By JASON SHREDER
The biggest challenge to winter kayaking is finding the motivation to go. There are many days where I’m looking outside my window, the wind is blowing rain and snow sideways, and I’m thinking to myself, “Why in the *&^% would I want to go play in the river in this weather?” Some of my friends would suggest to shut ‘er down and do a winter sport.
I would if I could, but I need the river to keep me sane. Maybe I’m a human equivalent to the Labrador. I constantly need interaction with the river to keep this machine well-greased. Sure, I would rather be in South America all winter, but my life’s not that simple anymore. I decided years ago that I enjoy having a home and didn’t want to be a dirt bag forever, so I decided to make life a little more complicated. I guess most people call those responsibilities. (For all you young folks out there, disregard that responsibility thing!!)
Some of those responsibilities for me include owning a business, homes, dogs, and trying to convince my girlfriend that I’m worth keeping around. It doesn’t mean that you have responsibilities that you still can’t shred all the time. That’s what’s great about Missoula. You don’t have to go very far.
Missoula is a great town to combine multiple sports packed into one day. I call it double-dipping. Throw in work and you have yourself a triple combo. Missoula is a great place to work and play because most employers take work and play pretty seriously in this town. It’s good for your health, if you ask me. Many companies have a 4” or 6” rule where you close the doors and head to the slopes.
The ultimate winter day is skiing at Snowbowl in the morning and surfing Brennan’s Wave in the afternoon. How many places can you do that? Anyhow, if you can find the motivation to jump in the water when it’s freezing outside, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Life is too short, so start living now. Don’t let a little cold water scare you – winter kayaking is great!
What’s your ultimate Missoula sports combo? Give me some new ideas!
The water might be cold, but Jason’s got tons of awesome kayaking posts to keep you warm in his blog archive.
Jason Shreder is the owner of local whitewater company Zoo Town Surfers. He loves Missoula, the great community, and all the awesome water that surrounds it. He’s constantly moving and 90% of that movement involves kayaking, rafting, working, and hanging out with his awesomely supportive girlfriend and dogs.