack, pineapples as sweet and fresh as they get.
Nick getting vertical below the breathtaking scenery of Big Banana Falls.
Kalob celebrating after a low water mission off Truchas Falls.
Nick launching off the bottom half of double drop.
Kalob lays it all out on the line on the tricky final waterfall of the Upper Jalacingo.
Kalob goes reverse on the Upper jalacingo.
Kalob putting the creeking limits of the Antix to the test on Skatepark.
Spot your landing.
Nick sends a kickflip off freestyle drop on one of our finals laps!
Don’t forget to celebrate the good times on every trip.