Learning to kayak

I've been so excited ever since finding out about CLC and getting and building my WD12 that I never stopped to think how little I really know about kayaking. For the longest time it was all about the build (Yes! I really can build a wooden boat!) You probably know what I mean.

I have paddled little sit-on kayaks and the like and at least this season will be limiting myself to a small artificial lake in a national forest in SE Ohio where there are no currents to speak of and no power boats or commercial craft and one is never more than a few yards from the shore. So I know how to paddle and will be able to propel the boat in the direction I want.

Are there any techniques for which I should seek out instruction? Mainly I want to be safe. Drowning myself is not my idea of a good time.

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RE: Learning to kayak


First, always wear your PFD.  While the Wood Duck is a very stable boat, it is still a very good idea to learn the techniques for keeping the boat upright, how to get out if you do capsize, and how to get back into the boat when shore or shallow water are not immediately available.  There are some good books and DVDs available from CLC and you can search for local kayaking groups in your area who may offer classes, or know where you can find classes.

Have fun and be safe.

Paul G.

RE: Learning to kayak

I'm going thru a similar transition, Mike. I've taken safety/rescue classes in my Necky Manitou 13s, but the shearwater 17 is a whole different animal. I'm starting to get used to the tippyness, but am definitely going to seek more instruction. Here on the Hudson we have Atlantic Kayak Tours and the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing club who give good classes. The YPRC also builds SOF boats, pretty cool stuff

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