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Kayaking

Discover paddle power as we explore rivers, lakes or the deep blue sea on a kayaking adventure.
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Try this activity at one of our adventure centres

Once you’ve mastered the basic paddle strokes on land, take to the water in your own personal kayak. Using a variety of games, your instructor will help you develop your skill and precision moving through the water.

Go kayaking with Scout Adventures

What to expect

Modern kayaks are made from plastic or fibreglass and are paddled with a two-bladed kayak paddle. Most kayaks are enclosed, with just a hole to fit the kayaker in, but some are open. You can get kayaks for up to four people and they can be paddled in all sorts of water, from slow-moving rivers to white water torrents, to the open sea.

Kayaking is a great way to get active, explore the outdoors and spend time in different natural environments. You could cruise through a forest one day and paddle along the coastline the next, so it’s a brilliant adventure with something for everyone.

What you’ll learn

Kayaking more will help improve your poise and balance in the water, and as you paddle more, your paddling technique will become more efficient. You’ll soon be able to move gracefully and quickly across the water, making each one of your strokes count and not expending too much energy. Techniques to learn include rotating the paddle as you go (for efficient strokes), how to steer, and how to slow down.

Fun facts

Kayaks were invented by Inuit peoples of the Arctic region. The first kayaks were created thousands of years ago from driftwood, whale bones and animal skins. They were used for hunting and fishing, as they were perfect for sneaking up on things in the water.

Handy hints

  • Bag it up. Take along some extra plastic bags or bin bags to put your wet clothes and shoes in and save your towels.
  • Group up. Some kayaks are designed for up to four people, which could make your first experience much easier.

We’re reworking our safety guidance for adventurous activities to make it easier to understand and follow.

In the meantime, before you try kayaking, review the safety information here.

Reflection

Kayaking was a great way to get active in the outdoors and can mean different things to different people. What did you enjoy most about kayaking? What is one thing you learned while kayaking? What would you do differently next time?

We take different things from some activities and adventures, from learning new skills to learning how to cope with stressful situations and work with new people. There’s no right thing to take away from kayaking as everyone’s experience will be different.

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.