Tallulah Fest is definitively one to go to, and it is personally one of my favorites. If you think the Tallulah is fun to paddle, the festival makes it even better. I got there Friday morning and paddled Section Four of the Chattooga with my friends and we had a blast. It was my first time on Section Four, it was amazing, not only was the river rad, but the scenery was beautiful. Then on Saturday I went with Team Pyranha to paddle the Tallulah. The only bad part about the Tallulah is the hike into the gorge. It’s about a 600 stairs down into the gorge.
Oceana is a known rapid on the Tallulah. It’s about a 50 foot slide. Its very deceiving in pictures, it’s super steep and very scary. Once the Pyranha crew got to the rapid we pulled over and got out of our boats to look at the rapid. I was really nervous, but so many paddlers talked to me and told me just to keep your right paddle blade in the water and you will be fine. After a bit of thinking, I got in my boat and went to the lip, and took and paddle stroke and I was going down the rapid. It was really big and fun. It was a bumpy ride and it had a fun hole to boof at the bottom.
The next couple of rapids were pretty easy, there was a one like Oceana, it was a slide, a little shorter and not as big. It had a sick boof at the bottom too. Then came one called Tom’s Brain Buster. It feels just how it sounds, if you flip, and if you don’t it is just a fun rapid. There is big rock to the right of the middle of the rapid. While paddling the rapid you obviously want to avoid the rock, and paddle down the ride side.
I paddle and tried to go right but ended up slamming into the rock and going down the right, but upside down. I was on the back deck of my boat and I needed to be tucked, so I tried to move and tuck on my boat. I did do that, but I felt every groove, rock, and ledge. I finally rolled up when the rapid was over and I was not a happy person, thankfully my shoulder and elbow was only bruised. I was using a new full face helmet and it was blue, so when I rolled up the back and top of the helmet didn’t have any blue paint and the part the goes around my face to protect it didn’t have any blue paint either. Which meant the helmet got really beat up. Then I went to reach for my Ultra Pro X Camera and it was not there. I was again not a happy person. I didn’t really mind losing the camera, but all my footage was on the SD Card. I got over it, but the rest of the river was really fun.
Then after everyone ran, the festival began. There was a pretty rad band. The music from the band was awesome. Then the raffle began. Some really sick stuff was given away at the festival, like Sweet Protection shorts and a gear bag, Mountain Khaki gift cards, Watershed dry bags, and Pyranha Shirts and Hats. Then the best prize ever. Pyranha Kayaks gave away a new Loki. The winner was really stoked to get the boat.
Then there was a 5 minute paddling video award. The winner got 1,000 dollars cash and a new Sweet Protection Dysuit. Dylan Mckinney won, and it was a really sick video. He worked so hard on it. Then the after the award we all went back to out hotels, campsites, and RVs. Tallulah Fest is definitely one of my favorite festivals and its festival you should go to. I plan on going back next year and going to the festival for years to come. Huge thanks to Big D who made this years Talulah Fest happen.
Hope to see you on the water,