How do you like your whitewater – salty or fresh?
It seems like an odd question because most people don’t think of whitewater kayaking in the ocean. In Mendocino County we have both whitewater rivers and whitewater of the sea.
Whitewater River Running
Mendocino County’s whitewater rivers are runnable when we have considerable rain which is usually in the winter and early spring (December-April). The whitewater rivers and creeks in Mendocino County range from Class II through Class V. There are both roadside and wilderness runs. The Eel River and Russian River are the primary whitewater rivers in the county. The challenge of whitewater river running in Mendocino County is that flows are not predictable. The website California Creeks is a good resource for whitewater runs in Mendocino County.
Whitewater of the Sea
Year-round whitewater of the sea is an option on the Mendocino Coast. Whitewater of the sea is often referred to as rock gardening. Rock gardening is a hybrid of whitewater kayaking, surf kayaking, and sea kayaking. The difference between whitewater of the sea and whitewater river running is learning the pulse of the sea. You have to time your ride over rocks, through channels, and on waves with the swell. It is very FUN!!! The Mendocino Coast entices paddlers from all over the world to kayak and play in its rock garden features.
If you want to play in the whitewater of the sea, check out Liquid Fusion Kayaking. They offer whitewater of the sea adventures for first time kayakers as well as for seasoned whitewater and sea kayak enthusiasts. Here is one of their videos.