Tips and Tricks to Cape Codders Seeking Kayaking Adventures This Summer

BUZZARDS BAY – Samantha Ladd, co-founder of Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures, has explored all over the world by paddle and has tips and tricks for Cape Codders looking to adventure this summer.

At Osprey, Ladd teaches coastal kayaking, surf kayaking, stand-up-paddleboarding, and coordinates custom tours.

She has spent many years paddling the waters of Buzzards Bay and says the best thing about them is that it’s, “as relaxing or as wild as you’d like to experience.”

“Whether it’s introducing 10-year-old kids to their first experience, to taking more advanced folks looking to surf a sea kayak or unlock rock gardens along the coast, to just floating down the river and checking out ospreys, we’re able to have all of those experiences here.”

According to Ladd, the number one error that new paddlers make is buying a boat without doing any research beforehand.

She says to choose a boat that fits the type of paddling you plan to do and is the right size for you, a local outfitter can help you with this.

Next, Ladd recommends starting with the basics: learn the foundations of how to move your boat, and then practice in paddling in calm places.

As you get comfortable, progress to waters with wind, waves, and currents and see how your boat moves in the tougher conditions.

“Like anything else, there’s a lot to learn, and then you need to practice those things in order to remember them in an unconscious way,” said Ladd.

Finally she recommends you build a network of experienced local paddlers.

According Ladd, not only will you make new friends to go paddling with, but these experienced paddlers can give you a sense for what a waterway is really like, the location of rocks and mud flats, the best places and times of day to put in, and how wind and tides influence currents.

After nearly two decades of paddling around the Bay’s waterways, Ladd has a vast knowledge of where to go if you’re looking for an adventure and has recommendations based on the type of experience you want.

For younger inexperienced local paddlers, she recommends Apponagansett Bay in Padanaram.

“The variety around Padanaram gives you a little more to do than just go paddling, when you’re trying to make a day’s adventure or keep the kids entertained,” Ladd continued.

For anyone looking to catch fish while kayaking, Ladd recommends the Wareham River for saltwater fishing, and Snipatuit Pond or Big Sandy Pond for fresh water fish.

If you want to spot birds and wildlife, a trip down the Slocums River and up into the Little River is the ideal place to do so according to Ladd.

Stand-up paddleboarding offers a different perspective than a seated kayak and there are lots of calm, protected waterways around Buzzards Bay that make for great places to give it a try, says Ladd.

Onset Bay in Wareham and Little Bay in Bourne, or a launch from West Falmouth Harbor Landing make great spots for anyone looking to paddleboard.

For experienced paddlers looking for a challenge, Ladd says Red Brook Harbor in Cape Cod bay will provides this to you.

If you’ve explored every place Ladd has suggested and are still looking for more, Ladd says “ask people that paddle!”

You can also check out the guide to 5 paddling routes around the Bay at

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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