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Paddlers v. Powerboats

August 14, 2009

An Oregon-area article on the fight for water space between dragon boaters and powerboats.

Though state regulators don’t track the number of rafters, kayakers and canoeists, people on both sides agree they’re more plentiful. The number of dragon boaters in one club alone, Portland’s Wasabi Paddling Club, has grown from 165 members in 2004 to almost 500 this year.

Holy SMOKES!  500!

The disagreements on the Willamette and elsewhere tend to heat up every time new water toys hit the market, said Randy Henry, Marine Board policy analyst. In the 1980s, it was paddlers versus jet boats; in the 1990s, it was paddlers versus jet skis; this decade, it’s paddlers versus wakeboarders. Wakeboarders, like water-skiers, ride the waves that powerboats create — but on a single surfing-type board.

Paddlers tell stories about powerboaters who have swamped their boats with huge waves, in some cases knocking them off a dragon boat or snapping a canoe in half. They say they don’t want to ban motorized boats; they just want boaters to “share the road” — much as skiers plead for consideration from snowboarders.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kenny permalink
    August 15, 2009 6:58 am

    how the hell do you keep stuff 500 members into boats?!?!?

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