A Brief History:
Après is a french word meaning “after”. “Après-” is from the skiing world, “Après-Ski” (after skiing) to describe social activities with food and drink after a day on the slopes
This first became a custom in Norway in the late 19th Century. The tradition quickly moved from individual homes to ski resorts.
From Norway, it made its way to the French Alps where ski villages began establishing ski hotels. Here is where it adopted the name “après-ski” to celebrate surviving a day on the cold harsh Alps.
If you’ve ever partaken in “après-ski” it’s a fun and wonderful tradition. Why not use it in the paddling world? After all, it means “after” and can be applied to any activity.
Let the après-paddle fun begin!
It is a little difficult & not smart to do any events or large gatherings right now but you can still enjoy après-paddle and have fun either with a friend or two with space or even partake in it solo (safety tip: if you went for a solo paddle, remember to tell someone you’re back on land and won’t be home right away)
It can be a nice reward after a paddle, much-needed time with friends socializing or a benefit such as warming you up or cooling you down.
Here are some ideas to have a great après-paddle:
- I fully recommend bringing another set of clothes. If you get sweaty (warm or cold weather) or are wet from falling in, it’s really nice to change and be comfortable. I talk about the importance of bringing extra clothes in my Cold Weather Paddling post. Having an extra bag for wet or dirty clothes can help with pack up and transportation.
- Bring a snack or a meal. You can even take turns or do a potluck. You might be lucky enough to have BBQs available in the park to use too! Don’t forget the hand sanitizer, napkins and any plates or cutlery you made need.
- Warm or cold beverage – peppermint tea is my favourite this time of year when you need something to warm you up! And in the summer I always bring sparkling water with lemon and ice! Don’t forget to pack your beverage in something that will keep it warm or cold. Or bring a cooler with ice! I use my Hydro Flask or Yeti 26oz Rambler Cup with the straw lid or Magslider lid for both hot beverages and cold and if I’m bringing more than one I’ll pack everything in my Yeti cooler.
- Find a comfortable spot – a picnic table in the park, bring a blanket or use your board (just be sure to remove your fin or flip it upside down).
- Share stories and photos from your recent paddle. What was your favourite thing that happened on the adventure?
- Journal or track your paddle adventure.
- Go for a walk. Especially if you are in a new location or a conservation area with trails and have taken the time to drive there.
- Bring a book and read in the park.
- Relax and take in whatever is going on around you; people or nature watching.
- Do some stretches or a yoga sesh. This feels amazing, especially after a long paddle
- If you’re able to, have a bonfire.
Remember to pack up and take everything you came with. Leave no trace!