Home » Illinois Paddling Council Blog » Paddler’s Unite By Sigrid Pilgrim

Paddler’s Unite By Sigrid Pilgrim

It can be serene, peaceful and quiet; or wild, raucous and dangerous; it can be tranquil and slow; or fast and racy and competitive.

NOW TAKE ONE OF EACH OF THE ABOVE AND MIX AND MATCH IT ANY WAY YOU WANT AND YOU GET PADDLESPORT.

 Maybe it’s called Recreational Canoeing, or Whitewater Rodeo, Olympic Flatwater Racing, or Mississippi Annual Down River Adventure by Canoe… maybe it’s Poling a Whitewater River Upstream, or possibly Paddling a Voyageur Canoe in Lake Superior, maybe it’s Watching Whales from a Sea Kayak, or Fishing in an Illinois Stream, maybe Surfing a Breaking Crest on the Pacific or Floating a Meandering River in Anywhere…

Geography mostly determines the kind of water we live nearby. And many of us spend hours driving to escape this geography in pursuit of our preferred type of water and action.

But wouldn’t you agree that no matter what kind of craft we paddle, which stick we use, what water we like to be on and what action we prefer, we still have more in common than sets us apart!

Just imagine for a moment that all paddlers in this country would unite as one group – that the recreational canoeist supports the Olympic racer, the whitewater fanatic writes in support of coastal protection… And one organization with united voice demands and supports legislation for conservation of waters; speaks in unison against unnecessary fees or taxation; promotes water safety through education, advocates for access.

Just imagine what a powerful group we could be if we spoke in one voice, pooled resources, and acted together. This doesn’t mean we couldn’t paddle the type of craft with the kind of stick on the choice of water and the type of action we preferred… it’s just that we’d all unite behind the fact that we all need a craft that floats us, a stick to propel us, and water in liquid form… the rest are just minor variables! And maybe we have a starting point with the recent merger of the ACA and USACK.

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