Video | The Rivers of Scotland | Water of Life

“Mitch smiles as he overlooks the rapid. It's not the grin he sported the night before while handing me a dram of sacredly-good 19-year-old Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky. Or the dram after that. And the pint.

This is the tentative smile of a man trying something completely new and a little frightening. His cousin-in-law and fixer for our trip to Scotland, Terri Bryce, a spunky, athletic Scotswoman, has the same look. Terri's only been paddling a year but has gone after it hard, racking miles on Scotland's oceans, rivers, lakes and lochs. This stretch of water is a step up in difficulty. And she knows it.

By the time we're suited up and in the water, it's sleeting, dark and foreboding. I sit in an eddy upstream, shivering and nervous as our team bumps its way down the whitewater. It's a jumble of limbs and booties emerging from the brown snowmelt. Terri takes a prolonged swim and looks shaken up.

Maybe we shouldn't have had so much whisky last night?” —Will Taylor

This is an excerpt from our feature story, Water of Life from SUP mag’s Fall 2015 Issue. Read the full tale.