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Boise, ID 2017 Clinic Wrap-up!

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Boise Idaho is one of those towns that we love coming back to year after year. The Boise River runs right through the city giving the locals a 20 mile stretch of greenbelt they can access for commuting, exercising, or surfing river waves.

Idaho River Sports is located on the north end of town with it’s perfect placement to the river wave as well as the new Esther Simplot Nature Park. With all of its ponds and trails, you’re bound to see an incredible sunset while getting in a great sweat!

Jo Cassin and Stan Kolby co-owners of Idaho River Sports (IRS) are an awesome team that have really helped put Boise on the map for all the different water activities.

Jo has been like a mom to Brittany and I (Natali). She’s always offering up way more than we need, and sending us away with goody bags bigger than the ones we give out in our clinics. She has a sweet soul with a passion for the water and is the perfect person you want on your side helping grow the sup community.

Every time we come through Boise, IRS puts on a film night to help promote the weekend festivities. This year, they brought in ambassador Kyle Smith to show his award-winning film “In Love With Frank” and talk about his experiences growing up around the surrounding rivers there. The film night was to also celebrate the warm spring temperatures and return of the sun. It was a long cold winter in Boise and the spring rains and snow melt had forced the reservoir system up stream to release more water than usual. It cranked up the Boise River to a record breaking high of 10,000 cfs (cubic feet per second), breaking the 2012 record of 7,630 cfs.. IRS has always been great about hosting our Meet and Greets with refreshments, snacks, and live entertainment. After the film we handed out our goody bags, chatted logistics, and retired early in preparation for a long weekend.

Saturday morning we arose to warmth and sunshine as we pumped up boards, laid out the gear, and set up for the students to arrive. For Day 1 Skills and Drills in our crew we had, Susan Goepfert (a 66 year old midwestern school cross-guard that has a huge passion for water and just an all around go-getter), Matt Johnson (long time local and newly Level 1 certified sup instructor), Jimmy Smith (IRS staff and only Sup Instructor looking to grow more as an instructor),  Joy Mckinnon (mother of 2 kids and first time EVER paddler), Laura Feeney (newly boise transplant and one of the crew leaders of Bold Betties) and Jo Cassin (co-owner of IRS).

Natali started off the morning with an hour mobility session on the grass helping the students understand their new Trigger Point “mobility kits” they received as part of their goody bags for the weekend. We focused on shorter roll out sessions with each muscle group to wake up the area and get it ready for paddling.

After we rolled out, Brittany went over all the gear necessary, to help the crew understand WHY WE USE WHAT WE USE and HOW TO USE IT! After that Natali paddled them out onto Quinn’s Pond to go over strokes, stances, drills and skills to get them dialed for the river. After lunch, we walked them down to the river to go over basic River 101, everything from hydrology to river navigation and orientation. The crew was primed and ready for Day 2’s paddle.

Sunday morning we awoke to a heavy layer of clouds and light rain, but nothing severe enough to call off our clinic. We gathered our crew, swapped out Susan and Jo for Yelena Shuey (a Star Wars fanatic and 2nd time student of RVR2RVR) and drove 30 minutes over to Kuna, where we set up at the best Put-In spot for Indian Creek. Our friend Jeff Banks, recommended we paddle this stretch with it’s busy water and potential surf waves. We liked how many different features we could encounter on our paddle so we decided to do it.

After a thorough safety talk, we paddled upstream about a 1/4 mile to a perfect spot on the river to go over our ferries, peel-outs, and eddy turns. After the crew refreshed on their strokes and stances we decided to have lunch at the beach and talk shop. After lunch, we packed up and “scouted” the first rapid. The crew was stoked to run it, so we got on our boards and continued down on our adventure.

About 30 minutes into our paddle we arrived at the “flume”. We got out, scouted, and talked about the features as Natali ran the rapid to help give the students an idea as to how to run it. We let the students make the decision whether or not they wanted to paddle, ran the boards through, and continued downstream. Throughout the day we had a lot of features to help point out to the students to help them understand how to navigate safely down the river.

Indian Creek offers a unique river experience compared to the surrounding rivers in the Boise area with its narrow passage, boogy water, and many shaped rocks scattered about downstream. It really teaches you how to read the river and only make quick moves when needed or you’ll find yourself pinballing and spinning downstream. We highly suggest checking it next time you’re in the area!

