whitewater paddling
Credit: Ryan Creary
Whitewater paddling demands more of its acolytes than, say, hiking or biking. First there is the wet (often accompanied by the cold). Then there is the humbling force of the river. The gear required is also significant. And so is the time commitment. The thing is, you don't become a whitewater paddler by accident—you have to take the plunge. But when you first carve a clean line into a calm eddy halfway down a lively set on a beautiful river, you'll be glad you did.