Introduction & Guide to Paddling

Paddling Grand Tully Scotland
Paddling Grand Tully Scotland

Our Paddling Guide is a basic introduction to the exciting world of paddling skills for Canoeing, Kayaking, and Stand Up Paddleboarding.

Paddling in one form or another goes back to the dawn of time with birch bark and wooden open canoes used to explore Canada’s wilderness and skin Qayaqs used by Inuit’s to hunt and travel in the frozen North. Whilst not quite that old I have paddled pretty much my whole life joining our local Viking Kayak Club aged 11’ish.

If we connect and feel grounded in woodlands and on trails, then paddling equally offers a sense of exploring, connecting to our ancestors, and tranquility. Whether I am paddling whitewater, training for a canoe race or just meandering along our local river I always see passers-by interested and generally wanting to give canoeing, kayaking, or SUP’s (stand up paddleboarding) a go.

This blog is part of a series from Canoe Trail that is intended to offer some ideas and a framework to take your paddling forward (pun intended) whether a novice or accomplished paddler. When we run watersports at national events and shows it is great to see so many people taking to the water in a canoe, SUP, kayak, or in our cardboard box boat races! Hopefully, you now have caught the bug and will think about planning some paddling adventures and learning new skills.

There are many different paddling disciplines to capture your imagination including surf kayaks, sea kayaking, racing, SUP’ing, touring, canoe polo (like rugby on the water), slalom (Olympic), sprint racing (Olympic), marathon racing, paddling whitewater, expeditions and freestyle (BMX in boats). I have been lucky enough to compete, race, and explore many iconic rivers, coastal areas, lakes, and lochs fulfilling my basic thirst for adventure.

Specific techniques and equipment vary hugely between the different disciplines. Please note paddling is a huge subject area so we have provided some initial building blocks to get you started. If you would like to know more please contact us.

See you on the water,

Richard Harpham