6 months ago I finally had the time to start writing a kayaking blog. I am hugely passionate about whitewater kayaking and super keen to share that passion with other people. What better way, I thought to myself, than through writing! The positive feedback I have had from so many people since I began has completely blown me away. This has been from friends but also complete strangers from all over the world (48 different countries to be exact!). So thank you so much to everyone who has taken time to read any of the articles and share their thoughts with me. It honestly brings me so much happiness to think that my ramblings might actually be helping others. So this piece is a quick review of my top 5 most popular articles. Hope you enjoy!
For the last two weeks I have written posts on how to become an independent boater, i.e. someone who doesn’t need to be led down the river. I came up with three main steps that I personally thought were important in moving away from always being led down a river to being able to peer paddle. I outlined each step in a separate blog piece. My first piece was on the importance of being safe. My second piece was on the importance of being able to choose your own lines. My third and final piece is going to be on the importance of friends. Kayaking is a unique sport in that it is really hard to go kayaking without other people. Unlike other sports such as running or cycling, kayaking is much more reliant on being enjoyed as a group. I accept that some people prefer to solo kayak and this piece isn’t meant to be a discussion of that choice. Instead I want to go over the benefits of having a strong friendship group in kayaking and why it is important in helping you to become independent.
Last week I started a series of posts on how to become an independent boater, i.e. someone who doesn’t need to be led down the river. I looked at safety in my last piece and you can read it here. This week is all about picking your own lines and why this is so important in being able to move away from being led on a river. When talking about lines, I mean the route you take to get from point A to point B on a river. This may be planned out, for example if you get out of your kayak to scout an upcoming rapid. Lines can also be chosen very quickly and from your boat whilst you are paddling down a river. Either way, being able to choose your line is an important skill than can take people a long time to master.
A goal that I believe many kayakers have is one to become an ‘independent boater’. Let me explain what I mean by that phrase. When someone starts off in kayaking, it is often through a club. They are reliant on those more experienced than them to organise and lead trips of which they are invited on. It can be hard to move away from this structured system and become someone who goes kayaking when they want, where they want and with who they want. Whilst many people would like to achieve this independence, they may not feel confident enough in their own knowledge and experience to make this transition. As someone who has largely moved away from club boating and more towards peer paddling, I was considering the steps needed in order to achieve this. I came up with three main steps or sub-goals and am going to dedicate a blog piece to each of them. In this piece, I am going to look at safety and specifically the journey to becoming safe in a kayaking environment.