Find your paddling tribe, and love it hard. Because enjoying your one true love of a hobby should be shared with others. Sure, solo paddling has its benefits. But there’s nothing better than having a buddy to chat with about your latest epic excursion, or even better, going with them on paddle adventures. Finding like-minded paddlers, and especially those who are local to your area, can be tough. Read on for our top six ways to find your paddle community, and you’ll soon understand the amazing benefits that come with having a solid paddler-friend group.
- Online Community Groups
One of the best ways to connect with fellow paddlers is actually quite opposite from on the water. Browse the many online community groups geared towards paddlers to meet your new paddle mates. Sites like Facebook and Reddit offer a ton of local-specific paddle-focused groups. In addition, type “Paddling Clubs in [your city, your state]” into your search bar, to get the most relevant and up-to-date info. While it’s nice to meet and chat with individuals in person who live somewhat near you, it’s also nice to find an online community you can bounce ideas off of. The Aquaglide Kayak Owners group on Facebook is an excellent community-owned resource for all of your Aquaglide-related chatter. Whether you currently own an Aquaglide product or have your eye on one, definitely join the group to find your own online tribe of paddling lovers.
- Community Paddles & Watersport Events
Hit the computer and scour the web for all of the local community paddle and watersport events in your area. If you live in paddler’s paradise, you’ll likely find lots of weekend meetups or other events throughout the year. Mark your calendar and make sure to attend a few. You may even want to travel for some of the larger events, like the Reno River Festival. Enjoy a great day on the water while meeting new friends. Now that’s a win.
- Attend Local Demo Days
Reach out to your favorite paddle shops and find out when they are doing demo days. Demo days are not only a great opportunity for you to try out some of the latest and greatest paddling gear, but you can also meet fellow paddle enthusiasts. Ready, set, get ready to demo.
For readers based in our hometown of Bend, Oregon, Tumalo Creek is hosting an Aquaglide Demo Day on June 11.
- Join a Paddling Club, Lessons, or Camp
There are paddling clubs all over, and especially in cities that are big into watersports. Clubs are great for a few reasons. You can take instruction from knowledgeable individuals and start on easy trips if you’re just getting started. You can also meet fellow paddlers who are at your same skill level. There’s nothing more inspiring than finding people who have the same interests as you, and sharing your love for the activity together. Clubs, camps, or lessons, are a great start in finding your forever paddle crew.
- Register in a Race Series
Get stoked for a season of fun and competition and register for a few different race events. If it’s a team event, reach out to the organizers and ask if you may be connected to other ‘singles’ who may be looking for teammates. If anything, join as a spectator! Catch all the fun and cheer for the participants. Who knows, your future paddling best friend might be out there.
One of our favorite local races here in Bend is the Pole, Pedal, Paddle on May 14.
- Schedule a Paddling Meetup
Be yourself, and you’ll attract the people in your life you’re destined to meet. If you have only one paddling friend, invite them to coffee and tell them to bring a friend who also shares the same paddling interests, and so forth. Meeting friends of friends offers great connection in the paddling scene, and not to mention serves as a common link between everyone. Who knows, maybe a few paddle lovers meeting for a cup of joe could soon turn into a crowded, monthly meetup? A little outreach can go a long way. No time to waste, get planning!
We may not all be blessed with a group of friends who also happen to enjoy paddling. Use these six non-conventional ways to find your paddle community, and you’ll soon reap the benefits of connection and inspiration, on and off the water.