2020 Paddlers Challenge - Will you take on the test?
As we move into a new year and decade it’s natural that thoughts tend toward resolutions, challenges and that dreaded diet following the excesses of Christmas. Keep these achievable and you are much more likely to maintain motivation. However, rather than the traditional challenges why not take one on related to your passion and hobbies. You're welcome to make up your own but we’ve taken inspiration from the outdoor industry and crafted a potential list for those who love to kayak or canoe!
Choose one, a few or all....... it's up to you.
1) Paddle Five New Sections
Let’s keep the first one simple and add variety to your paddling. As a nation we're blessed with epic whitewater, lakes and world class sea kayaking and we’ve all been guilty of taking the easy option and sticking with sections we know and love. New paddling venues don’t have to push your ability but will add to your experience. Not sure where to choose? Why not use a resource like the UK Rivers Guide Book or ask the ever popular Facebook community groups such as ‘Slightly’ whitewater.
We’d love to hear about the sections you fancy tackling, as well as seeing lots of pictures and video.
2) Float in a new country
Everyone loves an adventure so why not paddle in a new country during 2020. This could be a far flung exotic destination or simply heading to new stretches just across UK borders. We’re experienced in offering advice on potential locations and have great contacts internationally to help with logistics so why not get in touch. Our aim is to head to Norway this Summer but we’d love to hear about your dream paddling location.
3) Keep a paddle diary
What better way to keep track of new sections paddled than keeping a diary of your river or sea days. It’s certainly a great way to motivate yourself to get more days on the water each year.
What’s your record number of days in the boat during a single year?
This could be in paper form, online or using GoPro videos. As well as recording sections paddled it’s useful to know river levels, key features and information on how you were paddling and areas to work on in the future.
4) Do a multi day trip
The vast majority of our time on the water tends to be single day trips and you may see multi days options as restricted to paddlers in exotic locations such as Nepal, New Zealand and the U.S.A.
However, adventure is what you make of it so why not take an overnight trip with friends on our UK rivers or coast. The planning and preparation can be as enjoyable as the event as you search for suitable locations, with camping locations ideally near to a pub! This is perhaps easier for Sea and Touring paddlers but there are opportunities for several white water days in the UK too. As always, just ask for our advice on this or the online Facebook community groups.
5) Introduce a friend
Kayaking and canoeing are as much about the social as the activity itself. In store we are massively passionate about supporting local groups and centres that grow overall participation. As such, one of your challenges in 2020 is to introduce a non paddler to the sport. Take them on a trip to show the joys of life on the water. We have a demo fleet of boats ready to go so if local paddlers need help with kit for a friend please get in touch.
Tag that friend you are keen to introduce!
6) Try a different discipline
Why not take up a personal challenge and go back to basics in a different discipline. Trying another area of the sport can only be good for your skills. For whitewater paddlers the logical choice might be a session at your local slalom club. Similarly to work with a marathon or sprint coach could massively benefit your forward paddling technique for greater performance on the river. Don’t forget while the days are short and weather cold that canoe Polo is an exciting prospect. After all, who wouldn’t choose to benefit fitness and boat control in a warm pool when rivers are low?
7) Make a video of your latest trip.
A video is a great way to show friends and fellow paddlers about your adventures. It can inspire people to try new sections or get in touch with new groups. We often find customers are intimidated by the process of putting videos together but great brands like GoPro make this simple with their mobile applications, which produce excellent quick edits to save you time. Ever thought about having a shared camera within your group of friends? It's a fantastic idea, ensuring you get video of your paddling as well as point of view footage.
Again, we’re here to help with advice on cameras and editing so get in touch for information tailored to your situation.
8) Do a river clean up
This one is very topical and we see lots of enthusiasm nation wide for events that make our rivers and canals more pleasurable places to paddle. It’s always amazing to how much litter you can find when really searching, with strange items that have no place in our waterways from fridges to car tyres. Tom Brady and David Bain did an epic job highlighting how big the issue is even in the remote corners of the UK like Lewis and Harris, with details of their 2019 trip found here:
Why not follow David on instagram (davidpbain) to see pics of the trip. If his page doesn’t inspire you to get out there nothing will.
Don’t worry though, the clean up can be as extensive as your imagination and even collecting a few pieces each time you’re on water helps.
9) Develop a paddling routine
Paddle like the pros and develop your own pre and post paddle routine to benefit time on the water. As well as general strength and fitness, having a dedicated paddling warm up is massively beneficial both from performance and injury reduction. Many of our customers are involved in Yoga and Pilates, with the shop working towards running clinics to help with this.
We’d love to hear about your routine to keep fit and healthy!
Many thanks for checking out our 2020 paddling challenges. We hope they inspire you to spend more time on the water. Send us images, video, comments and questions: it's always nice to hear from our customers.
Images - Liz Aspinall, Venture Kayaks