Beginner courses

Beginner courses

Equipment hire

The price of the ‘Come and Try’ session includes equipment hire; for all other sessions equipment hire is not included in the price. We have some equipment we can hire directly (see here for prices) and we work with local hire companies where appropriate to make sure you have everything you need.

Please note that buoyancy aids are mandatory for all kayakers and canoeists, and advisory for paddleboarders.


This zoom based course will give you the knowledge and insight to paddle on rivers such as the Hamble as well as canals, lakes, harbours and tidal estuaries.

There will be a mix of teaching, which will cover need-to-knowledge (eg do I need a licence to paddle ?), discussions looking at topical issues (should I wear a buoyancy aid ?) and videos (eg identifying a dangerous weir).

The course aims to give you the facts, the insight, and the ability to weigh up the various risk factors and make sensible decisions in choosing where, when and how to paddle.

These are the topics we will address:

What to wear and what to bring

  • Drysuits, cags, and wetsuits
  • Buoyancy aid, lifejacket or neither ?
  • Paddleboards: ankle leash, waist leash or no leash ?
  • Safety kit to carry
  • Hypothermia


  • Spring and neap tides
  • Double high tides
  • Planning a trip with tides
  • Recognising and dealing with rip tides

Sharing the river

  • Who has right of way ?
  • Navigation channels
  • Do I need a licence or permission to paddle ?


  • Recognising safe and dangerous weirs
  • How to get free of a retentive weir

Worst case scenario…

  • Emergency action plans
  • The roles of the Coastguard, RNLI and Harbour Master
  • Getting help: what3words and emergencySMS

Next steps

  • Foundation Safety & Rescue Training
  • Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning
  • RHA rescue sessions


Online | | Grid reference [course_grid_ref] | Map

Previous experience needed for this activity:


Duration & cost:

2 hours | £25


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