Words By:Simon Coward
As the holiday season comes around, for many of us in the northern hemisphere the rivers are either dried up or frozen over and paddlers are passing time until the snow melt with other activities. But, as someone who is close to a paddler you know they are always thinking about it. Here is a guide to strategic gift giving for the paddler(s) in your life. (paddler categorization included….)
THE YEAR-ROUND PADDLER
A somewhat rare breed, but something drives them to paddle at least once a month even in the coldest of climates
1. ANYTHING THAT IMPROVES THEIR HEAD/HAND WARMTH SITUATION
If the year-round paddler in your life has holy (and not religiously speaking) gloves or mitts this can make for some very unpleasant times on cold paddling days. Consider picking up some NRS Maverick or Maxim Gloves, Toaster Mitts, Mamba Pogies or a toasty Skull cap to keep their extremities warm.
2. WARM AND GRIPPY FOOTWEAR
Surprisingly enough, it is pretty straight forward to keep your core warm when paddling even in really cold conditions, it’s the feet, hands and face that really are a struggle to stop from getting painfully cold. For the year-round paddler having super well insulated footwear is a must. Thick, lined neoprene is the only thing that will do for the colder paddling months.
3. WATER TIGHT SPRAY SKIRT
Having water leaking through your Sprayskirt onto your lap really is the definition of unpleasant. Even with a drysuit on, during winter paddling this really sucks. Using innovative rand technology IR make the driest spray skirts we have come across, one of these babies would be a very well received gift for the winter kayaker in your life.
THE BEGINNER PADDLER
They have only recently taken it up, but you can’t get them to stop talking about paddling.
1. KAYAK LESSONS @ AQUABATICS
We offer winter stroke improvement and rolling classes, along with self directed drop in sessions. Keep the newer paddler in your life from driving you mad by getting them in the pool over the winter months. Alternately our staff can help you choose from the plethora of spring summer programs we have on offer.
2. KAYAK PADDLE
Paddles are one of the most personal items kayakers own. If the beginner paddler you know doesn’t own a paddle yet, be the person to get them decked out with one and you will long be remembered as a Class V (awesome) gift giver. Great beginner paddles from Aquabound start at only $150 or so. At nearly 2 metres long they will also look awesome under the Christmas Tree.
You are considering buying this person a gift, it is a safe bet you like them and would like to keep their head in one piece. A helmet achieves this goal even in a capsize in whitewater! There are great options for massive and tiny heads alike, and a huge range of options as far as budget goes!
$50 - $400 - CLICK HERE FOR GIFT IDEAS FROM AQUABATICS CALGARY
THE INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED PADDLER
They have been at this for awhile, they have all their gear and know what they like and how to use it.
For safety reasons whitewater kayaks need float bags in the back (to prevent the boat sinking in the event of a swim), why not double that space with storage with the innovative and bomb proof Futa Stowfloat from Watershed. Our staff swear by these and carry everything from video cameras to lunches in them.
$149.95 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
2. A FANCY WET | DRY GEAR BAG FROM SWEET PROTECTION
No doubt the experienced paddler you are looking for has a drysuit or other good outerwear. Though, once they are off the river the dry under layers end up getting lumped in with the wet outerwear. This is a first world problem they will no longer have to contend with. The Sweet Dirty Frank Gear bag has separate wet/dry compartments so dry stuff can stay that way.
$119.95 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
3. JACKSON HAPPY THRUSTER COMBO
Does your paddling gift receiver have a playboat? If so the Jackson Happy Thruster Combo is a must have for getting bigger air, and throwing those crowd pleasing tricks! They fill up with air so pack down small to fit under the tree or in a Christmas stocking.
$65.99 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
STOCKING STUFFERS FOR ALL
These packable, most excellent and fair trade Frisbees are hand crocheted in Guatemala and are a hit with everyone
$15.95 - $19.95 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
KIWI DESIGNZ NOSE PLUGS
Keeping the water out of peoples’ noses since 2010. Made in Ontario and they stop paddlers getting a sinus flush every time they flip over.
$10 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
LIVING THE BEST DAY EVER BOOK
The life and times of African whitewater legend Hendri Coetzee. This engaging and adventure filled biography will keep paddlers turning the pages over the holiday season.
$39.95 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
NORTH WATER POLYPRO THROWBAG
75’ of floating rope in a bag which can be used as a rescue aid for swimming paddlers. A gift not only for the recipient but for the people it is used to fish out of the river!
$75.95 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
The only way to travel if you own a drysuit. Put on these one-piece fleece suits underneath a drysuit and the world is a cozy wonderful place. Even on the coldest of winter paddling days...
$89 - $150 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
Best of luck with all your christmas shopping! If you have any questions about these or other products we have we would love to hear from you. You can get a hold of us by email at email@example.com or by phone at (403) 288 9283.
WE OFFER FREE SHIPPING ON REGULAR SIZED ITEMS OVER $75 ALL ACROSS CANADA
From the Aquabatics Team