Malaysia’s TREE TOP WALK WHITE WATER FESTIVAL – Dirt Bag World Tour2015 by Dirt Bag Paddlers

Malaysia is a country of extraordinary variety. From heavenly tropical islands to lush, verdant rainforest, they have it all. Including whitewater adventure, the wild kind that Dirtbags love. That’s what Malaysia International Wild Water and Slalom Kayak Race at the TREE TOP WALK WHITEWATER FESTIVAL is all about! 

Named for the 950m-long Tree Top Walk in the nearby Sedim River Recreation Park, the longest canopy walk in the world, this unique race is a true dirtbag mission spanning a distance of 20 km through a beautiful section of the Sungai Sedim (Sungai means river). Racers will experience the thrill tumbling through the most exciting stretch of the river at Kedah. The river has 25 Class III & IV Rapids, very creeky with lots of technical drops, passing through exotic wildlife and untouched paradise of the reserve rain forests, with long distances of non-stop clear water.  

The dedicated team of white water specialists from KELAB SUKAN REKREASI ARUS DERAS (KSRAD) pioneered the SUNGAI SEDIM Extreme Sports in April 1999 with the first an international kayaks event. Ever since, regular and professional kayakers from all over the world have traveled to Malaysia to enjoy the beauty and the challenge. This year, they are ready to host another prestigious event, the MALAYSIA WHITE WATER FESTIVAL, one of the best races in the world. The event is fully supported by Tourism Malaysia, Kedah State Government, MASCA, Parliament kulim Bandar Baharu, Kelab Sukan Rekreasi Arus Deras (KSRAD), Kementerian Belia Dan Sukan, Kelab Rekreasi Kulim, Kelab Sukan Sedim, Kenu Darul Aman, Arum Jeram Indonesia, International Canoe Federation (ICF), and State Economic Planning Units (UPEN). Major sponsors include Titan, Fluid, Annanpurna, Abotshop, Boogie, and many more. 

“We hope that the competitors from all over the world will get the satisfaction, which they will never forget. It is more than a test of your skill and mind. It is a total commitment. It takes around four days for this event,” says Event Director Rozali Mohamad Saad. “Non-participants in the competition can come to camp. There are several companies which will hold a gear sale: kayaks, paddles, PFDs, helmets, and other outdoor goods. Similarly, local operators and white water clubs will be performing at night.” There is also a drawing : all participants have a chance to win a Blisstick kayak, PDF and helmet. 

The races will have divisions for rafting (national, international, and novice national teams), kayak (down river and kayak slalom), and riverboard, for men and women. Riverboarding is HUGE in the southeast Asian river community! For all the categories, rafting, kayak, and riverboard, the international participants must go through 4 disciplines: Sprint, Head to head, Slalom, and Downriver. 

A new Whitewater Stadium Has been built on the Sedim , opening just in time for the festival. This tight, technical stretch of river, which was improved with heavy machinery which shifted some boulders around in the riverbed but otherwise is a natural setting, will be a part of the race, and also serve as an area where swift water techniques can be practiced. 

I asked Rozali, who is an avid whitewater kayaker and long time raft guide, about Malaysia. “The country is economically and politically very stable. Malaysian citizens are friendly and welcoming. We stay in harmony, and all the local paddlers are very friendly, and we love inviting all paddlers to Malaysia!” He also told me about the beauty of the flatwater paddling trip scheduled for after the event. “Sea Kayaking Near Batu Siboko Mangrove Forest, Sungai Pisang, Teluk Kabuang, South Padang, West Sumatra, is an amazing and rewarding end to one’s visit!” 

For all participants who fly in, transport from Penang International Airport to Sedim will take 1 hour. Organizer will provide transport free of charge from Penang International Airport to Sedim. Direct flights to Penang International Airport or KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) are available using Air Asia, Malindo Air, MAS(Malaysia Airline), Firefly, and Garuda Airline.This event will be televised by the Malaysian national television and national newspaper.

Date : April 14-18 2015
Location:Sedim River, Kulim, Malaysia
Registration Form: [email protected]
Registration last date to apply will be on 31 March 2015
Facebook link:
Official web page:
Informative blog on Malaysian paddling:
VIDEO LINKS:
Kayaking the Upper Sedim
Riverboarding Rodeo Rapid (one of the major rapids on the Sedim)
Rafting the Sedim

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