Essential Paddle Grips Every River Floater Should Know

Whether you’re new to river sports or a born river explorer, there is much to be said about proper paddle grips. While gripping a river paddle may seem instinctive, improperly grasping a paddle with both hands holding onto the shaft is a primary reason for injuries sustained in the boat. Although, keep in mind that most rivers in Missouri are easy enough to float down without an expert river guide.

So if you’re paddling down the easy flow of the Elk River outside Noel, Missouri, or maneuvering the class I or II rapids in the Big Sugar Creek near Pineville, Missouri, paddle grip is an essential piece of knowledge that serves you and your fellow floaters well.

Paddle Grips

Regarding paddle grip, keeping hold of a paddle while rafting, canoeing, or kayaking a river ranked as a class I rapid or above is essential. However, it may not be as crucial while floating down Elk River because it’s rated lower than a class I rapid, making it an ideal family-friendly float. 

Therefore, knowing the two common paddle types can help you better prepare for when you must paddle. Whether you’re launching from the river edge or paddling to shore, there are different grip styles for both of these paddles:

  • Single-blade Paddle
  • Double-blade Paddle

Single-Blade Paddle

Canoes and rafts generally come outfitted with a single-blade paddle because there can be more than one paddler for these types of watercraft.

Single-blade paddles come with two different types of grips: asymmetrical and T-grip. The asymmetrical grip generally gets used in lake crafts, like canoes. However, most river vessels come with a T-grip design.

Both grip designs give a paddler the most significant leverage with the least resistance. Depending upon which side of the craft you are paddling on, you will always wrap your palm around the T-grip cross body.

For example, paddlers on a raft on the right side of the boat will grasp the T-grip with their left hand. While paddlers on the left side of the rivercraft hold the t-grip using their right hand.

In a canoe, it depends upon whether there is a solo paddler or a two-person paddle team. If there are two paddlers, the team must communicate well which side of the boat they should paddle on to direct the craft to shore or cross-river. 

For solo paddlers with single blades, it’s a matter of swapping hand positions to ensure the cross-body hand is always holding the paddle grip, depending upon which side of the canoe the blade is on. 

In other words, if the blade is in the water to the paddler’s left, the right-hand grasps the T-grip. If the paddle blade is in the water to the paddler’s right, the left hand will grab the top of the T-grip (as seen with the paddler above). 

The other hand will always hold on to the shaft. For canoes, that will depend upon where you’re seated, in the bow (front) or the stern (rear). It will be the strongest paddler sitting at the stern who instructs the person seated at the bow. That’s because the person in the stern will steer the boat.

However, paddling in a river raft is different. First, it depends upon which side of the craft you sit on. If you’re seated on the port (left) side of the raft, your left hand will hold onto the shaft of the paddle, while those sitting on the starboard (right) side of the vessel grasp the paddle shaft with the right hand. 

Double-Blade Paddle

On the other hand, kayakers use a double-blade paddle, which provides greater efficiency in traversing river currents and slightly improves a kayaker’s speed. For kayakers paddle lengths can range from approximately 79″ to 81″. 

The blades are typically feathered and can rotate using a center ferrule, meaning the blades on a kayak paddle can rotate in opposing directions. That gives kayakers an advantage in wind conditions and the ability to paddle upstream.

The grip on a double-blade paddle is pretty straightforward: you wrap both hands around the shaft between the blades. Keeping your hands slightly wider than shoulder length apart and bent at 90 degrees at the elbow is the most comfortable position in a kayak.

Book A Stay Along Elk River in Missouri

Looking for an ideal location along the Elk River? Contact Lazy Days in Noel, MO, the premier rental site for river float trips. They offer prime Elk River RVing, tent campsites, and recently upgraded cabin rentals. So book your stay today at Lazy Days Resort and Campground!

Getting to Lazy Days Campground is a one-minute drive southwest of Interstate 49. Take exit 5 at mile marker 6. The resort location sits between the charming towns of Noel and Pineville, Missouri.

Read what past guests had to say about Lazy Days Resort.

