Beginning and intermediate paddlers in the Rockies just got a helping hand, or bow rescue, in the form of Paddling Colorado – A Beginner/Intermediate Guide to the Best Paddling Routes. Written by expedition kayaker and long-time instructor Dunbar Hardy, the guide, published by Falcon Guidebooks, features 120+ paddling routes from flatwater lake touring to Class I-III+ whitewater for kayakers, rafters and canoeists.
“It’s a great resource highlighting all the state’s best runs and lakes,” says Hardy. “Colorado truly is a beautiful paddling destination. Whether you’re a flatwater paddler, whitewater enthusiast or looking for friendlier family-oriented routes, it will help you get onto the water.”
A professional photographer, Hardy also filled the book with photos capturing the variety of scenery and paddling crafts suitable for Colorado’s waters. Specific details include brief descriptions, as well as an easy-to-read info box including mileage, difficulty and directions, as well detailed maps with all access points clearly marked.
A lead instructor for Tarkio Kayak Adventures and a past board member for American Whitewater, author Hardy is a well-known expedition paddler with first descents all over the world.
Of course, this got PL to wondering, how does a hair boater feel about writing a beginner’s book?
PL How’d it feel writing a book for beginners when you’re a stud paddler? Have to swallow your pride at all?
HardyThanks for the “stud” comment, ha! Actually, I’ve been teaching/guiding kayaking all throughout my paddling career at some of the most reputable paddling schools, as well as participating in numerous international paddling expeditions. I honestly do get something out of teaching/guiding others down Class II-III or seeing paddlers get their first combat roll. The emotions for them are so raw and powerful, it brings it all back to me why I love this sport. So writing a Beginner/Intermediate guidebook is just another attempt for me to steer these types of paddlers towards appropriate paddling options for their skill levels and offer up some of my experience for others.
PLWhat will readers get out of it?
HardyThe beginner/intermediate skill level of paddlers is where the paddlesports industry is maintaining its strength, and by far the largest participation numbers are in this skill level. For the state of Colorado there really has not been a guidebook specially catered and oriented towards detailing beginner/intermediate paddlers. My sense is that this new guide is a good effort to get paddlers to and from area rivers/lakes for some nice suitable paddling options. It’s not a rock-by-rock description or each run because I want to keep the sense of exploration intact. There are 125+ paddling routes outlines, detailed maps and easy-to-read maps, as well as some inspiring photography. As a 1st edition, I also believe it will be a work in progress and just grow with future paddling routes and options in future editions.
PL Have you toned down your own paddling a hair?
Hardy I guess rapidly approaching my fourth decade and having two back surgeries from kayaking accidents and other injuries will do that to you. No really, I still paddle and love being on the water when I’m out there. I just don’t “need” to seek out the adrenaline like I used. There are still places I would love to paddle, and destinations still to return to with some great friends. I see that I am moving into a place with paddling of really trying to give back to this sport that has given me so much over the last few decades. My goals now are to care for rivers themselves through participation in organizations such as American Whitewater and to leave something behind for others to learn from and to be inspired to get out on the water. Safe travels and paddles out there!
Info: www.falcon.com; www.dunbarhardy.com