Wintergreen Sporting Club's boating group enjoys canoeing and kayaking on both flat water as well as rivers and streams. The boaters go on half-day and full-day trips, as well as take a few adventures on the water that require overnight stays.
Whether you are an experienced paddler or just getting started, the club offers an initial informational meeting in the spring where plans for the coming year are discussed. New members and beginners are welcomed with an afternoon paddle on Wintergreen Resort's Lake Monocan with basic paddling techniques. The spring meeting is also an opportunity for members to try different types of boats.
Club members in the boating group don't have to be boat owners. Some members work with outfitters who rent boats, some WSC river events have included support from outfitters to haul boats and boaters back and forth.
WSC has two sit-inside kayaks with paddles and floatation vests available to members on a first-come, first-served basis. The club also has a six-boat trailer to help with boat transportation. (To reserve a WSC boat or a spot on the trailer email email@example.com. Also, kayaks can be rented from Waynesboro's Rockfish Gap Outfitters.)
Besides Wintergreen Resort’s Lake Monocan, some of the lakes the WSC enjoys are Walnut Creek, the Rivanna reservoir, Mill Creek Lake, Bolar Lake and the Lynnhaven River tidal estuary in Tidewater. Rivers trips have been on the Tye River, James River, Piney River, Jackson River, Greenbriar River and the Shenandoah River. WSC's river trips typically holds to nothing more challenging than Class II or II+.
On most trips everyone packs a picnic lunch for themselves to enjoy somewhere along the shore. After paddling there is often dinner together at a nearby restaurant. Trip details are posted on the boating calendar and sent by email.
A list of potential trips with tentative dates is compiled before the beginning of the season. Those signed up to see emails from the boating group can also expect impromptu outings to be announced. Plans can change depending on weather and water levels; email communications makes it work.
Questions, suggestions or to volunteer to lead a trip, members can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boating Safety Guidelines
Even rapids that seem relatively easy can present risks and problems. WSC offers these suggestions to all who canoe or kayak, especially on moving water, regardless of how the rapids are classified:
1. Use a paddle leash. They are available at most kayak shops or online or you can simply use a five-foot length of nylon parachute cord. If you do tip your boat, you won't lose your paddle while you're struggling to right it. Never run the leash between your legs–always off to one side. Carrying a spare telescoping paddle is a good idea, too.
2. Wear an approved helmet. Hard Rock isn't just a trendy café, it's a river reality! While most of the rivers WSC paddle are not considered difficult, even mild rapids can pull you sideways and tip you over and there are always hidden river rocks just waiting to conk you on the head! Wearing an approved helmet on moving water is the same kind of common sense precaution as wearing one when bicycling.
3. Have a shrill whistle handy. The universal call for assistance is 3 blasts, repeated as many times as it takes to summon help.
4. Always wear a flotation vest!