Wednesday, March 5, 2014

To Paddle Or Not To Paddle?

Welcome guest blogger, JF Marleau of SKILS, Kokatat Kayak Fishing Team and the Nikki Rekman Sales Team.
Whether to paddle or whether to not, often depends on the weather.

A decision to paddle or not to paddle is heavily influenced by the skills of the group you are paddling with, and the terrain you intend to paddle within. Furthermore, the weather you encounter has a huge influence on the terrain, constantly changing it, and potentially altering the suitability of the terrain for your group. It is important to make a decision to paddle, or not to paddle, based upon clear and thorough information about what the weather is going to do while you are on the water. But making that decision can be challenging when you have so many factors and information sources to consider. At SKILS, we have developed a conceptual model to help simplify this process. This model, illustrated in the image below, is based on the idea of traffic lights; assign a red, green or yellow light to the weather information you have gathered, red = don't go, green = good to go, and yellow = borderline.

Recreational paddlers are welcome to download and share this model from the SKILS website,  (click on Resources in the menu bar, select Download Resources, select Risk Management folder). We also encourage instructors to share this model with their students. We feel this is an excellent way to simplify a very complex decision making process. 

Happy safe paddling!

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin