There has been a drastic increase in popularity of recreational paddling. We want to increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of those who want to paddle, and make them better paddlers.
Before setting out on your recreational paddling adventure,
- make sure you follow the 3 T’s;
- know the effects of alcohol and drugs—for your safety and the safety of others, you need to be attentive and responsive;
- know the signs of hypo- and hyperthermia as well as how to treat it;
- know how to get help and survive until rescue if an emergency arises.
Learn More about Water Safety
PaddleSmart: This presentation is designed for youth and adults who want to paddle, whether it is using stand-up paddleboards, kayaks or canoes.
Contact us to request the PaddleSmart program at
your school or community group.
Give us your feedback!
Topics include trip planning, training and taking the essentials for water based activities. Segments on moving water and coastal water can be added to the presentation depending on location.
Moving Water: Paddling in moving waters poses many challenges, not only on the water, but should you be immersed. Before tackling moving water know the river features & hazards, how to avoid them and the universal river signals.
Coastal Paddling: Paddling in Coastal waters is no easy task and requires a full understanding of everything going around in the waters. Before paddling or in coastal waters, make sure you do the 3 T’s, familiarize yourself with the different types of currents as well as safe wind and weather conditions for the location.
Coastal Currents: There are many different types of currents one can encounter. Do research on the types of currents you may experience before paddling on coastal waters.
- Rip Currents: Rip currents are not undertows. They are a horizontal current and do not pull people under the water—they pull people away from shore.
- Long shore Currents: Swimmers and paddle craft can be swept down the beach into a variety of hazards.
- Tidal Bore: Swimmers and paddle craft can be flushed several kilometres out to sea very quickly.
Hypothermia: Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and hyperthermia and know how to treat both early. Dress for the water not the weather and ensure you stay hydrated!
Alerting the SAR system: Different types of electronic devices that are helpful on the waterways. VHF Hand-held Marine Radios are an easy and effective means of communications within members of the same group. The channels are monitored by emergency services personnel such as Coast Guard and marine police units along with other recreational boaters.
Channel 16 is the hailing and rescue channel used by Canadian Coast Guard and other rescue authorities. Taking an operator’s course is highly recommended to ensure proper and effective use. Although marine radios are usually waterproof, salt water will degrade all connections. It is a good idea to tether the radio inside a waterproof sack.
Many paddlers carry other communication or alerting devices in case they become separated from their crafts.
The 3 T’s . . .
Follow the 3 Ts and keep the following in mind when embarking on a recreational paddling trip!
- Trip Planning: Plan in accordance with the weather, currents and the skills of people going. Appoint a leader and leave a trip plan.
- Training: Specific training is needed for different types of vessels, crafts and locations. Contact your nearest paddling school for training so you have the skills needed before you go.
- Taking the Essentials: Alongside the essentials, there are legal requirements for safety equipment.
The most important piece is a lifejacket. Don’t just take it, wear it!
Follow along in this true story which highlights the importance the canoe etiquette, paddler’s responsibility and manners and practicing the “3 T’s.”