After the paddle, we hiked out, cleaned up, and met up for Brittany’s celebratory birthday dinner at Enrique’s Restaurant, a must stop for $1.25 tacos and $5 Margaritas. Boise is a town we wouldn’t expect to fall in love with, but we have and we can’t wait to come back. We plan on making that a permanent hub for our clinics and excited to continue growing their community around the water.

Check out our film below:

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Are you River Ready?

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Hey there! It’s Natali from team RVR2RVR, and we have exactly 10 weeks until our first River Racing Event, the Back of Beyond River Race in Moab UT.

I want to make sure you all are set up to have a fun and successful season, so I wrote up a training countdown on things to focus on before that big race.

Before you jump right in, I do have a couple questions for you:

  1. Do you feel Rested and Recovered from last year? Have you given yourself enough time to relax? You shouldn’t start any intense training program until you feel fully healed up from the previous racing season.
  2. Do you have a base level of fitness? Before building strength and adding load to your body, you need to have a healthy AND mobile foundation. Do you have any injuries that need to be taken care of first? Can you perform all the necessary primal movements needed to start training? Pushups, Pullups, Dips, Squats, Lunges, Planks and Deadlifts? If you can’t perform these movements, I suggest working on these first. Nothing is worse than injuring yourself because you didn’t start with the right foundation. Start a yoga routine, get regular massage/rolfing, and invest in a mobility set up from Trigger Point, these tools will enhance your training by speeding up your recovery so you are ready to train hard so you can play hard!

Feeling good with the above requirements? Great. Let’s break it down!

Week 1-4

Are you serious and dedicated about having your best year yet?

Ya? Great! Write down your goals and place them around your home, workspace, computer, and bathroom. This will help you stay motivated and accountable to stay on track!

Do you have a specific event you want to win? A race you want to podium? Write down your goals so they are clear and attainable! Make small goals you can achieve everyday, like drinking enough water OR rolling out your body for 10 minutes.

From there write down 1 week, 1 month, 2 month, and 3 month goals leading up to the big races you want to do well in. Scan all your goals often so they stay congruent to what you want, and how you’re going to get there.

Create your perfect WARMUP

Figure out a 20-30 minute dynamic warmup (with your favorite playlist) that wakes up your muscles and gets you in the right head space to go hard. Get this warm up dialed in so you can preform it before any major race. This familiar routine will help you relax and focus on the race vs feeling scattered and nervous in those crucial minutes leading up to the big event.

Tear it Down and Build It Up

Do you have a membership at a gym or a crossfit box? No? Get one. You won’t get the results you want unless you invest in YOURSELF and YOUR TRAINING.

For the next 4 weeks, start lifting 3-4x/week. You have your primal movements down? Great. Time to kick it up a notch and add in strength training. Tear those muscles, correct the imbalances, take your recovery, and build up your strength..the right way. Focus on your muscles working together in full range of motion and proper form so you can perfect the movements in anticipation for increased volume and load.

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Breath work is proving to be one of the big secret weapons of well seasoned athletes. Laird Hamilton says it wasn’t until he started working on his breath was when he became a better athlete. I agree.

Here’s Lairds 3 tips on improving your breath work:

Tread and breathe (Do this 1x/week)
Treading water is great for practice because it’s so demanding on the breath. Tread while breathing in through your nose and out your mouth. Then breathe in through one nostril and out the other, and switch. Afterward, you’ll feel so oxygenated – like you’ve been wearing an oxygen mask.

Interval breathe (Do this 3x/week)
Try holding your breath when you exercise. For example, I’ll run the beach and breathe normally until the first lifeguard tower – then I’ll hold my breath running back. This makes the training harder than the activity, so the activity itself can become easier.

Breathe for 100 (Do this every night before you go to bed)
Take 100 inhalations through your nose, exhaling through your mouth. Then try taking 100 breaths through one nostril, breathing out through the other. Increase the difficulty by holding your breath after you inhale and exhale – exhale, hold, inhale, hold, exhale, hold, and so on.

Abdominal breathing also improves the flow of lymph, which contains white blood cells, helping boost your immune system so you can stay stronger for your races! So get breathing the right way EVERYDAY!

Namstay? Na….ama…slay!

Want to slay your workouts every time? Focus on mobility. Get a membership to a yoga studio or an online platform of videos that you can do from the convenience of your home. Breath work combined with daily yoga and mobility will enhance your training and elevate you to the next level.  This is something you GET TO DO EVERYDAY! Just 10 minutes a day adds up, I promise it’s worth it!

