quite fancy a bash at this, just at a mess about level as something else to occupy my time. Will phone the local club/ lake tomorrow to find out more. In the mean time, who else here does it? Cost? Can you just turn up on local canals and bimble about for the day etc?
Talk to me about canoeing/ kayaking...
And much like mountain biking, it can be cheap or silly expensive. Experience says that as soon as you want more than a potter on the flat, it gets costly(ish). And like MTB, fashion is everything, and you can get a few year old boat that is not the latest colour, or hull design for pretty reasonable and they hold their value.
Most definitely the best investment is in some good coaching. Find a good local club and join.
Where are you based Mic? I've had some great weekends paddling on the Wye thanks to the lovely people at Monmouth Canoe.
North wales is nice, The dee makes for a nice paddle. I've been with ProAdventure in Llangollen before and enjoyed it.
Capt, based at Bromsgrove, where M42 and M5 join. River Severn is the closest natural water.. plus the local canals/ Reservoirs at upton warren/ Barnt Green.
Cheers for the link Matt, much appriecated.
I had a couple of lessons with these guys.
I think it was £3 a lesson plus another £3 to hire all the kit up to a maximum of three lessons.
After that I think it was about £25 a year membership plus the £3 kit hire until you buy your own boat, paddle, lifejacket etc.
They meet at the School in Bewdley and paddle on the Severn just downstream of Bewdley bridge in the summer and at Kidderminster swimming pool in the winter.
I couldn't commit to going regularly as I work shifts and they meet on a Friday evening which makes it awkward if I'm going away for a weekend, so I gave up.
When the shifts alter again at work, which may still be a few months away, I'll probably give it another go.
Once again, the Scots show the way as access to waterways in England is even more restrictive than to land. We have two sit-on-tops which are great fun and very flexible. Be prepared for sneering comments from the traditionalists tho.
can be expensive, good fun and Whitewater Kayaking is a great accompaniment to biking. If its too wet to ride then the rivers are running.
Kayaking is great - boating was my main sport and job for some 15 years. Over the last few years, with the scarcity of rain I’ve noticed a lot of river boaters moving move into biking as their main activity, so you're bucking a trend. Anyone else notice that?
UKRGB is good, can be a bit up its own ar$e at times, but the advice is sound. I'd second the advice about getting down to a club or get some coaching. Don't bother with the BCU, and nobody will check your license if you want to have a bumble on a quiet stretch of canal.
Edit: I live near the Waesley Hills and have a spare boat, if you fancy a session at some point, give me a shout.
Kayaking is a brilliant sport. It has taken me to some of the most amazing places in the world and given me the most incredible experiences, both on and off the water. I've also met some really true friends for life through kayaking.
As others have said it compliments mountain biking very well, I often go away with boats and bikes and if the weather doesn't suit one sport it generally does the other.
The very, very best advice you will get is to get yourself down to your local club. They will be super pleased to help you get started and will have kit you can use until you decide what's best for you. The kit can be very discipline specific and you don't know which way you'll want to go until you've tried them (whether it's touring, white water, polo, sea, surf, freestyle, marathon, open, C1, tandem, the list goes on).
Please, please don't just go out, get some kit and try it unsupervised. The water can be a very dangerous place, and you really can't spot the hazards unless you know what they are.
UKRGB (www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/forum) can be helpful, kind of in the same way people on here will be helpful if someone posted 'I'm new to mountain biking, give me some advice', so don't rely on everything you're told on there.
You could do a lot worse than getting yourself to Plas Y Brenin http://www.pyb.co.uk or Plas Menai http://www.plasmenai.co.uk and get on a weekend course, it really is money well spent getting yourself set off in the right direction. With canoeing/kayaking you really will get more out of the sport if you have the right basic skills, and you learn the right techniques from the start.
I'd also say it's pretty cheap too compared to Mountain biking. You could walk into a kayak shop and get all the latest, very top of the line kit, boat and paddles for less than two grand, you certainly couldn't do that in MTB. Not that you have to spend that much, it really can be pretty cheap to get into.
Most of all enjoy! You won't look back.
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