Guided inflatable kayaking trips are a new option in the Lehigh Gorge State Park. If you are looking for a whitewater adventure that is a step up from rafting there is no need to look further. Whitewater rafting has a been an exciting bucket list adventure since the 1970s. If you have been thinking about taking a whitewater trip by kayak rather than raft this is your next step.
What is inflatable kayaking?
Inflatable kayaks, or duckies, are small rubber rafts that seat one to two people. Unlike rafting you will control the boat using a double bladed paddle. When rafting a single blade is required on the paddle because you only use paddle strokes on the side of the raft where you are seated.
Teamwork for paddling a tandem inflatable kayak?
When paddling a tandem (two-person) inflatable kayak you should put the more experienced paddler in the back. The pace is set by the paddler in the front. The paddler in the back should match the stroke speed and strength of the more inexperienced paddler in the front. The paddler in the rear is also responsible for steering the boat.
How to steer?
When in a tandem inflatable kayak it is important to communicate with your paddling partner. The paddler in the back is responsible for steering. There are two way to steer. One, both paddlers should paddle together in the same direction slowly turning the craft in the desired direction. Two, the front paddler should continue to paddle as normal while the rear paddler should use their paddle as a rudder placing it into the water at a 90 degree angle on the side in which he or she wants to turn. The second method is swifter, so this is the desired action in fast moving rapids.
Is this suitable for kids?
Yes, this activity is great for kids that have some experience in boats or rafts. Whitewater Challengers inflatable kayak trips allow kids age 14+ on a solo ducky and down to age 9 when going tandem with an adult. When in a tandem ducky with an adult the child should sit in the front for several reasons.
- Allows the adult to keep their eyes on the child.
- The more experience paddler should always be in the back.
- The heavier person should be in the back, making the craft more responsive when steering.
Whitewater Challengers provides the equipment, shuttles and guides for your inflatable kayaking trip on the Lehigh River. Trips are available every dam release weekend between May and October. Trips depart shortly after 9am and include a riverside lunch. Spaces are limited for these trips so be sure to book early. You can book online or call 800-443-8554.