The LakeFront lodge has multiple personal watercrafts available. Enjoying a small watercraft is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family while exploring nature from a new point of view. If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to enjoy the open water, a personal watercraft just may be the perfect new hobby for you. *All paddles and life jackets included in rental fees.
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1. HOW TO GET INTO A KAYAK FROM SHORE
Getting into your kayak from the shore is much easier, especially for those who are learning to kayak.
- Move the kayak as close to the shoreline as possible.
- Straddle the kayak over the seat and sit down quickly, putting your feet in last.
- You can then sit in the kayak and use your arms to push yourself into the water until you are floating on the surface.
- If you’re concerned about scratching your hull on the ground, move the kayak into the shallow water and climb in there.
2. HOW TO GET INTO A KAYAK FROM THE DOCK
Docks are convenient places to get into your kayak, but it takes a bit of finesse to pull it off. Try these steps to help:
- Lower your kayak from the dock onto the surface of the water, making sure to keep the kayak parallel to the dock.
- Place your paddle so it’s within easy grabbing distance of the seat. You can also keep your kayak from shifting positions by placing either end of the paddle on the kayak and the dock.
- Remember, the higher you are, the more difficult it will be to enter the kayak. That means you’ll want to sit on the lowest point on the dock, as close to the kayak as possible.
- As you’re sitting on the edge of the dock, lower your feet into the kayak first. Then, quickly position your body toward the front of the kayak and lower yourself into the seat.
3. HOW TO GET INTO A KAYAK FROM DEEP WATER
There may be occasions where you will need to get into your kayak from deeper water. This is probably the most difficult kayak entry method.
- First, put one hand on the kayak’s side closest to you, and put your other hand on the opposite side — so your arm will be extended across the seat opening.
- Pull yourself up onto your kayak so that your belly button is over the seat. Your legs will still be about halfway in the water.
- Next, twist around to get your bottom on the seat. Your legs will still be dangling in the water, but you should have most of your body in the kayak now.
- Make sure the kayak is stable, pull your feet in and put them in front of you.
The instructions for how you get out of a kayak are easy to remember — just complete the steps in reverse. When exiting on the shore, paddle your kayak into shallow water or as close to the land as possible. Swing your legs out of the kayak, gain your footing and stand up. When exiting the kayak on a dock, turn your body to face the dock and pull yourself out of the kayak.
STAND UP PADDLE BOARD
1. HOW TO STAND UP ON A SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board)
- Always start in calm, flat water with a nice wide board.
- Get the board out into the water so the fin is free from hitting the bottom
- Start in a kneeling position – on your knees take a few strokes on each side.
- Slowly, stand up with one foot at a time and stay in the middle of the board with your feet parallel to the stringer – about shoulder width apart
- Keep a slight bend in the knees and your core centered over the board
- Keep in mind you may fall off, when you do, hop back up and try again
2. HOW TO PADDLE FORWARD
- Use your paddle as a lever. Your top hand will be driving the lever and the bottom hand will act as the pivot point.
- Keep your bottom arm straight and relatively still.
- Pull your top arm toward your body to extend the paddle forward.
- Rotate your top shoulder forward and extend your reach.
- Insert the paddle into the water as far forward as possible and bury the paddle into the water.
- Rather than pulling you paddle through the water, think about pulling past your paddle.
- To stay in a straight line, take a few strokes on one side then switch to the other.
SUP Beginner Tip: Always remember to switch the position of your hands when your paddle changes sides to efficiently paddle your SUP.
3. TURNING WITH THE FORWARD SWEEP STROKE
- To turn left, place the paddle in the water on the right side. At the same time, turn your torso to the left side.
- Keep a low stance and pull to the right, towards the tail with the paddle, while twisting and leaning to the left with your torso. You’ll feel the board shift to the left quickly.
4. TURNING WITH THE REVERSE SWEEP STROKE
- To turn right, place the paddle near the tail and pull toward the nose while shifting your torso to the right — this will spin your board’s nose to the right hand side — the more you bend your knees, the easier it will be to turn the board.
5. BEST PADDLE BOARDING TIPS
- DO: Always hold the paddle with one hand on the top of the handle and the other on the shaft.
- DON’T: hold the paddle like a broomstick, with both hands on the shaft.
- DO: Keep your feet parallel, spread shoulder width apart, and your toes pointed toward the nose.
- DON’T: Get in a surf stance – everyone wants to, but that makes paddling on the flat water ten times harder. Plus, you will fall. Save your surf stance for the surf.
- DO: Make sure your grip on the paddle is shoulder width apart — short grips will give you a powerless stroke.
- DON’T: Only use your arms – you’ll get tired faster and not paddle efficiently. Let your big back muscles do the brunt of the work.
- DO: Dip the blade fully into the water and take a long stroke, letting your large back muscles do the work.
1. ENTERING FROM THE SHORE
· Get Someone to Hold the Canoe Still
If canoeing with a partner, it is much easier to get in a canoe. Remember to make sure that half of the canoe is in the water and the other half is still on land.
Have your partner hold the stern of the boat tightly, or, for greater stability, have your partner sit at the very end of the stern, which is the last foot of the canoe.
A partner sitting on the end of the canoe will keep the canoe from slipping into the water and keep the canoe from wobbling when as you step inside. It’s best that if you are nervous about getting in, that you go first.
