by Cliff Langley
I first got into paddling by canoeing with my father as a little kid. I enjoyed cruising along in the canoe watching the shore pass by. I loved the beautiful places it took us; each place a new adventure. In my early 20’s I got into whitewater kayaking because of the beauty and challenge of the river. Once I charged deeper into the sport I began to find more and more reasons I loved paddling. If you have ever tried a paddling sport or are thinking about it, here are 7 essential reasons to grab a paddle and let the good times roll!
1. Exercise Paddling in any form is a great work out. Paddling not only strengthens and tones the upper body, but also your core—shed that belly! Most people would rather paddle along a lake shore or a river rather than be on a rowing machine: paddling is an outdoor sport. Many serious paddlers are in serious shape! Also, as an activity it can easily be merged with hiking, running, or biking. Many of my friends, when we set shuttle to run a river, will bike, run, or hike back to the put in rather than drive.
2. Personal Challenge Yourself!Whether it is the challenge of a rapid, a canoe or kayak race, or just going for as many miles as you can in a day, paddling can afford one personal challenges to overcome. Overcoming challenges builds our confidence and brings us a sense of well-being that can be hard to come by in this day and age.
3. Experience Nature!
Paddling allows you to see nature from the perspective of being on the water. On the river you can see wildlife in its element and float quietly towards critters that would otherwise run from you. I have seen wolves, bears, moose, bobcats, and other secretive animals while floating down a river. Not to mention cool insects like dragonflies buzzing past.
Paddling can take you to some awesome places. Many of the paddling adventures I have been on have taken me into inaccessible canyons, deep jungles, or remote stretches of river. From the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to charging off of a waterfall, paddling is an adventure!
Paddling in any form can be relaxing. For a whitewater kayaker, even in the chaos of a rapid, paddling can be a form of active meditation. It forces one to be in the moment and focus on what they are doing and only what they are doing. Paddling can be a great way to clear your head after a long day. Hop in a canoe and paddle your troubles away!
6. Meet People!
Paddling sports can help you meet like-minded people. Grab a paddle and a boat, maybe make a new friend too!
7. Fun, Fun, Fun!
Paddling is fun! Try it to know it! If you are thinking of getting into paddling we can help give you a push in the right direction.
We offer whitewater rafting, kayak lessons (and trips), canoe trips, and more! Contact Swiftwater Adventures, near Duluth MN to book your experience today!