Martin Chambers

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Ten tips to get you out paddling more often

published: January 4th, 2015


After the first few joyful times it is easy for the distractions of the day to day to interrupt your best intentions. Too many kayaks remain parked, semi abandoned in the shed or fallen in the backyard. Lonely, thinking they are unloved, they reach out to spiders and insects. They gather fallen leaves about themselves. It is a futile attempt to rediscover the one great love, you, and that first time on the water. Don’t let your kayak get depressed. Use it.  

1: Go to new places. Buy a guide book, or go to one of the many websites. Or simply find somewhere wet and go paddle.

Try the free paddling routes listed here.  or here, also free

2: Paddle with a friend. Hang it, take two friends! Arrange a regular time and place. Never miss it. If you have a group with different kayaks and skills, plan to paddle towards a point, then when the leader turns around, everyone turns around. You get back to the start at the same time and can go have coffee (or beer) together.


3: Join a club or paddling group. There is probably one in your area. If not, start one! find a kayak club here

4: Buy a new kayak. The mathematical formula for the perfect number of kayaks to own is N+1, where N is the number you own now. But seriously, the 5.4m sea kayak or the slim race ski might be a bit more than you need everyday.

5: Keep your kit clean and dry, ready to go. There is no worse thing than sliding into wet cold gear. Keep that joy for when on expedition to some remote place.

6: Plan an expedition to some remote place. Enlist companions, plan your route, and get training. It does not have to be too high end. Start easy, see 1: or go google it.




7: Enter an event. From the hard core Avon Descent to the community of Paddle for the Planet, there is an event for everyone. Now start training.


Info here for Avon Descent or get a team together for one of the multi sport events like this one. 

8: Sort out your roofracks, or get a trolley. Make it simple to get too and from the water. If you drive to work (naughty) consider leaving your kayak on the car, go for a quickie on the way home.

9: Try a parallel activity: fishing, photography, birdwatching, kayak sailing, snorkeling. Paddle out to sea and sing at the top of your voice – no one can hear you! Your kayak is simply a way onto the water and it can take you to places others cannot go.

this pic thanks Colin Molloy at kayak fishing forum.



10: Go on a full moon paddle. You might watch the moon rise at sunset or meet the gang at midnight. Sneak out before dawn and before work to see the setting moon.