4 minute Core

The core makes up your entire midsection, both front, back, and side to side. Best way to strengthen your core is with Planks. Challenge yourself by adding in a 4 minute plank hold to your daily to do list. This will help keep your low back strong in those long paddling races, and your mid section on point for bikini season. 🙂

Week 5-10 (Maintain Weeks 1-4 Training PLUS…)

Rack up those miles

Time to get out on the water and build up your endurance! Strive for at least 12-20 hours per week. Make sure and focus on the other parts of racing too: race starts, buoy turns, passing paddlers on the river, drafting, and race finishes in all weather conditions. It’s good to train in the uncomfortable and the unfamiliar so your body never gets “USED” to just one condition of training.

You should also be practicing: paddling through rapids, navigating the current, eddy (buoy) turns, peel outs, or paddling through gates all while varying your intensity and speeds throughout the workout.

If you miss a paddle day, no problem. Get in the gym and train your paddling muscles with bands, cables, dumbells or the classic rowing machine. Your body will still get a lot out of it and your muscles will stay strong until your next paddling day.

HIIT yo’self so you don’t WRECK yo’self

Intervals are my favorite things ever. Short, sweet, and to the point. The classic ones we all know of are Tabatas. 4 minutes of torture, 1 minute recovery of bliss. Interval Training plays a huge role when you’re getting closer to race season. 3x/week max

Balance, Speed and Agility

You’ve spent awhile building up your strength, so now it’s time to power up the muscles and get them moving faster. Think, plyometrics, hill sprints, agility ladder drills, and medicine ball throws. This is the fun part of training. HAVE FUN and GET CREATIVE! 3x/week max

Week 11: You’ve done the work, time to reap the rewards!

Timing is everything

Your races are probably every weekend for the next few months now. So, let’s break down a sample week so you are smart about how you recover between races.

Day 1. Recovery Day. Great day for a massage, immune boosters, turmeric, and Netflix.

Day 2. Roll out. Do Yoga. Increase your Range of Motion. Hold a 5 min squat. JUST MOVE.

Day 3. Paddle, play, surf, and get back on the water. Don’t push it.

Day 4. Burst it out. Perform a few intervals to keep up your intensity. NO more than 30 min max.

Day 5. Eat right. Fill up your storage, and avoid the alcohol. It’s all about consuming the right nutrients from here until the race.

Day 6. Meditate. Visualize paddling your course or actually get on the water to keep your skills in check. 1 hour max.

Day 7. Race Day. Max Effort Given with Max Recovery Received. Think hot tub, sauna, lots of fats and good nights sleep for recovery.

Remember, you’re done getting strong for the season. There’s no value in training between races, it’s better to be undertrained than over trained from here on out.

Maintain your Routine

Nutrition, Recovery, Health and a Positive Mindset are your cornerstones of a successful athlete. These are just as important as your races. Make sure you find a routine and stick to it. Try not to go too far out of your norm.

Nutrition: Hopefully at this point you know what foods fuel you, hurt you, and make you gassy. Figure out the ones that will help you during racing season and stick to them.

Recovery: DAILY Yoga, Mobility, Ball and Foam Rolling every damn day. ’nuff said.

Health: Keep up with your vitamins, minerals, BCAA’s, and micro-nutrients. Think of these as your support team. You won’t be able to get very far with out them. So invest in them now and know what works and what doesn’t before you have to rev up your performance.

Positive Mindset: Meditation. Visualization. Verbal Confirmation. Find that mental space where you feel unstoppable and tap into that before every race. The mind is more powerful than we give it credit for.

I hope this information helps you figure out a clear and attainable workout plan in helping you achieve your best race season yet! The more focused we can be when we train, the faster and stronger we become when we race.

Moral of the story? Don’t discount training. Set goals, achieve goals, rewrite goals. Write a plan and stick to it! Try this out and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts!




Bend Clinic Re-Cap

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After Canada, we ventured south to Oregon…the land of hops and ales. Based southeast of Mount Hood with the famous Deschutes River flowing through it, Bend Oregon is a really cool town with a booming community and hip vibe.

Our first stop was to meet one of our students, Gregory Dixon, a professional Tele Ski Instructor for the PSIA, and a really great person to know. He opened up his space to our gypsy crew and made us feel right at home. After we completely overtook his house with rounds of laundry from our Skookumchuck adventures and power drainage from all of our devices needing to get recharged, we onewheeled over to Tumalo Creek Canoe and Kayak to meet Sue, our connection to the shop and one of our other students in the course.

