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The best paddling accounts on Instagram

This story originally appeared in CANOE & KAYAK. Words by Aaron Black-Schmidt.

Over the last couple of years, we have been fortunate to be part of the rise of social media. The way that it has influenced the world’s intake of stories and visual media has been amazing.

For better or worse, everything is now available at our fingertips. We can now follow our favorite athletes and photographers with the press of a button.

Here is a list of those who use social media to great effect. Some are no doubt on your radar, others perhaps less so.

The globetrotters

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When it comes to traveling to the ends of the Earth in search of first descents, suffer-fests and wilderness immersion, these guys are at the tip of the spear. Chris Korbulic (@ckorbulic), Pedro Oliva (@pedroolivakaiak) and Ben Stookesberry (@redonkulous2u) have chased whitewater from the Torngat Mountains of northeastern Canada to the hostile jungle canyons of Papua New Guinea.

Eric Boomer (@eboomer), whitewater kayaking’s original honey badger, has firmly planted his name in the history of Arctic expedition kayaking by circumnavigating Ellesmere Island and crossing Baffin Island, just to name a few. All of these adventurers utilize new technology to keep their followers updated in real time as they make their way through the Earth’s most hostile environments.

The sea kayakers

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Whether it be slicing over glassy seas with William McCluskey (@williammccluskey) or surfing the best waves the ocean has to offer with Chris Bensch (@bensch__), these sea kayaking gurus excel with not only providing amazing pictures of their exploits, but also offering a slew of advice on handling rough ocean water.

Kayak Hipster (@kayakhipster) in particular is a sea kayak nut — and a great source of inspiration for proper technique and on-water safety. Wendy Killoran doesn’t take sea kayaking, or herself, too seriously. She focuses on the fun. Follow her at @kayakwendy.

Freya Fennwood (@freyafennwoodphotography) has transitioned into an amazing adventure shooter. Thankfully, she still finds time to create great images of kayaking through her PNW stomping grounds (and islands).

The (gnar) athletes

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Put yourself into the cockpit with the sport’s best — and craziest — athletes as they charge over waterfalls and paddle into chutes of whitewater oblivion. These paddlers are not only Class V experts, but also super handy at getting the shreddiest POV edits. Here are just a few to wet your whistle: Ryan Lucas (@ryanbabybirdlucas), Adriene Levknecht (@alevknecht), Ben Marr (@bennymrr), Evan Garcia (@egthekilla) and Nouria Newman (@nourianewman).

Katrina Van Wijk manages a group account, @titsdeep, that features some of the best women paddlers in the world.

The artists

Sometimes the paddling is secondary to making a great photograph. These visual artists have mastered the knack of putting boats into the most spectacular landscapes the world has to offer: Austin Jackson (@austinjackson29), Callum Snape (@calsnape), Katie Goldie (@goldiehawn_), Rachel Kristensen (@meandertheworld) and Tegan Owens (@teganowens).

The canoe heroes

This year marks Canada’s 150th anniversary. To help bring attention to this milestone, Mike Ranta (@mikeranta) is crossing Canada by canoe for the third time. This voyage is unique in that photojournalist and C&K contributor David Jackson (@davidjackson__) is paddling and portaging with him the entire way from B.C. to Cape Breton. Jackson’s photographs are an amazing testament to the Canadian canoe life.

Trent Prezler (@prezlerwoodshop) grants us a view into the beauty of woodcraft and canoe building.

Also check out how Jim Olver (@jimolver) shows us that old age is just a frame of mind as he makes Canada’s Bow River his ultimate playground.

More from CANOE & KAYAK

C&K’s Photo of the Day presents the best in paddlesports photography

Photography from your kayak: Capturing the moment

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