Impressions of a canoeing rookie
My maiden voyage with the ONAK canoe led me through the beautiful historic canal Reep in Ghent.
As an occasional paddler, I already gained some experience with inflatable canoes.
I enjoy taking another viewpoint close to the water - and it seems that visiting a city via its waterways gets increasingly popular, judging from the amount of other paddlers I encounter.
When I first stepped into a foldable ONAK canoe last Thursday, I was surprised by its stability. We went into the water close to the centre of our hometown Ghent, and with a fairly low water level I expected that boarding might be difficult. But getting on board with nearly 1m distance between pier and boat did not pose a challenge to the canoe.
The next positive surprise was how fast the ONAK could go with minimal effort. Compared to the inflatable “Yellow Banana” canoe I’m used to, we did literally glide over the water, so we quickly reached the recently reopened Reep canal. The Reep floats into the nearby Portus Ganda and is said to be place where the city of Ghent was found, at the intersection of the rivers Scheldt and Lys. It was a pretty special feeling to paddle over a brand new beautiful waterway with such historic importance.
But euphoria quickly faded when I saw we had to cross a big rapid. This seemed to dangerous for a foldable canoe.. Nevertheless, we summoned our courage and headed toward the rapid. And in the end, it turned out to be a lot of fun, just like doing down a water slide!
Also the set-up and the folding of the canoe in the end was not really rocket science. I could even attach the case to my bike!
This was definite proof for me that the ONAK canoe is a great buddy to explore the urban waterways.