Tumalo Creek Canoe and Kayak is right on the Deschutes River, and a stones throw away from the Bend Whitewater Park. They offer rentals for every water craft you can imagine, and are fully stocked with any and all items to help you outfit your next water adventure. We decided to meet up there first, let the students purchase any last minute items for the weekend, and then walked next door to Craft Kitchen and Brewery, where we planned our Meet and Greet. The shop really helped us spread the word to the community about our clinic, and we were happy with the turnout.

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In our clinic was Sue Fox, one of the head honchos for Tumalo, and her employee, Greg Dixon. Also we had Angela Salido, who lives right on the river with her partner who helped support part of the planning for the whitewater park. Next we had Heidi Michele and her partner Brock Butterfield, 2 avid bus enthusiasts who had recently re-located to Oak Ridge Oregon, a small yet booming town for mountain biking and all things adventure. They invited their friend, Megan Jarvis, a local who had only been on a sup a few times, and shocked us with how quickly she improved in just a few days. We had several others drive from northern oregon to increase their whitewater/surf skills, both Cheryl Johnson and Leilani Gibson took on the major trek to join us for the weekend. Our last paddler, Kenny Good, heard about our clinics and decided to drive the many hours from Reno, NV to build his skills to shred at his local spot, Sparks Whitewater Park on the Truckee River.

The weather for the weekend looked to be a bit chilly, but ended up being an advantage for us considering the park wasn’t as busy and we were able to have it mostly to ourselves. Day 1 was all about getting the crew dialed on their whitewater skills including ferries, peel-outs, and eddy turns to help their successes for surfing. Day 2, Brittany educated them on fins, types of sup surf boards, and how to read friendly/unfriendly waves. We started the crew at a pretty small wave on their knees so they could get comfortable with entry, edging, and swimming back to the eddy. After lunch, the crew was eager to stand up and try their best at surfing the bottom wave in the main surf channel of the park.

We had great success and every single person was able to get their surf on. There’s something magical about seeing the spark in someone’s eye right after their first surf. It brings out a sense of child like giddiness that doesn’t really go away. We call it PERMA-SMILE. It’s contagious and it’s all you can think about until your next ride. Everyone caught the surf bug that day, “Just one more” was all we heard until the cold set in and forced them to stop.

We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to come together and support one another throughout the weekend. Seeing the communities grow around the parks is really exciting for us. This was the vision we had when we first created RVR 2 RVR, and the hopes that we could be part of that growth. We can’t wait to come back to Bend, to spend more time on the river getting to know the locals and the latest and tastiest beer. Tumalo Creek was such a great shop to collaborate with, and you better believe we’ll be back next spring to hang out and surf with them again.



2016 River Racing Recap

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Photo Credit: Jordan Curet of Women’s Gear Guide

Team RVR 2 RVR is officially done competing for the whitewater race season. We have had a hell of a time training, racing, swimming, and cheers-ing our competitors both on and off the water. It has been really rewarding seeing the sport grow so fast. Our race courses are getting harder, and the athletes are stepping up and dominating the challenge.

Dan Gavere and his team, created a new event this year at the Go Pro Mountain Games, called the Sup Skills Invitational. The course looked similar to a Sup Slalom course where you have strategic gates placed throughout a stretch of river and are timed on how fast you can paddle around them and the other features.

Athletes from around the world were invited to prove their skills and abilities to navigate the course with the speed and fluidity. It was such a fun event, and RVR 2 RVR co-founder/instructor, Natali Zollinger ended up displaying what it means to understand and paddle whitewater with her 1st place win in this event. Other podiums that weekend came from another RVR 2 RVR Instructor, Nadia Almuti, with her 3rd place podium spot in the Sup Cross event.

That next weekend, the team drove to Salida to attend FIBArk, America’s Oldest Whitewater Festival and the first ever, Colorado Sup Championships. The Salida Whitewater Park is one of the funnest and most challenging parks we get to race on. The weekend started with a surf competition on Friday, Sup cross competition on Saturday, and 10 mile Downriver Sprint on Sunday. Team RVR 2 RVR, came out on top with Natali Zollinger placing 2nd in Sup Cross, and 2nd overall for the Colorado Sup Championships with Nadia Almuti right next to her with a 3rd place overall.


We are officially done with the Whitewater Race Season, and are looking forward to the next two months of clinics. But first, we are rewarding ourselves with a short break from social media and are headed up to chase the legendary Skookumchuck wave that was in the film “Can I Surf That” (available for download).

Check out the rest of our tour schedule and sign up today, spots are filling up fast! We hope to see you on the water!


