Canoe Briefing – What you need to know!

Please note all paddlesport is an ‘assumed-risk’ activity. You are responsible for your own actions, the following guidance has been provided to give you the most enjoyable and safe experience possible.

Canadian Canoes – Top Tips!

Before you go:-

  • Listen to our staff, ask questions if there is anything you are unsure of. If it’s your first time out, or you have special needs or concerns – let us know, we can usually spend a bit longer with you and give you more pointers.
  • Bring footwear – old trainers that you can get wet, or wet shoes / boots.   There is always the risk of standing on broken glass.
  • Be aware that modern electronic devices do not mix well with water. A phone is a useful safety tool, but it is also vulnerable to water damage. Please take steps to ensure your devices are safe.
  • Put our number on speed dial (017687 73082) IF you choose to take a phone on the water. In certain weather conditions our dynamic risk assessment may require you to take a charged phone if you wish to avoid cancellation of the session (in winter or moderately bad weather conditions)
  • If any of the participants are under 16, they must be accompanied by an adult over 18. (in the same group not necessarily in the same boat)

Getting Started:-

  • Keep your buoyancy aid or life jacket on and fully fastened. If you take them off on an island, it Is critical they are put back on and fastened properly before setting off again.
  • Balance the boat. Keep seated (or kneeling if its windy) and stay in the middle! Do not rock the boat.
  • Look where you want to go. If you look where you’re heading, the canoe will follow.
  • Start slow. Small, delicate strokes will help you get going under control. Once comfortable you can start to build speed.  Stay near Nichol End while getting used to your boat and gaining confidence.  Once you’re confident, you can explore further afield.
  • Paddle on opposite sides of the boat – everyone paddling on the same side at the same time is a recipe for capsize.
  • Steer at the rear. Once the paddle is past you it is not pushing you forwards, but it can help you steer. Use the paddle like a rudder to steer the canoe.
  • Go with the flow. Let the boat run between strokes. You don’t have to be paddling frantically all the time!

Once your on the water and feeling a bit more confident:-

  • Stay on the lake – do not go up or down any rivers. We are not licensed for boats to be removed from Derwentwater and it’s hard to rescue you from the river.
  • If it’s windy and you are struggling to make headway then tuck yourself in near the shore and paddle along the sides – there is usually less wind there.
  • In the event of a capsize stay with the boat. If you are near a shore you can use it as a float and swim towards the nearest safe bank to recover.
  • Let us know if you are going to be late out or back.
  • If hiring as part of a group, stay with that group.
  • Stay out of the way of the Keswick Launch ferries. (they have a timetable to stick to, are big and need to stick to deeper water and channels and can make a big wash which may be difficult to manage as a fledgling paddler). They are easy to spot and are usually predictable.
  • Stay clear of wildlife on the lake especially young or nesting birds.
  • Alcohol does not mix with paddle sports.  Do not drink and paddle or drink and swim.
  • Never allow hands or feet to come between the boat and solid objects such as jetties.

After your session:-

  • return your boat / boats to the part of the beach you collected them from.
  • Take your rubbish home or put it in one of our bins.
  • Let us know your back at the hire desk and hang your wetsuits and buoyancy aids up on the used kit rail.
  • Let us know about any problems.
  • Send us your photos on Facebook / Instagram / by email and we will add them to the 2021 gallery.

Remember all boat hire is subject to our hire agreement. You will be asked to agree to this during the booking process.

Nichol End Marine. Portinscale, Keswick, Cumbria. CA12 5TY. 

Tel. 017687 73082.

Registered address:  Nichol End Marine Limited, 2nd Floor, 121 Duke Street, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria. LA14 1AX

Registered in England & Wales. Company no:8395361. VAT registration: 157 5268 84

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