Kayaking in Broken Bow - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Kayaking in Broken Bow

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 Summer Time water sports are huge across the ArkLaTex.  And one of the most calorie burning cardio inducing of them may just be kayaking.  But keep in  mind that although it is a ton of fun,  safety should be in the forefront of any water adventure.  Clear cold waters and scenic views best describe the Mountain fork river in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  So it only makes sense to come here in search of the best kayaking in the ArkLaTex.   Our safety advisor on this trip is Marc McCord,  a professional river guide with years of white water experience from coast to coast.  Marc briefs us  on the length of the river we'll be paddling 

The first half of what we're doing has some white water on it. Not a lot but it has a lot of rock and things. Second half will be basically a flat water paddle down to the take out.   And then he briefs us on the  proper attire for such a voyage.  I'm wearing two things I think are absolutely essential. A good pfd to keep me floating  in case I fall out of my boat.  If I hit my head on a rock and knock myself unconscious this pfd will float me face up.  Marc also says that the pfd gives you protection between the rocks and your body in the event you fall out of your boat.

The other thing I got is good river shoes. I have fully enclosed shoes. Unlike some people who wear sandals. That's because the number one injury on rivers is foot injuries. Rocks and sticks can get in-between sandals and bare feet.  This is no bueno.  Oh great. I'm in trouble then. You're not in trouble but it's something to keep in mind for the future.  Aside from having the latest in river safety fashion, planning your trip is just as important.

You should have a trip leader who designates what's going to happen. Who stays in the front of the group and leads the group down river. You should have one boat acting as a safety sweep that's always the last boat to catch anybody that gets into trouble in front of them.  And you should  have an idea of how far you're gonna go and how long it will take you to get there.  Not planning a trip can end badly if you don't know what you're up against as you head down a river.  Which leads us to our next tip.  Much like swimming, Marc doesn't advise going at it alone.

You wanna have multiple people with you. The good rule of thumb is 4 boats. Simply because if you have 4 boats and someone gets injured you can leave one boat and its paddler is there with the person that's injured. While two more go together out to get help.  After a briefing from Marc, on everything from how to dress and  paddling best to different strokes for different boats we were ready to get out on the river.   Make sure you have a guide when you go on trips like this because your guide will know where the rapids are.  And that's why we  stayed in ear shot of Marc who has the experience of this river behind him to keep us safe.

The one thing you wanna do is stay away from that tree that is leaning out.  And there were many trees and rocks to look out for.  Staying alert for obstacles is really important on rivers where the water is moving at a good pace.   After you clear those last trees, spin out to your right because you're at presbyterian falls.  There's a drop right her so be ready for it. Come right where i'm coming.  

But we didn't listen too well this time.  My daughter and i flipped our kayak but were able to wade to safety in short order. After i remembered what Marc had told us earlier.  You do not want to get trapped between your boat and an obstacle. If you get thrown out of your boat the best thing to do is get away from your boat and let someone else recover your boat down river.  And that's exactly what we did.  Marc recovered our boat and we continued down the river and taking in the sights and sounds of the mountain fork.  But don't forget, after a few hours of kayaking....find a place to take a break

Ok so we made it to a resting point.  Ok break's over. Time to get back out on the water and find some more rapids.  This is a great recreational river for families that want to get out and enjoy a river and fun. But they don't want to risk their lives doing it.  Marc suggests finding a canoe and kayak outfitter that has a good reputation and has been around for a long time.  We used w-w trading post in broken bow.  They make sure you watch a video on safety before heading down the river and they don't allow alcohol on any of their boats.  This definitely makes them more appealing to people with families.  Not everyone uses a guide when they go kayaking but it certainly makes things go a lot smoother.  Marc is a class four whitewater open canoeist. You can find out more about Marc, kayaking or camping in Broken Bow and anywhere else by going to KTBS.COM and clicking on the links at the bottom of this story.





These links will get you to everything canoe and kayak from Marc. Plus,  WW Trading Post provided us with the Kayaks we used. Enjoy!

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