8-10 Bend, OR

15-16 Boise, ID

17 Cascade, ID  (Surf Clinic)

22-24 Whitefish, MT

29-31 Missoula, MT


12-14 Glenwood Springs, CO

19-21 Moab, UT

We hope to paddle with you soon!

Until then…here’s to Health, Highwater, and the Pursuit of Happiness

CKS Paddlefest Recap

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CKS Paddlefest was this passed weekend and the RVR 2 RVR Crew rolled in to train, paddle, surf, and teach. Staircase wave was our first stop to dip our fins in the water and connect with the river. Buena Vista is an awesome town that has a cool and hip vibe. Their whitewater park is legit, and home to some fun waves to shred on.

A surf competition started the event festivities off with a bang and a huge turnout! They were able to fill the two divisions of both amateur and pro for both men and women providing some stout competition for the wave.

Team Badfish swept both podiums giving the crowd some exciting entertainment. For the women’s pro division, Natali Zollinger ranked 3rd, Brittany Parker ranked 2nd, and their new team rider, Vanessa Taylor came in first with a solid performance stemming from her background of training on the Animas River in Durango, Colorado. For the men’s pro division, Team Badfish also swept the podium with Mike Tavaras in 3rd, Spencer Lacey in 2nd, and Miles Harvey placing 1st.

Saturday morning the locals and tourists started to filter in and the event was off to a strong start. The store was packed, the pond was full, and the river park was busy with vendors, music, and athletes training and competing on the water. The SUP Downhill race started at 6pm and there were over 20 paddlers on the water looking to claim that $75 dollar podium cash as their own.

The women’s heat started first since their were only 5 paddlers who entered the race. They decided the first heat would determine the seeding for the 2nd and final heat. The buzzer went off, the crowed started to cheer, and the women’s race was off! Natali Zollinger had a solid performance coming in 1st, with Cami Swan in 2nd, Jenny MacArthur in 3rd, Trinity Wall in 4th, and Nadia Almuti in 5th. After all the men went through to determine their final heat, the women were up again to decide their podium places. After another strong finish, Natali Zollinger came in 1st again, following by Jenny MacArthur in 2nd, and Nadia Almuti in 3rd.

For the men, the final heat consisted of Bradley Hilton, Mike Tavaras, Spencer Lacey, and Bodhi Harrison, all Team Badfish Riders racing the new 11′ Inflatable Hole shot board. After a crowd pleasing performance, Bradley Hilton managed to hold the lead the whole race coming in 1st, followed by Mike Tavaras in 2nd, Spencer Lacey in 3rd, and Bodhi Harrison in 4th.

Sunday Morning turned out to be a great day for the festival bringing in sunshine, blue skies, and happy paddlers. Natali Zollinger led a Sup Maneuvers course through RMOC with one of their top sup instructors, Josh Oberleas. They started across from RMOC at Hecla Juction to introduce the new paddlers to current, ferry’s, peelouts, and eddy turns. After lunch, they took the group to Salida Whitewater Park to put their new skills to the test with stronger current, bigger eddy’s, and more features. The group did well, and now they have a ton of skills to practice for the summer.

Overall, we had an awesome time, met a lot of new faces, and are excited about this summer’s events. The community around the river is contagious, and if you haven’t had a chance to be part of it, we challenge you to join us and jump right in to ride the mountain swell.

Mastering your Skills

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If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it. -Yogi Bhajan

Brittany and I (Natali) love the river. It feeds our souls, challenges our bodies, and humbles our egos. Our desire to provide a community and space to help others understand this connection is what drove us in starting RVR 2 RVR. It was created out of that deeper relationship to the water.

It’s always been important for us to learn from the right teachers and certify under the right sources to better provide and grow a common language around the river. That is why we chose the American Canoe Association to be the certifying entity. The ACA has grown into the nation’s largest and most active nonprofit paddlesports organization across the U.S. for over 130 years. Through the tireless efforts of volunteers, committee members, board members, clubs and staff, the ACA continues to work at the grassroots, regional and national levels to promote fun and responsible canoeing, kayaking, rafting and stand up paddleboarding and advocacy for recreational access and stewardship of America’s waterways.

We’ve moved our way up the ladder these last few years and finally achieved our Level 3 Sup Instructor Trainer Certification. Both Brittany and I have been taught by our good friend and river legend, Charlie Macarthur. He has many years instructing in the outdoor industry and high standards when it comes to passing his students. We both value and respect his method and are honored when we got his thumbs up of approval.

