The Open Canoe Festival is proud to present its new sponsor: Zulupack.
The founder of Zulupack is a French adventurer who, after making bags for major international brands, decided to create his own: waterproof, ultra-resistant bags perfectly suited to extreme sports, whether on land, in the water or in the mud!
Zulupack: waterproof bags for adventure. Zulupack offers bags that make users feel “free to”: free to ride, free to paddle, free to trek, free to explore, free to travel, free to skate, free to swim…
They’ve developed a range of bags perfectly suited to adventure here or elsewhere, with attention to detail to ensure optimum performance. Zulupack knows how important every moment is when practicing your passion: their bags allow outdoor enthusiasts to live every moment to the full.
A brand synonymous with freedom and exploration: Zulupack and the Open Canoe Festival were made for each other!
The entire Zulupack range will be visible at the Open Canoe Festival.
OCF 2024: April 25-28.
The OCF turns 12: the age of maturity!
Europe’s largest festival dedicated to canoeing and its culture is back for an twelfth edition. A lot has changed since 2023, and the organisation is now well established, right down to the smallest detail!
New website that finally works on phones, it’s about time!
New registration and payment system, much simpler, especially when you arrive at the Festival where you will just have to flash your confirmation email. No more waiting!
A new price to allow us to organise the Festival more serenely. It really costs nearly 265 € per person, whereas it was proposed at 110 € in 2022. The price difference was covered with sponsors and subsidies, which are dropping, while everything is increasing sharply! Therefore, we have raised the prices in 2023 (150 € for registrations made before 15 March, 100 € for non paddling participants, 60 € for children under 12 and free for children under 5), but in return, we have the ambition of an organisation without any equivalent in the world!
And finally, a new workshop management system that will allow you to choose your workshops in advance: no more queuing!
What does not change is the atmosphere, the richness of the workshops, the best instructors in Europe, the big prize lottery, the good food, the concert… The only thing that is not guaranteed is the weather… and even there, we are working on it!
Registration opens in January 2024. But make sure to book your weekend: April 25/28, 2024.
OCF 2023: the video!
This is the Open Canoe Festival!
How not to get divorced during a canoe trip!
Some basic psychology to avoid giving up canoeing after the first descent… and save your relationship!
In North America, canoeing is often called the “divorce boat“! You will understand why. When a few friends embark on the river for the first time, logic naturally pushes couples to form crews. At first sight, this reassures the ladies and the egos of the men are inflated since they are suddenly the guarantors of the couple’s safety on the water. Big mistake! We are all equal when it comes to technical ignorance, yet at the first (or rather third) mistake in the trajectory, all couples have the same reflex. At the beginning, we embark on this unknown boat, the sun is shining, the birds are singing. Mister seats at the back of the canoe, Madam takes the front and off you go! After 5 seconds, the boat starts to move sideways. The strong man doesn’t take it personally and tries to get the boat back on course, usually relying only on his muscles. The canoe returns to the desired course, 2 seconds before starting again on the other side. Without any technical adjustments, the crew will paddle 30 km, whereas the descent is only 15 km. The first “freak-out” is bound to occur before the end of the first half-hour.
Him: “What are you doing?
Her: “Can’t you see we’re turning?
Him: “paddle on the other side for f… s… !
In short, the crew is going crazy. Add to this the fatigue, the headwind and the sunburn, and the descent becomes a nightmare.
Rule number 1: never go on a trip as a couple if you are new to canoeing. Mix crews because you will have more restraint and you will be more positive with someone who is not your partner in life.
Rule number 2: before getting on board, be aware that although canoeing is not very difficult, it does require a minimum of technical skills that can be acquired in half an hour. Take the time to discover the boat before starting the descent.
Rule number 3: Canoeing is a team sport. No one is more responsible than the other for flipping or bumping into rocks. Acknowledging this from the start creates a positive atmosphere in the canoe. It is important to recognise mistakes made by the crew without blaming the other, and above all to try to solve technical problems together.
Conclusion: you like canoeing? You care about your relationship? Come to the Open Canoe Festival!
Equipment checklist for a canoe trip
This list has been tested for trips of 30 to 60 days. It includes the essentials, although you can always do more minimalist. All this gear fits into a large 100/120 litre waterproof bag which will therefore contain all the bags described below. For shorter trips, surprisingly the equipment is not much different. Remember: the pack is the weight of our fears!
You will be pampered from the moment you arrive at the Open Canoe Festival! In the welcome bag given to everyone: the legendary T-shirt, a sticker, the programme, but also a superb poster!
It’s always a tricky choice, so every year, we ask what you think with a poll on our Facebook page.
What is my level of canoeing?
When you register at the OCF, you will have to indicate your level of practice: beginner, intermediate or advanced. It is not that simple. Read this article carefully before registering.
The OCF’s team of instructors counts 30 coaches, including some of the best specialists in Europe. They all know that OCF participants have difficulty qualifying their technical level. Very few participants consider themselves to be beginners, when in fact they are! This can result in groups with very different technical levels, which we want to avoid.
Therefore, to determine your level, we invite you to ask yourself the following questions which are valid for all types of boats (tandem or solo canoes, inflatables, kayaks, packrafts…):
Level 3/ Advanced:
My partner and I master boat edging when eddying in and out, regardless of the strength of the current.
We master the techniques of back steering and bow rudders.
We know how to stop precisely in a chosen eddy line.
We can read the river and its dangers.
We are autonomous in our recovery technique in case of capsizing.
Level 2/ Intermediate:
My crew does not always master the canoe edging while eddying in or out in all current strengths.
We do not always master the techniques of back steering and bow rudders.
We do not always know how to stop precisely in a chosen eddy line.
We do not know how to read the river and its dangers completely.
We are not always autonomous in our recovery technique in case of capsizing.
Level 1/ Beginner:
Beware, just because you have done the Ardèche (or other tourist classic) does not mean you are no longer a beginner!
My partner and I do not know how to make a ferry, an eddy in or out, or a stop, or we do not know what it is.
We do not know how to read the river from a canoeist’s point of view, even if we have done some kayaking.
7 levels of partnership offers to take advantage of the OCF.
From the primary sponsor to the prize suppliers, we offer 7 levels of partnerships giving sponsors and exhibitors the opportunity to take advantage of the visibility and exposure of the Open Canoe Festival:
Since 2010, many brands and companies have been trusting us: Pentax Europe, Teva, Esquif, Old Town, Tentipi, NRS…
Do not hesitate to contact us to receive our partnership offers!
The kids Festival.
We take care of your kids while you’re paddling!
During the 3 days of the Festival, a qualified and bilingual animator will take care of the children from 6 to 12 years old. Treasure hunt, land art, games, some workshops for adults… A lot of fun in the superb setting of Gervanne Camping, while the parents paddle on the river with peace of mind.
Activities programme for children between 6 and 12 years old.
This programme is indicative and may be subject to change.
(Snacks are provided).
Saturday morning: 9am to 12pm
Trampoline and nature walk / preparation of the festival Totem.
River fauna and flora workshop with the adults.
Saturday afternoon: 1.30 p.m/2 p.m to 5 p.m.
Games: the little naturalist and “I draw the Drôme”.
Sunday 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (attention: bring a picnic!)
Treasure hunt on the way up to Mirabel (old village).
Monday morning: 9.30 am to 12.
Land Art and Totem.
Painting on pebbles.
Workshop with older children “how to know if the water of the river is drinkable”.
Meeting point is at the entrance of the Teepee. Please bring your children: cap, water, sun cream, sunglasses…