Adventures with the Mojave Phone Booth book now available Deuce of Clubs Book Club: Books of the Weak

Kayaker's Little Book of Wisdom

Corran Addison (1998)


3. It's only water. When everything goes to hell, keep things in perspective.

9. Never paddle on flooded rivers. All kinds of debris is coming down, and trees are a real concern.

10. Paddling flooded rivers is the ultimate rush. Use extreme caution.

17. Every time you leave the lights on, they build another dam and a river dies.

26. Don't be afraid to chuck everything and go on an extended paddling vacation. You can always restart.

28. If you have more money than time, your priorities are backward.

31. Never paddle alone.

33. The price you pay for a helmet is directly related to what you think your head is worth.

34. Sometimes you need to break the rules and paddle alone.

37. Offer to take a photo of the trip photographer. After all, he went everywhere you did.

44. Everyone needs to get stranded in a cold canyon in the middle of the night with no food or water.

45. If it happens a second time, you're not thinking.

47. My worst days are more exciting than most peoples' best. That choice is also yours.

58. Date a masseuse. You're a sportsman, right?

67. In your kayak, there is always the faint hope of recovery. Out of it, you are at the mercy of the river.

85. Adrenaline is the greatest drug of all. Administer as needed.

86. If you make the same mistake twice, you're not thinking.

87. You learn from your mistakes. Make lots of them.

97. If you are poor, you can't afford to replace second-rate equipment, so buy only the best money can get.

100. If everything runs smoothly, then it's not an adventure.

108. If you want to kayak for a living, don't expect to make a fortune.

109. If you kayak for a living, a single digit annual income is a fortune.

121. The definition of a successful expedition is: a disaster you wouldn't have missed for anything in the world.

122. There is nothing wrong with "Kodak courage."

123. Don't get killed over a photo. Your mother prefers the real thing.

141. If you are having more fun than someone else, don't rub it in. Take them with you.

150. Don't just sit and watch the worst happen. The least you can do is help it happen.

162. True adventure is when you have to break the ice off your wet suit in the morning.

175. I love to say, "I'll worry about it when I get there." Usually I end up worrying.

180. Own a piece of junk so that others will volunteer to drive.

190. Take your boss and his family rafting. Guide the boat yourself and show them a good time. It's a cheap trick, but it works.

191. If you are a lousy guide, take his main competitor instead.

196. The Russians use pig bladders wrapped in canvas, framed with saplings cut at the put-in, and cork for life vests. Be thankful for free enterprise next time you complain about the cost of equipment.

205. If a good day seems like it is lasting forever, drag it out some more.

222. People die. Better in their boats than in a car wreck. Move on and enjoy yourself.

234. Lie to everyone else about your abilities, but never yourself.

241. Never lend your equipment to others. Always know its exact history for safety reasons.

242. Never rely on your equipment if you don't know its history.

243. If that person you want a date with needs to borrow your stuff, go for it.

244. You cannot escape your problems on the river, but it is a great place to solve them.

251. Trees are bad news. Stay away from them at all costs.

252. Paddle into a big hole that you are scared of. You will be surprised at how fun it can be (in a twisted sort of way).

254. Not until you have been on an expedition with them, will you know who, and what, your friends really are.

271. We'd still live in caves without duct tape. Always have some handy.

277. You can never teach too many women to paddle. This sport is 90% male dominated.

279. A river trip is also a road trip. Expect the adventure to start when you turn the engine on.

285. Don't fight the river. You won't win. Out-think it.

288. "If you are broke, borrow $2 from four friends. They'll never ask for it back, and you'll get a meal." — Lee Bonfigleo, 1993 Freestyle World Championship finalist

294. Beware the "Fascination of the abomination!" When everything goes wrong in your boat, do something.

296. Will you look back on your life and say "I did too much," or "I wish I had done more"?

299. Don't always talk about boating. You'll become a bore.

304. Go snorkeling below a rapid that many people swim. You'll be surprised by the treasures that lie below.

308. An ender is an ender, but does it count if no one sees it?

309. Paddle with a group, but ignore them so that you can be alone.

319. "It's time for another mind game." — Dennis Rodman, Chicago Bulls

323. It is better to regret having done something than to regret not having done it.

327. Only your best friends leave their smelly gear, candy wrappers and gas tab for you to deal with.

328. What are friends for?

341. The easiest way to recognize a canoeist from a kayaker is by the size of the life jacket indicating the high swim to paddle ratio. Canoeing is very hard.

Buy this book

To Deuce of Clubs