We’re very proud to have obtained this certification, the holy grail of river SUP certs. We were nervous as hell but gave it our all, we pushed through the discomfort, and came out stronger more confident instructors.

The ACA level 1-3 course is one we would recommend to anyone with a desire to be a flatwater and/or river instructor. Big thanks again to Charlie Macarthur and all he has done for the growth of river stand up paddling.



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River Race Season is approaching fast, and we want to make sure you are setting yourself up to have a fun and successful season. Below is a basic outline of the 4 different style training blocks and a sample overview of how to incorporate them into your training schedule. If you are looking to start a program specific to your sport or race season, contact me (Natali), and I can help you build one.

1. Rest/Recovery Block (1-2 months)

You should start any intense training program with a healthy and recovered body. You need to be 100% confident with being fully rested from the previous years activities before going into another season. You should take 1-2 months to enjoy life, minimize stress load, visit family, try new activities, cross train or take a vacation. You should also be focusing on, or start a consistent bodywork schedule. Whether it be yoga, pilates, sports massage, foam rolling, structural integration, reiki, reflexology, tai chi, or chiropractic work, you should pick ones that you connect with and stick to them throughout the year. My favorite recovery method after every race season is a 10 session Rolf Series that focuses on re-aligning your fascial tissue to improve movement and optimum human function. I love it and would recommend anyone to try it out!

This is also a good time to add in low levels of cross training. Changing up your workouts by adding new movements will help you be an all around better paddler and athlete. This is where I like to hang out with my friends/family to go mountain biking, road biking, rock climbing, swimming, trail running, or hiking. No need to go hard, this is your time to have fun and try something new.

2. Base Level of Fitness Block (2-4 months)

Only when you feel fully rested and recovered is when you can start developing a base level of fitness. Establish this first before adding on the heavy stress loads of training to your body. Take the next 2-4 months to introduce low to high intensity mixed with short/long durations of exercises that focus on breath, form, technique, and balanced movements. This is a great time to get a membership at a gym to maintain a weekly workout schedule that should include:

  • 2-3 days of cardio endurance (running, swimming, and biking)
  • 2-3 days of specific paddle training (power, form, technique)
  • 2-3 days of strength training (weights or crossfit)
  • 6-7 days of mobility work (yoga, foam rolling, pilates)
  • 1-2 days of higher intensity cross training (hiking, mountain biking, climbing, trail running)
  • 2-3 days of body weight training (squats, lunges, pushups, pullups, planks)

You can do 2 a days (2 different exercises in the same day), but be smart and don’t overdue it! Rest and Recovery is a huge portion of training throughout the year. Listen to your body and take several breaks throughout this time frame.

3. Pre Season Block  (3-4 months)

As an athlete the next 3-4 months leading up to your race season should be your hardest training block yet. During this phase of training, paddle intensity and workouts should be increased. Time to focus on the other parts of racing too: race starts, buoy turns, passing paddlers on the river, drafting, and race finishes should be practiced in all conditions (good and bad). It’s good to train in the uncomfortable and the unfamiliar so your body never gets “USED” to just one style or condition of training.

You should also be practicing: paddling through rapids, navigating the current, eddy (buoy) turns, peel outs, or paddling through gates all while varying your intensity and speeds throughout the workout. In this block, getting a HR watch (I recommend the fenix 3 from Garmin) will help you understand what heart rate zones you should be in and when to challenge these while increasing your work load and Vo2max. Make sure to maintain good form and technique as you continue to add physical stress to your body.

If you are in the same city/area for this block, consider joining a gym or a crossfit box to maintain strength and work load. But don’t forget to balance out these higher cycles of stress with cycles of rest, repair, and recovery.

4. Race Season (2-3 months)

This is the block where all your hard work finally pays off! You should continue training, but varying your load from week to week. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a great phase to be in during your competition block, by increasing your intensity, but shortening your workout times. Think Short, Hard and To the point, but don’t forget to allow for rest and recovery days as needed. As you get closer to your final events, decrease your training and rely solely on all that hard work you’ve done to carry you through the rest of the season. Remember, less is more, listen to your body and don’t overtrain!


I hope this helps and gives you a better understanding of how to train throughout the year. If you’re interested in starting your own specific program, contact me (Natali), I’d love to help set you up for success!

To Health, Highwater, and the Pursuit of Happiness




On tour, Washington, D.C.

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We’re still on the road!

