When I had the chance to try kayaking near me in Yorkshire, I grabbed it with both hands! I grew up on an island, so water sports are in my blood. I just couldn’t wait to introduce the reluctant teen to the joys of messing about in boats.
Needless to say, things didn’t quite go according to plan…
It all started so well. A beautiful day, a fabulous location and a knowledgeable coach. What could possibly go wrong?
Sadly, it seems that my muscle memory of kayaking (many moons ago) is long gone, so I had to start again from scratch. And for a girl who has cheerfully jumped out of a plane, abseiled, gone pot-holing and back-packed solo around Egypt, for some inexplicable reason, I got scared! Yes, me! I was very cross with myself.
So it’s not much of a surprise that I took an early bath in the river. And got stuck under the kayak. I genuinely thought I was going to drown. Inhaling rank river water is not pleasant!
Of course I was well looked after and swiftly yanked out from under the boat but I hurt my shoulder in the process. A trip to the doctor the next day confirmed my fears – no more kayaking for me, as I had sustained a rotator cuff injury. It will be a while before I can go out again….
He absolutely loves it and is progressing well. He is desperate to go out as often as possible and is racing towards achieving his first award.
We’re incredibly lucky to have lots of places where we can go kayaking in Yorkshire. There’s a good selection of rivers and canals locations for beginners to practice in and build confidence. The sport has become so popular that the local clubs have massive waiting list!
Luckily we have a great friend who is also a certified coach, so for the exchange of the appropriate amount of beer tokens, he is always happy to set up and supervise a trip out on the water.
On the most recent trip there was a change of boats. It was time for the open canoes, ready to practice getting in and out of boats safely on the river.
The River Aire at Kirkstall is the perfect location for beginners. It’s not too deep or too fast flowing and it’s wide enough to practice moving around on the water. Brilliant for building up confidence.
Before I knew it, the teen was off on his own in the canoe, leaving our coach behind to focus on helping his friend get up to speed. Then it was time to get wet!
Both of the boys successfully managed to get out of and back into the canoe – several times. The next trip has been booked already and I’m determined that I will be going out with them next time!
A full length Mountain Warehouse wetsuit was an absolute essential as Yorkshire rivers in the winter are not warm! I also needed a good pair of wetsuit gloves and wetsuit boots and a Waterproof Spray Cagoule to keep me dry and prevent chills.
We borrowed the rest of the kit we needed, including our boats, paddles and buoyancy aids.
Now that my shoulder is better, I really can’t wait to get out on the river again…it’s fantastic to have found a sport that the teen and I can enjoy together.
I’m Coralie, a Harrogate based blogger and mum to the reluctant teen. A crafting and upcycling addict, lover of outdoor life, juicing and gin. I’m never far from a cup of tea…
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