Choosing A River Float Craft for You and Your Fellow Floaters

Whether you’re a novice river rafter or an expert river kayaker, knowing which river float craft is suitable can be a big decision for yourself and your fellow floaters. That’s where this helpful tool can help you make the best selection when booking your next Elk River or Big Sugar float trip.

You’ll discover the specific differences between three float vessel options commonly available to choose from when you book your stay at a Noel, MO, campground on Elk River.

  • River raft
  • Individual kayak
  • Tandem kayak
  • Multi-person canoe

Elk River and Big Sugar Creek

There are some distinct differences between Elk River and Big Sugar Creek.

The Elk River is an ideal family-friendly river with few rapids and fewer river obstacles. Presently running at a depth of 4.28 feet, making its flow rate suitable and manageable for river floaters seeking to cool off. On the other hand, the Big Sugar Creek categorizes below a class I rapid, and at certain times of the year, it ranks as a class II.

The Big Sugar is running at a depth between 3.90 and 5.88 feet. Although considered low in some areas, the chances of a watercraft dragging the river bottom or having to portage are low.

River Raft

There are two standard river rafts for any Elk River float trip. There is a 12-13 foot raft that seats six people comfortably. You can also select a 14-15 foot raft for 8-people. Both crafts are well suited for a gentle float down Elk River with little paddling and negotiating required. 

Individual Kayak

If you are one for individual sports, a personal kayak is ideal for you or anyone paddling alongside you down the Elk River or the Big Sugar Creek. Bound to deliver a unique kayaking experience to test your reflexes and challenge you with a good cardio workout.

Tandem Kayak

Two-person kayaks, also known as tandem kayaks, are an excellent choice for those who play well on a team. You’ll work together to paddle to increase or slow your speed as a team. The perfect watercraft for any couples weekend in a Noel, Missouri, campground.

Tandem kayaks perform well on Elk River and Big Sugar Creek this time of year.

Multi-Person Canoe

Most canoes can be paddled down river easily by one or two people. But most canoes can hold up to three people comfortably. These river vessels are superior in lightweight aluminum construction that shine in paddle control down Elk River or the Big Sugar Creek.

Book Your Elk River RVing Campsite

If you’re ready for a relaxing weekend stay, Lazy Days Resort and Campground is a one-minute drive southwest of Interstate 49. Take exit 5 at mile marker 6. The resort is conveniently nestled between the towns of Noel and Pineville, Missouri.

Lazy Days in Noel, MO, is the premier rental for river float trips. Call Lazy Days to book your Elk River RVing site now

Discover what other guests had to say about Lazy Days Resort.

Four Snack Ideas for Float Trips Down Missouri’s Elk River

There’s never a dull moment spent on a 7.5-mile float trip down Elk River toward Pineville, Missouri. Locals and visitors enjoy this seasonal activity of time spent with family and friends gently floating down the river.

After all, you can burn up to 350 calories an hour depending on your body weight and the river’s class rating or difficulty. Alright, so you might not burn 350 calories floating down Elk River.

That raises a good point: Elk River is rated below a class-I river, meaning it has few rapids and fewer river obstacles to negotiate. That makes it an ideal family-friendly float river.

It also helps to understand that Elk River’s average depth measures 3.3 feet, which places it into a low flow rate category that is calm and manageable for novice river-goers seeking to stay cool this summer. 

Although, no float trip is complete without a dry sack to tow along down the river. But what is so special about the dry pack? Aside from keeping everything dry, it’s an excellent way to tote along four snacks with a purpose.

  1. Sweet and Sour
  2. Protein Boosters
  3. Drinks for Hydration
  4. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable

All these snack ideas provide sustainable energy and hydration to keep your energy up, which helps you enjoy every minute on the river.

Sweet and Sour Snacks

There is no better combination for managing your electrolytes when it comes to sweet and sour snacks. The heat index in southwest Missouri can be particularly brutal in July, so keeping your electrolytes stable with a balanced blend of sugars and salts will help keep you having fun and staying calm and more relaxed while in the sun.

A fantastic sweet and sour snack that is pre-packaged and re-sealable is trail mix, a must-have on Elk River. Trail mixes are available premade or ho; here’s an easy recipe we found online

To keep it simple, you can grab some Ziploc snack bags and toss in your favorite salted nut or seed, throw in a preferred dried fruit, like raisins, a few M&M’s, and BAM; you’ve got a personalized trail mix for your float trip.

