The countdown is on – 60 days to paddling season!

Words By: Lee Vincent – Aquabatics Whitewater Ambassador

Fingers crossed it will be an early spring and we will all happily be paddling in the sunshine on Easter weekend!

With 60 days to go, here are the top five things that you should be focused on:

  1. Time off – Winter is a great time to be putting in overtime at work so you have extra hours to carry you through paddling season or some extra cash for new gear. When the water is flowing, you want to be on the river, not stuck at work.
  1. Gear Check - now that your gear is all out of the bag and you’ve dealt with what needs to be repaired, take the time to double check snaps, buckles, straps etc. Pull all the rope out of your throwbag and look for any wear and tear. Double check that your river knife isn’t rusted in its holder.
  1. Boat – if you have stored your boat laying horizontally all winter you still have time to remedy this situation! Ideally boats should be stored vertically to avoid oil canning. Look around to see if you have anywhere that your boat can stand, lean or hang in a vertical manner. If you must store your boat outside, spend a few pennies and grab a cockpit cover from Aquabatics. It sure beats having to clean mouse nests (and turds) out of your boat in the spring.

  1. Boat control – now that you have bomb proofed your roll, take advantage of those winter pool sessions to practice bracing and add some skills to your repertoire – whether that be the basic lean clean to help your edge control or some fun freestyle flat water tricks like bow stalls, stern stalls and loops.

  1. Skill development – what are your paddling goals for the coming season? What is that next level skill that you want to tackle? Start to think about how you can stretch yourself and what can be done through your local club and friends verses what would be good to sign up for a lesson or program for. Check out the Aquabatics website for some fun programs this summer for all levels of skills.

You can find the Aquabatics gang at the Edmonton Sportsmans Show March 14th to 17th and the Calgary Outdoor Adventure Show March 23rd and 24th. Aquabatics Edmonton is opening March 1st and the ever-popular gear swap will be happening Calgary on April 13th and 14th!

We look forward to seeing you out on the river!

 The Vincent Family

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