Kayaking looks simple – you hop in and paddle, right? That technique will work, but if you want to gain the most from your kayaking experience, here are some helpful techniques.
- When you reach to your paddle, place your hands about shoulder-width apart.
- Practice good posture. Slouching comes naturally in a kayak, but try to sit up straight.
- The proper kayaking stroke stretches from your foot back to your hip, as opposed to a shorter stroke that only reaches from knees to hips.
- When paddling, use your torso by rotating with each stroke. This adds strength to your paddling.
- Don’t dig your paddle into the water; the blade should only be a few inches in the water.
Fortunately for Northeastern Ohio paddlers, there are many kayaking options in our area! Whether you rent a kayak for the day or practice more challenging maneuvers, you have access to many options.
Cuyahoga River: Due to cleanliness, CVNP discourages kayaking on the Cuyahoga River. Despite this, some continue boating; Camp Hi Canoe Livery rents kayaks to eager paddlers.
Hinckley Lake: Hinckley Boathouse provides kayak rentals. Nearby Quarry Rock Café quenches your thirst or hunger after an adventure. To add competition to your paddling, join the Kayak Polo games.
Wallace Lake: In the midst of Mill Stream Run Reservation, this lake offers over 17 acres to explore. It is located on Valley Parkway, south of Bagley Road.
Wallace Lake at Mill Stream Reservation in Berea – Photo Credit Lynn Ischay, The Plain Dealer
East Sandusky Bay: Also called Back Bay, this is an ideal location to practice kayaking in strong winds. Many paddlers launch at the Pipe Creek Wildlife Area and follow the southern coastline.
Rocky River Reservation: If you own a kayak, you can use public docks to begin your paddling excursion, including East 55th Marine, Edgewater Kayak Launch Point (East and West), Edgewater Marina, Lake Erie, and Edgewater Park Boat Ramps.
If you want to learn more about kayaking, or if you would rather not paddle solo, there are some groups unique to our area.
Northeast Ohio Kayakers (NEOK) includes all age groups and experience levels. First started in February 2011, they have grown to over 200 kayakers and canoeists. They paddle rivers and small lakes, including upper, middle and lower Cuyahoga, Chagrin River, Rocky River and others.
Cleveland Sea Kayakers (CSK) welcomes experienced paddlers with basic kayak training and safety. All you need is a kayak 12 feet long. They plan local and out of state adventures and encourage members to plan events.
Kayak with Appalachian Outfitters
Before paddling off, stop by Appalachian Outfitters for gear! We carry a variety of watersports equipment, including kayaks by Perception and Dagger and Wilderness Systems.