Before you set off, understanding the wider paddling environment is important to staying safe.

Sea kayaking and canoeing moving water for example can be compared to climbing in the mountains in the sense that inclement weather can be a ‘game-changer. So make sure to check the weather forecast, tides, and other factors to plan your trip. Great apps to help with this include:

  • Windfinder Pro - detailed 3-hour windspeed and directional info
  • River App - for river levels
  • UK Weather featuring weather charts
  • Magic Seaweed - surf info
  • UK Tides  - tidal info


Also, check out other groups such as:

  • UK Rivers Guide - detailed river information
  • UK Sea Kayak Guide - coastal sea kayak and coastal info
  • Song of the Paddle - Open Canoe info 


Be Aware of the Environment

On moving water then risks increase with the grade of water and also specific hazards exist such as strainers (trees blocking the river), undercuts and siphons, and also rocks where you can get pinned or stuck.

As you progress your paddling then you can enjoy exhilarating paddling in moderate water conditions on rivers and the sea with sufficient experience, training, and skills.

Looking After the Environment

Other considerations around the environment are more about looking after the planet. Ways we can help as paddlers include:

• Removing ghost fishing line, hooks, and lures
• Collecting plastic and other litter whilst out paddling (take a bag with you to collect the trash)
• Being aware of nesting birds and other wildlife to give them space
• Respecting other countryside users to reduce conflict around use
• Be aware of invasive species and ensure you don’t contaminate waterways by cleaning your kit

Top Tip: Check local maps, charts, and a detailed weather forecast whilst planning your trip. Rainfall will affect the rivers you are paddling.

Handy Hint: Carry some old gloves, a good knife, and bag to collect rubbish and lines will out paddling.