The Gradient

Newsletter by, for and about Chicago Whitewater Association

September/October/November 2014

Holiday Party!

The next meeting will be the wintertime Holiday Party!

Humberto has agreed to host the CWA Holiday Party this year! Thanks Humberto! We're planning on December 13th.

More details to follow closer to the date. Check the meetup, or I will pass on information as I have it.

A Note from the Editor

Howdy Paddlers!

You might wonder where the last few Gradients have been. In possibly related news, I have a new job . . .

Some notes about the nicer version of S'more that we now have. You now need the link to access the newsletter. It should not be searchable on the Internet or on the main S'more's site. Also, we can save the Gradients, and it's supposed to print better - let me know about that.

Also, I can change the background. This is Wild Cat on the Vermillion from this past spring. Not sure who sent it to me, but it's cool! Send me pictures! Also send me other things.

I feel like I am forgetting something, but I also feel like this really needs to get sent out. So I have more to pass along, I will.


Madame L’editeur, Cat

Presidents' Column

Happy November everyone... well, not really. Paddling season is pretty much over, and to make matters much worse the club is losing their beloved Heidi. Many of you know and love her, but for those of you who don't she's worn many hats in CWA over the years; Webmaster, Membership Chair, Super-aid (at Conant, Harper, and on the river), she designed the beautiful brochures for the club, hosted a great holiday party and has done about a bazillion other amazing things for the club that my tiny brain can't remember. She will be missed, and hopefully we will get a chance to visit her next year in her new home state of Colorado.

As sad as this all is, there are still reasons to *not* cry ourselves to sleep until the first spring showers come along...

December is around the corner and that means CWA holiday party! Humberto is hosting, and we all know Humberto and his wife know how to party.

Also, if you haven't been following Manchester Iowa's progress, there's been some pretty cool pictures posted to their facebook page lately. The midwest will soon get another whitewater venue added to the list, and it's only a 3.5hr drive from schaumburg. So, "woo hoo!" for that.



El Presedente (Bob)


Big image
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Pool Sessions and Classes

Naperville North High School Pool Sessions

Place: 899 N. Mill Street, Naperville, IL

Open pool sessions will be held on Sunday afternoons, starting Nov 30 , from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

The doors open at 2:45 pm so you can arrive a bit early to get your boat into the building. All boats have to be out of the water at 5:00 pm as water polo begins then. But we have time after that to shower, change and remove the boats from the building.

This is a great facility with a HUGE remodeled 12-lane pool. It includes a 12 foot deep area suitable for sea kayak rescue practice. There is also a large 3.5 foot deep area suitable for assisted roll practice.

You can bring your own CLEAN kayak/canoe or rent a school owned whitewater boat for $5. There is a garden hose near the diving boards. Please use it to ensure your boat is clean. The pool use fee is $10.

Rental equipment is available through the high school for $5 which includes boat/skirt/paddle. The school does have a few larger boats (RPM Max) for bigger paddlers as well as a variety of smaller sizes. Their spray skirts, however, are only nylon skirts and not optimal for rolling practice.

Vernon Hills High School

Place: Vernon Hills High School
145 Lakeview Pkwy
Vernon Hills, IL 60031

Parking: Park on WEST side of building and come in main entrance

Dates: Saturdays 6 to 8pm

December - 6 and 13
January - 10, 24 and 31
February - 7, 21 and 28
March - 7, 21 and 28
April - 11 and 18

Don't be thrown off by the low RSVP count on meetup, there are many regulars who attend and never bother to RSVP in advance. There's usually at least a dozen people in attendance.

Cost:$10.00 per person per 2hr open pool session

Kayak Rentals:$5.00 per 2hr open pool session (rentals are whitewater kayaks, paddles, spray skirts). We DO NOT offer instruction at these open kayak pool sessions.

Personal Kayaks/Canoes:Please clean and vacuum your boats prior to coming to keep this wonderful opportunity available to us!

Pool Entrance:West doors of school building (main entrance) and the pool is right inside! Very short, easy carry!

Pool:8 lane, 25 meters

Dundee Park District's Open Pool Session

The pool address is:

665 Barrington Ave. (Rt. 68)
Carpentersville, IL

January 10th,
January 24th,
February 14th,
February 28th,
March 28th

Open Pool sessions are scheduled at the Dundee Park District's Rakow Center. The pool is an 8 lane by 25 meter pool. Depth from 3.5-5 feet.

Please make sure your kayak or canoe is clean and vacuumed. We want this to be a positive experience for the Park District to enable future opportunities for the paddling community.

