Top Picks for Paddlers

— This summer paddlers are happy to be living in Steamboat Springs. Though a drought is being felt all around the state, the Yampa River and its tributaries are reported to be the best-flowing waters in all of Colorado.

With a new hole to play in by the Depot and a river festival coming up in June, anyone with a boat is enjoying life.

For those who need a boat, equipment or accessories, here's a small guide of some hot paddling items on the market right now. Local companies Paddler Magazine, Back Door Sports and Mountain Sports Kayaking School helped put it together.

Seven2 G3 Paddle: $375

Paddle company Seven2 says this G3 paddle is the greatest paddle invented, and they may just be right. The first thing you see in this paddle is the thin, straight shaft called the Helix Shaft. It's made of carbon and is very light. Seven 2 is most proud of the grip system on the shaft. The 8 angled grips puts the hands on the correct angle and protects from cold temperatures and shock fatigue as well as blisters and sores caused from gripping a hard surface. The grip system offers unrivaled control and blade orientation. The contoured Seven2 grip allows you to keep hold of your paddle without over-gripping the primary cause of wrist, forearm and elbow fatigue.

Fat Eddy's Two-Timer Cock Pit Cover: $59

Store your stuff and keep it dry in style. This cover keeps what's supposed to be in the kayak dry and everything that's not supposed to be in the boat out.

Pyranha's Sub 6 Boat: $1,100

The S6 could be the smallest of the play boats on the market, less than six feet long, and is probably the hottest freestyle boat out there. With the low river flows this summer, the smaller kayaks are the way to go. The S6 is specifically designed for maneuvers in the hole, with its creative tail design to aid in ollies and big loops.

Fat Eddy's Flame Thrower Throw Bag: $48

One of four throw bags that Fat Eddy's is making right now. Everyone needs one, so you might as well buy local. This particular bag is aimed at rafters and guides. It throws well and is stylish.

Lidds Helmets: $140

One of the most popular helmets for paddling, Lidds helmets sport cool designs and even better construction.

This year the helmets also have a cool ratchet system that ensures the helmet fits snugly on your head.

Doc's Pro Plugs: $15

With the new interest in freestyle boating, there also are more people going under water when flailing in the hole. Enter Doc's Pro Plugs. Designed for any water sports, the paddling community recently embraced the product as being quite useful. They are vented, allowing the user to still hear at nearly normal levels, yet still keeps the water out. Doc's Proplug is made of soft, hypoallergenic Kraton with memory that provides a watertight seal.

Stohlquist Gripp Gore-Tex Drytop: $360

Stohlquist is a company out of Alamosa that is making some great drytops and the Gripp Gore-Tex is one of its best products. The mesh provides easy escape for drainage of trapped water, between the layers, that cover the latex gaskets at neck and wrist. This drytop is laced with Gore-Tex and Gripp-Loc materials for the best performance and protection, not to mention built-in elbow pads.

Wave Sport Ace boats: $1,125

Wave Sport has grown to be one of most consistent companies making boats today. Its Ace play boats are fast, slicey and promote cartwheeling.

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