By JASON SHREDER
Kayaking is a fun sport. We kayak to have fun. The more fun we have, the more we enjoy the sport.
I have committed the last ten years of my life to the sport and have learned as an instructor and kayaker, that there are certain images that are good and bad for the sport.
Now hear me out right now: I’m all about the progression of whitewater kayaking including extreme competitions, vertical feats, new freestyle moves, and innovative boat and safety designs.
I’m also about creating a safe, fun, and positive image for the sport as well.
One thing I want to remind everyone who doesn’t kayak: It doesn’t have to be an extreme sport. You can take it to whatever level you want.
If you want to kayak class I every day for the rest of your life, then awesome. If you paddle the hardest whitewater in the world, then awesome.
Just make sure you’re kayaking for the right reason: To have fun. We get calls all the time from folks who are interested in kayak lessons and are worried about the river levels, cold water, etc…
We don’t just strap you in a kayak and push you off downstream. We start all beginners in flat water. Our goals as instructors are to get you comfortable in a kayak, teach essential kayaking skills, and focus on river safety and awareness.
The only way the sport is going to continue to grow and progress is by creating more lifelong paddlers.
Kayaking is challenging and fun at all skill levels.
I see the river in a different light every time I get in my kayak. That’s what keeps the fire burning. Create goals and challenges that are within your skill level, are fun, and work for you.
Don’t worry about what everybody else is doing, just get out on the river and have some fun!
River season is here! Jason’s got tons of awesome kayaking posts to get you stoked for summer surfing 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.