Can You Stand In A Canoe?

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 21, 2022
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Well, it is possible to stand in a canoe but it would be best not to stand on a canoe as you paddle for any reason since you will be risking your life. It is not advisable to stand in a canoe unless you have undergone training and extreme practice. The ideal way would be to sit and cast without any worries of falling.

Key Takeaways

  • If you stand on your canoe and if waves come suddenly then you won’t have enough time to handle the situation
  • If you stand while kayaking then you might lose your focus and can be hit by a tree branch or other elements
  • Almost every canoe has wide hulls therefore it is quite impossible to steer them while standing
  • If you have less experience in the field of kayaking and stand in the canoe then it can be life-threatening for you

Why You Should Not Stand In A Canoe

Why You Should Not Stand In A Canoe

As said above, we discourage you from standing in a canoe as you paddle, as you will be putting your life and that of other kayakers with who you share the same canoeing point in danger. Below, we have discussed our reasons as to why we emphasize avoiding standing in a canoe when on water:

1. Waves

Water bodies such as oceans and lakes experience waves at any time of the day. If the waves occur suddenly, the kayaker may drown as he may not have time to prepare himself to deal with the condition. 

2. Elements

 kayaking while standing is hazardous. You may be hit by an element such as a tree branch on your face, and in the process, you will lose focus, especially if the branch hits you in the eye(s), it will interfere with your sight, the boat will be unstable and the result will be an accident.

3. Capsizing

Capsizing is a significant risk for anyone who tries to kayak while standing; most people lose balance and cannot paddle the vessel as they stand. Most canoes are also designed with wide hulls that make it impossible to steer them while standing. 

Canoeing Risks And Safety Tips

There are several risks associated with canoeing that paddlers need to be aware of; you also need to be armed with tips that will help you stay safe on the water. Let’s explore some of the risks and tips to help you stay safer. 

1. Drowning

It is one of the most dangers associated with canoeing. As a kayaker, you must stay alert and prepared both mentally and physically in case of drowning. Sometimes it happens more when you go kayaking unprepared and in deep waters. If you are a good swimmer, this won’t be a big deal to you, but if you have no idea of what it takes to swim, you risk losing your life when drowning happens, and you don’t have anyone to rescue you. This can be prevented by; having self-rescue skills, capsize drills, and a life-saving vest. Also, it would help if you did not panic and could control your fear and worries in life-threatening scenarios.

2. Getting Lost In The Sea

Kayaking in open waters brings excellent experience and a good feeling and creates incredible memories. That should not make you forget that it is hazardous to kayak in such waters because you can get lost and fail to remember where you came from. Given that the open waters lack landmarks that you can use to know how far you’ve gone and how much time you have used, it will be challenging for you to trace the direction. To overcome this problem, you can paddle in a group(s) and have a GPS or canoe compass direction that will show you where you are from, where you are and where you are going as you navigate. If you don’t have any of the above, your option will be to paddle near shore, where you can quickly get out of the water.

3. Drinking And Kayaking

You have heard the saying, “Don’t drink and drive,” the same way we say, don’t drink and kayak. Alcohol remains one of the most apparent causes of fatal accidents in the water. There is no way you can canoe safely when drunk. It is good to be sober all the time you go canoeing. Care about your life and those of other people who depend on you, share the same kayak, or even your fellow kayakers. Not only is alcohol dangerous to kayakers, and other substances that change the behaviors of the normal person can hinder you from tracing the navigation routes on the water.

There is no tip to give you here; all you have to do is avoid getting drunk when going to kayak and avoid those substances that can impair your ability to navigate the water. 

4. Inexperience In Kayaking

It’s life-threatening to go out on the water alone when you have less experience in the field of kayaking. Overconfidence will overpower you, and go kayaking in a place where it is higher than your skill level. Ensure that the route you choose to paddle is on the deck with your skills. For instance, as a beginner, you can’t kayak in rough waters as the experts do. That will be a recipe for disaster. To avoid accidents that may result from inexperience, you have to research the place you would want to kayak. Ask local kayakers about the potential dangers of paddling, the flow of tide and currents, and the risks of paddling in that place. This will prevent you from getting into danger and save your life. As a beginner, we would like to advise you that you kayak in slow-moving water as you gain the experience required on rough waters.

5. Water Obstacles

Every water body has obstacles, you may see a branch of a tree floating on water, but you can not be sure if there is a tree just below the surface. These obstacles include sweepers, strainers, and undercuts.

Sweepers are those obstacles jutting on the water’s surface which can be seen even at a far distance. The strainers are sieve-like obstacles that are found under the water’s surface. They may be branches of a fallen tree, and they ‘sieve’ anything that passes through that route, including dirt, and human and animal carcasses. If not seen, your canoe will be trapped, and you may drown unless you have self-rescue skills. The undercuts are the part of the river bank that overhangs into the water. Most of the time, undercuts are invisible, and you will not spot them from a distance. They are seen at the last minute and you cannot avoid them in any way; you will hit them and get stuck. If you lack the experience and skills to save yourself in such an occurrence, you will drown.

6. Wildlife

Expect to meet different wildlife in the water during your kayaking activities, especially if you kayak daily. They may be as huge as hippos or as small as a mosquito. Alligators are also part of those dangerous animals that you will encounter. No matter how big or small they are, they pose a danger to your life, in case you meet them. It’ll be hard to defend yourself, as the only weapon you’ll be having a moment will be a mere plastic paddle. If by any chance you see the young ones of this wildlife, keep your distance and avoid moving towards where they are because their agitated parents may be within the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will look at some of the relevant questions that relate to our topic of discussion that other people often ask. The answers will give extra information that we may not have discussed in the entire article. 

1. Is It Safe To Stand In A Canoe?

It’s not safe, and for any reason, don’t try to stand in a canoe while paddling. It may start rocking from side to side, and if not careful, the canoe will tip over. However, if you believe in yourself, have courage, and have done thorough practice, you can take risks and stand.

2. How Do You Stand In A Canoe?

Though it’s not advisable to stand in a canoe, you can take the risk if you have done enough training and practice. You have to move very close to the midpoint of the canoe, a place where the hull is wide.

How Should I Be In The Canoe?

When you are in the canoe, always stay low. Don’t stand and walk while paddling unless you are approaching the shore. This is the effect that the boat may lose balance and fall, leading to people losing their life.

Wrapping Up

As we conclude the article, we hope that the information we have given you will significantly impact you. We have discussed this to the best of our knowledge. We have included some of the dangers that you must know as a kayaker because you may encounter one or two of them in your daily paddling activities. The tips we have provided you with will help you if any dangers occur when you are on the water. Now, we leave it to you to make a sound decision on whether you will altogether avoid standing on a canoe as you kayak, or you’ll take the risk and paddle while standing.


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