After Charles City, Iowa we booked it to Washington, D.C. to pick up our last crew member, Heather Jackson, a professional photographer/videographer and an overall badass friend that will be taking photos for our clinics. Now that our team was finally complete, we drove to a friends house to stay the night and decompress from the long days drive. We set up the sleeping arrangements where Brittany, Heather, and Nadia would sleep in the house and me (Natali) and Heidi would sleep in my Sprinter Van.

About 4:30am, Heidi got up to go to the bathroom, opened the front door to get her water, and returned back to the bed forgetting to auto lock the entire van. Around 5:30am Heidi and I were woken up to someone going through the glove box. We both looked over at each other thinking it was Brittany looking for her computer (since she’s usually the first one always up in the group). After a few more minutes of the noise, I finally decided to get up and see what the issue was. When I pulled the curtains open to see what was up front, I saw a bum on his hands and knees holding all my personal possessions. I immediately grabbed him into a head lock with my right arm, but he slipped out of that. I then grabbed the shoulders of his sweatshirt, and started shaking him to let go of my valuables. The guy was pretty high on drugs and moaned his way out of the drivers side of the van only to be followed by me in my sweatshirt and shorty shorts running closely behind him yelling profanity and telling him to never come back. When I returned back to the van, I went through all of my items, and came to a conclusion that he had only taken 3 dimes and one of my favorite seashells. It was a pretty nerve racking morning, but after telling the story a few times, it became more and more funny, and less and less scary. We realized how lucky we were, and were thankful that nothing was stolen and no one was hurt.

That afternoon, we prepped our goody bags, got our gear ready to meet up and paddle with our good friend Greg (Suggz) Miller. He runs a local business called, Paddlestroke SUP, that teaches private sup instruction, group fitness/training paddles, and kids camp clinics on the Potomac River. We teamed up with him and his business for support/collaboration to run the weekend clinic.

Check out the video Re-cap Here:

Saturday morning (DAY 1) of the clinic came early and we were off to a great start! We met up at Angler’s Take-Out where we went over a detailed Safety Talk and educated them with a brief history of the area. We then paddled around on the flatwater while Natali Zollinger refreshed everyone on their forward, back, and C-strokes. We then progressed into playing games challenging each other to get into neutral, staggered, or surf stance on both sides followed by an overview of pivot turns, draw strokes, skulling, and bracing.

Everyone was excited to take their skills to moving water and start practicing them in the rapids. We debriefed and took an hour break back at the van for lunch to chow down on a loaded deli spread full of fancy chips, veggies, cookies, and bubbly water. We then finished the afternoon by challenging the students with ferry crossings, peel outs, and eddy turns. They were exhausted, happy and ready for more.

Sunday morning (Day 2) of the clinic was all about the surfing. We started off with Brittany teaching the dry land portion with education on paddle lengths, fin setups, and board lengths. We got on the water, ferried over to the surf spot, and were educated on Surf 101. We then ate lunch at the wave and watched the staff, local kayakers and sup’ers style their surf moves for the newbie surfers to watch. After everyone was done, they were ready to get on the wave and try their best at surfing. It took a little while to get the hang of it, but after an hour or so, we got everyone surfing by the end of the clinic. They had the bug and never wanted to leave, always shouting out, “Just one more”.

We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to start our East Coast Clinic Tour. Total we had 7 for the downriver, and 5 for the surf portion of our clinic. We were so impressed with how fast everyone was able to catch onto the river fundamentals and wave dynamics. Greg was an incredible partner to collaborate with and was so full of knowledge and stoke for his home river wave.

We wanted to thank all the participants (Joan Eckert, Sara Urquhart, Kate Bluey, Matt Clark, Meredith Brandt, Thom Wright, and Maria Schultz for attending the clinic! Huge shout out to Badfish Stand Up Paddle, they have been a huge part of our success by offering up a fleet of river boards for our clients to paddle and surf on during the clinics. Also, big thanks to the rest of our sponsors for their support, sponsorship, and generous donations to our staff and swag to our River Booty Bags.

After our clinic, we were invited to a BBQ at our teammate, G-Mo‘s house. He had the whole IMG_3351spread waiting for our hungry clients. There, we also found out that he had made us a custom corn hole game by scratch! It’s a perfect lightweight travel set that will go all over the US and Canada with us. We’re pretty stoked! Team Ren and Stimpy are ready for our competitors!

It was so great getting to know the East Coast Paddling scene. They have a huge paddling community already, and their stoke for the river is contagious. We can’t wait to come back and visit/teach again soon!

