Paddling the Brokenhead - Leg 1

Brokenhead Beginning

A photo posted by Red River Paddle (@redriverpaddle) on


In our quest to explore the rivers and lakes of Manitoba (and eventually beyond) we decided to tackle the Brokenhead.
Kilometers of winding swift river awaited us. Because this was our first time, we decided to paddle the first leg (or what we are calling the first leg). Here are our Strava stats (not sure what happened to a section there where the GPS went crazy and we were all over the map.)

It was beautiful. From the flowing dark river, to the technical sections with branches and turns, to the small rapids that made you second guess your balance as pictured below.

Brokenhead Turbulence

A photo posted by Red River Paddle (@redriverpaddle) on


There were a few spots (closer to the end on this leg) where the whole river was blocked.  Depending on your adventure level, this could be a good thing or not (I would be in the latter category). But I do think this is where inflatables shine. They were able to be bumped, dragged, and pushed over logs and branches. No major damage to the boards at all. The fins took a beating on the shallow parts (except the 10-6 Ride because the iFins are indestructible and a lower profile fin)

Brokenhead blockage

A photo posted by Red River Paddle (@redriverpaddle) on


I am excited to start the second leg of this river. I am sure we could have covered more ground if it was not for the time it took to traverse the (few) blockages towards the end.

Here are the boards we took out:

  • 10-6 Ride - There is a reason why this is an all around board. With the indestructible iFins and 32" width, it was a pleasure to ride according to its rider. He was the 'rock' scout pointing out spots to avoid.
  • 11 Sport - I would say out of all the boards the 11 Sport might have been the least suited for this river. The pros was it was easy to maneuver the technical portions of the river and it was very smooth on the water. The con was the rapids portion of the river. If you found the right path, it was all right. But I found I did lose my balance easier than with the other boards. But that could be the rider ;)
  • 12-6 Explorer -  I do enjoy this board. It sits higher than the other 2 so I stayed dry on most of the trip. I guess one of the draw backs with this board is because it sat higher, the Sport and Ride allowed you to lie down to squeeze thru some of those blockages whereas the explorer was just not low enough. 

All in all it was good trip and I found another favorite river!



Happy Paddling!

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