It can be a daunting getting started in a new hobby, but trying paddling is as easy as 1,2,3. Want to get into paddling (and stay into it)? We’ve made a quick list of things to consider before you get started…
GET into paddling…
- Choose the craft that’s right for you – Sounds obvious, but there are actually several crafts available, so play the field a little. Try a variety of crafts… just maybe not all at the same time!
- Nail the basics – It’s always important to get the basics right. Practice paddling forwards, backwards, stopping and getting in and out. Youtube, web forums, social paddle groups, clubs and centres are your friends. Remember, the Paddle Awards cover all the basics when you’re starting out.
- Don’t be the one with all the gear and no idea – You don’t need to spend a fortune on kit when you get going. As you progress, you’ll want to spend more money on kit that’s going to last. But when you get started, you can either hire the kit or buy the basics. Don’t scrimp on safety though, a good buoyancy aid is quite literally a life saver.
- How do YOU learn? People learn in different ways. If you know how YOU learn, it can make progression easier. If you like to be ‘taught,’ take a look at your local club or centre to see what sessions they offer. Learn through giving it a go yourself? Look into paddle trails for inspiration. Use Youtube to nail those basics before you get going, or go all out and book an adventure holiday.
STAY into paddling…
- Make it a social affair – Paddling is SO much more fun when you ask friends or family to join the adventure. Rope in as many people as you can and get social! The more fun you have, the more likely you’ll want to get back on the water.
- Don’t walk before you can run, or run rapids before you can roll… you can put yourself off if you push too hard in the beginning. Progression is natural, and everyone has to start somewhere. If you are desperate to get into the extreme side of paddling, learn your craft and work your way up to it.
- Explore and be creative – We live on an island, meaning there is no shortage of water to explore. Whether that’s the sea, lakes, canals or rivers, we really are spoilt for choice. Make use of all the choices you have… variety is the spice of life!
Top tip: Close your eyes and picture yourself when you first thought ‘I want to get into paddling.’ What were you paddling? Where were you paddling? That should give you an idea of what sort of paddling you want to do.
This article was first published on the Go Paddling. Read more about getting into paddling on the Go Paddling website here.