Rick Rassier preparing for white water kayaking.
Photo: Joshua Akkerman

ST. CLOUD - Along the Mississippi River in St. Cloud you'll find some of the only whitewater rapids the river has to offer. Rick Rassier has been been kayaking for about three years, and has come to enjoy the rapids. Rassier explains his joy for the sport.

"I mean this is a rush. It's pretty amazing, it certainly keeps you young when you are doing something like this."

It's definitely for expert kayakers.

According to Rassier, these rapids offer the best whitewater kayaking along the Mississippi. There are multiple features including wave, wave holes, an eddy, and the main feature that Rassier calls the "Dream Wave." Kayakers from all around come to enjoy this experience.

Rassier Taking on the Waves
Photo: Joshua Akkerman

But while these rapids are a lot of fun, they are dangerous. Rassier explains one of the dangers.

"There is a pour over behind us that produces a really nasty keeper, and that's a dangerous spot on the river where the water re-circulates, and it actually keeps you in there."


Before you head down to the rapids to try them out for yourself, Rassier says that you must learn to roll and be confident in your abilities.

 "It's definitely for expert kayakers. You have to have a really solid, we call it a bomb proof roll. If you get tipped upside down, you can't be missing your roll, missing your roll, because if you miss your roll you have to pull the skirt, which is over the opening of the kayak, when you are upside down and go swimming over to the shore."

Whitewater Kayaking
Photo: Joshua Akkerman

Rassier wants to continue kayaking as well as getting younger people exposed to the sport. Taking roll clinics like the one offered by Outdoor Endeavors at St. Cloud State University is the best way to learn how to roll.

Watch more of Rick Rassier taking on the Sauk Rapids below.