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Paddling in the Rain: WHY IS IT SO HARD?!


Now that I've talked to several paddlers about this, I'm intrigued. As participants in an outdoor sport, kayakers are at the mercy of the weather. When in San Diego, that generally works in your favor, but in upstate New York, paddlers must possess greater flexibility, lest they be constantly disappointed. [Read: RAIN. SO MUCH RAIN. ALL THE TIME, RAIN.]

Every sprint kayaker knows that you get wet when you paddle, especially in a team boat. It's unavoidable, and it doesn't take very long. I'd venture to say that by the time you finish your 2k warm-up, you're sufficiently wet. (And once you start your sprint pieces it's only going to get worse.)

So my question is: why does it suck so much to paddle in the rain? I guess I should be more specific. Why is it so hard to make yourself go paddling in the rain? You know that once you're on the water you won't even notice the weather. (True story.) What's more, you know you'd get wet even on the sunniest of days. It comes with the territory. Even after 7 years in the sport, making yourself get out of your vehicle to untie your boat and carry it down to the dock in a rainstorm is like moving mountains.

Maybe I'm alone in my exaggerated perception of misfortune. So let me just speak for myself: 8:59am found me huddled in my truck with the heat on, waiting for Nicole to arrive. I was wearing a warm long sleeve, spray skirt, and hat. I was freezing, and anticipating getting much colder on the water, so I put on my raincoat for good measure... and then proceeded to paddle while wearing it.

Paddling in a raincoat= an oxymoron. Or just ridiculous. Who does that? I do. Maybe next time I'll bring my umbrella in the boat, too. Because apparently I require substantial protection from rainwater. It's ever-so-much more menacing on my shoulders than canal water.

You know what they call these kinds of people, people like me who spend Friday nights writing long blog posts whining about getting wet in the rain when they spend several hours on the water every day?