Useful Information


How do I get started?

You’ve taken the first step by visiting this website. Take a look through the getting started section to find out which aspect of the sport most appeals. The next step is to get out onto the water. If you want to do it safely you should look through the list of centres and course providers to find somewhere suitable. If you want to find a canoe club, visit for the latest list.

What’s the difference between a canoe and a kayak?

A canoe is a boat that you kneel or sit in and paddle with a single bladed paddle. In a kayak, you sit down and use a double bladed paddle. The confusion arises because all canoes and kayaks are often lumped together under the term ‘canoes’. Though all kayaks are canoes, not all canoes are kayaks.

Is paddling safe?

It’s as safe as you make it. As long as you wear the right equipment and get the right instruction, it’s a very low risk sport. Make sure you always wear a buoyancy aid and, if you’re on rough water, a helmet. Read more in the safety section (link to url on site)

What should I wear?

It depends on the weather. Although a pair of shorts and a t-shirt may be fine in summer, you’ll want something a bit warmer in winter. Cotton doesn’t give much warmth when it’s wet, so avoid jeans or cotton t-shirts; a thermal top or fleece is a far better idea. Also, makes sure you bring along an old pair of shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.

Is it expensive?

Like most sports, it’s as expensive as you make it. When you start, it’s easy to borrow all the equipment you need from a club or outdoor centre but as you get better, you’ll want more of your own kit. Although pricing up new kit at your local canoe shop might initially give you a shock, starter equipment’s a lot cheaper than the state of the art. You can also buy equipment second hand.

Do I need to join CANI?

You don’t need to, but there are a number of benefits such as third party insurance and various coaching and competition benefits.

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