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Padde Sport FAQ's

Paddling is open to all age, sex, social and economic groups. It helps maintain your physical and mental health, and teaches you about yourself. A paddling school will increase your safety, enjoyment, and skills in the outdoors. Canoes, kayaks and whitewater rafts are quiet and leave no trace. They conserve energy and promote conservation of our natural resources, which belong to all the people and is our birthright.

Questions and Answers

What if I can not swim?

Don't be to concerned. It's more of a question of how comfortable are you in the water. Wear your personal floatation device (life jacket) at all times. In rivers you go with the flow and work your way toward shore. It doesn't require much swimming skill. Take a class and swim a rapid in your PFD, then decide.

How strenuous is paddling?

You will be active, but if you are in moderately good physical condition, the challenge will not strain you. There is little danger if you follow the safety rules and don't try to swim or paddle beyond your skills.

What about children?

It depends on the child and the challenge of your specific trip. It is a fascinating, rewarding experience for a child who is prepared for an outdoor challenge, and who can easily adjust to the company of adults and the discipline that water and water/river safety requires. Keep in mind there may be others in your group who prefer a trip away from children. You know your child best.

Am I going to get wet, and how should I dress?

Yes. Water does splash on you. Wear a swim suit, and shoes that can get wet but won't come off your feet. Foot injury is the most common injury, from walking around on uneven terrain and broken glass. Shoes should be worn at all times. Wet suit booties or wool sox keep your feet warm. Bring a nylon wind shell, a glasses strap, sunscreen, chapstick, and some extra warm clothes. Have a towel and a dry set of clothes and shoes to get into after your trip.

What do I do with my camera?

There are water tight boxes for cameras. If you have an exceptionally valuable camera, leave it at home. An old metal ammo box works well lined with foam and tied into your boat.

Is there any fishing on paddling trips?

Yes. State fishing licenses should be obtained before the trip. You should bring a small folding type rod that can be stored easily when not in use.

What is a good trip for a first timer?

If you have never paddled before stay on flatwater. You can't get into to much trouble, but remember if you capsize it can be a long, cold swim to shore. Take a class before attempting rivers.

How do I get back to my car?

Run a shuttle. Meet your group at the bottom/end of a river trip. Leave enough cars at the take-out to take drivers back to their cars at the put-in where you started.

When is the best time to go on a river trip?

May and June are high water months on most rivers. Some rivers may be runnable only at that time. Others may be too high to be safe. Many rivers are dam controlled and are runnable all summer. Check locally to find out. Weather can also be a factor.

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