Kayakers – One Big Family


You know, when Carol (AKA Make It Missoula’s Ring Leader) asked me if I had any interest in doing a whitewater kayaking blog, I was like “sure, no problem.” Well, I have to admit, it’s been a lot more challenging than I thought.

Being the hack that I am, it’s sometimes hard to articulate how I feel, what I’ve experienced, and what I am thinking on paper.  That’s when I fall back on specific subjects like river safety, essential pieces of gear, and kayaking techniques.

Anyhow, when I am able to type as fast as I think, I can come up with some mindless topics that somewhat represent how I really feel or think.

With that being said, I think kayakers are special group of people.   When I say special, I mean we have a lot of depth.  Silly looking for sure.  We walk around with nose plugs dangling from our helmets, ear plugs, skirts, and multiple colored boats that look like a wild carnival ride.  It’s that depth that brings us all together.

No matter where you’re from, what you’ve been through, who you’re with, or how good you are, the river is a common ground.  We all kayak for different reasons and that’s ok.

The end result and the experience you are seeking are up to you.  It’s different for everyone.  The river is a place where differences are left at the put-in, work is not important, and status quo goes out the window.

When we’re out on the river, that stuff doesn’t matter.  We look out for each other and are family.  Yea, I know life is not perfect and we don’t all get along or agree with each other but when were on the river, life is good.

Family is important and feeling like you’re a part of something is special.   That “something” is different for everyone.   Missoula has so much to offer and that feeling could come from so many things. For me its kayaking.  How about you? Scroll down to the “Comments” section and let me know what you think.

See you downstream.

See Jason Shredder’s “Go With the Flow” archive.


Jason Shreder, owner of local whitewater company Zoo Town Surfers. I love Missoula, the great community, and all the awesome water that surrounds it.  I’m constantly moving and 90% of that movement involves kayaking, rafting, working, and hanging out with my awesomely supportive girlfriend and dogs.