FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:
We are always growing and expanding at Dirt Bag Paddlers. August marks our 3rd year of progression, and we have some new things to announce! First off, we’ve got a new name for the old photo spread we’ve been running on the last day of every month. What was once “LAST LOOK” will now be “THE TAKEOUT.” And this month, we’ve selected seven photographers from the ranks of our Admin team around the world to intersperse with some thoughts I’ve had on what exactly it is we are here to accomplish. I’ve selected a few photos from six corners of the DBWorld, with themes of family, nature, wonders, the paddling community, and whitewater. The top photo and first grouping was shot by Troy Lafayette of Brazil via Oregon, focusing on family and fun. Next up is Rachel Elise of Tennessee, whose selections speak of community in all its hilarity, and natural settings and famous Southeast scenes. Garry Sergeant of upstate New York comes after her, with pics of fun, wildlife, and beautiful riverscapes. Then Priscilla Macy of Oregon gives us a taste of majestic PNW waterfalls! Following her is Jake Ring of Wisconsin, with photos of flowing water and Northwoods scenes. The last grouping is from Zimbabwe and Paul Teasdale, showcasing the love amongst boating partners and the beauty of an African whitewater paradise.
August has been terrific and terrible this year. I also want to share with you with a few thoughts on and one special photo from our friend Jamie Page, and photo and tale of a loyal dog named Coco, both whom we lost this month. And finally, I’ve got some very exciting news…
THIS IS THE #OneLoveOneRiver Philosophy
You- my fellow dirtbags from all around the world- are more my brothers and sisters and friends than my lazy neighbors down the street because they will never understand our way of life or this way of being and thinking. They see color and religion and they see country and live In FEAR. Fear of the unknown, of the risk, of the otherness.
I see ONE LOVE of the River, no matter its source or its name, it shares common characteristics everywhere on Earth. I see that you and I could hop in a raft, or a kayak, a Shredder or catboat, a canoe or a Squirtboat, a Dory, drift boat or coracle, or onto a Riverboard or SUP today and run a new river together as if we had the same mother. I see that you would try to save my life and I would try to save yours in a second. I see no borders, no chump style walls. I only see unity.
This is why we call ourselves DIRTBAGS. Not in the mean sense of the word, a thief and con man, untrustworthy. But in the old rock climber sense of the word, dedicated to our passion, and not to making the almighty Dollar our driving ambition. Poor in the Pocket, Rich in the Soul. It means to be driven to pursue WHITEWATER. And it’s ok if we sleep in a tent and stink some while doing it!!
This is why we say DBP 4 LIFE. Not only to mean for as long as we live, but to mean for a good healthy way of fully living life!
This is what we mean by ONE RIVER. Not just the waterways we boat across the globe, from biggest rivers to smallest creeks, tiny tributaries to massive arteries. We also are referring to the currents of the soul, the river of life that connects all beings on our Earth, the cosmic energy that we interact with, the exploding hydraulics and haystacks of existence. We mean to say that everywhere it’s the same, not different, not divided. United. Common. Repeated to infinity.
We always believed if ego boating and watching superstars send big stouts and all the other glossy top rank stuff was what a person was after, a place to follow “THEM” instead of “US”, well there’s plenty of really excellent outlets for that.
What we chose to consciously create here, on a purely organic platform, was something that our souls required just as much on a fundamental level. A Community where a person could feel that they were a part of something, not only a spectator but a participant, not only entertained but enlightened and inspired, a place where EVERYONE could be part of The Show simply by joining in on the Party!
We believe we have accomplished that. We won’t stop continuing on in that spirit. DIRT BAG PADDLERS. The Community. It’s a “We” Thing!!
If you’re familiar with DBP, you’ve seen the word… Perhaps you never knew the official definition as found in Urban Dictionary…
WALLACE : verb (to WALLACE, Wallaced, Wallacing)
ON THE RIVER Wallace takes three forms:
1) Upwards Wallace – where the boat is flipped and dumps the entire crew (rafting)
2) Downward Wallace – where the swimmer(s) take an especially nasty deep swim (rafting)
3) Baby Wallace – A dirtbag lost his or her seat, paddle, or maybe a custy or two (rafting)
kayakers and C-1ers are Wallaced when they get worked in a hole, run over by a rubber pusher, get an epic beat down, and of course anytime they swim.
OFF THE RIVER:
Dirtbags are well known by their frequent slapping of beers and other precious articles (such as paperwork) from each other’s hands. They take the same form as on the river, Downward: off the feet. Upward: off the face. The Baby Wallace is a slight bump of the arm that results in slight spillage, kind of like a warning shot… “Hey Dirtbag, pay attention!” with the added caveat that one must properly declare the Wallace by yelling “Wallace” during the act. (IF YOU DONT DECLARE WALLACE WHILE BEGINNING THE ACT, YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE AND SUBJECT TO A PUNCH IN THE NOSE!)
And no crying or getting angry watching your Wallaced drink soak into the earth! Grab it and pound it out!!!
NOTE: highly frowned upon to WALLACE a full beverage. Large stack of paperwork… BONUS POINTS.
