Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Got Protection?

No, not that kind of protection ... this kind

Foot protection!

It’s that time of year when winter has faded away and the rivers are filling up with excited kayak, canoe and raft paddlers again. It’s time for you to enjoy the thrill of the whitewater rapids. Hopefully you have been schooled on the importance of the essentials for paddling: boat, paddle, helmet, personal floatation device and sprayskirt (for kayakers). I would like to add another river essential, for your own personal safety and comfort, proper footwear.

Studies and river stories have shown that the place where many injuries occur is on shore while either scouting or running down the river back to help rescue someone or something. It is also essential to have proper footwear when you encounter an “out of the boat experience” yourself and have to perform your own rescue. One of the best ways you can prevent injuries in these situations is to wear sturdy but comfortable booties or other supportive footwear designed for watersports.

To help you better protect yourself from injury and provide for a more comfortable trip down the river, we looked at several good options for your feet. We have chosen the best models for kayakers, canoeists and rafters. The footwear was tested in various boats on the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s local rivers such as the Nantahala River, Ocoee River, Chattooga River, Cheoah River, Pigeon River, Nolichucky River and French Broad River. Because there is footwear for a broad range of paddlers, I will give my overall impression of each one then include information about their best specific use(s).

To read the full review, Click Here to go to the Outfitter's Store blog.