Kayaking & canoeing are, as of today, somewhat established water sports in the country. Nevertheless, these sports have still not gained mainstream recognition in the Indian context. More importantly, water sports like kayaking, canoeing, river rafting et al seem to draw more traction as tourist activities than as extreme sports in India. Meet here, Rishi Rana from Rishikesh, who seems to have found a way to feed both his passionate drive for the sport, as well as the popular demand for Kayaking in India as a recreational adventure activity for tourists.
Rishi Rana has been Kayaking the upper reaches of Ganga for over half a decade now. Armed with a kayak and paddle, Rishi likes to set out on unexplored routes, pushing himself towards newer challenges. Here, Rana talks about some of his memorable experiences and the difficulties faced due to lack of proper infrastructure.
Having developed his Kayaking skills on his home turf in Rishikesh, as well as through Kayaking competitions, Rishi has over 15 medals to his credit. The budding kayaker has been nailing first descents every monsoon. He has previously been crowned the Best Indian Paddler at The Ganga Kayak Festival and can boast of multiple accomplishments in Kayaking as well as River Rafting events at the Malabar River Festival. Rishi has represented the country in multiple Kayaking competitions, but his ultimate aim is to gain international recognition at world championships. International recognition of the Indian Kayaking scene can potentially bring about the much needed improvement in facilities and accessibility to water sports in India.
On the home front, Rana has full support of his family. Only halfway through his 20s, Rishi is already married and father to a small child. Rishi and family run a commercial campsite for tourists. They conduct multiple adventure activities for holiday visitors, including adventure river rafting in Rishikesh and adventure kayaking in India.
Catch a glimpse of Rishi’s kayaking exploits across the river Ganga in this video.