The Experience

What Should I Expect?

Our taster sessions are great fun and a fantastic opportunity to have a go on the water with your group!

No prior experience is needed and we can cater for even the most nervous of paddlers. Our Taster sessions are designed to ensure that you have fun and learn some basic paddle sport skills in a safe and enjoyable environment. Consequently, our Taster sessions typically comprise a lot of games and challenges on the water!

We also encourage your Section Leaders to come on the water and join in with you.

Some of the games that we play may involve you getting wet and there is always the possibility that you could capsize your boat. It is therefore really important that you read the clothing section on the ‘What should I bring’ section to ensure you maximise your enjoyment of these sessions.

You may see in some of the photos that some of our more experienced kayakers and coaches wear what we call spray decks. A spray deck is a material 'skirt' that fills the cockpit hole. There are many advantages to wearing these however they shouldn't be worn without training and therefore no pupils on a taster session will wear a spray deck.

What Should I Bring?

As a minimum, please bring with you:

  • A towel for afterwards
  • A complete change of clothes (including a warm top / coat – it may be sunny when you arrive but it soon gets colder in the evenings)
  • A change of shoes

Depending on the weather, you may need to bring:

  • A bottle of water (this can go inside your kayak/canoe)
  • Extra sun cream

You may like to bring with you:

  • A snack for afterwards

What Should I Wear?

You can either arrive in the following water kit, or bring it with you and get changed (there is limited changing space available).

As a minimum, you must wear:

  • A buoyancy aid - GSK can supply this.
  • Shoes you don't mind getting wet (trainers or sailing shoes are great. Crocs, flip-flops and sandals are not appropriate - your shoes must be fully enclosed.)

The remainder depends upon the weather however in most situations, the following is appropriate:

  • A wetsuit
  • A waterproof top (cag or rain jacket)

GSK does not advocate that pupils only wear shorts and a t-shirt, even on the hottest of days. Remember that the water is usually much colder than the air temperature and if you end up getting wet or capsizing then there is still a risk of getting cold.

Depending on the weather you may also need:

  • Headwear (sun hat / woolly hat)
  • Suncream
  • Sunglasses (tied on if you don't want to lose them!)