Welcome to the 2018 season

Our website will shortly be updated so that you can book and pay for your paddling online. Until then, reach us by phone, or by email at enquiries@chesterkayakhire.co.uk, where there will always be a prompt and friendly reply. See you on the river soon!

Tel: 01244 422007

Three things first-time kayakers worry about (and why they shouldn’t)

Going kayaking for the first time is exciting, as it promises a lot of fun and adventure for the novice paddler. However, as with starting anything for the first time it is impossible to know exactly what to expect.

From worrying about what to wear to worrying about how to get in the boat in the first place, there are a lot of questions people rightly have.

Ideally, the first-time kayaker will be in a group of other beginners at a kayak hire club on a gentle stretch of river. In the UK, we have excellent rivers for learning all about kayaking, such as the River Dee in Cheshire, where kayaking has many fans.

The clubs will also be on hand to provide boats, basic kit, information, and advice. They will likely be able to organise trips with route guides and experienced paddlers to show everyone the ropes. Here are three common worries that first-time kayakers have and why they shouldn’t be too much of a concern:

What should I wear for kayaking?

This is a constantly asked question in novice paddler circles, but is not too hard to answer. The basic ethos to picking what clothes to wear for a kayak is comfort.

While you may not end up getting dipped, everyone will get wet, which is part of the fun. As such, loose-fitting clothes with a bit of give in them should be worn over swimwear. Heavy cotton clothing and jeans should be avoided.

Long combat-style trousers are perfect, as are man-made tops and jumpers. Exercise gear works well too. Trainers that can handle getting trashed should be worn too, whilst all clothes should be appropriate for the time of year and, importantly, the temperature of the water, which should be checked.

There is essentially nothing to worry about when it comes to what to wear in a kayak in the UK. The only item that you absolutely need to make sure that you have on is your life vest.

How do I get in a kayak?

Getting in the craft has been known to keep novices awake the night before hitting the water, but it really shouldn’t. There will always be people on hand to help you in and out of the boats, so in no time everyone will just be leaping on board.

When at the dock, there are two ways to steady a kayak: using the paddle as a crutch and to support the other side of the boat or simply holding on to the dock as you clamber in. Sat on the edge of the dock, the paddler simply dangles their legs over the cockpit of the kayak and, when ready, swings one leg in after the other, crouches down and then sits.

What should I take in my kayak?

Really, all a first-time kayaker should take in their boat is themselves, their paddle and their enthusiasm. Mobiles, keys, purses, and all the other trappings of modern life should be left somewhere safe, secure and dry.

If anything is taken in the boat, like a camera for example, it should be waterproof and well protected while paddling.

Bringing a change of clothes for the journey home is important too.