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The season is coming real fast, up here in Quebec we’ll have to wait a few more weeks, but some of you already have a ton of fun south of the border. For those of who are still waiting, make sure you take a look at that to-do list

1. Where’s my boat!

Some of you don’t have the chance to store their boat(s) inside during the off season. If your boat was outside, you’ll want to make sure it’s accessible. I don’t know how many times some of my friends were late or had to cancel their day on the river because they had to dig in the snow for hours before they could find their boats. Don’t be that person! 

Photo Credit: Patrick Levesque

2. Latex gaskets

Make sure your dry suit and/or dry top gaskets are in shape. If they are really dry it might be a good idea to change them. Tear a gasket at the put it really sucks…

3. Paddles

Take some time to look at your paddles. Look for digging, cracks, etc. You might need to do a few repairs. Also, if you’re a young paddler, maybe you got taller during the winter and you’ll want a longer shaft. 

4. Roof rack

Roof racks make your car less efficient on gas, so maybe you remove it during the off season, it’s a very good idea, but make sure it’s ready for your car before your local run starts to run! 

5. Outfitting

Winter can be very long sometimes, and maybe you had a bit of foam to your hip pads after a good season of paddling, but this spring after a long winter, with a lot of gear on, you might want to readjust your outfitting. Don’t be the guy playing with foam at the put in! 

6. Float bags

Do you have float bags? Are they still in your boat? Are they inflated? Float bags make it a lot easier for your rescuers (if anything happens). People will enjoy paddling with you a lot more if you end up swimming and there’s float bags in your boat. 

7. Do you have all the gear you need? 

Make sure you have everything you need to get on the water ASAP. Dry suit, mitts, good base layers, paddling hood etc.

Photo Credit: Emrick Blanchette

8. Go Pro

If you have one make sure it works and that batteries are charged, you’ll want to immortalise your spring runs for sure! 

9. Buy ear plugs

I just had surgery for surfers ears and it’s really not fun. Better spend a few $ on ear plugs and wear them when the water is cold.

10. High water is fun, but it comes with some risks, HAVE FUN AND STAY SAFE.

– François Nadeau