FIRST AND SECOND YEAR ATHLETES
The JHKC provides much of the gear necessary for every kayaking trip. In general, we do not expect new athletes to invest a lot into gear purchases. The trade-off for this low cost is that you will not have the same boat every day, and you may not be able to choose what boat or paddle you get to use. Don't worry, the boat and paddle are only a small part of a skilled kayaker. The driver makes all the difference!
Every kayaker needs the big five to get out on the water safely, if you have any of these please bring them along
Whitewater Kayak Paddle, between 180 - 195 cm in length depending on age
Personal Floatation Device (PFD, commonly referred to as a life jacket)
Neoprene Spray Skirt
Whitewater Kayaking Helmet
These five pieces of gear are provided to our athletes through our own kayak fleet, as well as a partnership with Rendezvous River Sports and Jackson Hole Kayak School (RRS). The following conditions apply for all JHKC athletes,
Big Five gear will be selected by JHKC coaches, not athletes. You may request a specific boat or paddle, but the coaches will make the final decision about what gear goes out on a trip.
All JHKC and RRS gear used by athletes is returned at the end of the day's trip, rinsed and hung up to dry...by the athlete! Ask your coaches for help the first few days! Do not leave gear in the van, trailer, or your gear bag!
Be nice, be patient, and say please and thank you when getting geared up for a trip.
Athletes need to provide,
Wetsuit - this can be a full wetsuit or a farmer John (sleeveless) style wetsuit.
Booties - some type of closed toe, well-fitting neoprene water shoe. Thin water shoes generally fall apart quickly and do not provide adequate protection.
Towel - A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.
Lunch/Snacks - Morning trips cross over lunch time, and afternoon trips will return around dinner time. Please bring a lunch or snack. Don't worry about a dry bag for it, we will cover that. And bring some extra for your coaches.
Water - A water bottle that will fit in your kayak. Yes, you may lose it!
Warm layers - Athletes should bring along a non-cotton top and bottom layer every day, your ski layers are fine. The weather can change quickly!
Gear Bag - Something to keep all your stuff together. Often a school backpack is enough, it does not have to be anything special.
Spring Athletes need to provide,
Dry top or dry suit.
Full body wetsuit, or farmer john with a thick neoprene top.
Explorers and Voyagers need to provide,
Dry top or dry suit
Appropriate layers for cold water paddling (wetsuits, neoprene layers, etc)
A personal, well fitted helmet suitable for Class IV whitewater
If you are in need of a wetsuit or booties, I strongly suggest you swing through RRS and look at some of the options. RRS's support helps make our whole program run, every day that a JHKC athlete is out with a boat and paddle they are using over $1000 of donated gear. Please support them with your patronage.
BEYOND SECOND-YEAR ATHLETES
The JHKC does expect 3rd year and beyond athletes to make an investment in their sport and equipment. Purchasing some of the basic big five items will help expedite getting out of the parking lot, on the water, and cleaning up afterward. Also, you will have equipment to use on off-days or the weekends. JHKC athletes may NOT store gear at Rendezvous River Sports, you must take your personal gear and boats home after kayaking every day.