From my biased perspective, it’s hard to understand why wildwater kayaking is not more popular.
Wildwater kayaking gets you outside, provides adventure, and takes you to beautiful natural places.
Wildwater provides similar cardiovascular benefits as sports such as running, bicycling, and surf ski racing.
|Photo from WWKC.net|
At the same time, wildwater provides the same rush of that can be found in sports such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, and whitewater playboating.
In addition, like golf or tennis, wildwater is a thinking person’s sport that rewards experience, knowledge, and technique.
One trend in paddlesports is the “first descent” — elite paddlers racking up air miles in order to take on never-before-paddled stretches of whitewater in Africa, Asia, or South America — and expending increasingly huge amounts of resources as they do so.
Many local paddlers follow the same pattern but on a smaller scale. As they master local rivers, they are forced to drive farther from home to again experience the level of challenge and exhilaration they used to get from rivers closer to home.
Wildwater paddling is an antidote to this problem. Imagine spending months or years paddling the same local river but in progressively narrower and tippier boats. Imagine that each time you race that same river, you are looking to run better lines and to cut seconds off your previous best time.
If a quest for improvement that draws on cardiovascular fitness, strength, technique, ability to read the water, and knowledge of particular rivers is appealing, wildwater racing could be for you.
A couple of resources for learning more about wildwater racing include: