Kayaking, Canoeing with Confidence in the UK
Kayaking, canoeing and other watersports are much more fun when your gear is kept dry and safe. The stunning Devon coastline offers kayaking enthusiasts a huge amount of inspiration. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned vet of tidal kayaking, Devon offers a spectacular and halcyon environment to develop your paddle power, and kayaking the Jurassic Coastline is an experience not to be missed.
These days it’s easy to learn, improve and build on your skills and confidence in kayaking. Some basic rules: always buddy-up, keep your valuables dry with UltraDry, and always check the weather and elements for the day before you go.
Recreational kayaking, canoeing, fishing, caving, having fun at the beach or on the lake with friends – all leads the user on to more addictive or dangerous types of kayaking; instinctively, you will want to propel yourself from new kid on the block to kayak war horse. That desire will lead you to something like Sea Kayaking, which can be very tame, or as tricky as an easy whitewater river.
How do you gain more paddle power and get the confidence to go from to novice kayaker savvy whitewater conquerer or sea kayaker? If you don’t have advanced kayaking family members or friends to help improve your skills, you can find a range or courses to teach you more advanced paddling skills. If you are looking to gain more paddle power, a good course will also give you the essential skills needed to plan around tides, currents, winds and waves. Kayak courses usually offer these levels: introduction, improver course, intermediate course, advanced course, and kayak weather conditions course. These are sure to boost your kayaking courage should you choose this route.
For complete beginners wanting to learn sea kayaking an introduction to sea kayaking course teaches you all the basics whilst comfortably upping your kayak confidence. Before you know it, you’ll advance from insecure wobbler to intrepid warrior. Or for the more experienced kayaker, there are more intermediate courses to expand your current skills & experience.
Kayaking, canoeing courses offer some great positives. You’ll get qualified & experienced instructors, small group sizes, usually a stunning location & all kit and kayaks provided as part of the course. They normally cater to a range of different skill levels and are suitable for all ages and experience. Certain courses (you’ll have to ask) will give you the option to complete a BCU qualification too.
The British Canoe Union
The BCU is the governing body of paddle sports in the UK. The BCU was set up in 1936 to send a canoe team to the Berlin Olympics where Canoeing was an official Olympic sport for the first time (Kayaking had not yet caught on back then!). Now the BCU is the umbrella body for all forms of canoeing and kayaking in the UK. They offer 11 canoeing and kayaking disciplines (including Wildwater, Freestyle, Sea Touring, Whitewater Rafting and Canoe Lifeguards) which are managed by separate bodies for each of the home nations (England, N. Ireland, Scotland & Wales). We found their respective websites to be very helpful; all their activities include info on membership, clubs, disciplines, coaching, safety and child protection.
All abilities are awarded. Once the basics are achieved in either coaching or personal paddling the awards then become discipline-specific, e.g. Inland Kayak or Sea Kayak….The courses are fairly intense, though; they follow a structured range of skills & theory. Each award is a pre-requisite for entry to the next level (although it’s usually okay to miss stages out if you have the required experience already).
You can also boost your kayak confidence through spectator events like Kayak Sprint games (an online search will bring up local sprint events). If you are unsure about which kayaking route to paddle down contact us, we are happy to help.
The UltraDry Team.