Paddling Tips from our Certified Instructors
1. Beginners should take an on-water instruction courses to learn about safety, technique and equipment. Search our calendar for canoe and kayak programs. Group paddling instruction is also available.
2. Wear a life jacket. It is common to capsize when paddling. Learn more about the proper use of flotation gear and how it can save your life.
3. Cold water is extremely dangerous! Learn more about protecting yourself in this environment.
4. Canoe or kayak—which is better? It’s helpful to try both in an instructional setting before you buy. In general canoes offer more room for supplies. Paddlers sit lower in a kayak, which makes some people feel more stable.
5. Join a paddling club. It's a great way to meet other paddlers and learn about good paddling locations.
6. The lake at Independence Grove is a good place for beginners because you can rent a boat and the water is calm.
7. Take a river course before trying the Des Plaines River since it can be a fast moving river at certain times of the year.