By: Dwayne Parton

The 2nd Swim

Well, it was bound to come sooner or later. As my friend Kyle always says, “We are just in between swims”. I have to admit I was a little disappointed though, but it was actually quite funny at least to me. Phillip and I had just ran the Nanty and we decided we’d try our luck out at the wave. Neither of us had actually played in a hole like this before but we thought we’d give it a go. I had been in the hole once before but it was in my remix and it consisted of a side surf, a window shade, and a roll. Phillip had also and from what I could tell his experience was very similar. Anyhow, the hole looked considerably smaller and less intimidating than it did when I was in my remix. I guess it was because I had been down the Ocoee and played some in Hell Hole which is much more wave like even though it’s considerably bigger.

My first run felt great. I did the best flat spin I had ever done. I felt really comfortable and even tried my hand at doing a loop, only to get washed out. Phillip had already had his first run and he was ready to go. I wanted to go one more time. Before I went in we were talking about how much stickier this wave was than surfer’s and I made a commit like “it won’t hold you”. I proceeded to enter the wave from the eddy on river left. Easy enough. I decided to try another flat spin. By this time I was on the far right side of the wave. When I was backwards, the wave caught my stern and flipped me end over end. No big deal. I went to set up for a roll only to find that I was on the wave side of the boat, so I decided to switch to the other side only to find that once again I was on the wave side of the boat, and so it was for 2 more attempts. I could not figure out how to roll up, as a matter of fact I couldn’t figure out how to even get my paddle to the surface. I thought to my self, “Crap, I can’t roll up” in my head I kind of laughed because I knew I had just eatin my words. I pulled my skirt, and out I came. I totally deserved that.

I guess everytime you swim it’s a humbling experience. Not because you got scared but because in that moment you have to admit defeat. That was first time I had been in a situation even close to that. It wasn’t scary, it was just humbling as the river once again proved that I was not in control. I can’t wait to get back in the wave, and what a great spot to learn how to deal with a hole, at least on a small scale. Learning how to access a “crisis” when you’re world is flipped upside down.