Top Tips for New Paddlers in the New Year

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The end of one year and start of another offers us the chance to reflect and look ahead. What has been your highlight of 2021? And what are you looking to try in 2022?

For anybody wanting to try something new out on the water, paddlesports can be a rewarding activity to take up.

Kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and canoeing offer a host of benefits. In the latest Gill blog, we take a look at what these positives are, and offer you some top tips to help get the most out of your paddling adventures in 2022.

Why start paddling?

Paddlesports are one of the best ways to get up close and personal with the water and feel a real sense of engagement and excitement. The eddies and flows of the water can be experienced first-hand, and any paddling session brings about an exhilarating feeling.

You’ll not just feel the benefit to your arms and core but you’ll quickly understand the way in which paddling can help with your mental health and wellbeing.

You may also spark that sense of adventure, getting the chance to discover new places and see things you might not otherwise see.

Getting the right gear and equipment

As rewarding as it can be, being out on the water in the Winter months bring its challenges, whether that’s cold temperatures, wind, rain, snow or less daylight, it’s imperative that you have the right gear and equipment to hand, regardless of your experience level.

If you need advice on what to wear this Winter, check out our recent gearing up for winter watersports blog. Thankfully, there is a host of great paddlesports gear that can provide the desired level of comfort and practicality, which will easily support any paddlesport activity you wish to take up in 2022.

With everything from rash vests to spray topswetsuitsgloves and hats available as paddlesports gear at Gill, we can help you find what you need. With our range of Dry Bags, you can safely carry your valuables and gear with you. Their secure fastening means that even if the bag fell in the water, your gear would stay dry and protected.

Do not underestimate the importance of a quality buoyancy aid too, it will help to keep you safe on the water and support if you get yourself into difficulty.

Need advice on how to look after your Buoyancy Aid? Check out our guide.

You also need to make sure your paddleboard, canoe or kayak is up to scratch. Whether you have your own or are renting one from a club, do a quick check to ensure there are no cracks, unwanted holes and that your leash (if you have one) is secured properly.

If you’re not sure, seek advice from an experienced paddler or club – they will be able to help with all of your equipment questions and needs.

Gear for before and after

Equally as important as being kitted up for when you’re in the water, you’ll want some warm protection for before and after you’re in too. Imagine trying to make your way home in a slightly damp wetsuit? Brrr!

Remember your changing gear such as towels, changing mat and Wet Bag so you can strip off those wet garments straight away and keep them bundled together to avoid your car getting soaked.

Our new Aqua Parka is the best solution to getting warm as quickly as possible as you can throw it on over the top of wet clothes, whilst still keeping cosy.

Check the dangers

It’s vital to plan your trip and check what could be a potential risk. By this we mean the weather forecast (you don’t want to be stuck in the snow or pouring rain!), the water temperatures, the levels and river flows. With this you can sensibly pack your gear and put on that extra layer if you need too. Remember it’s always worth having a dry change of clothes waiting for you at the end.

You also want to plan your route and ensure you have packed enough water and food and of course a warm flask of coffee for after. Go Paddling have a detailed PaddlePoint planner to help you find a suitable route for your ability.

If you’re just starting out and you have doubts about your safety, make sure you check with an experienced paddler (or better still head out with one), before you head onto the water. Even if you’re in a group, make sure to carry a means of communication so you can call for help if you need to.

You can pack your valuables in a Dry Bag and attach it to your paddleboard, canoe or kayak – so you have no excuse!

And remember, there is safety in numbers, which leads nicely onto our final point…

Get socializing!

When trying something new, plenty can be gained by doing an activity with somebody else. So if paddlesports take your fancy, have a look to see if there is a club nearby that can facilitate you. The Go Paddling Club Finder is a great place to start. This will not only give you access to great facilities, but also experienced paddleboarders that can help and support you as you learn the ropes.

And why not see if any of your friends are keen to join you? New activities can quickly fall away if you do not commit to doing them regularly. With somebody else to back you up and offer motivation, this can help keep your new habit up and really make the most of paddleboarding in 2022.

Enjoy paddleboarding in 2022 with Gill

If you are envisaging plenty of paddleboarding in 2022, we at Gill are with you every stroke of the way! Be sure to find all you need for your new hobby on our site.

If you are trying another activity, such as sailingdinghy sailing, or just getting outdoors more, then we have plenty of options here too.

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