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Try WVU Paddleboarding!


  Each year, prior to the start of the Fall semester, WVU organizes Welcome Week, a series of events and activities tailored for students. Welcome Week is jam-packed with exciting offerings, including the highly anticipated Fall Fest, which this year features a free on-campus concert headlined by Flo Rida and The Driver Era. Additionally, students can partake in outdoor adventure activities and join the tradition of Monday Night Lights, where first-year students can sign their class flag and participate in the official class photo.

  The outdoor adventure activities are coordinated by Adventure WV, a program allowing students to try “fun, challenging and life-changing experiences.” Some activities include hiking, rock climbing, ziplining, and paddle boarding.

  I decided to try the paddling activity, as I wanted to be out in the sun and try something adventurous. I had never paddled before, so I was nervous that my inexperience would hinder me, but I found out the whole point of the activity was to learn how to paddle, so I felt welcomed.

  “Try Paddling” involved using paddle boards from the Downtown Adventure Center and paddling down the Mon River with group instructors, who are students who enjoy the outdoors and adventure. They helped me use my paddle correctly when I struggled to keep my board straight and keep up with the group.

   Adventure WV's paddling sessions are beginner-friendly, requiring no previous experience and providing basic instructions for the activity, so I felt reassured about my inexperience regarding paddling. 

Girl on Paddle Board Facing Away

"Try Paddling" allowed me to reach out of my comfort zone, as I've never been a strong swimmer, and try an engaging activity to connect with historic Morgantown's natural sights and sounds. Kaelyn Pavlick  

  Adventure WV's paddling sessions are beginner-friendly, requiring no previous experience and providing basic instructions for the activity, so I felt reassured about my inexperience regarding paddling.

  The instructors provided us with a lifejacket, paddle, and a board, and we began by laying the board flat on the water and, with the help of an instructor, sitting on the board with our legs crossed. Keeping my balance was tricky at first, but the water of the Mon wasn’t too choppy, so I found a comfortable position and did my best to stay still.  

  The group instructors taught us the basics of paddling, such as how to steer, speed up or slow down, and come to a stop. Once everyone had a general understanding and was comfortable to begin the activity, the instructors led us downstream. While going down the river, we didn't have to use our paddle as much, as the river's natural flow carried us.

  From the river, we had a view of Downtown Morgantown, including sights such as Reynolds Hall, the PRT, and several residence halls in Sunnyside. After flowing down the river, we turned around and began our travel upstream.

  While going upstream, we passed by the Ruby Amiptheater, the site of free concerts every Friday night during the summer season, and the Ruby Movie Series, which shows free movies on Sunday nights from September 10th to October 29th.

  I encourage first-year students to sign up for an Adventure WV activity, as they can help you connect and understand the experience that WVU offers us.  

  Adventure WV will soon host a Well-Being Adventure Series, which allows students to participate in guided outdoor activities and mindful conversations that allow you to “invest in your own well-being,” with one of the activities being paddling.

  All of the activities in the series are beginner-friendly, and most require no experience. They serve as an opportunity to have fun, relax, and learn how to “grow into a healthier version” of yourself.

To register for Paddling in the Well-Being Adventure Series or find out more information, visit