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Go Paddling this Summer and join 11,000 new members on the water

British Canoeing has today launched the ‘Go Paddling this Summer’ campaign to inspire more people to join the paddlesport community and enjoy being out on the water.

Since the return of recreational paddling on 13 May, following the government’s relaxation of outdoor activities in England, there has been a record growth in participation in paddlesport and in members joining British Canoeing. 

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Thousands of people have been exercising outdoors and taking to the water to soak up the sunshine, whilst enjoying the freedom and relaxation that paddling can bring.

Key statistics include:

  • 47,000 current members of British Canoeing, a 23% growth compared to figures 12 months ago
  • 44% of members are families, an increase of 26% compared to June 2019
  • 11,000 new members have joined British Canoeing in the last seven weeks
  • 38% of new members joining are female
  • 1 in 5 recreational members enjoy stand up paddleboarding
  • 138,000 unique users have visited the Go Paddling website in the first six months of the year, searching for places to paddle and information on the waterways licence

The paddlesport trade and retail sector has also seen a sharp rise in interest weeks, with stand up paddleboarding developing as one of the hottest sporting activities this summer.

Jamie Harman, brand manager at Red Paddle co UK said:

It has been fantastic to see the growth in interest in stand up paddleboarding since stay-at-home measures were eased.

– Jamie Harman, brand manager at Red Paddle co UK

“We have seen a 100% uplift in traffic to the Red Paddle Co website and enquiries to our customer service team have increased by 300%. There is a strong appetite for people to access socially distanced outdoor activities that they can do close to home or on holiday in the UK.

“SUP fits these aspirations perfectly - improving physical and mental wellbeing, being ideal for families to have fun outside and a way to have adventures without the need to travel outside Britain.

“While offering direct advice to customers in response to enquiries, we are also holding weekly live video sessions on social media covering SUP safety, kit maintenance and what to wear. We're keen to make sure new paddle boarders are also well-informed and paddling safely using reliable kit.”

Paddling is amongst one of the most accessible and sociable sport and recreation activities available.

It can be done independently or with family and friends, with something for every age and ability sharing the wonderful feeling of being out on the water and providing a great form of aerobic fitness.

From taking in beautiful countryside, city locations and coastal scenery, paddling brings health and wellbeing benefits, encouraging people to get closer to nature and spend time on the water, whilst maintaining social distancing.

India Pearson, one of British Canoeing’s #ShePaddles Ambassadors said:

“For me paddle boarding is my time to connect. Whether it's on the sea, in a canal or a lake, I stand up on my board and become in tune with my mind, body, and nature. 

It has also connected me with wonderful like-minded people, that share my passion for being out on the water, come rain or shine!

– India Pearson, one of British Canoeing’s #ShePaddles Ambassadors
Andy Biggs Art Canoe Beach Sea Sunset

With the increased interest in paddlesport British Canoeing is working hard to support new paddlers to make the most of the summer by providing information via the Go Paddling website on great places to paddle, top tips on getting started and ensuring people are paddling safely and responsibly.

The ‘Go Paddling this Summer’ campaign will promote several key themes, to make the most of opportunities to go on the water and spend time outdoors, including how to:

David Joy, chief executive of British Canoeing, said:

“We fully appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to encourage and support people to go paddling now, as one of a number of outdoor activities that can be encouraged at this time. 

We have seen a real growth in participation and membership numbers over the past few months as more people have taken to the water responsibly with their friends and families. There has been a real boom in the popularity of stand up paddleboarding.

– David Joy, chief executive of British Canoeing

“Our role as British Canoeing is to work with our many partners to present the opportunities, to share information about where to paddle, provide handy hints and tips, point to the importance of the licences and insurance and to remind paddlers about the importance of paddling responsibly whilst having a great time. These are the key messages within our campaign Go Paddling this Summer!”

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To join the paddling revolution visit the Go Paddling website which is full of tips, practical advice and hosts a wealth of resources that you need to know about for taking up paddlesport this summer.

British Canoeing’s ‘On the Water’ membership is the gateway to the waterways. Giving paddlers instant access to a waterway licence, insurance, plus a range of great benefits and exclusive offers.

Having a waterway licence supports the maintenance and protection of the waterways, ensuring they are kept clean and safe.

Membership covers all types of paddling including kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding. All of this for only £45 a year, with reduced rates available for couples and families.