Thursday, June 19, 2008


Andrea and I went riverboarding this past weekend. For those of you (probably all of you) who have never heard of riverboarding before, it's like white water rafting - except instead of a large inflatable raft and a paddle, you get a large foam board and a pair of flippers. You then proceed down white water rapids.

If you would like to simulate riverboarding, grab a pair of flippers, a boogie board, and a friend. Put on the flippers, lie on the boogie board, and have your friend grab a large rock. Now, put your hands on a dock and start kicking.

If you stop kicking, your friend gets to club you over the head with a rock. Every ten minutes, your friend should flip over the boogie board and, if you don't get back on in less than 18 seconds, they get to club you over the head with a rock. Now, do this for about 6 hours.

Needless to say, I'm feeling a little stiff right now.

I also have the world's most ridiculous sunburn - I was wearing a Farmer John wet suit, and I neglected to apply sunscreen to my upper arms and shoulders. This was about a week ago, and I'm still putting on aloe about twice a day.

Anyway, if you are in Ottawa and want to go riverboarding, we went with Esprit. They did a really good job, and I'd recommend them in the future. If you have wet suit booties (you'd have them if you do SCUBA or snorkelling), then I'd recommend you bring them.

Also, there's absolutely no shame in admitting that you're tired and getting the hell out of the water. You spend a good portion of your time (A.) fighting the current so that you can get into an eddie and (B.) fighting the eddie to get into the current. It tends to take a lot out of you.

Every time you reach a rapid, your guide gives you a briefing. Most briefings tend to go something like this:

"Okay, the next rapid is called Bus Killer. Off to your right, there is a massive whirlpool about the size of a bus. Whatever you do, don't get trapped in the whirlpool. To your left are rocks, so don't go too far left. You want to start slightly left, and then end up slightly left. Then, go to the eddie that's off to the left. Whatever you do, don't continue down the river, or you'll enter a class 4 rapid and die."

The problem is, it's very easy to get tired and miss the eddie. Then, you need to find another eddie before the class 4 rapid. So, it's important to be well aware of how tired you are. By the end of the day, 3 of the 5 riverboarders were in the safety raft, including someone who was a white water rafting instructor.

If you're looking for a good way to celebrate the end of a successful day of riverboarding, I recommend getting take-out from A Light of India and watching CSI: Miami. No matter how much you eat, I guarantee you'll be unable to make up for the calories you burned during the day.

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At 2:57 p.m., Blogger Riz said...

I knew it was jut a matter of time before you sold out to the CSI and Indian food establishment.

At 4:19 p.m., Blogger JTL said...

Y'know, I'm good with "staying in the Indian restaurant and not cracking my skull open on a rock in the middle of a river."

At 10:27 a.m., Blogger Duke said...

Riz, I think that's a capital idea: CSI: Mumbai. Then I wouldn't be stuffing my face with Indian food, I'd be "getting in the mood" for CSI. Though combining CSI and eating is not always a good idea.

JTL: They do give you small, cheap-looking plastic helmets...

At 1:12 p.m., Blogger Robert said...

This is not Riverboarding. This is White water canyoning or hydrosledging or Ripboarding. For real riverboarding video check out


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