Protein Snack Boosts

Protein is an excellent choice for float trips. It can help sustain your energy levels all day long. For example, one cup of nuts has 27 grams of protein, which equals 813 calories.

If you’re watching your calorie intake, you can always reach for a Quest White Chocolate Raspberry, which contains 190 calories and only 1 gram of sugar.

Hydrating Snacks

Drinking river water is not advisable, so you should be packing plenty of hydrating snacks. It may sound strange to think of water as a snack, but water intake speeds up your metabolism, making you feel full.

It plays a significant role in staying well-hydrated while outdoors. After all, your body will sweat more than three liters of water an hour just sitting in the sun. That works out to six pounds of water weight loss in a single hour.

While you might not think of hydration as a snack, it’s essential to being out in the sun all day. A good rule of thumb is having 64 ounces of water for every person in a floating device. In addition, some manufacturers make water bladders that hold up to 100 fluid ounces of water.

Pack Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Snacks

Other excellent snack choices are fresh fruits and vegetables, like apples, pears, oranges, or carrots. All these choices can play a part in replenishing your electrolytes too.

Dehydrated fruits are also an excellent option since these snacks are less like to bruise or get mashed while on the river.

Top Snack Picks 

For us at Lazy Days Resort & Campground, our top picks for a well-packed dry sack for a float down Elk River is a snack-size bag of shelled pistachios, a Cliff bar, chili cover dried mangos, 32 ounces of bottled water, and one packet of strawberry kiwi flavored Propel.

Booking Your Elk River Float

If you’re planning a float trip down Elk River, we at Lazy Days Resort & Campground would love to have you stay with us. We offer all our guests access to set off on an Elk River float trip right from our property. 

We have some of the valley’s premier Elk River RVing sites at the Lazy Days Resort. We are only a one-minute drive southwest of Interstate 49. Take exit 5 at mile marker 6. The resort location is between Noel and Pineville, Missouri.

Book your stay today and your float trip too. Here’s what some of our recent guests had to say about their stays at Lazy Days Resort & Campground!

Affordable Elk River Float Trips!

Summer is fast approaching, and Elk River floating season is already in full swing. If you find your mind turning to thoughts of the river as the days get longer and warmer but are concerned about the cost of a trip, we’re the perfect solution.

Affordable Pineville MO River Floats

At Lazy Days Campground, we offer the most affordable Elk River you’ll find anywhere in Pineville or Noel, Missouri. Our rates start at only $30 for a one-person kayak and only get more affordable as you add more people to your float trip! Plus, we offer floating on both Elk River and Big Sugar Creek!

Getting to Lazy Days Campground

One of the best things about a float trip at Lazy Days Campground is how easy it is to get here. We’re the closest outfitter on Elk River to I-49. In fact, it only takes one minute to drive from the exit off I-49 to our campground. We’re just far enough to get away from the highway noise but not far enough away to make us impractical to get to.

We’re also just an easy 15-minute drive from Bentonville, Arkansas. So, for those of you in NWA, we’re an easy and affordable day trip! Bring the whole family!

Kayaks, Canoes, Rafts & More

We provide everything you need for your day on Elk River. To start with, you can choose a:

  • One-person kayak
  • Two-person kayak
  • Two-person canoe
  • Three-person canoe
  • Six-person raft
  • Eight-person raft

Beyond that, we provide everything else you will need, including life vests and paddles. Transportation back to Lazy Days Campground is also included!

Note: Please be aware that personal floating equipment is not allowed on Lazy Days Campground property.

Reserve Your Elk River Float Today!

We sincerely hope that you will join us for a float on the beautiful Elk River soon! Reserve your Lazy Days Campground float today!

5 Fun Things To Do While In Noel, Missouri

If you’ve never been to the Ozark Mountains, you’re probably wondering what all there is to see and do in the area. There is one place that needs to be at the top of your must-see just for all the fun and excitement around the town of Noel, Missouri.

