2021 year in review

Hey pnetters I’m getting a head start on this annual thread. I posted this on my local paddling message board today. I just continue to keep paddling. Perhaps not a very high level, but I’m still having fun. Thought I would share. Others go bigger, faster, and are flashier. I just show up and go. I do log my miles- seems to help keep me motivated.

Here goes, Please share your year and aspirations for 2022. My recollections come straight off my calendar (river log).

2021 year in review
86 days of paddling, with all paddling being done on day trips. On most days I went just a few miles, 472 miles all together. Less diversity in terms of boats used (rafts, duckies, canoes, sit on tops etc) than normal- all runs were made out of a kayak, mostly on class II/III streams but some true flatwater paddling as well. The boats used were pyranha 12r, wavesport diesel, pakayak Bluefin. I really got more comfortable with the 12r this year. Those that have seen me stylin’ on the upper New, now refer to my 12r as “A caddie” (that’s short for Cadillac). Those that dragged it out of the muck and up the hill for me (Summersville dam) refer to it as “that damned tank!” I just know it makes my diesel feel real short. Cue the music, “I like big butts errr boats I cannot lie”.

The runs listed in italics were personal first descents for me. Pretty much dry hair the whole year. Not really much of an accomplishment when you consider that all runs were well within my ability. I did try to practice rolling, 32 practice sessions mostly at a put in or takeout on the river. My roll did improve a little bit even if I didn’t have to actually test it out in a combat situation. I did get my L3 instructor certification (along with David Bell) so I’m now legal to actually teach kayaking on class I and II streams. My form continues to suck but I will continue to impart “well seasoned” wisdom to unsuspecting newbies.

As usual, a big thank you to everyone that I shuttled and paddled with. We all need to continue to keep eyes on each other so that we can be safe out there.

Goals for 2022 are much like 2021: Definitely more upper New paddling followed by pbrs and wings at the coldspot, and I do plan to do some sit on top paddling and snorkeling while in Hawaii. With my recent retirement,end of Nov, I hope to increase the amount of spring boating that I can do. A noticeable lack of paint creek and middle gauley runs in 2021- something that must be remedied in 2022. Bring on the fun. The upper shavers fork is one that I want to catch and David and Ruth have mumbled about some good seasonal stuff where they live. So many creeks, so little time.

Below is my list for 2021. Naturally, Glade to GVSB was the big winner
In WV: Birch 1x, Cherry 1x, Cherry/Crupperneck Gauley Combo 5x, Crupperneck Gauley 2x, Greenbrier 5x, Muddy Creek 1x, Paint Creek 1x, Middle Gauley 1x, "Lost” Gauley 1x, NF of SB Potomac (Hopeville Canyon) 1x, SB of Potomac 2x (Smokehole or below), Middle Fork of the Tygart above Audra 1x, Down Elk 1x, New McCreery to Stonecliff 3x, New Glade to GVSB 24x, New Glade to Army Camp 1x, New above Fayette Station 2x, Miracle Mile of Middle Meadow 1x, Kanawha River below the falls 4x
In TN: Lower Nolichucky 3x, South Fork of the Holsten River 1x
In AR: Hurricane Creek 1x, Mulberry 2x
In OK: Washita River 1x
In NM: Racecourse section of the Rio Grande 4x, Orilla section of the Rio Grande 1x,“Lost” Chama River 1x, Rio Chama Chavez Canyon 1x
In CO: Animas town run 1x, San Juan at Pagosa Springs 1x, Headwaters area (Box Canyon) of the Rio Grande 2x, Lake Fork of the Gunnison at Red Bridge 1x, Arkansas River Lone Pine to Pinnacle Rock 1x, Arkansas River Bowns Canyon 1x, Arkansas River Valley Bridge to Lone Pine 1x, Arkansas River Big Bend to Salida 1x
In SC: Edisto River 4x SYOTR, Tony


Had a layoff from kayaking during the past five years, managing less then 5 trips per year. Joined the forum while fixing a used rotomolded boat for my nephew. Joined the forum in April while researching kayak parts and repair info. Following my nephew’s progress and reading the forum showed what I had been missing and stimulated my return to kayaking.

