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Single Paddler Seeking River Friends

By Jim Sullivan

Single paddler searching for friendly, fun, and responsible paddling friends?

So you took your first whitewater lesson, you were in enthralled, excited, enthused maybe even in love. And then, before you even realized, it was over. Slightly heartbroken but still determined to somehow continue your relationship with whitewater, you wished for the “e-harmony” of the paddling world (only without the creepiness of finding true love via internet).

As a novice paddler, finding friends to paddle with is frequently the largest barrier to entry into a lifelong relationship with wild rivers. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to continue paddling if you are willing to put yourself out there. For many folks, joining a local paddling club provides an entire group of paddlers with a range of experience levels that are excited to get out and paddle with you. Others choose to enter online boating chat forums and find connections that way. Still others find friends by simply showing up to a popular river on a sunny release weekend and meeting folks at the put-in (recommended only if you know the river well and its rapids are well within your ability level ). Zoar Outdoor provides excellent instructional clinics as well as events that are well suited to making new friends and having a great time!

Here are some useful links to get you started:

Zoar Outdoor Paddling School Reunion:

Paddling Clubs by state:

Northeast Paddlers Message Board:

If you have a fun story or helpful tips for folks just getting involved in whitewater paddling, please share it with us!

– Sara

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