Winter Paddling Options in the Ogden Area
A key factor in how your whitewater paddling will progress or how well you’ll be handing the spring runoff is getting as much pool time as you can during the winter months. Some of us push the limits a bit and paddle year round, but we still use every opportunity to practice indoors in warm water.
Lucky for us, living in the Ogden area gives us tons of opportunities that boaters in other areas of the state simply don’t have. Not only are we living in one of the most prime areas for boating on actual rivers, with the Ogden and Weber Rivers having numerous runs and play waves, we also have the most boater friendly pools here too. This week’s column will introduce you to what’s going on indoors and in boats around Ogden.
Ogden Kayak Polo- Held every Tuesday at the Marshall White Center Pool at 222 28th Street in Ogden from 6-8pm. Cost $5, payable at the front desk. First timers will also need to pay $1 for an identification card. Kayak polo sounds a little daunting, as if we might have tight knit teams and are super competitive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our goal in hosting kayak polo is to help people practice their paddling skills in an environment that gets everyone zigzagging all over the pool trying to score goals or block others from doing so. It’s impressive to see how quickly people improve after a few polo nights. We have new players each week and a core group of regulars who are more than happy to teach new players the ropes. If you’d like to come join us but aren’t sure if you are ready to play, there is a section of pool that people are more than welcome to use while the games are going on to either practice your rolls or to just paddle around in. Contact me direct if you need more info.
UWC Layton Wave Pool Nights- During the winter months, the Utah Whitewater Club rents out the Layton Surf and Swim wave pool a few Saturdays each month from 7-10pm. This is located near the Layton Police Department at 465 Wasatch Dr. Our next session is the 28th of January and all are welcome, club member or not. Is your pool roll solid? Starting to get combat rolls in the river? Well, the wave pool is the next step in solidifying your roll into one that’s bombproof. Rolling in bouncy, wavy water is the closest thing to doing it for real in the river. We have the wave machine set for us so that we get ten minutes of flat water and ten minutes of waves. This rotation continues for three hours straight giving you plenty of time to wear yourself out, recoup and get back out there for more fun. Everyone tends to get to the wave pool at about 630pm so that they are ready to go at 7pm when our time starts. Cost- individual club members- $5, non members -$10 and we have family rates too. Please park around back inside the fenced in area so that you can drag your boats in through the side double doors. If you get there and need help or guidance, come find a club leader who will be positioned at the large picnic table with the awning down by the shallow end. You also pay at the table, not at the front desk. We have people travelling from as far as Provo on a regular basis for this event, and it’s worth it! http://www.laytoncity.org/public/surfnswim/default.aspx
Open Pool Sessions- The Marshall White Center, at 222 28th St in Ogden, has opened its pool for boaters to use whenever there isn’t a scheduled class or event going on. Prepare to share the pool with a couple swimmers and you’ll have open pool access like nowhere else in Utah. This type of access is super hard to get, and we thank them for being such great supporters of the boating community. Yup, this is the same place we play Kayak Polo each Tuesday at 6pm. If you don’t know their pool schedule, it’s a good idea to check their website or call ahead to ensure the pool isn’t booked. Cost- $5, payable at the front desk. http://www.marshallwhitecenter.com/swimming-pool.html or call them at 801-629-8346
Weber State Outdoor Program- Weber State offers a few roll sessions in the winter, give them a call at 801-626-6373 or keep an eye out on their website for info. http://www.weber.edu/outdoor
Crystal Wave- Located behind the new Wal-Mart at Wall Ave and 21st Street in Ogden on the Ogden River. Does cold weather and cold water not bother you? Wanting to try to learn to surf your kayak and looking for a gentile feature to learn on? Well look no further than the newest play feature in Utah. Crystal wave was created as part of the Ogden River Restoration Project that is cleaning and improving the Ogden River from around Washington Blvd down past Wal-Mart. Most of the work has been completed and they are finishing things up while planning to soon build another play feature right next to the Slackwater Café on Washington Blvd. Crystal wave is a low water feature that has been surfable most of the winter so far. A few of us hit this up a couple times a week on stand up paddleboards or kayaks/canoes to get our surf fix. If you’re interested in trying that out and want to join up with our group, contact me direct.
With all these options available to us here in and around Ogden, there’s no excuse for being rusty when the rivers start flowing this spring. Dust off your kayak, canoe or SUP and come join us!