Check out the full video re-cap of the clinic below or on our YouTube Channel. We’ll be pumping em out to put you in the front-seat of our cross-country tour.

To Health and Highwater






Sustainable Wellness

By | Rvr2Rvr | One Comment

We have chosen to live a life on the road, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up balance, routine, or even stability in our health and wellness. Either by choice or because of a career, it’s easy to get caught up and lose yourself when you travel. Before you know it, you’ve packed on the pounds, lost your rhythm, and sunk into major depression because you’ve lost your groove. If you have chosen to be the traveler, either for your career or for your passion, here’s a few tips to help you find a more sustainable and balanced life.

The first tip is to recognize your patterns, find your comforts, and learn how to develop your daily rhythm. Developing routine is the most important part of living on the road. To support a balanced life as a traveler, you must learn to work with whats around you. Your community, landscape, and elements are changing all the time, so how can you use this to your advantage?

In order to maintain sustainable wellness, the second tip is to challenge yourself every day that promotes your physical, mental, and emotional health. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, start small and learn how to build up your OWN ROUTINE.

Here’s some examples of what we do EVERYDAY both on and off the road:


  • Intermittent Fasting: Give your digestive system a break and increase brain function by fasting 12-16 hours every day. Most choose to start right after dinner and go into the night and most of the morning with only consuming liquids, herbs, supplements, micronutrients and green juices. There are so many health benefits to this lifestyle, so if you sit a lot for work or for pleasure, look into intermittent fasting.
  • Travel with a yoga mat: Movement is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and soul. This can be your friend for strength, flexibility, and balance. Give yourself 30 minutes to just move everyday! Whether it be following a flow or a workout on your computer, finding inspiration on social media, or going to a class, choose something that gets you up and moving, every damn day.
  • Hydrate: Make sure you carry a water bottle around with you, EVERYWHERE! Water is the necessity of life. It is hydrates your cells, energizes your muscles, lubricates the joints, increases cognitive function, flushes your toxins and supports hormone growth. Challenge yourself to drink half your weight in ounces of water, EVERYDAY!


  • Meditate the Mind State: Choose somewhere quiet, preferably outside, to sit down and quiet your mental chatter. Meditation helps improve concentration, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps keep you in check with who you are and what you want. Challenge yourself 5-15 minutes everyday and incorporate meditation into your daily routine.


  • Improve the Quality of your Sleep: As the sun goes down, so should you…early to bed means early to rise. Capitalize on the circadian rhythm of your body with the rhythms of the earth. Living in sync with nature helps boost your immune system and facilitate optimal hormone function. It’s not about quantity, it’s about the quality of your sleep. Give yourself a screen, alcohol, caffeine, and exercise curfew. Find ways to build and promote your own sleep sanctuary.
  • Earth Yourself: Find ways to get your hands in the dirt, feet in the sand, head in the clouds, and eyes to the sky… everyday. Explore the world by walking barefoot or sitting under a tree to connect and harness the power of the earth to improve your overall health. Challenge yourself to find this 5-15 minutes everyday.

The Biggest tip we would give, is to learn how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Seek out new, different, and awkward scenarios. Most of the time you have to learn to let go of ego, rituals, and sticking to the “plan”. One thing to always remember that the only thing constant is change. So understand and use CHANGE to your advantage so you never have to give up what you love to live the life you love.


To Health and Highwater,



By | Rvr2Rvr | No Comments

Living on the road can be that fairy tail dream come true. Every moment you open the door, the world becomes your playground. At any point you get to go do it, buy it, climb it, ride it, paddle it, drink it, or visit it. Whatever you want, it’s right there. When you’re hungry, you eat. When you’re thirsty, you drink. There’s no more excuses, just stories.

It’s not about giving up, it’s about getting more. It’s about perspective, and shifting the value of what you NEED to what you WANT. When you downsize and simplify your life, you really start to realize what you find sacred and important. If you have everything you desire, and you do what you love, what more do you need?

As RVR 2 RVR travels across the country teaching clinics and spreading the SUP Stoke, we will also be showing you how to make #vanlife a reality. We’ll be passing along our tips, tricks, and favorites along the way. From fitness workouts at your local park, to how to eat healthy and happy on the road. We will help share our favorite parking spots, hiking trails, and the do’s and don’ts of vanlife.

We look forward to meeting new communities, new faces, and new places to park and play. If you have a favorite spot, trail, restaurant, or bar we’d love to hear about it! Leave us a message below or send us an email. We’d love to connect with you!

Until then, we’ll leave you with the words of Edward Abbey:

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”