Once you’ve made up your mind on the material that best suits your paddling ability and how big of an investment you’d like to make, there’s other considerations when choosing your perfect paddle, and perhaps the biggest debate over paddles in general. Straight shaft or bent shaft? What’s the real difference?
As with any sport, it’s important to protect your personality. A lot of rivers are relatively shallow, and if you find yourself upside-down at any point, you’re exposing your head to rocks. That means wearing a helmet is a must. Even if you think you can breeze down the river without flipping over, there’s plenty of other hazards that pose a risk to an unprotected noggin. Choosing the right helmet is all about fit and comfort. Sweet Protection, Shred Ready, WRSI, and NRS all offer great options for helmets at the Outfitter’s Shop.
Personal floatation devices are required on board your vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard. More than that, PFDs are a crucial piece of safety equipment. The most effective PFD is one you’re actually willing to wear. Understanding your intended use, choosing the right style, and finding a good fit are paramount in picking the perfect PFD.