Time to get paddling…
That may sound like a marketing ploy, but if you’re new to canoeing or kayaking, this is the best possible week to put paddle to water, with hundreds of taster session happening at clubs across the country. These offer cheap (prices start from £2) ways to – err – test the waters, and are suitable for everyone from kids to grandparents. Find your nearest one here.
2. Anyone can do it
Few outdoor sports are quite as accessible as paddling. You don’t need to be overly fit, sporty or coordinated, all you need is a positive attitude and not be afraid to get a little bit wet. Unlike sports like climbing or skiing you don’t need any intense lessons to find your feet (though we do recommend the aforementioned starter sessions to help hone your paddling skills).
3. Progress is quick
Once you’re on the water, progress is quick and it doesn’t take long to get a feel for different strokes and steering techniques. You don’t need any specialist equipment: you can rock up to gentler paddling spots, hire a canoe or kayak and navigate yourself.
4. It can take you anywhere
There’s so many different disciplines and sub categories in this sport – once you’ve got a taste for the water you can look at the many different options out there.Thrill-seekers can up the ante by progressing to sea kayaking or white water rafting, while adventurers can opt for multi-day open canoe trips and the competitive can try sprint racing.
5. There’s nothing else like it
Paddling – whether it be on sea, lake or river – gives a unique perspective. You’re as close to the water as you can be without actually being in it,. You see the river from a different angle, steering up close to see the wildlife that live off the bank. You can reach places you couldn’t get to by foot or car; hidden beaches, islets and bays. And you can imagine, whether it be for an hour or five day epic trip, that you’re far from civilisation, even if there’s a city around the next bend.