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Basic Canoe Tips

  • Be certain to wear a properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when on and around the water.•

  • Check your PFD for proper, snug fit prior to leaving the dock. Do not accept a device if it is torn or if buckles or fasteners are not functioning properly.

  • It is required that you leave your PFD on at all times, even when swimming.

  • Choose a paddle of proper size or else it will be difficult to use them, and this in turn will tire you faster.

  • Use an eyeglass strap for your eyeglasses or sunglasses.

  • Wear shoes! Old gym shoes or water shoes with tops and sides offer the most protection. Avoid sandals.

  • Use a wide brim sun hat on bright warm days.

  • Use sun screen even on cloudy days. Especially on knees/legs if wearing shorts .

  • Never dive headfirst into the water.

  • Wear only waterproof watches. Leave your car/house Keys with landlubbers.

  • Always ensure that you are sitting at a lower level. The higher up you sit the more chances there are of toppling over.

  • Also try and sit squarely in the middle at all times. If you are tipping excessively to one side, you will inadvertently topple over.

  • You and your partner should paddle each stroke at the same time, on opposite sides of the canoe.

  • The paddler in the bow (front) of the boat chooses a side and sets the pace, while the paddler in the stern (back) follows the pace and steers the canoe.

  • The bow paddler should switch sides in a regular pattern to reduce fatigue, and should paddle slowly enough to give the stern paddler a little extra time to steer

  • When you change sides while paddling, you also change your grip by swapping hands

  • Always communicate. Tell your paddling partner what you’re going to do before you start moving around the boat.

  • If your canoe tips over keep your feet at the surface and pointing downstream. That way, you can see what’s coming, and push off if you have to. Your PFD will keep you floating, so you can concentrate on getting back in your boat.

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