Introducing newbe to paddling...

… how would you go about it? Would you go take them car camping and show them strokes/wet exit/entry over a relaxing weekend OR would you take them on the water and let them learn as we get to the campsite few miles away (if weather forecast is good ofcourse)??

I myself learned the latter way and thats how I usually learn everything hehe… jump in with both feet and see where that takes me.

If the intro trip to the campsite is
pretty safe, that’s a good way. It also depends on the boat, as wet-exiting some boats is trivial and unavoidable, while touring/sea and ww kayaks are often “tight” to exit, but more likely to flip after a newbie’s catching a paddle.

My preferred lead-in for ww canoeing is to have the person learn to paddle somewhat forcefully in a straight line on a lake. Without that ability, the first steps in learning to enter and exit eddies, and to ferry across currents, are very difficult.

kayaking or canoeing?
If it’s a closed deck kayak with cockpit and spray skirt, I’d teach and have them practice a wet exit first.

Wet exit part

– Last Updated: May-30-08 11:14 AM EST –

(Oops - if a kayak)
Only sure safe way to do that is to spend time standing in the water beside said newbie, have them flip over and be ready to bail them out if they panic. Any other approach to a first capsize is playing Russian roulette if they find (surprise!) that they get instantly severely claustrophobic being under the boat. Been there, was that person and I just got lucky when it turned out that I have a great adrenaline response when I expect to drown. A slight change in circumstances and I wouldn't be telling you this.

If you can't get them to capsize, only safe choice I see is to go skirtless and choose a paddle that stays near shore.