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Paddling vs. Mountain Biking

Posted: 23.12.2016 BY Kim Hardin

With the re-discovery of climate change, it seems as though 88.3% of paddlers are turning to mountain biking in the summer as we wait for the winter rains and the start of the creeking season, myself included!

While 7 days off the water makes one weak (haha), a little time off of the water and on the bike is good for cross training:

1. Interchangeable lingo: Boof, stomp, eddy out, S-turn. You can keep your whitewater lingo strong by using them for more or less the same purpose while mountain biking! "Dude, that boof was huge!" "I'm going to boof that rock, and eddy out at the bottom".

2. Line choice: Line choice is key! Generally speaking, you either nail it or fail.... Think mountain biking through technical boulder gardens, and down steep downhills. How do you get to the bottom as smoothly as you can, without crashing? Crashing on a mountain bike generally hurts a little more, and is even more incentive to keep your head up and look down the trail (think river!), to sight your line. Keeping the "mental" side of paddling fresh is just as important as the physical!

3. Clothing Choice: Practice your layering! You don't want to sweat out by the top of the climb or mid-way through a river section in the middle of winter.

4. Cardio and grip strength: Biking will get you in prime shape for the creeking season. Especially your core!

5. FEAR: Believe it or not, mountain biking can help you face your fears. Fear of speed, crashing, horrible lines, etc... practice sighting your lines, looking where you want to go, and following with your body. Drive the bike, don't let it drive you. All things we should be doing while paddling!

Following the rain in the winter, and loamy trails in the summer, my life is a balancing act between professional paddling and professional mountain biking. I've traveled to Italy, Chile, Argentina and more racing the Enduro World Series during the summer, and am excited to be home for a bit to enjoy the off season and get re-acquainted with my Wave Sport Recon. 


For now, I'll leave you with a fun video to get you amped on the upcoming creeping season:




Kim Hardin