· Bend Your Knees
Many people will choose to walk into the water and enter in at the bow of the canoe (front); however, you can enter the canoe at the stern where your partner is holding it, and slowly walk towards the bow using a paddle to keep steady.
Either way you decide to enter, you need to bend your knees. If entering from the back and walking forward, bend your knees and hold the paddle in your non-dominant hand until your leg is inside the canoe.
Side Note: It is always better to enter the canoe by putting the dominant foot in, followed by the dominant hand.
· Face Front
If unsure of what partner should enter the canoe first, it is better that it is the canoer who will be at the bow of the canoe.
Facing front while entering a canoe is pretty much common sense. Getting in a canoe is hard enough. There’s no need to do it while walking backward or trying to turn around inside the canoe.
· Dominant Leg Over into the Canoe
With your knees bent, shift your weight to the non-dominant leg and put the dominant leg over and inside of the canoe.Don’t try to put the dominant leg all the way over to the other side of the canoe.
· Grip with Your Dominant Hand the Opposite Side of the Canoe
With the dominant leg inside, take your dominant hand and use it to grip onto the opposite side of the canoe.This is now the time to step closer to the canoe. Move your dominant leg over so that it is on the same side of the canoe as your dominant hand. By this time, one side of your body should be leaning towards the opposite side of the canoe that you are getting in on.
· Place Non-Dominant Leg Inside
Then, gripping the side of the canoe firmly with the dominant hand, swing the other leg over and again bend the knees. Do not try to stand straight up in the canoe when getting in, as this will likely cause you to fall out or the canoe to tip over.
· Put Non-Dominant Hand Over
With both legs inside the canoe, bent knees, and your dominant hand on one side bring your other hand in and grip the side of the canoe you got in on.
At this point it should look like you are preparing to sit, or that you are in the process of doing a squat.
· Sit Down
This step is simple. All that has to be done is that you bring your body down to the seat in a slow, but fluid motion. Don’t rush it! It should be like coming home from a long day at work, squatting over a comfy chair and slowly sitting down in it. A slow, fluid, and satisfying sit. The partner can then enter in the back the same way and then both canoers can push off from the shore using their paddles.
2. Entering from the Dock
- The other way to enter a canoe is relatively the same process except that it is in deep water. This happens when the canoe is docked. First make sure that the canoe is tightly tied to the dock so there’s no way of it floating away as you enter. If available, have a partner hold onto the side of the canoe close to the dock as you enter. Repeat the same steps for getting in the canoe and then when the partner is getting in, hold onto the dock so there is more stability for them. At this point, untie the canoe from the dock and push away with a hand or paddle.
3. Getting Out Without Tipping the Canoe
· Secure the Canoe
If going back to the shore, simply paddle until you get back on the shoreline, at this point anyone is the canoe can hop out and drag the canoe to the shore. If docking the canoe, paddle close to the dock and both canoers can reach for the dock. Pull up close to it, and then tightly tie the canoe back in place. With either method you are using make sure that the canoe is secure and will not float away.
· Grip the Canoe
This time, make sure that the side of the canoe you grab is the one closes to the dock. If you are exiting on a shoreline, go ahead and grab the canoe on the side of your dominant hand.
· Return to a Squatting Position
Again, DO NOT stand straight up! Tipping usually happens when someone in the canoe stands up straight. Ease up until you are no longer touching the seat of the canoe and the knees are bent. This should look and feel like it did when first entering the canoe.
· Bring One Leg Over and Corresponding Hand Over
Take the dominant leg and swing it over and immediately bring the dominant hand over as well. Both hands should then be on one side of the canoe. Your dominant leg should be out of the canoe completely.
· Bring Other Leg Out
Scoot close to the side of the canoe that you have both hands on. Then, turn slightly and swing your left leg over and out. Then let both hands go, stand up straight and help bring the canoe onto the shore. Side Note: If the dock you are exiting on is higher and you are not able to swing a leg over on it, the grip the dock, and pull up. Then swing a leg over, just like exiting a pool from the deep end.
4. Unflipping a Flipped Canoe
- Flipping a canoe can happen even if everything is done right. The first thing that needs to be done is making sure that the paddles are located and secure.
- A flipped canoe is just one of the many reasons that you should always be wearing a life jacket. A lot could go wrong when a canoe is flipped, especially in rough waters, and life jackets will save your life.
- As soon as the canoe has flipped, both canoers should take one end to make sure the canoe doesn’t sink.
- Make sure that everyone in the canoe is safe and that all canoers can handle the water. It is much easier and better to replace a canoe than a human life. If the canoe cannot be saved, but a life can. If needed, ditch the canoe.
- Then, with two canoers at each end, the canoers should position the canoe over their heads and start swimming to whatever shore is closest.
- Keep your feet up to avoid hitting rocks. Also, remember that as you stand you will have to lift the full weight of the canoe.
- If close to the shore when the canoe is flipped, both canoers should swim until they can stand. Then, completely submerge the canoe in the water, turn it upside down, and then lift it out of the water so it will sit right side up.
- Remember to take things slowly both entering and exiting a canoe, always wear a life jacket. Remember that you can look cool, have fun, and be safe if you’re prepared first!