At Paddling Magazine, we pride ourselves on providing you with the best paddling content you can get your hands on (we do have a print mag, you know).

We took a look at the content our readers liked the most in 2019, and in a new era of articles claiming to tell you what certain traits and preferences really say about someone—we’re looking at you, Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health—we couldn’t help but wonder what these well-read articles really said about our readers.

So, inspired by stories like, What His Strange Pet Tells You About His Sex Life and What the Color of Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health, here are the 10 most-read (and watched) articles from 2019 and what they say about you and your paddling.

10. Secrets To Staying Off The Blacklist

two kayakers crashing in whitewater
Photo: Rob Litherland

If this was your favorite article, we suspect you may have already been added to a blacklist and that’s why Corey isn’t returning your phone calls to go paddling. Your only chance now is to forward this article to him, apologize and tell him you have learned your lesson. If this doesn’t cut it, offer to supply the beer at the take-out.

9. The One Risk Assessment All Boaters Fail

There may be old boaters and there may be bold boaters, but there are no old, bold boaters. |
Photo: Daniel Stewart

If this contemplative essay by columnist Jeff Jackson was your favorite article of 2019, we bet you often second guess yourself. While you pride yourself on being educated on all of the possible risks associated with paddling, we find you here, wondering if there is more thing to be learned. And you’re right, there is. Give this article another read, especially if you like to push your boundaries, because there is one part of risk assessment that boaters are notoriously terrible at.

8. How Paddling Provides Stress Relief And Anxiety Relief

woman and child paddling into sunset stress free
Paddling helps with stress relief and anxiety relief. | Photo: Ariel Estulin

We get it, modern life is stressful and there are so many people who regularly deal with anxiety in their life—you included. All the more reason to go for a paddle. Use the evidence-based research in this article to convince friends and family to join you. Paddling is good for your health and science proves it!

7. 8 Lies All Kayakers Tell

a kayaker tossing up their kayak paddle with the sun setting in the background on calm waters
Liar, liar, neoprene shorts on fire. | Photo: Paul Villecourt

You thought you were going to get away with it, didn’t you? We’re all guilty of sharing the best stories and posting the best pictures to social media, all too often conveniently not mentioning the less-than-picture-perfect aspects of a paddling trip. Think: bugs, kids’ tantrums, and the five-hour traffic jam on the way home. Even you can see through these lies when your buddy tells you they didn’t check their phone all weekend. If this article by Tim Shuff resonated with you, we bet it’s because you know exactly what we’re talking about.

6. Cannabis Canoeing: Weed Comes To Guided Wilderness Trips

a grinder filled with cannabis and small characters camping
Photo: Colin Field

If this was your favorite article, we’ll wager a bet you’re canna-curious or 420 friendly. The burgeoning, green economy of backcountry cannabis tourism certainly had the outdoor community buzzing in 2019.

5. Risk Management Is Sucking The Life From Kids’ Paddling Trips

three paddlers kayaking in the sunset light
Photo: Mark Zelinski

If this story was your favorite, it likely means either you were deprived of adventure as a kid and can relate, or you have kids and you are struggling to find them a program that allows them to scrape their knees a little. We understand the struggle. If you can’t find a program, we suggest finding your own ways to give them a sense of adventure. Get inspiration from the Paddling Trip Guide.

4. Kevin Hart On Whitewater Rafting


If this was your favorite article of 2019, you are either a big Kevin Hart fan, or you have been whitewater rafting yourself and can understand the hilarity of hearing a newbie explain it. Kevin Hart’s explanation of his family’s epic rafting experience is way too funny, and all too accurate. If you have yet to see this video you need to watch it.

3. Pro Kayakers Vs. Whirlpools

Noria Newman vs whirlpool
Nouria Newman vs whirlpool | Photo: Courtesy of Senders

If this was your favorite article, you are either looking for your next thrill-seeking adventure or you enjoy laughing at other people’s misfortune. Who doesn’t? These pro kayakers are actually trying to put themselves into these whirlpools and we are glad they did, because now we can enjoy watching from the comfort of our home. We don’t recommend you be inspired to try this on your own.

2. Kayak Explodes In The Middle Of Waterfall

Exploding Kayak
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wade Harrison

You read the title, saw the image, and there was no way you didn’t want to watch this. We have seen many epic videos of kayakers dropping massive waterfalls but we had yet to see one where the kayak breaks in half. Boat designs have come a long way, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some flaws along the way. Luckily for this kayaker, he managed to escape without too much of an injury.

1. 7 Worst Tips For Beginner Kayakers

3 kayakers helping another kayaker who is swimming
Just keep swimming | Photo: Gabriel Rivett-Carnac

You are likely an instructor or experienced paddler that cares deeply about the advice you give to your students and friends. You have a passion for the sport and you want to ensure that others get to experience it the same way you have.

Have a favorite story that didn’t make the list? Write a letter to the editor and tell us about it.


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