I had the pleasure of joining Jacob Shuster on a trip to Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Jacob took me down to show me his knowledge and skills of white water kayaking. I truly enjoyed the trip and have to say I learned alot about safety and the proper gear to have.
Jacob is a new moderator to Joplin Kayak and Canoe but no stranger to the sport of kayaking. He has been kayaking with his family since he was only 10 years old. He started with a small inflatable kayak and would float with his grandfather who taught him just about everything he knows of the sport. Jacob says he enjoys floating the Buffalo National River , the Mulberry and the Arkansas River. However when asked which river is his favorite, he says the Arkansas River in Browns Canyon Colorado.
Jacob has kayaked many different creeks and rivers across the country with the highest class of water being a class 4. Jacob says the most you’ll find in the Ozarks would be a class 2 or 3 after a good rain. For comparison, Jacob states that the Elk River south of Joplin on a normal day is only a class 1.
Jacob recommends taking some basic classes before jumping into a white water kayak. He says having the right gear and knowing the right techniques can save your life. It may look easy watching youtube videos, but Jacob has been kayaking for over 12 years and has had many close calls to serious injury. Jacob gave me a warning and really some words of wisdom before the day was over. He said “As water gives life, it can also take it away.”