Canoeing is a water activity that uses paddles and a long, roomy boat. Because canoes are long and wide, they can fit two to three people in them, making canoeing a fun group activity. Canoes have been used for centuries for fishing, transportation, sport and leisure, and not much about the design of a canoe has changed over the years. Because a canoe is bigger and has more room, it is easier to get in and out of, making it a great beginner paddling activity. And, because a canoe sits higher on the water, you have a better view of the scenery around you and water beneath you. Read on to learn more about canoeing!
How Do You Canoe?
Like kayaking, canoeing is a great workout for all the muscles in your arms, and you can build up great core and back strength while canoeing. Because a canoe is higher off the water, it requires a larger range of motion from your upper body to be able to paddle. When you are canoeing, it can be easy to wear out your back or even experience some back pain after a long day, so make sure you are practicing proper form.
1. Sit up straight in your canoe instead of hunching over while paddling. This will protect your lower back and make it easier to rotate your torso while paddling.
2. Hold your paddle with two hands, one hand at the top of the shaft and one hand half way down the shaft. When you paddle, pull the blade of the paddle through the water using your arms and rotating your torso. This move will engage your arms and your core.
3. If you are canoeing with a friend, you will both alternate which side of the boat you paddle on. If you are going straight, one person should be paddling on the right side of the boat and one should be paddling on the left. You can alternate between side when one arm starts to get more tired than the other.
The most popular type of canoe paddle is the “ottertail” paddle. It gets its name from the ottertail-shaped blade at the end of the paddle. This symmetrical shape is easy to pull through the water, making it the perfect paddle for recreational use, according to Fishell Paddles’ website, an online paddle retailer. Other paddle blade shapes include the beavertail blade, which is another great option for recreational use, and the square tip blade, which is commonly used for canoe racing.
Where Can You Canoe?
Recreational canoeing is typically done on lakes or rivers where the water is relatively calm and easy to manage. Because canoes are bigger boats, getting them through choppy or rough water can be a challenge and should only be done by seasoned canoers. Locally, there are multiple rivers and lakes where you can rent a canoe and enjoy the water. One of the most popular rivers to canoe down is the Sante Fe River, and you can visit the Adventure Outpost in High Springs to rent a canoe for you and your friends for the day!