Aside from the town’s name, Noel, you might be thinking of “visions of sugar plum fairies dancing” through your head. But, in truth, Noel nestles along the valley floor in the heart of the Elk River watershed. The basin covers over 1,032 square miles, and with that much room to move, there are plenty of places to stay, sites to see, and memories to be made.

Here are our five top spots to see for fun in Noel.

1. Lazy Days Campground

If you’re looking for a perfect place to make memories with family and friends, Lazy Days Campground is the ideal spot. They offer all the amenities and conveniences for your reservation.

Whether car camping, staying in your RV or needing a cabin, Lazy Days are the perfect getaway for you, your family, and friends. We have conveniently located a half-mile southwest of I-49 on Missouri State Highway H., less than 10 minutes away from the champing town of Noel, Missouri.

They have 12 cabins, one of which is a treehouse-style cabin that sleeps 12. They offer full-service hookups for your RVers too. And if you’re looking to rough it in a tent, they provide numerous tent sites right along Elk River for a peaceful night’s sleep. To check out their availability, contact them today.

2. River Rafting and Float Trips

When planning your visit to Noel, Missouri, there is one summer activity people throughout Missouri and visitors from across the country come to do: river rafting and float trips. 

That’s what makes staying at Lazy Days Resort & Campground another convenient option. Elk River flows past Lazy Days Resort, giving guests access to one of Noel’s most popular tourist attractions. You can even schedule to launch your rafting trip, river float, or boat tours right onsite at Lazy Days.
They complete the scheduling and supply the raft, kayak, or canoe with a single paddle or a double-bladed paddle for you and your guests. If you’re looking for a change of scene, you can also book a float trip down another body of water, Big Sugar Creek. They will drop you and your fellow floaters off and pick you all up at the end of your watersports day trip.

3. Local Shopping in Noel, Missouri

If floating down the river isn’t your thing, or you’re all water-logged out, head to The Antique Flea in Noel, Missouri. The treasures there abound, and you can also stop in for a bite at the attached cafe.

This tiny gem of an antique store is family-owned and operated and reportedly was still selling sweet tea for only $0.50 with free refills until 2014. It is a beloved town favorite by Noel locals. If that isn’t enough, go back on another day to peruse all the local businesses, restaurants, and shops in Noel.

4. Tall Pine Distillery

Another popular local restaurant with nonstop local fare is the Tall Pine Distillery. You can stop in to taste some of the finest Ozark whiskey, brandy, and moonshine the Distillery has to offer.

As a “grain to glass” distillery, you won’t be disappointed having tasted their unique signature flavors and any seasonal tastes. So whether you’re looking for a perfectly aged bourbon, a taste of banana foster, or prefer the fruit notes of huckleberry, Tall Pine Distillery will deliver a remarkable finish to your time visiting the Noel area.

5. Bluff Dwellers Cave

For you history buffs out there, Bluff Dwellers Cave is just a short 13-minute drive from Lazy Days Resort. But, even if you’re a novice rock hound, these caves are a remarkable sight.

The family-operated tours take visitors through a maze of caverns and caves. That shines a light on the darkness inside Mother Nature’s unique ability to carve out unique cave formations, from a 75-foot rimstone dam to a 10-ton balanced rock.

They just started their Spring and Summer hours: opening from 10:00 A. M. to 6:00 P. M. each day. Those times will continue through the end of October.

Planning A Trip to Noel, Missouri

If you are just getting started on planning your trip to Noel, Missouri, keep in mind that this is no trip to Yellowstone National Park. This place is unique, not because of some world-famous white water rafting trip like you find in the Grand Canyon National Park, but because of the easy, laid-back days. 


You get the kind of days when you book a stay at the Lazy Days Resort and Campground. Then, you get all the free time to float down Elk River with a single-blade paddle in any boat you like.

5 Best Things to Do in Pineville, Missouri

Are you looking for a great weekend getaway to the beautiful Ozarks of Southwest, Missouri? Pineville has it all – beautiful hills, creeks, and mountains, with a friendly and laidback atmosphere. It’s also close enough to I-49 and northwest Arkansas to make for a convenient day or weekend trip!

