How to Survive Winter Paddling

1. Consult your doctor before performing this insane activity. He may want to do a psychological exam, that’s ok, you’ll pass.

2. Before leaving the warm comfort of your home make sure to bring your GoPro because you are going to want proof to show your friends that you are, indeed, that crazy.

3. Leave your car running, with the heat on high. Sure, this might waste gas but it won’t be running idle for long, trust me!

4. Make sure to get dressed and undressed in your warm car.

5. Do NOT flip!

6. If you do flip, do NOT swim. The water is filled with ice and is therefore ice cold, which means if you flip you too will be ice cold.

7. Stick to easy tricks on waves and holes, like the epic front surf. Loops and McNasty’s mean your face may come in contact with ice cold water – which means most paddlers will opt for the loops and McNasty’s because we are hardcore.

8. When you eddy out you will undoubtedly look like the Abominable Snowman, do not panic this is totally normal. Icicles on your helmet and ice encrusted pfd’s, drytop’s and facial hair are all part of the fun. Here is where you take a ridiculous number of pictures to plaster all over Facebook.

9. Wait until the ice melts off your face and gear before getting undressed; otherwise the gear may rip and/or cut your face due to the ice’s sharp edges — not good or fun.

10. Go home, hang your gear and get ready for another epic day of ice paddling tomorrow.

Watch this video of me and my family paddling ice water on New Years Day to see what it’s like.


Comments on “How to Survive Winter Paddling”

  1. Butler Cox
    January 28, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Great fun watching some of the K. kids racing like stink just upstream of Grizzly–probably trying to get warm! Not sure it ever got over 15. Whatever it was, the crackling noise of ice-covered kids climbing up the takeout path was something. Thanks Cronins for the Chili and Chocolate antifreeze.

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