What clothes should I wear?

When cycling it pays to be slightly under-dressed as you soon warm up, canoeing is the opposite, what feels hot on the beach may only just be adequate once on the water. Having said that, your lower half inside the boat is protected most of the time. We aim to stay dry on most trips and though well designed specialist clothing helps you do this it can be expensive.

If you are coming to the training sessions on a Monday night to develop your skills you should expect to get wet at some point whether accidental or purposefully during essential safety training. An old wetsuit that allows you to move your arms freely coupled with an old cagoule to keep the wind off is ideal. If you have not got a wetsuit, shorts and a fleecy top are not ideal but OK for a start.


Cotton feels wet and cold but modern 'tech' and fleecy type fabrics dry quickly and some are warm when wet. Wear a couple of layers. Kayaking cags have a strange cut which is very large around the shoulders for freedom of movement and tighter around the waist to keep the water out and not get in the way when swimming. An old anorak will do while at the beginner stage.

Shoes are essential, never bare feet. You need something on your feet like an old pair of trainers or ideally neoprene booties, the shore can have broken glass or rough surfaces. Decathlon have a good choice of cheap ones.

Most kayakers where a hat of some sort all year: wide brimmed for the sun or a woolly or fleece hat in winter.

Buoyancy aid?

They are compulsory for all Club activities. If you are in the water you do not want to be worrying about swimming, you need to be floating with both hands free. Although the Club has some old ones you can borrow you will need to buy your own.

Models with many pockets are good for expeditions and longer trips but can be bulky and get in the way during practice sessions, when surfing or in whitewater. Getting one that fits is the most important thing, there is nothing worse than a loose and potentially dangerous buoyancy aid which rides up around your neck.