1. Tall Pines Distillery in Pineville MO

Did you know Pineville, MO has its own moonshine distillery? It’s true! Tall Pines Distillery is one of the coolest places to visit on a trip to Pineville. According to the Tall Pines website, “Tall Pines Distillery MO offers unique whiskey, brandy, and moonshine that you will not find anywhere else! We offer our signature flavors year-round, as well as seasonal flavors and location-exclusive flavors.”

2. Big Sugar Creek State Park

Big Sugar Creek State Park, located just outside Pineville, Missouri, is one of Missouri’s most beautiful and accessible state parks. Just outside of Pineville city limits, the park has beautiful Ozark trails which are free for public access. The park preserves the Ozark landscape as it would have been historically, and you will find many plants that are not as commonly seen these days.

3. McDonald County Museum in Pineville MO

Learn the history of Pineville, Missouri in a hands-on way at the McDonald County Museum. Visitors to the museum report that they are impressed with the attention to detail in the exhibits.

4. Camping!

Camping is a popular activity in the Pineville, Missouri area. Our campground, Lazy Days, is located on the beautiful Elk River, just outside Pineville city limits. We offer RV sites with full electric, the best cabin stay in the county, and spacious tent camping areas down by the river! 

Reserve your stay today!

5. Float Elk River!

Elk River is one of the best rivers in the Ozarks to float. The scenery is unmatched, and the numerous long bends and sand bars make the floating a trip to remember. Couple that with excellent fishing, and you’ve got a day on the water that just can’t be beaten. 

Lazy Days Campground offers floats and everything you need to enjoy Elk River! Plus we’re just outside of Pineville, Missouri!

Enjoy Your Trip to Pineville

We hope you enjoy your trip to Pineville! Southwest, Missouri, and the Ozarks are an environment that is unmatched. And we hold a special place in our heart for Elk River in particular. We think you will too!

Lazy Days is Your Perfect Spring Camping Spot!

We’re now fully into springtime and the weather is beautiful! As many of us turn our minds toward outdoor getaways, Lazy Days is the perfect spot for your spring camping trip!

Top Reasons to Camp at Lazy Days!

There are many great reasons we think you’ll enjoy camping at Lazy Days, but here are some of the most important ones…

1. Lazy Days is Close to Northwest Arkansas

Lazy Days is located just 14 minutes from Bentonville, Arkansas, making us the perfect place for a weekend camping trip to Elk River, or an excellent day trip! Our campground is just a quarter of a mile from I-49, so getting here conveniently is never a problem!

2. Lazy Days is Right Next to Pineville, MO

Adding to our ease of accessibility, Lazy Days is located just a few feet from Pineville, Missouri city limits. So, enjoying the nightlife in town, or going to the grocery store, is an easy trip from Lazy Days!

3. Lazy Days Has Two Swim Beaches for Campers!

Lazy Days has two swim beaches for our campers! These areas are the perfect way to access Elk River and enjoy the day in the water!

More About Camping at Lazy Days

Lazy Days has plenty of camping space down by the river! Here are some things you should know before reserving a campsite here:

  • Each campsite has access to a fire ring.
  • There are picnic tables, public bathrooms, and showers available.
  • There is a minimum group size of four per campsite
  • You must reserve a float trip to camp at Lazy Days

We hope to see you soon! Reserve your spring campsite today!

Lazy Days Campground is Only 14 Minutes from Bentonville, Arkansas!

Located just a quarter of a mile off of I-49, Lazy Day Campground offers the easiest access you will find to Elk River. In fact, we’re only a brief, 14-minute drive away from Bentonville, Arkansas. We’re also just a few feet from Pineville, Missouri!

Lowest Price Floats on Elk River

If you’re looking for affordable full-service access to Elk River, we have you covered! We offer floats on Elk River, Big Sugar Creek, and Little Sugar Creek! And beyond that, we supply you with EVERYTHING you will need for your day on the water!

Our Prices

Our floats start at $30 a day for one person and a kayak, and the average price per person only gets better from there!

Floating Options

We have what you need to enjoy Elk river! Choose from…

  • Kayaks
  • Two-person kayaks
  • Rafts
  • Two-person canoes
  • Three-person canoes

*All paddles and vests are included!

