Disneyworld of Kayaking

I was lucky enough to get a chance to paddle on the whitewater course at the Adventure Sports Centre in McHenry, MD.
The course in located on the top of Marsh(?) Mountain and uses the same water from Deep Creek Lake as is used on the Upper Yough.

Pikey hanging on for dear life

Some neat facts about the ASCI Course:
  • the ASCI Course is 1700 feet long and drops 24 feet
  • the course has 6 waveshapers that are able to change the character of the features at each location (these waveshapers form wave and hole features
  • the rocks dug out of the mountain-top to form the whitewater course were then reintegrated into the course to form the artificial river and provide a natural river-like setting
  • there are squirt seams for serious downtime
  • the course was designed by folks from McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group and received active input from the likes of Jimmy Blakeney and Risa Shimoda

The eddies in the course were super swirly and the flow in some places felt rather unnatural. This seemed to be due to the flat concrete riverbed. On a natural river, the eddies have rocks and plants in them to slow the recirculating flow. There are no such “speed bumps” on the ASCI Course.

Once at the bottom pool of the course, you paddle up to a conveyor belt, which takes you back up to the top pool for a restart of the course. There was no sign, but apparently 30 foot spacing between boats on the conveyor belt is required or a dude at the top stats hollering at you. Rich and I sitting side-by-side on the belt and throwing punches at each other just wasn’t cool…

The course can release two pumps for a class II-III experience, 3 pumps for a class III experience, and 4 pumps for a class IV experience.

The waveshapers could also make any surf feature more or less difficult.

This was a pretty exciting spot, fun rapids, lots of friends, no take-out hikes, and super surf features. It was like spending the day at Canada’s Wonderland in your kayak!

Ha Ha Raft Carnage, even on a concrete river

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