WALLACE may also be used in lieu of the word BURN!, in it’s declarative form.
Why #WALLACE? The Origins of the term…
The Dirt Bag Paddlers started with a bunch of us Kosir’s Rapid Raft river guides in northern Wisconsin in the summer of 2013. We had just had a crazy drunken batch of Chicago customers teach us how to Wallace…
The Wallace is roughly based on the legendary shot-blocking skills of former NBA player Ben Wallace. These nut ball Chicago professionals had been getting together for years, since back when the big man had played for the Bulls, shedding their glossy personas far away from the office to get hammered and slap each other’s drinks out of their hands around the campfire. Then when the weekend was done, sober up, drive home, and back to normal life. We loved the way the game was played, and got right into it. By Sunday night, when the custys all head home and all that’s left is raft guides and barbecue, everyone was soaked in beer and on guard. Being the crazy and drunken raft guides we are, we immediately took The WALLACE to the river and applied it to our carnage terminology.
Around the same time, three of us went on a private trip out to Pennsylvania to paddle the Yough and party up Ohiopyle, one of the great river towns in America. We took to calling ourselves Dirtbags on this trip, Wallacing beers all over the town, not showering for days, and basically just living out of our tents and paddling, really celebrating the river lifestyle.
“There was that phrase again: dirtbag. Hey, we should start a movement. We will call it Dirtbag Rafters. We will spread the WALLACE, make merry, hook up all of our boatin’ buddies back home in Wisconsin. Nah… Let’s call it Dirt Bag Paddlers. The world is divided enough, let’s bring people together. We’ll put up pics of us and our buddies doing awesome things, sing the praises of our glorious local runs, throw a party or two?, and generally offend people without trying too hard.”
Thus the Dirt Bag Paddlers were born, August 11th 2013.
Read more on the subject, from our Birthday article of August 11th, 2015-
Also from Urban Dictionary, the official definition…
dirtbag paddler : noun
Paddler, of any level, who loves the River and the lifestyle. Goes rafting, kayaking, canoeing, SUP, whatever! Swims like a fish, and loves rain as much as sun. May be broke in the pocket, but rich and giving in the soul. Speaks the universal language, that of the River, in any of the tongues of the DBWorld. Survives on whatever it takes to get that next WALLACE fix. Would throw a rope to anyone! If your car smells like your gear, or better yet if you HAVE no car, you’re a dirtbag.
We never dreamed this big when we started three years ago… That we would reach so many people. Make so many friends worldwide. Make such an impact on this high a level. Unite so many diverse groups. The stats are astounding. From a local feed meant for the tiny Northwoods Wisconsin rafting community, as we end August we number 15,000 members of The Community. 6,000 followers on Instagram. 185,000 reads of DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE. Just this week readers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Russia, Australia, and Turkey checked in. 160 Admins from 30 countries. Reaching around the globe! The sun never sets on the Dirt Bag Paddlers…
We’ve been able to do so much that we would’ve never conjured up without you. We total tens of thousands of views of our own Facebook videos. Hundreds of thousands of likes on our feeds. Over a Million people exposed to the One Love One River Philosophy via social media (our typical reach in a week is 100,000!) We’ve thrown huge successful celebrations. Donated hundreds of dollars to nonprofits ranging from conservation groups to dog rescues, and thousands in free merchandise and gear to festivals and support groups to help their silent auctions and raffles. We’ve mailed 5,000 Wallace decals to every corner of the world, across America, Ukraine to the Philippines, India to Chile, Canada to Brazil, the UK to Nepal. We’ve posted scores of appeals for friends in need, suffering from injury or fire or theft or loss of a loved one. We came out with two full movie features on YouTube. The DBP Christmas Special, edited by Aaron Erdrich and released in December, delivered 20 minutes of action packed rafting and kayaking from our Admins and friends around America and across the world.
DBP CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
We have truly tried our best to use the platform of most popular whitewater entertainment source, given to us so freely by YOU, to make OUR world a better place. We did it for Us and we did it for You. It’s a “We” Thing.
We are not tired, and we are JUST GETTING STARTED. We got big plans for this 3rd year…
Aaron is hard at work on the next movie! Clips are building up fast from his latest adventures in dirtbaggin’ and we are sure you’ll enjoy it. MAYBE it’ll be good to go by Gauley Fest… If AE doesn’t boat every day! If not… There’s always Winter.
We’ve got a Dirtbag Raffle going on in conjunction with Casper Kayaks to give away an EXO kayak at Gauley Fest as well. Details are on our Facebook page in the Events section, but basically $5 will get you a chance to win a new playboat or maybe even some sweet swag like drybags, hats, t-shirts, and more from our friends at Cascade River Gear. And a portion of the proceeds will go directly to American Whitewater to support their advocacy of our rivers! To purchase a ticket go to
In the long term, we are also trying to start a non profit branch of DBP whose goal will be to do research and development for paddling companies at a serious Class V level of performance, with an aim to compete as a raft team in regional, national, and international rafting race so, and also score both first descents and expeditions that will push the envelope of what is considered possible in both our sport and our society. Led by Greg Babikoff, our ultimate goal is to then donate a portion of the gear used to at risk communities both here in America and in third world nations across the globe as we continue to grapple with the effects of climate change as human beings. Big stuff. Wish us luck!
