Tips for Your First Canoe Ride on the River
Canoeing for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you’ll be doing it on a river. Lakes are a better place to practice, but they’re not quite as fun. To ensure you stay safe and enjoy your first canoe trip, check out this list of tips for your first canoe ride on the river. That way, you won’t make any careless mistakes.
Go With a Friend
Even though single-person canoes exist, it’s best to go with a friend for your first time. If that friend has some previous experience, all the better, but they don’t have to be an expert for you to have a successful trip. It’s simply a good idea to have someone else around in case something goes wrong. Just be sure that you paddle on opposite sides of the boat and keep your strokes in sync for the best results.
Plan Your Route Carefully
Since this will be your first time on the river, you’ll want to make sure you avoid any rapids and low head dams. Both of these are very dangerous to ride through; doing so if you don’t know what you’re doing could lead to serious injuries or death. Luckily, there are plenty of beginner routes on most rivers. You’ll also want to ensure that the path isn’t too long since most beginners can usually only last for about two hours.
Know How To Use Your Paddle
While paddling seems pretty straightforward, there are actually a lot of intricacies to it. First of all, you’ll want to keep your paddle as vertical as possible when pushing it through the water. This will give you the most power per push possible. Also, keep in mind that various strokes can make turning and stopping easier, so try to learn these before your trip.
On top of that, you’ll want to ensure that you have the correct size of paddle based on your height. Depending on where you get yours, there are a few different ways to determine which size will work for you.
Be Ready To Tip Over
By far, the most important tip for your first canoe ride on the river is to be ready for the possibility of a tip-over. Of course, if you follow all the other tips, this will be less likely to happen, but you still need to be ready for it.
Obviously, you’ll want to ensure that your life vest is secured tightly. Dress appropriately for the water temperature—not the air temperature—since the water will be colder. Lastly, try practicing getting back into your canoe from the water. This is no easy task, so you’ll want to practice swimming with your boat as well. That way, you can return to the shore and get in from there.