Congrats to all on their efforts in the first 100-Day Challenge of 2017.  Whether you were winter warriors or enjoyed paddling in more pleasant conditions, getting as many miles as you can under your belt in the first few months of the year is great for building a base that can carry you through the paddling season. 

For the next 100-Day Challenge we’d like to continue the focus on volume with an added twist.  We’re asking you to not only keep track of your total mileage, but also mileage done in “challenging conditions”.

Paddling is a sport that is subject to the whims of nature.  Elements like wind, waves and currents are beyond our control.  Often, if we want to go paddling we’ve got to face conditions we might not be entirely comfortable with.  The choice is simple – embrace the conditions, whatever they may be, or don’t go paddling that day.  If we’re racing it’s a little different, we actually don’t have a choice.  Race conditions are what they are.  We either face them and persevere or let them defeat us. 

The great thing is if you embrace challenging conditions and face them when they arise, you get better at handling them.  You improve.  Your skills develop, and this makes paddling more fun.  It can open up whole new vistas of paddling to you, and a river paddler can become a lake paddler, or a lake paddler an ocean paddler.  Those that just survive in wavy conditions can learn to take advantage of all the texture on the water, making use of every little ripple and become competent downwind paddlers. 

Paddling is a great sport because there’s always something new you can work on.  You never stop learning.  But in order to learn, you’ve got to challenge yourself and stretch your limits.  You’ve got to go beyond your comfort zone sometimes and take some very calculated risks. 

A useful way to approach this is to “Love the Conditions”.  Learn to make the most of whatever the conditions may be on any given day.  You can read more on that here, in a blog post we put up for Paddle Monster All-Access members this past winter:  link

So for this next 100-Day Challenge we’re asking you to do two things:

  1. Continue to get as much mileage on the water as you can.
  1. Strive to do more in conditions that extend your limits. 

You can record both and simply keep two running totals.  Remember challenging conditions are conditions that are challenging FOR YOU.  We’ve all got different levels of ability and skill so we’re all going to be challenged by different conditions.  The idea is to push your own personal limits.

Have fun!  We look forward to hearing about everyone’s paddling over the next 100 days!

Larry and John, Paddle

To join the 100 Paddle Challenge, request entry at: