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Floating a River: Is It Worth the High?

July 12, 2017
Floating a River: Is It Worth the High?(epicurean/iStock)
Welcome to “Is It Worth the High?”, where our writers see newly released movies, listen to the latest album drops, and try other experiences while high to determine whether they’re worth your time, money, and most importantly, your cannabis buzz. This week, Dante Jordan got his summer float on while puffing on some bud-stuffed blunts.

Product Consumed Pre-Float: 9-10 Swisher Sweets perfectly rolled into blunts of Blue OG

High Experienced (1-10 scale): You know those the days where you just keep rolling and smoking with minimal breaks because there’s really nothing else to do? I was that high, plus an extra 10.


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Floating the river is one of the most premier summer activities. You just know that as soon as the temperature hits a consistent burn that it’s time to load up the coolers, pack up the tubes, and hit your local watering hole for an afternoon of drunken shenanigans with the people you care about most: Anheuser and Busch.

Until recently, I’d never actually tested out the experience and personally gotten my summer float on. To be honest, the whole thing just sounded overly wack and white. Why would I want to cook under the sun for hours like a raw egg in a middle school science project? My ancestors did enough of that. Ultimately, however, I was willing to give river floating a try because I can bring cannabis and smoke like it’s my last day on Earth.

But even with the all-important smoke factor considered, is floating the river as a whole worth the high?  Before the activity, I had a few concerns:

  • Will being in the sun that long turn my skin into a charcoal burger patty?
  • Will people act sketchy like narcs once the aroma of flower hits their nostrils?
  • Even though I can swim, will I drunkenly fall into the water and drown, finally confirming my fears of dying before becoming the first Black Bachelor?

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I figured things could go left at any moment and I needed to be prepared for the worst. However, none of my concerns came to fruition:

  • I don’t need sunscreen when I have melanin, so my skin remained as healthy and smooth as the caramel edible I plan on eating after work today
  • There were plenty of people smoking so the sketchiness of “illegal” activity was never present
  • The river was pretty slow and fairly tame, so I never fell off of my tube into the river, which protected me from death (your move, ABC)

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With those three stresses out of the way, the path was clear for me to enjoy the three biggest perks of my first float.

The Float Itself

A river


At first thought, I was like, man this is going to be boring as shit. I figured I’d just be sitting inside of a tire for hours, just waiting on us to finally circle back to the car.

To be fair, that is all you’re doing, but it turns out the overall experience is still really cool. You’re basically sitting in a circle of tubes with your friends, you’ve got a tube for your cooler in the middle of everyone, and you’re floating down the river as a unit. It’s soooooo relaxing.


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The Social Atmosphere

Floating down a river


Floating with your friends is the perfect time to catch up with someone you may not have seen in awhile, which was the situation for me as I was with a couple of friends I hadn’t seen since college. Not only that, there’s a bunch of people out there on the water and they’re all on the same mission of getting smacked. You have the opportunity to meet new friends and kick it with strangers over a drink or a blunt. I opted for both.

I already told y’all that there’s no better bonding experience than smoking with someone, and this proves true on the river as well. You can swim over to other tube-groups and say what’s up, or you can wait for one of the little banks where y’all can get off your tubes, stand on some land, and hit countless beer bongs while you pass a blunt around with dry fingers like the good Lord intended.

Whichever method you choose, the social atmosphere is very lax and chill. Everyone’s out there to have a good time so there are no barriers to communication, which adds to an already enjoyable experience.


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The Time It Takes

Lazy river floating


This one is tough because you never really know how long you’re going to be out there. Depending on how high the water is, which is controlled by rainfall, you could be out there for a couple of hours, or you could be out there for 4-5 hours. The latter can be extremely taxing. Think of it like day drinking by the pool: the longer you’re out there, the more of an energy drain it becomes as the alcohol, cannabis, and sunlight slowly take the life out of your body.

Regardless of how short or long the float is, by the end of it, you’re going to be super dehydrated and feel like “Dog, I need to get out of this sun, into a shower, then into a nap ASAP.” But sometimes that’s the price you pay for an experience that’s worth your high.


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Is It Worth the High?

If you’re of those people who can’t handle being outside for a long time without turning into a puddle of complaints, then nope. But if you’re the type who loves good times with good people in a chill environment that encourages real social interaction, then oh yeah, floating the river on a sunny summer day is definitely worth the high.

Dante Jordan's Bio Image

Dante Jordan

Dante Jordan is a Content Associate for Leafly, where he specializes in creating topics pertaining to cannabis products, strains, and dispensaries. He also manages the Leafly strain database.

View Dante Jordan's articles

  • Leafly Sucks

    “To be honest, the whole thing just sounded overly wack and white.”
    Is this a joke? How on earth does race have anything to do with enjoying outdoor activities? Why do people always feel the need to separate people by the color of their skin? Hold this L Leafly for allowing a racist article to be posted on your site.

    • Adude

      It’s a white thing to do. Along with RV’ing…Whites are generally the type to enjoy that activity.

    • Jeff Johnson

      Because black Americans tend to have an aversion towards moving bodies of water. I hope more decide to venture out on the rivers with us crazy honkeys!

  • saucedup

    Really thrown off by this writers “wack and white” comment…

  • Lia

    Actually, my experience with river floating and cannabis was slightly different. Tubing on a lazy river while using cannabis (edibles in my case) is a truly magical experience I discovered somewhat fortuitously. I was living temporarily in an area (in central FL) where I didn’t know anyone but wanted to enjoy some nature experiences while there. Like many, I’ve had good experiences in the past when combining nature and cannabis (redwoods anyone?!:)) So when I discovered a local natural springs park that had a small lazy river for tubing, I decided on a whim that since I would be doing it by myself, it might be more enjoyable on cannabis. Wow, was I ever right! It was a near transcendent experience… With nature buzzing and thriving all around, it created an orchestra of sound; wildlife along the river and the Spanish moss adorning the sides added to the beauty; and for most of the ride the sun was shining down, warming the skin in contrast to the cool water beneath. I just laid my head back and absorbed the symbiotic pulse of nature as I floated down the river. The ride from the head spring to the tubing exit point was fairly short… maybe 20-25 minutes (?). And then it was a reasonably short, and very pretty walk through the live oaks forest back up to the head springs where the experience could be repeated again if desired. I had a bought a river float that is netted in the center and has a headrest. I knew I wanted to be comfortable so I went prepared. 😉 Anyway, it was one of the best activities I’ve ever experienced with the accompaniment of cannabis, and one I know I’ll repeat again and again, with or without companion(s).

  • Witchwindy

    Been a river tuber for decades, we have a wonderful river for tubing in my county, with a great mix of white water, deep water, shallows (where you have to get off the tube and walk to the next spot where it’s deep enough to float again, occasional log jams you have to paddle hard and fast to avoid, long, lazy stretches where you can just relax, beautiful views, wildlife, and lots of hot rocky beaches to stop and dry out for a bit and smoke a few loads. Some days you could almost walk down the river from tube to tube there are so many tubes on the river, other days you might see only a couple other tubers, now and then. It’s like a one day vacation.