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Starter Sessions

Starter Sessions provide a safe and fun introduction to canoeing. They are open to everyone and you don’t need any previous canoeing experience, specialist kit or skills as everything you need will be provided for you. Just find a starter session near you, turn up and have a go!

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Discover the fun of paddling

Even if you've been canoeing before, Starter Sessions are also a great opportunity to find out what your local club or centre has to offer. Perhaps it's been a while since you were last out on the water, or maybe you want to share your passion and introduce family and friends to the sport. Whatever your motivation, Starter Sessions provide an ideal opportunity to get out on the water and get paddling.

Sessions vary in price and duration depending on the organiser but all of them will provide with a fun, safe introduction into the world of canoeing.

To find a Starter Session happening near you take a look at the Canoe Near You Map

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Equipment & Clothing

All safety equipment, paddles and canoe/kayaks will be provided at your starter session. The only thing you need to think about is your clothing. We recommend wearing comfortable warm clothing, such as tracksuit bottoms or leggings (ideally not jeans) and layered tops, as well as any water/windproof top and a pair of old shoes which you don’t mind getting wet. Also make sure you take a change of clothing along with a towel as you will often get wet from the splash of the paddle. Your Starter Session Organiser will let you know if you need to bring anything else.

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Sessions vary in price and duration depending on the organiser but all of them will provide with a fun, safe introduction into the world of canoeing.

Starter Sessions are organised by British Canoeing affiliated clubs and Activity Quality Marked centres who wish to participate in the Go Canoeing programme. Not all clubs or centres take part, however many will provide some form of opportunity for beginners to come and try the sport. If you can’t find a Starter Session happening near you we would suggest looking at our find a club or centre section.

If you are a club or centre interested in running and promoting a Starter Sessions we’d love to hear from you. You can find out more information and guidance about how to run and register your sessions with us by clicking here. Or alternatively please contact us: [email protected], 0845 3709542

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Disability information

If you have a disability and would like to take part in a Starter Session, please look at the specific session information to see what facilities are available or contact the organiser who will let you know if they can meet your requirements.

Since starter sessions offer an introduction to canoeing they are generally accessible for all. However if you are looking for a more specialist opportunity that may include more support or access to specialist equipment a Paddle-Ability Starter Session may be more appropriate.

Paddle-Ability is the term British Canoeing uses to refer to opportunities and activities tailored for disabled people. The ethos of the Paddle-Ability Starter Session is to focus on an individual’s ability rather than disability.