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LK Davidson Sculling

On-Water Checklist

Lake Davidson Sculling Checklist

Before heading to the Nature Preserve:

  • Check the weather.  

    • Do not row if the forecast calls for thunderstorms or winds in excess of 10 mph for experienced rowers -- lower if you are new to sculling. Based on our location, winds from the north and west are the most challenging.  If you are struggling in the wind/rough water, move to a more protected cove. 

    • In cold weather, check that the water and air temperatures combined add up at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Click here to find the current LK Norman water temperature.

  • Reserve a boat using TEAMUP. 

  • Wear: Trou or bike-style shorts, hi-vis/fluorescent/bright top (maximizes your visibility to others on the lake), water shoes/aqua socks for wet launching, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. 

  • Bring: Water-tight bag that can be secured in the boat for your phone and keys, water bottle, old towel for cleaning the boat. 

  • For safety, it is best to row with someone else.  

At the Nature Preserve:

  • Unlock boats and oars.

  • If the boat has a cover, carefully place the cover in the bag making sure no dirt or debris gets on the inside of the cover. 

  • Bring oars, your water-tight phone bag, water bottle and anything else you plan to have in the boat to the shoreline. 

  • Examine the boat for damage and, if found, take a picture and email it to [email protected] 

  • Carefully remove the boat from the rack making sure not to bump the riggers on other boats.  Carefully carry the boat to the water watching out for branches, tree roots and other obstacles.

  • If you are rowing solo, we STRONGLY recommend wearing a pdf belt.  We recommend buying your own, but have two available for use in the maroon supply bag hanging by the oars on the east side of the rack.

  • Walk the boat out into water deep enough so the skeg will not hit the ground. With the bow pointed towards open water, gently roll the boat onto the water.

  • Open the oar locks.

  • Grab the oars and place them in the oar locks making sure the knob of the lock closure is pointed to the stern/your foot stretcher. (Remember close to the toes.)

  • Check that the deck plate cover is secure. 

  • Attach your waterproof phone bag to the shell (do not wear it around your neck) and complete a final inspection of the shell, rigging, and other gear before rowing. (If needed, tools, nuts, screws, ant spray and other supplies are contained in the maroon bag.)

On the Water:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  

    • Turn your head frequently and recognize that you have blind spots. Early mornings there are often open water swimmers.  Usually they are with a group and have a spotter in a kayak and/or bright fluorescent marker/buoy – but sometimes they don’t and are hard to see. Later in the day, you are likely to encounter people fishing, water and jet skiers, and folks on paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.

    • Never row with earbuds/headphones.  Since your vision is limited by rowing backwards, your sense of hearing is extra important while on the water.

  • Follow the lake traffic pattern by keeping your port or right side along the shoreline. 

  • During evening rows, pay attention to the time of sunset -- you need to allow sufficient daylight to safely lock up the boat and oars and walk out of the NP. 

  • When  you flip (remember flipping eventually happens to everyone), the first few moments of entering the water will be a bit of a shock. Stay calm, relax, and remember to breathe! Important reminders for when you flip:

    • STAY WITH THE BOAT: The boat is now a life line to staying above water, and in your first moments in the water, you will need it the most. Drape yourself over the hull of the boat or grasp the riggers firmly. 

    • RELAX AND ASSESS THE SITUATION: Take a moment to recover from the “surprise” of the flip and assess the situation. Relax and take deep breaths. Make sure you are completely recovered and in control before taking the next step in your plan.  Were you injured during the flip? What are the weather conditions? How close are you to shore? Is the boat damaged or not able to be rowed as a result of the flip? All of this information will help in moving forward in your plan. 


      • This video demonstrates how to get back in the boat and how to push or paddle the boat to shore. 

After your row:

  • Carefully return the boat and oars to the rack making sure that the bow is pointing east (away from the lake) and the boat is not resting on its riggers or hitting another boat’s riggers. 

  • Check all equipment for damage and, if found, take a picture and email it to [email protected] 

  • Clean and dry off the boat and oars with your towel.  There is a bottle of isopropyl alcohol in the supply bag if you’d like to sanitize any touch points. 

  • Lock the shell making sure that you can fit a finger between the strap and the boat.  Make sure the lock is not touching the boat. Lock the oars as tightly as possible, make sure no one can slip an oar out through the straps. Check that the locks on all LK Davidson Sculling equipment are properly secured. 

  •  Be a good steward of the Nature Preserve by disposing of any trash you find in the area.

  • Kayak & paddle boards - LKDS. Make sure cable is threaded through both the kayak and paddle.

In case of emergency dial 911; for other issues, call 704-728-8083 or 704-791-2142.


LK Davidson Sculling: Discover the ROWed to Fitness


Email: [email protected]

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