I knew I wanted to try a new sport this year and kayaking has also been something I’ve only ever dabbled at on activity weekends or mild rental opportunities when I’ve been on holiday but speaking to one of the committee at the sports fair it seemed like an excellent opportunity to start as a beginner and see what’s possible over the course of a year or two.
The first ‘trial’ session was in the pool and we went through some basic tests to check that no one was going to drown in the 3 foot deep pool. Although there were lots of us the coaches ran it really well and kept it light hearted with a couple of games at the end, just enough to wet my appetite for a bit more.
I was lucky to get a space on the second day trip they were hosting at a place called Symonds Yat near Monmouth. It was the first time I’d needed to get up early on a Saturday so this was the first difficulty. Kitted and ready to go by mid-morning we got out onto the River Wye and at this point I realised I wasn’t anywhere near proficient as I thought. The water was a lovely shade of brown and ‘fresh’ would best describe the temperature, despite trying my best to avoid capsizing I seemed to spend more time in the water than in my kayak as we paddled downstream.
The senior members of the club were more than helpful and alert to come to my rescue each time but it did get slightly embarrassing towards the end and on getting back onto dry land I required a session defrosting in front of the heaters in the minibus. I did think I was slightly getting the hand of it by the end and it was frustrating that I seemed to be one of the worst. However try and try again is something I was always told so I’m going to stick with it and I’ll let you know on my progress.
I definitely think investing in some nice dry and warm kayaking gear will be my next move along with booking myself onto a lot more pool practice sessions!!