We also are planning in this 3rd year to once again partner with International Rivers for the Day of Action on March 15, 2017. But where in the last two years the role of DBP was more one of entertaining and highlighting IR’s efforts through an artwork contest (2015) and a photo contest (2016), this year we are asking YOU and your local communities to step up and represent DBP with pride by volunteering to do actual work on the ground for the day, cleaning up and restoring those local rivers that we love all around the world! We’ve got some time to figure out the how-to of this project, we simply want to fire up your stoke and get the creative inspiration juices flowing. Guaranteed we will find a great way to reward those of you who choose to represent DBP with pride!
Last but not least, we are bringing you MORE WAYS TO BE ENTERTAINED! DBP IS NOW ON SNAPCHAT!!! The brainchild of DBP-UK Admin Aaron Kendall, the “DBP4Life” snapchat account serves up all the Wallace from every corner of the world bundled into one. “From rafts to kayaks, get your daily dose of Wallace and World Wide Dirtbag river love… and 100% guaranteed no puppy filters!” We have a few hundred follows already in just a few weeks. Get in on the secret fun! And private message us your funny dirty pics on our Facebook page to see yourself or your friends go viral on Snapchat!
So these are a few of our many plans for the coming year! Happy Birthday to US ALL!
Sadly, our Birthday celebrations on August 11th were cut short by the news from Colorado of the untimely loss of a good friend. James “Jamie” Page, age 25, passed away in a kayaking incident in Gore Canyon of the Colorado. He was doing what he loved. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.
Jamie was a terrific kayaker, raft guide, safety boater, and dedicated raft racer and member of Team Rage Cage. It’s hard to find a photo of him not surrounded by friends. He was an amazing photographer and writer, and a member of our Staff here at DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE. We had such big plans for the coming year…
He shot this beautiful photo only a few weeks ago from his new home in Colorado, after many good days spent in Hartford TN on the Pigeon. It sums up everything we feel about him.
Please take a moment to pause, and also send good vibes to those who were with him out there.
Hug your loved ones. Life is fleeting. Jamie lived it full tilt. He would want you to do the same.
We also lost another member of our family this month. “COCO COME!” Has always been a rally cry at big events like Gauley Fest and the National Paddling Film Festival to Frank Fest, where it originated years ago…. Coco left this earth a few days ago to watch over her Dirt Bags from above, especially her Main Dude Tony Guarniere, owner of Kosir’s Rafting, the original DBP HQ here in Wisconsin. There’s never been a cooler raft company pup. She loved watching over the trips with Tony at 1st Drop in the Spring. Now she’s gonna help round us up forever… Till we meet again, Coco… #DBP4EVER.
FINALLY…We are stoked to announce that we are going pro at DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE! We are pleased to report that we are NOW transitioning from Google Blogspot to our own official website, dbpmagazineonline.com. This is the final article, #393, that we be published on the old site. Starting TOMORROW September 1, all our new issues and the articles contained therein will be found there. This article and all of the other content also appears on our new site! Our collective history will not be left behind.
What will change will be the look: much slicker, faster, and better looking than ever. What won’t change will be the content, great reading from around the world, as we like to say “THE WORLD’S BEST FREE WHITEWATER PUBLICATION.” There will still be no gimmicks or bull to slow down the experience, no random cookies to click through. Just the same global outlook with a local feel that you’ve come to expect from Dirt Bag Paddlers. And yes it will still be free, because hey, dirtbags don’t have much extra dough for subscriptions. We are also working to bring a print edition out later this year that will be filled with new stories (not reruns) and relevant advertising FROM COMPANIES WE TRUST AND RESPECT. Not the highest bidders, but the highest quality gear, stuff that’s tried by and true to our highly qualified Admin Team. Zero BS.
So yeah, the Stoke is HIGH! Thanks to you all for reading, commenting, liking and sharing, and participating in this unique social media experiment we call Dirt Bag Paddlers! In the tradition of the clubs and newsletters of our collective forefathers, DBP – You and Me, “WE!” – continue on!
DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE.
We exist to share stories of paddlers of all disciplines from all over the world; to interview icons and play makers in the paddling community and whitewater industry; to preserve the stories of our collective history; to raise awareness of and to protect our rivers and resources; to promote whitewater festivals and events; to report on competitions and competitors in the race community; to give a home to the artistic side of paddling in poetry, artwork, music, comics, and humor; to be inclusive not exclusive, to preach unity and support, safety and camaraderie; to break down the barriers that separate society; to have a global outlook with a local feel; and to celebrate the Dirtbag Lifestyle and #OneLoveOneRiver Philosophy!
OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
All Forward Thinking.
That’s what it’s all about! Flow Together, Grow Together… Expanding our sport’s horizons is something we are actively doing… Reminding each other that our community is the same no matter where the River is, the color of skin or language spoken. On The River it’s all one language, the language of Flow. Everything goes downstream.