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Getting Started


If you are new to the club and want to inquire about a new starter session i.e. to book on for Collingwood Dock (Tuesday or Thursday evening or Saturday morning) or a pool session (other than Bootle pool), as a newcomer please contact 07570526947 (not 07576526947 sorry).

GoCanoe introductory sessions at Collingwood Dock are currently (July 2017) £3-50 and are ideal for those who want to try canoeing and kayaking. GoCanoe sessions are guided by an instructor and in an hour or two on the water you'll learn some skills and have bit of fun.


What you need depends on what you are doing.  Sounds obvious really.  Here are my (Ian Morris) thoughts.

Starting out in the pool

Minimum is what you would need for going swimming in the pool, i.e. swimming costume/trunks, towel and money for the pool session charge.  Also it is expected that beginners can swim.  The club has the necessary equipment for beginners to use at the pool - kayak and paddle and, not equipment, but the necessary coach to tell you what to do to learn what you need to get better.  Spraydecks (the thing goes around you to stops water getting in the kayak) are available and you would soon want to be able to use one.  Bouyancy aids are also available but are not essential in a pool.

Staring out at the Collingwood Dock

It's cold outside - always - compared to a pool.  So typically starting out you want to wear stuff that will keep water splash off you and keep you warm.  I started out with swimmers, normal tee-shirt (horribly cold and wet for while when you fall in), jumper, trousers, old trainers and then somewhat waterproof cagoule top I'd go hill walking in. Also I had waterproof trousers like the cagoule top mostly to avoid the wind chill when you get out of the boat onto land.  If you have a wet-suit its better to use this but you still want a jumper and cagoule top to keep warm and dry.  If you have water shoes you'd got for summer holidays on the beach, or wet-suit socks, or wet boots, so much the better.  The club has bouyancy aids - essential equipment outside for you to use. The club also has cagoule tops and selection of wet suits available for use. Also spraydeck, paddles, kayaks and canoes the club has available for use.  All these are available with no additional cost to the basic session cost. If you have your own clothing/equipment you can use it. It's more likely to fit. If it is really unsuitable kit the coach will have you swap it for club kit (hasn't happened as far as I know but the possibility is there). If you are doing any canoe polo, club helmets with faceguards will be provided.  As with pool sessions, a coach will be present to guide you.  As a beginner there's no going on the water until the coach says so.


On or near the water:

1. Do as the coach tells you right away.

2. Do as the coach tells you right away.  If you don't know why, ask after you have done what you have been told to do.

I'm sure there is more that could be said but the coach and fellow paddlers will all be aiming to keep beginners safe and progressing in learning whether you notice or not.