Search
  • Shyam

PADDLING: WHAT DOES YOUR GROUP NEED TO KNOW?



pic: Alan bishop, Unsplash

Early fall is a beautiful time of year for paddling. The water is warm, the days sunny, and leaf peeping, from your kayak, canoe or SUP (stand up paddle board), is a ton of fun. Before your next trip, take a few minutes to think about what your group needs when getting on, and off, the water

The put-in: Everyone is anxious to get on the water. There’s a lot of information to cover before you start any activity. Below is a review of a few paddling-specific considerations before you launch, including:

  1. Ask everyone, “Can you swim?” As a leader, identifying non-swimmers and/or inexperienced swimmers provides valuable information to help you minimize risk for the individual(s) and group while on the water.

  2. Personal flotation devices (PFDs): Do participants know why we ask them to wear PFDs? Do folks have PFDs appropriate for the activity? Explain the function of a PFD for those new to paddling. Always check to ensure PFDs are zippered, buckled and properly adjusted for fit.

  3. Electronic devices & water = disaster. Electronics are adversely affected by exposure to water, esp. salt water. These devices are expensive to replace & repair. To avoid mishaps, provide multiple reminders about leaving devices behind or securing them in a waterproof container.

  4. An unexpected water event (for example, flipping a canoe): Explain what to do if a person ends up in the water (based on paddling activity & location). This information is especially important for novices paddling sit-in kayaks, who frequently worry about getting “stuck” in the cockpit. A brief overview of what to do in case of a water event goes a long way toward alleviating participant concerns.

It’s been a great day of paddling! As a leader, how do you ensure things don’t go awry at day’s end?

  1. Make an exit plan: Take-out areas can quickly become chaotic, esp. if they are small and there are a lot of folks getting off the water at the same time. Make & share a plan with your group before they reach the take-out point. Don’t forget to have an experienced paddler remain on the water until everyone else is on-land, just in case something happens.

  2. Exiting the area: Access to/from a launch point often entails navigating tricky terrain, including wet rocks, slippery steps and ramps. Dehydration, low energy, and footwear may also be contributing factors to a slip, fall or trip at day’s end. What are some ways to mitigate the possibility of an accident in these situations?

  3. Sprains & strains: Strained back & shoulder muscles are not uncommon when people load their boats (or SUPs) onto/into their vehicles at the end of a day. As a leader, assess the needs of the group, and step in to lend a hand, or identify others to help, and minimize the potential for a late day injury.

See you on the water!

To read more articles like this and receive info on sales and discounts on sports and outdoors brands, Join our team at www.BareRugged.com

This article was first published on 10/01/2019 at https://www.outdoors.org/articles/blogs/paddling-what-does-your-group-need-to-know by Kristi Hobson Edmonston

0 views

Contact Us:  barerugged@busylifebrands.com

Bare Rugged,

Busy Life Brands LLC

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Pinterest - Grey Circle
  • Amazon

© 2019 by Bare Rugged

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Pinterest Icon
  • Amazon