Before we discuss how to get more river time let’s identify some factors that prohibit river time. 

  • You’re working too much. Or maybe you could balance work with kayaking better. 
  • Is your significant other prohibitive of river time? Your relationship could range from an understanding of your paddling to a person whom resents your paddling time.
  • You are fixated on your couch.
  • Great river and features are too far away.
  • Lack of folks to go kayaking with you.

 #5 Plan Your Work Time More Efficiently with River Time –

Skipping work to go kayaking makes the experience even sweeter. Sick days are for boofing. (c)Casey Jones

Twenty +PLUS years ago I received the best advice to progress my pro kayaking. Pro Wave Sport kayaker Billy Craig shockingly said, “You’ve got to quit that job.” Most people won’t quit their job. And it’s likely you shouldn’t unless you realize it’s a dead end. But I had a burning desire to kayak all the time. Work Oof to River Boof Tips:

  • Use accumulated sick or leave days for boof days. Save your off work days for sunny days or better yet rainy high water days for kayaking. And for goodness sake go to work when you are sick. 
  • Pre-plan your long weekends and take an extra day off for extended +PLUS paddling weekends. Or how about taking a mini kayaking vacation over holidays?
  • Can you squeeze in kayaking before or after work? Heck. If you are like most of us then you are likely wasting time on Facebook when you could be getting in flat water drills or 20+ boofs on your local run.
  • What about making your job river related? That’s what I did. For 20+ years rivers have been my passion and today I own a world class kayakers hostel on the Rio Trancura. Winning.

#4 Relationship Time Balanced with River Time –

Can you plan your family and relationship time with your river time? Winning.

This may be your most challenging time frame to convert. In an ideal world, you would patiently illustrate to your significant other the benefits of your passion for the river. But we’ve seen some pretty dysfunctional relationships. Funny thing is it seems to us the more troubled the relationship the more river time can help. Let’s see what our creative minds can develop.

  • Admit that you have some sort of addictive personality disorder. Luckily, your addiction can be remedied with hiking in the woods for hours with a kayak on your shoulder and plopping your way down rivers. Of course, you need help from a support group. That’d be your kayaker friends honking in your drive way and loading your 9R. You could debate that your relationship benefits via improving quality relationship time and presence. Good luck. If you come up with a winner hit us with a Facebook message. 
  • Include your significant other in cool river trips, festivals, and camping – Rivers should be awesome for everyone as we all enjoy the natural therapeutic benefits of rivers. If your significant other enjoys the outdoors with you then “Boof on.” If they don’t enjoy river life with you then you may need to call Dr. Phil. Or at least get creative with your communication to balance your relationship with your river time.
    • Great Family River Time Example – At Pucon Kayak Hostel we watched pro kayakers Ron Fischer and Marianne Saether take runs watching their new baby while the other got to run Nevados and Trancura laps. Now, that’s a cool river family and we imagine in short time they’ll all be paddling together.

#3 Your River Time is Affected Because You Can’t Get Off the Couch –

Are your river boofs too far away? How can you gain more river time by pre-planning your schedule?

Major oof. It happens and surprisingly it’s not always easy to get out of that couch rut. Here are a few tips to help you motivate to get more river time.

  • Identify your preferred group medium to go kayaking. Do you like paddling with a specific group of friends? Or do you need your local club to plan trips? Maybe you feel most comfortable with professional instruction. Make contact with your kayak people and that may be the catalyst to get you off the couch. Get proactive.
  • Make a commitment to self that you are going to accept river invitations. Or you will organize river trips for your paddling friends. 

#2 Rivers and Features Are Too Far Away –

Another oof. The distance hurdle is a tough one that lends itself to planning.

  • What nearby lakes and pools do you have to help you develop fundamental skills? Whether you are developing your combat roll or class V flat water development progressions can help core strength and confidence. This will help build your confidence for when you are on the river. For example, if you master your roll in the pool then you’ll be able to spend more time carving, catching eddies, and boofing. 
  • Make a point to plan weekend river trips. Better yet plan a river vacation.

#1 Lack of Kayaking Friends –

Rivers provide the best bonding experiences. Above the Chicago Whitewater Association celebrate a kayaking adventure vacation to Chile’s Rio Truful Truful.

Kayaking friendships and bonding for many is the best reason they go kayaking. Think about it. How many people do you know that prefer to kayak solo? And with today’s resources you have many options for cultivating those relationships.

  • Kayak Schools and Instruction – The majority of kayakers get into kayaking via a kayak school or camp. Your instructors and the school are a resource broader than just instructional skills. As you develop you’ll progress from student to developing river bonds to peer being invited on river trips. 
  • Whitewater Clubs and Schools – Whitewater clubs and schools are excellent for developing pool sessions and river trips. Get proactive and show up for the river and all it has to offer.
  • Kayaking Friends and Groups – Okay. Your kayaking has progressed to the point that you are good enough to go on private river trips. Watch the flows and make the calls to your group for your river time.

Now when the river flows peak your river time priorities are ready to skip work, tell your significant other you’ll be home late, and boof the day away. 

River trips and kayak schools, we endorse.

Just a reminder that kayaking is fun for everyone.

NOC Paddlesports – This is the world’s largest whitewater kayak school and for good reason. Located in the heart of Western North Carolina’s whitewater mecca the rivers are as great as the instruction. The rivers attract beginners and intermediates seeking instruction, world class freestylers and slalom racers, and boaters charging stouts and spouts. No matter your skill folks love to drop in at NOC for a lap or a beer by the river. 

Pucon Kayak Hostel – This is my place developed just for folks that love the river. When you are ready to travel and kayak rivers then you are invited to come to Pucon Chile. Now, with our NOC partnership we offer beginner and intermediate Pucon Classics Trips on our backyard rivers. And Teacups +PLUS Trips and Vacation Certification +PLUS Kayaking is available for the expert kayakers ready to go to the next level or work in the industry. 

If you enjoyed this blog then we’d be grateful for sharing, liking and commenting. 

Keep Kayaking. 

By David Hughes
Owner, Pucon Kayak Hostel
Director, Patagonia Study Abroad
Instructor, NOC Paddle Sports