Reserve a float now!

Pineville | Elk River Stay & Float

At Lazy Days Campground, we also have many stays from which to choose. Whether you want a beautiful, rustic, or family-sized cabin or prefer to pitch a tent down by the river, we have something for you! Additionally, we also offer RV sites with full hookups! But as we move into the warmer days of spring, be sure to book your stay and float early before we’re all booked up for the season!

Find your Pineville, Missouri stay!

Are You Ready for Spring Floating Season on Elk River?

Lazy Days Campground is Your Gateway to Elk River

Lazy Days is situated just off Highway H and about a half-mile from I-49, allowing easy access to Elk River. We’re located just between the river towns of Noel and Pineville, Missouri. With two beaches and views of Elk River from the whole campground, Lazy Days provides unmatched access to the river! We offer multiple float trips and all the gear you need for your day on the water.

Lazy Days Float Trips

Elk River 7.5 mile (offered every day)

Six person raft $150

8person raft $200

Canoe $50/two people  $70/three people

Kayak $30/one person

Kayak $60/two person

Big Sugar Creek 6 mile (only offered on weekdays)

No rafts

Canoes $50/two people $70/three people

Kayak $30/one person

Kayak $60/two person

Little Sugar 3 mile (only offered on weekdays)

No rafts

Canoes $50/two people $70/three people

Kayak $30/one person

Kayak $60/two person

Fishing on Elk River

Elk River runs through McDonald County, Missouri before entering Oklahoma and Grand Lake. If you want to fish Elk River from one of Lazy Days’ floats, you will need a Missouri fishing permit.

What Kinds of Fish Can I Catch on Elk River?

Elk River is a popular smallmouth bass stream. But take heed that you only keep smallmouth 15 inches in length or greater, as that is the regulation set by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Elk River is host to a wide variety of fish species, and no matter what type of fishing you enjoy, the river has something to offer you. The following fishes are all common to Elk River, though some are more common in certain stretches of the river than others:

  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Rock Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • White Striped Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Drum

Reserve Your Elk River Float Today!

We hope to see you on the river soon! You can book your float here. It’s best to book early before your preferred dates fill up.

Our Kayaks Are Ready for Spring Floating and Brightening Up Winter Too!

It may be winter now, but we’re busy prepping for the longer warm days of spring and enjoyable floats on Elk River at Lazy Days. And, as an added benefit, our bright orange kayaks make it a little sunnier during these cold months. It won’t be long now before they’re put to good use floating our guests down Elk River, Big Sugar Creek, and Little Sugar Creek. We hope you’ll join us!

Float Elk River at Lazy Days Campground!

This is your invitation to a convenient, relaxing, and affordable float in Noel, MO. We are located just off I-49… far enough to be away from the noise of the highway, but close enough to make us ideal for a day trip. At Lazy Days Campground, we offer floats of varying distances on Elk River, Big Sugar Creek, and Little Sugar Creek.

We Take Care Of Everything

All you need to do to enjoy a day on the river is reserve a float (2022 rates listed below) and drive yourself to Lazy Days Campground. We take care of the rest. Once you’re here, we’ll outfit you with all the equipment you need: life jackets, paddles, canoes, rafts, kayaks. Simply choose which type of boat you would like to use when you reserve your float trip. 

Lazy Days 2022 Float Trip Rates

Elk River 7.5 miles offered every day

Six person raft $150
Eight person raft $200
Canoe $50/two people  $70/three people
Kayak $30/one person
Kayak $60/two person

Big Sugar 6 mile only offered on weekdays

No rafts
Canoes $50/two people $70/three people
Kayak $30/one person
Kayak $60/two person

Little Sugar 3 miles offered on weekdays

No rafts
Canoes $50/two people $70/three people
Kayak $30/one person
Kayak $60/two person

Reserve Your Spring or Summer Float Trip Now

Reserving a float trip at Lazy Days has never been easier. You can easily choose your float and book it with our new website. It’s also just as easy to make it a weekend by reserving one of our beautiful cabins or campsites. We hope to see you soon!

Reserve Your Elk River Float Trip Now!