Upstream Paddling

I got the idea for this video because when you stop paddling in a packraft the boat spins backwards to face upstream. It just feels natural. When I mentioned the possibility of upstream paddling to Paul Schauer he said, ‘Yeah, sure. Salmon do it, why shouldn’t we?’ Armed with a tank of helium and 70 balloons, we were ready to shoot.

My brother helped plan the video. Joe Stock helped shoot some video, which was really fun and probably the only thing I’ll ever be able to teach Joe. In almost every one of his clips he says, “So the red light means it is recording?” Tomas Jensen, Roman Dial and Jeff Conaway helped review the edit. Free Energy, the music during the paddling scenes, is the PA-based band of my friend Scott Wells.

You think this is a joke? Check out the new Hyperlite Mountain Gear packs. Balloons not included.

No disrespect to Paul, but next time I’m going to enlist this guy‘s help.


  1. Fabulous! I like the light sided luc at things 🙂 After the kamasutra and the baloon positons, what is next? On seroius side note, I indeed find “upstream paddling” a core technique of paddling in a packraft. As it spins so easily, upstream ferries, pirouettes and sidesteps facing upstream make you so flexible. Also, this is a way to compensate the disadvantage of lacking speed. If time is running out to avoid an obstacle, a backferry (facing up or down) is the best one can do. That is what I tried to explain here (in German unfortunately):

    Keep things coming Luc,

  2. Just had to share this comment that a friend made. “Look honey!!! The pack rafter’s are spawning. I wonder if they’ll get wherever it is they think they are going?!? Hmm…Strong Work, that was super fun to watch.”

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