I’m new to kayaking, how do I get started?

Over the summer we ran four beginners courses each for six people, these have now finished and we won’t be running anymore courses until next spring. Dates will go on the website in the spring as soon as we have them, just keep checking back to see if we’ve posted them.

Meantime, if you’re keen to join us paddling and are a complete beginner then it’s best to do a course first to give you the skills to paddle entry-level rivers with us, this is especially important as we head in the autumn/winter season when the rivers are higher and the weather more challenging. Look for providers of the “Start”, “Discover” and “Explore” awards. Check out the gopadding website to find which is the most appropriate course for you https://gopaddling.info/category/paddling-awards/ There are many providers who run courses over weekends that will give you the skills you need to enjoy paddling with us

If you are over 50 then you might like to look at All Aboard Watersports which is also at the Baltic Wharf, next to where our canoe store is. They run sessions for over 50s (don’t worry, many of us in the club are over 50!) that are very reasonably priced at £10 a session. Look here: https://www.allaboardwatersports.co.uk/book-with-us/courses/course/50-kayaking-come-on-board/

If you are interested in white water paddling, then check out the Cardiff International White Water Centre’s courses here https://www.ciww.com/courses/adult-zero-to-hero/ This is a fantastic resource and a good intro to white water training, and very accessible from Bristol.

We do run pool sessions during from Sept to March at Bristol South pool where we do some informal coaching and provide an opportunity to practice skills learned on courses and on rivers. It’s better to learn the skills to paddle first then get some practice in at the pool to hone those skills. Everyone of course wants to learn to roll a kayak, but as one of our longest standing members says, “better to learn how not to need to roll a kayak so you don’t have to!”

Nick