Many people avoid kayaking because they are afraid of capsizing. While our parks offer very stable, recreational watercraft; it is possible to go for an unexpected swim.
Paddlers enjoying a break
Almost always, capsizing can be prevented with caution and proper technique. Here are a few things to consider to keep you dry as you enjoy the waters:
- 1. Avoid Horseplay – Except in certain programs, rangers and guides don't tolerate splash fights, standing in the boats, and other activities that can lead to capsizing and injury. In your self guided adventures, it is best not to play around and intentionally flip your boat if you are uncertain about the hazards beneath the surface (rocks, oyster beds) or you don't know how to re-enter.
- 2. Avoid High Winds – This is especially a problem for newbie canoeist who have never dealt with crosswinds and solo paddlers. Even when there are no whitecap waves present, the wind can blow you off course and you may be led to overcompensate your directions with hard sweep strokes. Paddle in sheltered waters, if available.
- 3. Sit Properly – Keep your body in the center of the seat, not to the left nor right side. If canoeing solo, kneel in the center of the boat or sit in the front seat using the stern as your bow. This will more evenly distribute your body weight in the boat than sitting in the rear seat.
- 4. Supervise Young Paddlers – Keep kids from making sudden moves and leaning to one side.
- 5. Don't Multitask-Avoid the cost of replacing an expensive smart phone by keeping it in a waterproofbag, box, or in your car. Not paying attention as you paddlecan lead you into unexpectedobstacles and other hazards.
Good guides give instructions before hitting the water
We will kick off the paddling season at Burning Of The Socks on Saturday, March 24th at 10 a.m.
We will also have a Spring Break Pick Your Paddle on Saturday, April 7th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Look for our guided programs on the events database. Call our park office to schedule a trip for your group. Rentals are available now until late September.
Fun and safety go hand in hand
Directions to York River State Park: From I-64, take the Croaker Exit 231B. Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park.