We believe that education is key to promoting safety on our waterways. We use every opportunity available as a means of educating the public on these important points. Messages of safety and paddling education can be found woven throughout our blogs posts, newsletter, water trail signs, events, social media, classes and more.
Always wear your life jacket
Experienced paddlers always wear properly fitting life jackets out on the water. Adjust the fit of your jacket so that it does not lift up when pulled by the shoulders.
Carry the essentials
This includes a signaling device (whistle) on your life jacket, communication device (VHF radio, cell phone, Personal Locator Beacon), first aid/safety equipment, extra clothing, water and snacks, and a paddle float and pup for sit-in kayaks.
Know your limits
Be prepared for the unexpected. If you don’t feel comfortable, return to shore.
Plan for changing weather conditions
Be aware of the horizon and changing wind speed/direction. If the weather worsens, get off the water right away.
Dress for immersion
Dress for the water temperature. Dress for the water temperatures. Wetsuits and drysuits allow you to stay warmer when immersed in cold water. Water temperature below 70° is considered cold. Avoid cotton clothing like t-shirts and jeans as they retain water and make you colder quicker.
Dress for visibility
Never assume power boaters can see you. Choose brightly colored life jackets and paddling clothes so others can see you. Carry a light if you are on the water early or late in the day.
Share your plan
Tell a friend where and when you will paddle and what to do if you don’t check in as scheduled.
Provide whatever assistance you are qualified to give to others who are in trouble or injured or help them obtain further assistance.
Take a paddling class
We work with American Canoe Association certified instructors to hold basic introductory classes. Below is a description of some class offerings.
This class gives paddlers the fundamentals for paddling all types of kayaks in a fun and safe way, including essential safety skills and strokes. This class is great for beginners but anyone who has never received formal instruction will benefit.
The Intro to Stand Up Paddle Boarding
This class gives paddlers the fundamentals for stand up paddle boarding in a fund and safe way. This course is great for anyone new to the sport or hasn’t had formal instruction.
This course is geared for all levels of paddlers and explores and discovers the best solutions for when (not if) we end up in the water, out of our boats.
Our kids kayaking class, geared to ages 7 -13 , are a great way to introduce your child to the sport of kayaking. Designed with fun and water safety as primary goals, we teach students through a variety of games and exploration. Thanks to our friends at West Michigan Coast Kayaking Association (WMCKA), we are able to provide traditional youth sized sea kayaks for participants.
To see a list of our current class offerings visit our events page.
Interested in additional programming or have questions about our classes? Send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.