The United Kingdom's Premier Outrigger Canoe Club

First-Time Paddlers

If you’ve never been paddling before the following is a checklist for what you may need:

  • Hat – it keeps the sun, wind and rain off your head. OCUK has a supply so you can look the part
  • Sunglasses – to keep the bugs out of your eyes and stop you squinting
  • Footwear – you will get wet feet so paddle shoes/flip flops are a must. The beach at the boathouse is stony and sharp items lurk. Wellies are useful in the cooler months to keep your feet warm and dry but are advised against for sea paddling as they are dangerous when they fill with water after a huli
  • Gloves – some people don’t bother but if you want to keep your hands (relatively) blister-free a pair of sealskin or sports gloves will do the job. In the winter woollen gloves worn under waterproof kitchen gloves sounds strange but keeps the hands warm
  • Paddling clothes – this is a water sport and you can not only drench yourself but also get splashed by those behind you. Rashies are good to keep the elements off and in the cold, wet months waterproofs are a good idea. Also dress in layers that you can peel off or add on as necessary
  • Dry clothes – depending upon what you arrived in you might want some warmer, dry clothes to change into after paddling
  • Towel – if you fancy a shower in the clubhouse after paddling. Bring your own smellies
  • Sun protection cream – it can get hot in the sun and the rays reflect of the water increasing the likelihood of sun burn
  • Snack bars/power bars/energy foods – you might not need these during a training session but they can help during a race to keep the energy levels up
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY – hydration. Bring a reuseable water bottle or a hydration unit. For long training sessions and races you will need to drink without missing more than a couple of strokes so get a unit that fits round your waist or on your back with a tube within easy reach. Water is fine but isotonics or energy drinks (watered down as they are usually too strong) taste nicer
  • Paddle – as a first timer you probably won’t have a paddle but don’t worry – we will fit you out with one