Well fellow paddlers its time to get the boats down and get on the water. Some have braved the cold temps and been on the water already, but for the most part, a lot of us will be getting on the water for the first time in several months. Hopefully if you’ve been working out and doing some paddling specific workouts, this transition shouldn’t be too difficult, but either way, you want to make sure that what you do these first few times on the water isn’t too much above what you can handle. You may think you can handle those 10 miles on the river, but let’s use running as an analogy. You wouldn’t run 10 miles on your first time after not having run in several months, would you? No, you’d start at maybe a few blocks then add a little each time you run until you're up to your desired goal. That’s the smart way to do it, but all too often people just jump right into something. Now sure, you may say that an easy 10 miles on the river is not as taxing as running 10 miles. Sure, I’d agree there, but the idea is that you want to ease yourself into it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect workouts that progressively build to your desired time or intensity on the river, but just make sure you take the time to build up slowly.
Many of you will be going on “spring openers.” Several days of paddling coupled with going too hard in a big group and for many it’s the first time on the water in a long time - perfect time to get hurt. Now I’m not knocking the concept of the spring opener, but because of the whole group dynamic thing and the fact that we’re excited, we often end up doing too much, too soon. There you are playing on that perfect surf wave, trying new moves that you saw on the latest video over the winter and before you know it, your shot….and you still have several miles and several play spots to go and you have tomorrow to paddle. Just some things to think about. Know when to say when and ease yourself into it.