by Ben Natusch
Each year, Demofest is one of my favorite weekends of the season. This is a great opportunity to connect with some former students and meet some new paddlers. With all the mini clinics it is a great opportunity to work with a variety of paddlers and help everyone push to the next level. I really enjoy watching something new click for a student and seeing them really get something for the first time. Demofest is always a busy time and a really great opportunity to paddle with friends, new and old. While the Dryway clinics are always a lot of fun, I think my favorite clinic this year was the intro to freestyle. I had the opportunity to work with several different students and every one of them improved during the clinic. Freestyle is a lot of fun but it also does a lot to improve your overall paddling from your roll to your ability to move in holes and your overall river awareness. In addition to teaching clinics, everyone had the opportunity to demo many of the latest designs. I really enjoyed helping people pick out boats and paddles to try out. There are so many incredible options on the market that it is easy to find a boat that is perfect for everyone. I spent a lot of time in the Confluence tent talking about paddles this year. I have been using AT paddles for the past 8+ years and have been really impressed. I enjoyed giving out demo paddles and letting people feel the benefits for themselves. These paddles have a great feel in the water and can definitely help make your paddling a little smoother. If you didn't make it out for Demofest this year, hopefully we'll see you there next year!