Winter Dreaming: Bucket List Races and Paddle Places

Now is the time of year when we start thinking about next year’s races, or maybe as the realities of winter for most of the nation start to settle in, we dream a bit of those warm places we’ve always wanted to paddle – you know,  the “bucket list” trips.  We thought it would be fun to query the 100 Paddle Group on the Facebook to see what places get people all dreamy this time of year.

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Make Mine Tropical

Warm, tropical spots seem to bubble up to the top of the list- that’s probably no surprise. Most mentioned destinations include:

  • Hawaii
  • Fiji
  • Tahiti
  • Belize
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Honduras
  • Thailand

I wanna see Flipper

Critter paddles are also pretty high on those bucket lists, whether it’s just paddling with dolphins, or something more specific like manatee paddles in Florida, humpback whale or turtle paddles off the Maui coast or orca paddles in the Pacific Northwest. For instance, Alyson writes, “Paddling with Dolphins and/or whales somewhere is way up there. Not necessarily intentionally paddling to them but somehow they magically appear!”

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Chill Out

Surprisingly, some colder climes seems to be very high on a lot of those dream lists.  Many paddlers we queried would love to paddle in Alaska, Greenland, or Iceland.  Seeing the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis from a board would check off a big box on those lists.

“Anywhere with icebergs and glaciers!” writes Janet.

Paddling below the equator is also high on the 100 Paddle Group’s wish list. Australia and New Zealand come in first, with locales in South America listed as well.

Plenty of folks want to paddle in Europe too.  Croatia, Ireland, and Venice bubble up as top paddle destinations.

Stateside, besides Alaska and Hawaii, Lake Powell, Lake Havasu, Chattanooga and Lake Tahoe are top paddle destinations for many folks.

It’s not the where but the what

Then there are the paddlers who don’t necessarily have a place in mind, but a style, like Joel who wants to go on a global tour just downwinding. Or Vince who yearns for a day of whitewater paddling.

Race, baby Race

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When it comes to races- most people are dreaming about crossing the finish line in some pretty prestigious challenges:

  • Molokai to Oahu
  • The Olukai on Maui
  • Chattajack
  • Pacific Paddle Games
  • The Gorge Paddle Challenge in Hood River, Oregon
  • The 11 Cities race in Europe

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Kristin has a personal goal of racing in all 50 states and if anyone can make that happen, she can!

Other folks, like Glenda, just want to live in a place where she can paddle everyday.  Sounds like a great dream to me!

Where do you dream of paddling?

Lisa
Lisa is managing editor of PaddleMonster.com and is an avid paddler of all the things - including sup, SurfSki, outrigger canoe and prone, though she especially enjoys paddle surfing and downwinding. She is a former journalist with more than 30 years experience in print and broadcast journalism and in government communications. She is a six-time Chattajack finisher, racing both sup and OC2. When not paddling, she is an outdoor instructor.

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