Josh Collins Kick Flip Freestyle Kayak on the New River Dries, West Virginia

Kayaking Kick-Flip the Dries

Josh Collins performs a kick-flip on the New River Dries put-in wave.

The New River Dries is a section of whitewater below the Hawk’s Nest Dam near Ansted, West Virginia. Because of water diverted by the dam for hydroelectric power, it is typically dry and not runnable in a kayak. However, when the water gets big, water spills over the dam and fill up the Dries.

In 2001 the Fayette County region recorded many inches of rainfall in a short time period. There was heavy flooding all along the New River Gorge. Laurel Creek, a tributary to the New River, was flooded and completely changed. It’s no longer runnable in its entirety in a kayak. As the large boulders and gravel were washed into the river, they created a compression wave on the river-right-hand side of the river. When the water gets really big, it becomes a world-class surf wave.

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