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5 Helpful Tips For Canoeing

Posted On: 17.04.28

5 Helpful Tips For Canoeing


Planning to paddle this summer? When heading out on your next paddling trip be sure to keep these 5 tips in mind courtesy of long time outdoor educator, Theo Theobald.


Have a safe and enjoyable time on the water!


1. Paddle on opposite sides of the boat.

This will keep your craft from pitching back and forth, and make the boat more stable under motion. For added stability, kneel if you’re in rough water, or trying to gain ground in a headwind.


2. Paddle in synch with your partner.

Yup, find your rhythm. It is the bow (front) paddlers job to set the pace, and it is the role of the stern (back) paddler to match that tempo. This insures that you are maximizing your forward momentum. Call a “switch” regularly to change sides, which will help keep your boat going in a straight line, until you learn a couple more steering strokes – namely the J-stroke and the sweep stroke.


3. Keep your paddle shaft vertical.

Easier said than done. The alternative is what we call “lily-dipping” – fine when good conversation trumps going someplace in particular, but if you’ve got an itinerary to keep and miles to make, a vertical paddle shaft will ensure that the blade of your paddle is vertical during the power phase of your stroke – maximizing forward propulsion each time.


4. Wear your darn PFD.

You never know when something goofy is going to happen and you end up in the drink unexpectedly. 75% of paddle sport related drownings were found with no personal floatation device on. 20% of paddle sport fatalities had alcohol as a contributing factor. If you’re planning on doing a bunch of canoeing, invest in a comfortable PFD, so you’re more likely to wear it. It won’t save your life if its worn out, so mildewed you won’t wear it, or strapped to a thwart when you take that swim.


5. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.

Consider this sobering statistic: a person dressed in street clothes has a 50% chance of swimming 50 yards in 50-degree water. Hypothermia is the real killer – zapping core temperature and compromising motor control.


Read full article here.


Alberta is home to spectacular lakes that draw people from all around the world for canoeing and paddling. Ghost Lake is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 35 minutes west of Calgary - it’s a popular place for Albertans to canoe, kayak, wakeboard, paddle board, sail and so much more. To find out more about the incredible amenities at CottageClub, Ghost Lake visit our information centre or book a tour.

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