Many people are intimidated by a canoe because they feel unstable. Here are a few ideas to add stability to your canoeing experience.
Let’s start with getting safely into the canoe.
Stow your gear and paddle in the canoe (check out one of our favorite canoe brands, Old Town!) prior to getting in. This will avoid the necessity of reaching back for equipment and upsetting the balance of your boat.
Avoid bridging while getting in to your canoe.
This refers to making sure your canoe is flat on the water with the bottom fully supported by the water. You should not have an air gap under the canoe between the shore and the water. A canoe that is partially on the land and partially in the water is more subject to tipping.
Also, the strength of the bottom of the boat will be compromised over time by not having it fully supported by the water.
Whether you are launching from a dock or from the shore, have another person, If available, hold onto the canoe to help stabilize it as you get in. If canoeing tandem, have your partner brace the canoe as you get in, and then you brace as they enter the canoe and get settled.
When entering or exiting your canoe, always use the rule of three.
Always keep 3 points of contact on the canoe. (2 hands and 1 foot, or 2 feet and 1 hand)
Keep your weight over the center line. Look for the keel line on the bottom of the canoe and use it for a reference. When entering, step onto the keel line.
Keep your center of gravity low. Most canoes have seats designed for comfort. If sitting up makes you feel uncomfortable, go ahead and kneel down. This will lower your center of gravity and make you more comfortable.
For more basic canoeing skills, visit out video section here.
Happy Canoeing! Be safe, and have fun!