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2013 Alabama Mountain Games

- Wednesday March 20, 2013
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We had never attended the Alabama Mountain Games before and were a little anxious as to whether we would be bored or not staying there all weekend. After all, I am injured so can't compete like I was planning on, we were told no spectators for the kayaking events, etc. So with some kinda low expectations, we headed out Friday for Boogie Bottoms campground in Alabama. 

My wife and I arrived first and were dismayed to see that all of the spots by the river were covered up with campers. We had been to Boogie Bottoms before to kayak the Locust Fork of the Warrior River and there was almost always no one there. The bright side of it is that Boogie Bottoms is HUGE and we finally settled on a campsite near the river and the main stage area that had plenty of trees for hammocks. It just so happens that we setup camp right beside two really cool guys from Birmingham named Brad and Shane. I swear that within an hour or so, it felt like they were a part of the group and we had been friends for years. Nashville World Kayak Ambassador Philip Byard, WeStroke CIO Michael Loftis, my beautiful wife Kim, Brad, Shane and I ended the day having drinks, sharing stories and enjoying the campfire. 

On Saturday morning, we really got to observe the festival. People were out walking around everywhere, a HUGE disk golf tournament was underway and the freestyle competition was gearing up at King's Hole. We had missed the huck contest at the waterfall on Friday but I couldn't boat down to it anyway so we will have to wait for someone else to provide photos and video. We did get to see some of it projected on a tent and it looked really fun. 

We decided to take a chance and drive to King's Hole to see if we could watch any of the freestyle action there. Turns out it was an excellent spot to spectate, the sun was out, the weather was warm and we got tons of great photos for your viewing pleasure in the gallery. Have some GoPro footage as well and that will be coming soon! Nick Troutman, Dane Jackson, Hunter Katich, Bennit, the Kellogs and many more were there throwing down and Jackson playboats were everywhere. Because the hole was very flushy, the competitors took turns throwing a trick and then getting back in line. Big air was definitely being thrown and all the competitors were killing it. After the competition, Mike and Philip went for a run down the Locust with Dane Jackson on a new Jackson Kayak SUPerCHARGER SUP, Hunter, Bennit and quite a few more kayakers. Very cool. On the way back to the campsite, Kim and I picked up some Dana's BBQ in Cleveland, AL. It was SOOO good and we highly recommend it. Might even add it on LocalEats, where Mike and I work. Nothing like a good hearty meal on a festival weekend. 

After arriving back at the campsite, we headed down to where they had built a huge ramp on the side of the river that they called Mt. Chaos. I couldn't agree with that name more. It looked like it was around 30 feet high and had every spare piece of wood and rope for a hundred miles holding it up. Jackson Kayak Team members Nick Troutman and Dane Jackson were even a little scared to give it a try as it looked super sketch and really didn't have much of a ramp to it lol. Despite that and some painful landings, everyone had a good time launching off it and some cool moves were thrown. Dane and Nick of course pulled off perfect airscrews on their try at it. Check out the pics of the ramp competition in the gallery as well. 

That evening, we wandered up to the stage area to watch the bands play. The AMG had great live music all weekend long and Saturday evening was no exception. Philip, my wife and I ended up seeing Nick Troutman up there and talked to him for an hour or more. Super nice dude and it was good seeing him again. As it got later in the evening, the partying got to a whole new level. It seemed like everyone at the festival was having an awesome time and they even had a Harlem Shake, Alabama Mountain Games Style, around midnight. We ended up hanging out at the campfire making all kinds of new friends and laughing so hard our faces hurt till after 3 in the morning. 

I would just like to say that despite some mixed feelings going into it, we had an absolutely great 2013 Alabama Mountain Games and we will definitely be coming back. We made great friends, saw some awesome kayaking, had wonderful weather and it couldn't have been much better. Brad and Shane, save us a spot because we will definitely be back next year and it will be ON all over again. 

As soon as we find out all of the results we will post them up and we will have more photos and video of the Alabama Mountain Games coming soon so stay tuned to!

Go check out Philip's post on the Mountain Games on the World Kayak site over at

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