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Q and A

Listed below are some answers to your questions – if you have a question which isn’t answered, let us know and we will post it.

No. There will be absolutely no consumption of alcohol or use of illicit drugs anytime during the events. This is a safety concern not just for you, but for everyone on the paddle trip. Violators of this policy will be asked to leave the event immediately.

If you believe our staff had went above and beyond your expectations during any of our sessions, tips are a fantastic way to express your enjoyment! So yes, we welcome your wet paper money.

Prior to getting on the water, our staff will provide a safety briefing with you – and review the proper way to paddle. During our scheduled paddle trips, our mission is to act as a safety net for all involved. Since this is not meant to be an educational session, but rather a relaxed expedition. We will lead you to the destination, offering guidance and tips to ensure an enjoyable journey. Should you desire official training to make your next paddle easier, may we suggest taking one of our classes. You will find your skills refined and improve your paddle abilities.

Throughout the year, there may be scheduled destinations away from our base of operations. We do have some weekend get away ideas in which we truly enjoy. Once planned, these will be shown under ‘Special Events’ tab.

Weather is definitely one of those factors which can make or break a good paddle trip. Severe weather can pop up without notice to the unsuspecting individual. Careful observation and weather reports are factored within our risk assessments. Wind, wave and air/water temperatures are also major concerns. If properly dressed for the elements this will provide an extra level of safety/comfort. We will never paddle in severe weather conditions (active lighting, hail, tornado watches/warnings, small craft warnings, gale force winds, snow storms, or ice-covered landings, etc.). If such weather approaches us during a session, we will get off the water and evaluate the situation.

At this time, we do not offer rentals of our gear. If you taking one of our sessions and are needing a kayak/gear, that is included in the price (one of the unique features Silent Wake offers). Nor will we offer shuttle service to other than our participants incorporated in one of our services.

Silent Wake is a legitimate company and we pride ourselves on safety. A waiver not only protects our company, but protects you as well. Understanding risks associated with any sports related activities should be disclosed to any paying customer.

Established in 1880, the American Canoe Association (ACA) is the leader for all paddle sports. In short, they set the precedence for safety, education, and guidelines. Not all kayak companies who offer education/tours/training have certified ACA instructors, or ACA trained guides. Knowing Silent Wake has these skilled individuals instills peace of mind to all on the water. We follow the guidelines/policies set forth by the ACA, and keep current with changes.

For majority of the sessions, this is acceptable. However, we will connect with you prior to the session and ensure your kayak is suitable for the environment. Some of the locations, and specialized training will require kayaks with built in safety features (bulkheads and deck lines).

That’s one of those questions which can only be answered individually. Forward motion in a kayak is needed in order to even reach a mile. Just sitting in the kayak and floating with the river current (much like tubing) is fully dependent on how fast the current flows. A conditioned paddler can easily set a pace between 4 to 6 miles an hour, and keep up that pace for many hours. With that said, most starting will have an average paddle speed of about 2 miles an hour (on a small lake/pond with no winds).

Nourishment and hydration are one of the key elements to a successful outing. Depending on the length of the trip will dictate the amount of food and water you provide. For a relatively short paddle (about 5 miles), a nourishment ‘sports bar’ and a bottle of water (20 oz) are a good start. Diabetics should always keep either a ‘pick-me-up’ candy bar or glucose tabs/gel on their person at all times (a PFD pocket is a good place to store it).

It never hurts to have extra clothing, or a towel handy and packed in a dry bag inside your kayak. Especially, when the weather and water temps combined don’t equal 120. You never know, that extra clothing you brought along may actually help another paddler who is cold and wet.

The water temps in Wisconsin are fully controlled by many factors of the weather. For the ‘seasonal’ paddler, the ideal time of the year to be on the water runs between May and September. Normally, smaller lakes and rivers will range between 50 and 80 degrees during this time of year. Lake Michigan is a bit lower (and changes daily) usually between 40 and mid-upper 60’s. A properly dressed and experienced paddler can extend this time. 

We understand life happens. If there is a need for a cancellation, the registered participant must notify us by email (, and we will confirm your cancellation by phone call.

  • For any reason Silent Wake, LLC needs to cancel a scheduled event, we will offer a full (100%) refund to our registered participants. We will also notify you of the next offered event.
  • If you are registered for a session and cancel 14 days prior to the event – a full refund (100%) will be made.
  • If cancellation is made 7 – 13 days before the registered session, a fifty (50%) refund will be provided to the participant.

No refunds will be provided to the participant if:

1) No notice of cancellation less than 7 days prior to session, or

2) Participant is a no-show at time of scheduled launch time,or

3) Fails to comply with safety policies and directives

For a great answer, may I suggest reading this?

Short answer, is YES! In order to participate in any of our sessions, a PFD will be properly worn at all times, on your chest. Even if you are a great swimmer, a PFD will increase your bodies ability to float, and designed to keep your head above the water. Keeping your head above the water allows one to breathe, and we all like to breathe, right?

We offer our services to enlighten those who wish to be smarter, safer, and more effective when kayaking. The concept of our company is the result of many factors: an increased number of individuals involved in paddle sports, a surge of “big box” stores who offer very affordable recreational kayaks, a limit of locations to seek education, and an increase of kayak related fatalities and incidences. Much like driving a car for the first time, one sought out driver’s education. Over time behind the wheel, one became more efficient and proficient.

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