Words and Photos by: Lee Vincent
We have been very lucky the last few years and often find ourselves somewhere warm over the holiday season, which makes the traditional “New Years Day” paddle a pretty easy gig, with more focus on wearing our sun shirts than dry suits.
We’re hanging out in the northern realms this year and experiencing winter so thought we would give this winter paddling thing a go…
The snow seal launch into the river kicked things off with huge smiles and the day just got better from there, with more surfing and playing on the river than we anticipated, due to the super low water levels. While tempted to expand beyond front surfing and into stern squirts, we were all clear that the goal was to end the run with relatively dry heads, so that tempered the excitement a little bit.
After being off the water for a few months, this simple run down a low river was enough to remind us of why we love kayaking so much. The scenery was amazing, the river was peaceful and we were outside having fun with friends.
The best part of the day was the takeout. While this is normally a sad moment as your run is done, we realized that the local kids use the take out as a toboggan hill in the winter… After a slog to get up the hill, it was a no-brainer that we needed to get back in our kayaks and toboggan down. SO MUCH FUN – we could probably have stayed all afternoon.
The best part of the day was staying warm and dry in our cold water gear – Level Six dry suit, fleece under layers, and gloves plus NRS pogies & skull cap. Our Salus Lifejackets were also super easy to get on and off in the cold. They all performed perfectly. So much so that I might be tempted to get out in January just for the fun of it.
Lee, Tim & Hunter Vincent