Canoeing for beginners

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Canoeing for beginners

Canoeing can be a fun way to get in touch with nature, and an excellent way to explore a calm river. This quiet and calming activity is a great way to get an effective workout or a method for fishing. If you have never been canoeing, but are interested in learning, follow these guidelines and tips to learn how to canoe efficiently and have fun while maintaining a high level of safety.

Boarding the Canoe

When getting into your canoe, there are a few tips to follow to make sure that the boat doesn’t tip. Bring the canoe up to the shore and place it so that it is perpendicular to the shoreline. When getting into the boat, enter from the bow or stern; do not enter from the side of the boat, as this will make it unbalanced and more likely to tip. If there are two people getting into your boat, get in one at a time. Wait until the first person as gotten settled and seated before allowing another person to enter the boat.

Steering the Canoe

The person that is seated on the stern (back) of the boat will be the one primarily responsible for steering it. The easiest way to steer a canoe for beginners to learn is by using a technique referred to as a “sweep.” This is a backward stroke that will turn the canoe. A sweep on the right side will turn it to the right, and a sweep on the left side will turn it to the left. The stronger the sweep, the more sharp the turn will be.

Switching Sides

When canoeing, you will need to paddle on both sides to keep the canoe moving forward and in a straight path. Paddle between 8 and 12 times on one side before switching to the other side. Any less will cause you move more slowly and less efficiently.

Paddle in unison

If there are two paddlers in your canoe, it is important to sync up your strokes and to paddle on opposite sides. If you paddle on the same side of the boat, it will turn the opposite direction, eventually just going in a circle, and will not move forward. Paddling on opposite sides of the boat at the same time will keep it moving forward. Even when each paddler maintains his or her stroke on the opposite side of the boat, it is important to sync up the strokes.

Docking the Canoe

As you are preparing to head back to shore, you should follow a few tips to make sure that you land the canoe without harming the boat or your passengers. Once the boat approaches the shore, the passenger on the bow (front) of the boat should put his or her paddle onto the beach to brace the impact. The passengers should then adjust the canoe so that is perpendicular to the shoreline before attempting to step out of the canoe.

Canoeing is a fun outdoor activity for people of all ages. It doesn’t require much skill or expertise to enjoy a paddle around a lake or calm river. Following a few guidelines and suggestions will make this sport easy to learn and one you will enjoy whenever you get out to the water. These tips will get you well on your way to successfully navigating your canoe.