How to Survive Winter Paddling

1. Consult your doctor before performing this insane activity. He may want to do a psychological exam, that’s ok, you’ll pass.

2. Before leaving the warm comfort of your home make sure to bring your GoPro because you are going to want proof to show your friends that you are, indeed, that crazy.

3. Leave your car running, with the heat on high. Sure, this might waste gas but it won’t be running idle for long, trust me!

4. Make sure to get dressed and undressed in your warm car.

5. Do NOT flip!

6. If you do flip, do NOT swim. The water is filled with ice and is therefore ice cold, which means if you flip you too will be ice cold.

7. Stick to easy tricks on waves and holes, like the epic front surf. Loops and McNasty’s mean your face may come in contact with ice cold water – which means most paddlers will opt for the loops and McNasty’s because we are hardcore.

8. When you eddy out you will undoubtedly look like the Abominable Snowman, do not panic this is totally normal. Icicles on your helmet and ice encrusted pfd’s, drytop’s and facial hair are all part of the fun. Here is where you take a ridiculous number of pictures to plaster all over Facebook.

9. Wait until the ice melts off your face and gear before getting undressed; otherwise the gear may rip and/or cut your face due to the ice’s sharp edges — not good or fun.

10. Go home, hang your gear and get ready for another epic day of ice paddling tomorrow.

Watch this video of me and my family paddling ice water on New Years Day to see what it’s like.

3 thoughts on “How to Survive Winter Paddling”

  1. Ever been to a Polar Bear Plunge? I was in Maryland in 2010 during a snowstorm. Just plain insane FUN!!!!!!!!!

    I can feel the warmth of the hot chocolate down my throat.


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