• 24-hour big team paddle on Surrey's River Wey

    Calling all river rats in the UK to join an epic overnight paddle to support a big flood cleanup across the pond in Clarksdale, Mississippi

  • The Quapaw 24 Big Paddle


    The Quapaw 24 is a challenge for all keen river goers, that love to come together, to share the experience of being on a beautiful river and who want an amazing feeling of togetherness on an all-night paddle.


    It'll be bloody tough but we can do it! We'll work as a group, no one will be left behind and there'll be plenty of breaks for food, fires and hugs. 


    And you can come for as much or as little as you like! More deets on shorter options to follow. 


    The challenge has been inspired by the Quapaw Canoe Company on the mighty Mississippi River (more below).

  • The Motivation


    In March 2016 Quapaw's office, known affectionately as The Cave, and containing a lifetime's work of John Ruskey, was ruined as the Sunflower River rose 25 feet in 24 hours, after torrential rain on the Mississippi delta.


    We've formed the Quapaw 24 Challenge to show our love for the Quapaw team - John, Zoe, Captain Allen, Mark River, & Ellis.


  • Photos & Videos

    Take a look and enjoy!

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  • The Flood

    The Sunflower River next to The Cave rose 25 feet in 24 hours causing a rapid evauation

    John Ruskey:

    "It was very touch-and-go when we realized that it was going to keep rising and rising... way beyond any previous experience or our wildest expectations.


    When we saw the waters rising so fast we decided in the heat of the moment to cut a hole through the ceiling to evacuate"



    John again: 

    We at Quapaw Canoe Company are humbled and inspired by this act of strength and generosity. We hope in some way that further on down the river of time that our work will help other people see the light and be rewarded in similar fashion!


    We at Quapaw commit to make best use of any funds raised, and share any un-used funds with others affected by this disastrous flood.



  • A Heroic Life


    John Ruskey has given his life to the mighty Mississippi River ever since he survived a close call on a raft in hypothermic temperatures near Clarksdale more than 30 years ago.


    John is deeply connected to the river and its traditions and, as well as being an incredible guide, he's an artist and a guardian of the lower Mississippi River.


    This photo shows Captain 'Kayaker" Allen carrying out a daily pre-paddling ritual with John.


    With the drum is Chris Barnes, who lives next to the Thames in London, and who dreamed up the Quapaw 24  Challenge.

  • The Deets

    We're paddling on the River Wey in Surrey for 24 hours - the exact time it took for the Sunflower River to rise 25 feet

    Paddling together

    This is no race, it's a show of strength for our friends in Clarksdale

    The most important aspect of this challenge is to come together and push ourselves without sleep for 24 hours, as the Quapaw team had to do during the flood. As we learned in our time on the Mississippi last year, connection is everything. 

    The plan

    We'll confirm our start point and estimated end point soon.

    We'll be heading off at noon on Saturday 23 April, as it was noon on 9 March 2016 when torrential rains hit the Mississippi region, and we'll finish at noon on the Sunday in time for a pub lunch.

    How to give

    ​Along with this adventure challenger it's about helping repair The Cave

    Please go directly to the campaign page that John and the Quapaw team in Clarksdale have set up as they seek to raise $25,000:



    Tell us a bit about how you'd like to be involved - to paddle, support, to provide kit etc