Before I write anything, I look for inspiration. Sometimes I find that spark in a photo; sometimes it comes from an article I’ve read, and sometimes I read a quote that blows my mind. This week, it was a couple of quotes about whitewater kayaking that set the course.
The first one was a slight derivation of a motorcycle quote I am especially fond of: “You never see a whitewater raft sitting outside a psychiatrist’s office”. The second spoke to my inner – and sometimes outer – persona that yells for the joy of life: “I’m going into the river to scream for a while. Wanna come with me?”. Both quotes speak volumes about the capacity of whitewater kayaking to eclipse the day-to-day minutiae that sometimes clouds our lives. How could anyone ruminate about what their boss said a week ago when they’re heading into a Class III rapids with waves up to four feet?
In the world of extreme kayaking, whitewater kayaking is near the top in terms of excitement. According to Wikipedia, “whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling a kayak on a moving body of water, typically a whitewater river. Whitewater kayaking can range from active, moving water to demanding, extreme whitewater.” Scientists have developed several systems based on river characteristics such as the type of ecosystem, topography, and chronology. ‘Recreational rivers’, on the other hand, are categorized by The International Scale of River Difficulty.
What type of river adventure are you looking for? ‘Moving water with small waves that tug at the boat?’ ‘Waves up to four feet and narrow passages that send the boat shimmying and water gushing over its sides?’ Or Level 5, ‘large, complex, gushing rapids, twisting, and spinning to deliver the consummate adrenaline rush?” Before making your decision, check out Western River Expeditions complete classification guide.
Regardless of the type of whitewater you hit, nothing is more important than whitewater kayaking gear and safety equipment:
- a kayak (of course)
- a paddle
- a helmet
- a pfd (personal flotation device)
- paddling gloves
- spray skirt for the kayak
- dry bag
- river knife
- throw bag
For more detailed information about the appropriate whitewater kayaking gear for your skill level and pocketbook, check out this Kellogg Show website.
Whether you’re into extreme kayaking or plan to spend a magical afternoon exploring the ocean in your Crystal Kayak, make it a point to get out of your head and onto the water! Because, according to entrepreneur Richard Branson, “If happiness is the goal – and it should be - then adventures should be top priority.”
What’s your favorite quote about adventure and whitewater rafting? Post a comment below and let us know.