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Paddle Wise – A Responsibility Code For River Runners

Posted: 08/19/2021
By: Evan Stafford

Paddle Wise is a responsibility code for river runners developed by American Whitewater through a buildout and design partnership with NRS. The mission was to create a simple and shareable responsibility message for the increasing number of individuals participating in whitewater recreation. When you’re on the river you represent our community and your safe enjoyment of the river is in your hands. These helpful hints will not only make sure you represent the whitewater community well and enjoy the river safely, they’ll help protect, restore and maintain access to our rivers for everyone. Check out for more info and the full toolkit which you can use to help spread the stoke for paddling responsibly. 

The Paddle Wise campaign is designed to encourage our community to paddle safe, paddle no trace, paddle prepared, paddle smart, paddle respectfully, paddle inclusive, and paddle aware. With a surge in river running participation we decided it was time to dust off the basic guidelines for paddling responsibly and re-present them for those not in the know, and as a reminder for those who should know but maybe forgot. Our industry, conservation, and agency partners all recognize that individuals paddling safely and responsibly is key to our stewardship efforts and keeping our rivers clean, healthy, and accessible to everyone. As paddlers, it is up to all of us to protect the places where we play, limit our impact, stay safe and promote a positive image of our sport. Many people new to the outdoors are unfamiliar with the ethics practiced by more experienced river users, and increased outdoor participation has put greater pressure on our public lands and waters. Join us in helping to spread the Paddle Wise message online and at the put-in by following our social channels and visiting!  

Evan Stafford

Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone: 970-420-5378
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