Kayaking courses and Canoeing Lessons with Into The Blue
Give paddling a go on these kayaking and canoeing courses! Bobbing around in a canoe or a kayak can be as high-adrenaline or as relaxing as you like. The experiences we are offering are lessons in how to paddle like a pro, or a more relaxed affair that involves coursing along the gentle waters on more of a sightseeing trail.
Whichever type of paddle activity you pick, you're sure to have a fab time out on the water. And if you've never done anything like this before, fear not, a fully qualified British Canoe Union (BCU) instructor will be alongside you at all times, so you're sure to stay afloat! Read more...
• Learn kayaking on the canal/River Dee in Wales • Essential kayaking skills are taught on flat water • Second session paddling out on the moving waters • Spectators can watch from the river/canal bank
• Kayak or canoe outing on the Thames from Richmond • Head upstream to Eel Pie Island in Twickenham • Tour lasts around two and a half hours - ideal for beginners • Sessions led by qualified canoe instructor & guide
If, like us before we had our first paddle session, you haven't got a clue what the difference is between a kayak and a canoe, let us explain. Both are types of boat and both look very similar indeed, but to the trained eye there are subtle differences between the two vessels.
In layman's terms you sit down or kneel to paddle a canoe. That's to say your legs are bent at the knees as you either perch on a bench or a raised seat, or you are actually kneeling in the boat. In most cases the deck is open and you will be using a paddle with one blade. In contrast, kayakers have their legs fully extended inside the closed-deck and the paddle has two blades so you cut through the water with aplomb.
A gentle paddle or a more sporty kayaking session
Of course, in both types you can go as gnarly or as gentle as you like and even though we associate racing with kayaking. In fact, both canoes and kayaks have featured in the Olympic Games competing in high speed sprint events and the slalom, where riders skilfully negotiating gates positioned above swirling white waters. You won't be expected to do anything so high-performing as that on these courses, but you will learn a lot about about basic techniques during your lesson.
Before you get even close to the water's edge to launch, you will have an on-land briefing and safety session. And yes, the capsize procedure will be covered, but you won't be expected to perform any underwater rolls once out on the water - unless you actually fancy having a go at one! Once the instructor is satisfied everyone is confident and ready to go with all the right safety gear, it's time for the off.
Go kayaking and canoeing on the UK’s finest waters
We have a superb range of venues for these experiences. There's no sea kayaking, but you will explore some of the finest in-land waterways and lakes. For example, in Warwickshire it's actually a purpose-built boating centre with a set of navigable courses on the varied waters of the River Leam. It's all very family friendly and if your children aren't old enough to join in the course (14 years is the lower age limit) they can have fun hiring a Beetle car shaped pedalo!
Our most challenging kayaking days out are probably the ones that take place on well-known rivers in Wales, such as the River Dee in Llangollen and the River Wye just on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons. The flows can be pretty fast and swirling, hence why they attract experienced canoers all year round.
For beginners quieter stretches of water will be chosen. Tuition on these lessons is top-notch, with staff who live and breathe for paddling whatever the weather keen to get you synchronising your strokes in the water to glide smoothly over the lapping freshwater. There might even be time for a splash around with some games of waterborne tag.
And for the more leisurely kayaking types amongst us, we absolutely love the tours. There's something quite unique about being able to silently travel down the river. And, let's face it, at this slow pace you'll be able to have right old nosey at all the lovely houses backing onto the river's edge.
We think the Eel Pie Island and Hampton Court are a lovely way to cruise the Thames and if you're canoeing around Windsor, make sure you have a look to see if the Queen's in! To give you an idea of how scenic these kayaking lessons can be, have a watch of our video of canoeing around Hampton. Very nice isn’t it?