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My home state of Idaho is unlike many other states. In the winter months, most paddlers hibernate as options are limited. Winter precipitation rarely does anything to the low flows of our rivers here. Most paddlers just wait for the month of May to begin their season as that’s when most reservoirs begin releasing and snowmelt really picks up.
But for a few of the die hard paddlers, once the sun peaks it’s head out and the ice bridges melt, it’s time to go kayaking!
Low flows on the Payette River means that it’s quite technical compared to what we are used to. It requires a different kind of paddling. I find myself doing far more reverse strokes and leaning with my body more forward and backwards. This feels unnatural to me, as I usually like to be sitting upright, leaning forward, and taking forward strokes. But I think it’s just the nature of low water.
I’ve paddled the last two gorgeous SUNdays. After having a couple months off, it’s a wonderful reminder that what’s most important in kayaking is just being in your boat and enjoying what the river has to offer.
I’m really excited to paddle the new Hero up here, as I imagine the shorter length and increase in rocker will make it an exceptional kayak in these conditions. I anticipate it maneuvering well and boofing everything! I can’t wait to try it out.
Personally when I take much time off of kayaking, it’s almost as if I forget how much fun it is. I hope everyone out there is able to get on the water once in a while during their off-season.