Poling a canoe is a dying art. Most canoeing in the modern world involves two people per boat paddling downstream. Before the rise of the outboard motor, poling a canoe was how people moved upstream in a loaded boat. This skill is a challenging one to master, but it’s worth it because of the way it changes how you look at bodies of water in regards to canoeing. If you’ve ever been in a canoe and found yourself surprised by a rock that you saw a little bit too late, this is the course for you. With a pole, you can stop your boat instantly, change directions, or even go back upstream and try a different route. This course is designed with the intention of giving canoeists with some experience a new skill to add to their canoe outings, but no experience is necessary. If you’re new to canoeing entirely, our paddling introductory clinic might be worth looking into.
Students can either camp out on the SOTF campus for the weekend or meet us each morning for the start of class. This course is designed for all ages, but anyone under 15 will need a parent or other adult with them.
Intended Learning Outcomes
“Getting your legs”, or learning to be comfortable standing and moving around a floating boat
Canoe lifts and carries
Learning the basics of reading water
Using a pole to travel effectively upstream in a canoe
Snubbing, or the art of controlled downstream travel
Holding in a current, using the pole to bring the boat to a complete stop and stay there
Lining a Canoe
Getting a sense of trimming the weight in a boat correctly for different situations