My goal this year was to see if I could even paddle after shoulder surgery and the layoff. I started paddling at the end of June 2021 and almost gave up, until it became clear that many other members probably suffer worse and accomplish more. I figured out how to rely more on my core and less on shoulder strength. Finally finished about 22 trip, ranging between 8.46 miles and 20 miles, which took 7 1/2 hours, but it showed me I could stay with it for extended periods. By the final trip, I was within .5 mph of my previous average. I could have done another five trips, but my brother highjacked me for Rock Fishing. I did learned a lot about the bay in his power boat. He described the bottom contours, where the fish hide, and explained the visible signs of the bottom is telegraphed on the surface of the water.

I’m a fair weather kayaker, so I’m now land locked, but am using the time to explore paddle design. Also getting the boats ready for spring. Also bought a used 140 Tsunami and a Tsunami SP, and plan to go over them to get in shape for family members.

It was a good year. Got my niece and her husband, a nephew, and three granddaughters committed to kayaking. Spring can’t come soon enough. Thanks to everyone for the inspiration. I probably learned more in 9 months than in 18 years.


End of Year stats (with estimate of last few days included)

  • days paddling: 365 (assuming I don’t get the ‘Wu’ in the next few days), 2nd year I’ve managed to paddle every day (and last year it included a whole extra day (366) )
  • miles per month: over 400 for all 12 (2nd time I’ve managed this)
  • miles total: 5069 (assuming weather forecast remains good for an around Cumberland paddle (47mi) on Fri, otherwise will do about 15 less)
    (3rd time did over 5000 per year)

most miles are from my daily ‘walk around the block’ paddle (St Johns river - 10 miles round trip to Jacksonville & back, or the other direction & back; weekends a long paddle - ocean or river)


jyak and raisins thank you both for sharing. Jyak it is cool that you have adapted your paddle style and technique to work through an injury. Perhaps this has forced you to become a more efficient paddler than you would of been otherwise.

raisins i’m impressed that you are committed to get out every single day and the sheer number of miles you cover is impressive. You cover as many miles in a month as I do in a whole year!

One of the things I really like about paddle sports is that you can set your own goals. The only competition I’ve experienced is stuff (goals) I’ve created for myself. Every year I try to get out and see some new places. I also try to nudge newbies along. That helps keep the familar runs interesting. My number one goal is to always come back in one piece. Survival is good but I don’t find myself pushing my own limits much anymore. Pushing the edges isn’t part of my plan. If that happens it means I’ve screwed up somewhere. As my willingness to help others has increased, I’m also better at accepting help.

It’s amazing the number of miles that other members paddle.

I was thinking the same! My ambition is to get out once a month (in my defense I do still work full time and have a couple of other interests)!
That said, it’s been a good year. My enthusiasm and enjoyment of my paddling has increased and I’ve had some very enjoyable trips. I upgraded to my awesome Prana, and just last week upgraded my parter to a much more appropriate (for her) Eddyline Rio - which bodes well for more frequent future trips. We’re planning a shakedown day for her next week.
Most excitingly, I discovered the Texas Gulf coast. Very excited for many more trips there next year.

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I have no idea how many miles I paddled this year. Dozens of day paddles on the various waterways in the area.

I did get some short trips in despite restrictions. Three days on the Rio Grande in Big Bend. Five days in the Okefenokee Swamp. Four day trips into the BWCA. Four days rowing on Lake Fontana.


The kayak got me where I needed to be in 2021 to keep one promise. Ever outing was Divine in fact, and they all have iced over into one paroxysm of paddling on a Wake of Tears.
Peace J


I posted my year-end review a little early this year since I am off on Friday and might get out one more time in 2021.


With COVID it was another weird paddling year. I did mostly bike shuttles in Jan. Feb. and March. By April most of my paddling friends were vaccinated and car shuttles started up again, but the open invitations that used to get posted in paddling groups on Facebook haven’t returned. People are still being careful about shuttles.

