Why “Keep Your Paddle in the Water” is Bad Advice for Beginners

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Have you ever stopped to consider what the phrase ‘keep your paddle in the water’ actually means? If you did you wouldn’t ever recommend it to a beginner whitewater paddler. The paddlers and instructors who give this advice are well intended and what they are really expressing is: “Keep paddling to maintain your stability through rapids.” When beginners hear ‘keep your paddle in the water,’ they end up doing a bad version of a rudder dragging their paddle in the water back by their stern while using their blade to steer. This is a really bad position to be in for the following reasons: 1. When you steer from the back quadrant of your kayak you loose your ‘paddlers box’ 

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Giving Yourself the Gift of Replenishment this Holiday Season

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This week my theme for my yoga classes is ‘Cleansing and Replenishment.’ This theme is easy for a paddler to appreciate.  When it rains the rivers are replenished with water and anything that was stagnant or stuck on the river is washed away downstream.  Our bodies also replenish and cleanse themselves without us even thinking about it.  Every inhalation oxygenates the blood that our heart pumps out to the rest of the body nourishing every cell.  With every exhalation we expel the waste product of oxygen – carbon dioxide.  In this way, every full breath we take replenishes and cleanses the body and the blood. If you pause right now and bring awareness to your breath you’ll tap into this 

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Returning Home

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By Emily Shanblatt I am about to return home from the greatest journey of my life. I took a brief break from GAP instruction and life in North Carolina to fulfill a long awaited dream.  I’ve spent the last three months travelling out west with the sole mission of running whitewater.  Starting with 8 weeks of creeking in High Sierra California, I then migrated north to the Pacific Northwest, followed by a short stint in Idaho.  What has this trip meant for me?  Way more than I could have ever expected… I went to California with the mentality of “I want to run big rapids.  I want to look at something intimidating and scary, and have the peace of mind 

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