A kid-friendly guide to canoeing and kayaking in Colorado



Stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers and canoes love the warm climate at the 10th annual National Get Outdoors Day June 10, 2017 at Sloan’s Lake in Denver. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Consider paddling a canoe or kayak along lake or river shorelines. Wonderful scenery and close-up views of wildlife are generally your reward as you glide along just above the waterline.

(Colorado has a lot of areas to attempt it, also. Verify out exactly where to rent boats, kayaks, canoes and additional in the state.)

Starting paddlers really should begin in sheltered waters away from speeding boats and blustery winds. There, it is less complicated to practice standard forward, backward, turning and stopping methods. Right here are some pointers:


Kayaks come in solo or tandem (two-individual) versions. With knees slightly bent and legs extended in front of them, kayakers use double-blade paddles to attain water on each and every side of the boat.

Tess Clarke, 10, and other youngsters at her summer time camp kayaked this summer time by way of the calm waters of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, just south of Alexandria, Va.

“It aids to place your hands farther apart on the paddle and to turn a small to the side that you are paddling on,” she mentioned.

To set hand spacing, place the centerline of the kayak paddle on your head, then make target posts with your arms at 90-degree angles. Decrease the paddle, and your grasp really should be just correct.


Canoes have backless benches, but some men and women favor to kneel.

“Kneeling lowers your center of gravity, escalating stability,” notes the American Canoe Association.

Working with a extended-handled, a single-blade paddle, canoers alternate strokes from a single side of the boat to the other.

Isha Karthik, left, and her sister Ashi, attempting out the kayaking pool at the 39th annual Lyons Excellent Old Days. (Cliff Grassmick, Day-to-day Camera)

Paddling fundamentals

A appropriately fitted, Coast Guard-authorized life jacket is a have to.

Teamwork is vital in two- or 3-individual paddling. The paddler in the stern (rear) controls steering. The a single in the bow (front) sets the rhythm and pace.

“In a 3-individual canoe, the middle guy aids the guy in the bow energy the canoe,” mentioned Alvin Song, 16, of Boy Scout Troop 1865 in Fairfax, Va.

“A smoother motion is produced if you sync your paddle strokes with each and every other,” mentioned Ruthie Christino, 13, of Alexandria.

As you get additional practical experience, discover rescue methods in case of capsizing. Attempt unique waters.

Which is most effective?

Paddler Madison Sandy, 12, mentioned, “Canoeing is lots of enjoyable and less complicated with my pals, but I like kayaking greater solo.”

Soon after an hour paddling with his dad, Ben Halter, six, mentioned, “Canoeing is absolutely less complicated.”

3 members of Troop 1865 practiced canoeing for a Canadian trip in which portaging (carrying) their boat more than land involving waterways would be essential.

“I have an affinity for kayaks, but when you are traveling more than land with gear and pals, canoes are less complicated,” mentioned Scout George Steene, 16. “One individual carries the boat, a single carries the packs and a single carries the paddles.”

Paddle TV’s YouTube channel has a series of videos on youngsters and paddling canoes and kayaks.


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