Prague Sokol, nowadays it is not only the gym but also water. It is not only still water where the possibly more successful club of sprint canoeing has got its world champion and achieves good results in local competitions but also the white water where the club of tourist canoeing presents their skills.
The term of tourist canoeing can be a bit misleading – mostly it is not the summer holiday in swimming suits on the Lužnice or Berounka, but rather a-year-long rivalry with boulders, rolling waters and maybe even fallen trees in the upper reaches of rivers in the water running from melting snow or in the smaller streams and rivers where the wild water is set free to flow down for hundreds of paddlers from ponds or dams.
And the equipment is also very different – a life jacket, a neoprene suit, a helmet on the head, a paddle made of duralumin and plastic, a raft boat as a vessel (either a big one or an inflatable canoe for two), a kayak or a canoe.
The most active part of the tourist club, for many years operating under the name Rafting Club Tyrš, does a lot more activities – from the ceremonial opening of the paddler season at the Vltava in Prague near the island of Císařská louka at the beginning of January to going down various parts of rivers here in the Czech Republic as well as abroad, tourist long-distance marches, cross-country skiing trips, a number of social events or volunteering in the docks.
All the future events are being prepared and the past events are being evaluated at the weekly meetings of the club that are enriched by boat trips either on canoes or on racing ships on the Vltava or by sauna in winter.
The core of the rafting club activities is of course closely related to water, about 10 members take part in them and we travel by our own cars or by train.
Apart from going down the nearest slightly wild water – the Sázava river from Týnec to Pikovice – we can also mention the event called Stvořidla when we go down this wild part of the Sázava river at the time when snow is melting in Vysočina.
Very popular is the traditional Easter going down the stream called Mastník near Sedlčany or the May weekend of Šumava rivers when we go down the Teplá Vltava river from Borová Lada to Horní Vltavice and the Otava river from the place where it originates in Čeňkova pila.
Quite different is going down the Vltava river from Císařská louka along Vyšehrad, the National Theatre, under the Charles Bridge and then along the island Štvanice to Holešovice on a raft. It offers exceptional views.
And of course all events reflect the main purpose of all the activities of the Rafting Club Tyrš – to make our times a bit happier.