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After the 3rd coldest January in Idaho history, I finally got out on the water for the first time in February. My dad and I drove up to the Payette River to go kayaking. I was hoping to be able to do a run on the North Fork of the Payette, but as we drove up the river, we saw lots of ice bridges. The North Fork was out and we headed to the South Fork of the Payette. As we were driving, I couldn’t help but notice how deep the snow on the banks of the river still was. I was a little nervous because it was very cold and the wind was horrible. When paddling in cold water and air temperatures it is really important to have the right gear to protect yourself. My NRS dry suit and union suit were a good combination to stay warm. The NRS toaster mitts kept my hands warm as well. The WRSI Moment blocked most of the wind and was super comfy without blocking any visibility.

The flow was about 700 cfs. so there were a lot of boofs. It was cool to look up at the banks and see the walls of snow. There was snow going over the water on the edges of the bank so I could paddle to the edge of the river and slide up on it. That was a lot of fun! My new Zen 55 was very fast and stable so I didn’t even get my face wet. It was a cold but great day on the river. But, I have to say that I am looking forward to it warming up a bit over the next month and the water levels rising on the South Fork to around 10,000 cfs. After paddling the Zen 55 at low water the Zen 55 will be so much fun in high water. I can tell it is the perfect boat for me. I can’t wait for some big Idaho whitewater.