From the Shop: Day 30

I haven’t kept a paddling log in a few years, but for whatever reason, I decided to this year.  It’s a pretty basic list of what river I run on each day, and whether or not I jogged the shuttle.  After I finish writing this, I’m heading to the river.  Today will be my 30th paddling day of the year.  As today is the 81st day of the year, that works out to paddling every 2.7 days.  Two to three times a week.  It’s a pace that puts me padding 135 days this year.  So what?

Day 21, Bald River, TN

Maybe I’m bragging about it a little bit, but considering that most (24/30) of those days were winter paddling in New Hampshire, I’d say I’m doing pretty well getting after it.  But I feel like paddling is part of who I am, it’s something I live and breathe.  For quite a few years, I viewed myself as a whitewater athlete, trying to push myself to be the very best I could be.  Work and life got in the way, and I got away from that a bit, but the desire to get out and push myself, paddle until I feel like I’ve really been paddling, and continually challenge myself is something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake.  I feel like I’ve reconnected with that a bit this year.  It’s a fire that doesn’t go out.

For me personally, that’s all well and good, but what does it matter to you, the canoe buying consumer?  If I’m out there paddling every 2.7 days, I want the very best equipment.  There’s a lot of great gear on the market right now, and you can choose what you want to use, what the ‘best’ boat is for you. But I don’t get to choose the ‘best’ boat.  Instead I’ve chosen to MAKE the best boats.  I started designing and building canoes more than a decade ago with that goal in mind.  Despite the surge in recent designs since then, I’d do it all again now.  I still believe if I want the best boat, I need to make it myself.  It’s something I think about and obsess over every time I paddle.  And that’s why it matters to you.