The pool address is:

665 Barrington Ave. (Rt. 68)
Carpentersville, IL

The pool is located on Route 68, west of Route 25, 3 miles north of I-90. Easy, straight carry to the pool deck through the entrance marked "POOL" over the doorway.

Sessions are scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m.. We can unload boats any time after 5:00.

Cost for the two hour open pool session is $10 per person. As this will be an ACA registered activity, no additional charge for ACA members. Non-ACA members will need to purchase an ACA event membership for $5. Annual and 6 month ACA memberships will also be available if you're planning on participating in future ACA events. ACA members, please bring your number.

Midwest Paddlesport Adventures have committed to bringing boats to each pool session at the Park District. $10 per session for boat, skirt and paddle rental.

Any proceeds beyond the cost of the actual pool time will be donated to the Chicago Chapter of Team River Runner (TRR). TRR is looking to establish winter and spring pool sessions for the vets and these proceeds can help make that happen.

Harper College Pool Class

There is an error in the Catalog. Class begins at 8:15, not 8:45.

8 week class
Monday nights, 8:15pm-10:00pm.

1200 West Algonquin, Palatine, IL

WHITEWATER KAYAKING - 50880 - LPS 0025 - 001

In a safe, controlled environment you will learn the basics skills needed to begin whitewater kayaking. You will be taught proper paddling and stroke techniques in addition to developing individual rolls and braces. In each class you will spend a half-hour in the classroom and over an hour in the Harper pool practicing. Bring a swimsuit, towel and nose plugs. Equipment and kayaks for the class are supplied by the Chicago Whitewater Association. You must be able to swim to participate in this class.

Register for the class through Harper College directly:
Price: $159

Once you've completed this class you will have all the basic skills necessary to take one of CWA's beginner trips in the spring!


Paddle with the Crazies!

Are you dying to claim the title “First on the River in 2015?”

Join a group of your fellow (crazy) paddlers in a polar bear paddle on January 1st.

Meet for breakfast at 9:30 at the Egg Yolk Café (formerly the Sandpiper) on Rt. 59 in West Chicago. From there we will decide where to paddle based on where there is open water.

Please RSVP so we know how many for breakfast.

Please note this is NOT a “Beginner Trip” although we try to accommodate people of all skill levels.

If you are not up for joining us on the river you are more than welcome to join us for breakfast or back at Rich and Julie’s after paddling.

National Paddling Film Festival

Feb 20-21

Frankford, KY

For 33 years the National Paddling Film Festival has been hosting a competition to determine the best in paddle sport videos and images. This competition has provided the paddling community with a fun and profitable event to support American Whitewater and river conservation. In that time, the NPFF has also helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.

Used Gear Classifieds

Any one intrested in a paddle I have for sale -- Werner Player 4 piece break down paddle 196 cm longest piece is 20 inches so it will fit in the small boats. USED One day looks like brand new.asking $200 cost $310. I heard that you can put it on a cwa site for boating gear.maybe you can help me out this eric. Jack bottoms

8156722375 or 8152572377

Have Gear taking up space in your garage? Find it a new home - send the details to

We've had several people have good success here, so feel free to send it in!

Classes and Pool Sessions

CWA Library

Check out a video from the CWA Library and hone your skills, check out awesome paddling, or live vicariously through movies while the temperature hopefully begins to rise.

For a full list visit:

Chicago Whitewater Association


Bob M

Vice President

Andy Cocallas


Hannah Matzke



Patrick Rivers



Tom Costello



Dave McGovern


Erik Sprenne



Cat Bergan

Membership Information

The Gradient is the newsletter of the Chicago Whitewater Association. Membership in CWA includes this newsletter; notice of super trips, events and parties throughout the year; access to indoor swimming pools during the winter; beginner river trips in the Spring; a source of used equipment; and the chance to meet some of the best paddlers in the Midwest.

Membership Application

When applying for membership sign the waiver or your application will be returned!

CWA MEETINGS: the first Wednesday of each month. Check The Gradient for time and location. All interested members are encouraged to attend.

GRADIENT POLICIES; All articles, letters, and gossip received by your editor are likely to be published and sometimes copied, unless you specify otherwise when submitted. News of trips, postcards from far-away places and comments on common interests are always welcome. You – our members – are the ones who supply the words that appear in these pages. Ads are free to members; businesses and all other pay 20 cents per word. Send check payable to CWA with ad copy. Deadline for all copy is the second Wednesday of each month for that month’s issue. Request information at