I did 55 trips for the year, which is about average for me. I don’t keep track of miles, but a quick estimate is probably about 350. Local stuff for me is usually park-and-play, so I might spend a couple of hours on the same surf wave putting in miles going nowhere. :wink:

I did two camping trips – one from the boat and one from a base camp. I did ten whitewater trips not counting local park-and-play – more than last year, but less than pre-COVID. Everything else was flatwater.

Next year will probably be more of the same – we’ll see…

An early Happy New Year to you all.


42 trips, 546 miles, 4.4 mph average, 32 miles with full gear at Massasauga PP. Almost all in an Epic 18x. I may go out again before the year is over.

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I don’t keep track but I’d estimate that I paddled about 150 times in 2021 for a total around 1000 miles. I’m grateful that a local farmer lets me launch on his property just 1/2 mile from home. Unfortunately I lost my top 2 paddling partners (Zoey and Brian) in 2021. I miss them.


Kevburg 4.4 miles per hour is moving along. Eck I enjoyed your show and especially the turkey gobble ending. Davbart the Okefenokee is one of my favorites. I still need to check out BWCA and the Rio Grande near Big Bend, hope to get there someday. . TomL 1,000 miles sounds like a lot to me! So sorry to hear about your paddling partners. thanks for sharing

Sometimes this site very accurately describes my 2021 …Something went wrong


2021 was my first year kayaking. Started slow but did manage 21 paddles for 235.5 km (146.3 miles or 127.2 nauitical miles) in our short six month season. Plans for next year include longer trips and kayak camping.

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I don’t keep track of kayak trips. But wife did this year and it casually logged only 120 miles by Sept when our canoe clubs had its centennial celebration. Anyone over 100 got a prize.

I did log 9,300 miles towing the travel trailers with the kayaks on the rack.

Guess I took the kayaks on 9,420 trip miles this year. :wink:

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2021 paddling summary - I had planned to paddle today so had to wait to get the final mileage.

I paddled 79 times for a total of 822 miles - my lowest number of trips, but second highest total miles since I started keeping track in 2014. My average paddle was 10.4 miles and the longest was 20.2 miles. I averaged 74.7 miles per month, up from my long term average of 60 miles, mostly due to training for the Everglades Challenge - I paddled 117.5 miles in December, almost twice my normal monthly average!

About half of the miles were in the Tiderace Xceed S, the rest were split between the Dagger Stratos 12.5, Valley Gemini and of course most of my miles lately have been in the Mirage 580 that I will use for the Everglades Challenge.

Next year’s numbers will be all kinds of weird with the EC mixed in! Should be fun to see what that does to my trends. I have kept a simple spreadsheet to keep track of paddling since 2014.

Strange year 2021….

Longest one day paddle, 70 miles solo
Avg was 10 for what I actually documented on Strava
Only hit 200 race miles(usually at least 400)
Hard to tally total miles as I only run watch/gps when I remember, lol. I paddle almost every day tho so need to track this better…

Logged a lot of miles on oars with several nice Guideboat races

2022 has big plans with Yukon River Quest and Ausable Canoe Marathon races on top of the usual circuit.
Last paddle of the year:
11 miles today


Dang, Darkstar! Dang and Dang! That’s twice as far as my record trip and I was contemplating just staying where was at 3 miles from the finish line. How long did it take?

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I don’t really keep track of paddling days anymore. I just remember the more eventful times. I got to surf three or four times with my oldest son this year, his family rented a house near us, but he’s at Apple and they called him back to Silicon Valley. I’m also not big on devices for recording distance, speed, etc, except this year I got an Apple watch and it helped me keep track of exercise and remind me to move more. I have an App called Dawn Patrol for surfing and it only counts about every third wave, not sure why. So looking back at Dawn Patrol it says my best day was 15 rides in two hours, which probably meant closer to 45. I was beat and still have tendon problems from overdoing it. Definitely wasn’t the most challenging spot, biggest waves, or longest rides, or most maneuvers on the waves but I did have a blast surfing small, wind enhanced barrels all by myself.

I like that app.