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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Virgin River Skimboarding Campaign

The intensity on my face was that of a lion staring down his prey. I gazed down the river. The water was gently flowing, shallow and lazy. But not for long. It would soon be conquered. A drop of water fell from my bangs. I could almost hear the splash as it hit my nose. All other sounds had been drowned out by my focus. It seemed amazing that this half-inch piece of plywood could carry me across the top of the three inch deep water. But carry me it would, if I was fast enough and my footing was sure.
Like a sprinter springing from the starting blocks I started my campaign. This river was mine! Water splashed up beside me with each step, but I paid no mind. With the accuracy of a hop scotch champion I tossed the piece of plywood down in front of me. The smooth fiberglass coating made it glide across the top of the water with ease. The narrow point of the skimboard cut through the water like a knife. With the sure footedness of a mountain goat, I sprang into the air and came down onto the board…well, sort of.
The board and the river joined forces and fought back. My front foot landed a little right of center and only the big toe of my trailing foot made it on to the board. At this moment I sensed impending doom. Because of the unbalanced distribution of my weight and a lack of sure footing, this campaign took a turn for the worse, literally. The skimboard spun out from underneath me. To try to keep myself upright, my front foot came off the board and as it came down the still spinning board smacked into my ankle. The first casualty. The board, still spinning, swept my back foot out from underneath me, which sent me flying through the air. Visions of Pete Rose sliding head first into home come to mind. My sight was a blur of sand and water as my body came to rest.
Just as I thought the battle was over the board came floating by and clunked my elbow. “Ouch!” I yelled, as my focus drained from me. I began to be aware of my surroundings again. The laughter of my friends could be heard over the water rippling past my ears. “Thanks a lot guys,” I said as I stood up and surveyed the situation.
That was my first experience skimboarding. I was hooked. How could I not have been? A sport that challenged me right from the beginning. If it’s summer you’ll probably find me down at the river telling the new skimboarders, “Hey, if you’re not falling, your probably not trying hard enough!”

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Virgin River water levels

Virgin River water levels
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