If lightning hits water, it apparently tends to spread across the surface, reaching out over a wide area. When lightning hits a tree, it tends to go straight to the ground, through roots, or nearby objects. We had a local swimmer killed by lightning last year when lightning hit the water about 10 miles in front of a storm system.
So, my preference is to be off the water and if lightning happens to hit right where I'm standing, it was just my day to go. If I stay on the water, lightning might hit hundreds of feet away and still reach over to where I am as it travels over the surface looking for that path of least resistance.
I've never heard of a local paddlers getting hit by any type of lightning, but I don't want to be the first.
Every now and then you get a pop up thunderstorm and there just isn't a good spot to toake out and at that point you just have to look around and see what option makes the most sense to you, but it's not a good feeling when you can't get out a full "One-Mississippi" before the thunder sounds.
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