We are very lucky during this pandemic time to have a local river to paddle on. It is mostly class 2 with one class 3 rapid, so it’s not the most challenging BUT it’s five minutes away, can be bike shuttled and makes for a great time out on the water.

As water levels are rising with spring melt, things are getting slightly more interesting and it’s almost a different river every day.

Crank Up the Class 2 Paddling Fun

We play a game of “follow the leader” down the river to try to crank up the fun factor and also continue to learn and develop paddling skills.

Tim wins the game every time. He is the master of finding ways to increase the challenge on even the smallest feature.

Crank Up the Class 2 Paddling Fun

One example is this tiny ripple eddy that we discovered is a perfect flat spin opportunity… except for the shallow rock that actually creates the eddy. If you aren’t patient enough or leaning quite right (not too much and not too little) then the tail of your antix drops too low, hits the rock and BAM you are leaning up stream. It drives me NUTS!!! It’s also fantastic practice on the fundamentals of spinning – weight transfer and leading with your head.

Crank Up the Class 2 Paddling Fun

Another example is this large rock – we can spend twenty minutes attaining up and around the rock (practice either side) and into some eddies, front ferrying back across the top side of the rock, reach out and touch the rock with your hand, practice sliding down the side of the rock backwards, practice tipping into the rock and hugging it while sliding down frontwards etc.

Crank Up the Class 2 Paddling Fun

Earlier this week we also practiced turning rock eddies into “must make” eddies to increase the pressure and the skill. Taking a tiny shallow eddy and knowing in your mind that you have to catch it definitely changes how you paddle a class 2 river.

As things start to open up in coming weeks, don’t discount the smaller paddling opportunities that are close to home. A good day on the river is still a good day on the river, no matter what the difficulty.

The Vincent Family
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