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08-02-2010, 19:51   #1
Evil Phil
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Starting Out - What you need to get/do.

This thread is for general advice for newbies and those interested in getting involved in the sport.
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08-02-2010, 20:06   #2
se conman
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If you intend to take up canoeing or kayaking , the very first thing that you need to get is a VERY HEALTY RESPECT FOR WATER.Water can provide endless hours of fun and exercise but if taken for granted , nothing will bite you in the ass as quick.Always think safety and enjoy your paddling.
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08-02-2010, 20:42   #3
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The Irish Canoe Union have this to say!

ICU Introductory courses!

Getting Started in Canoeing
Canoeing / kayaking is a wide-ranging and multi-faceted sport enjoyed by people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities across the country. To find out more about the different types of recreational and competitive canoeing please see the canoeing disciplines section.

There are typically two routes into paddling, through a club (see here for list of clubs) or by enrolling in an introductory course. These training courses either run over a weekend or a series of evening sessions.

Various clubs around the country run beginner’s courses to entice new members. In addition to this, the Irish Canoe Union has its own Training centre on the river Liffey in Dublin. Courses take place from the Centre throughout the spring & summer months.

To find out about courses outside the Dublin area, please consult our list of other course providers.

What is covered on an introductory course?
Most introductory courses cover skills from the level 1&2 skills awards in general purpose kayaks. You learn how to control your boat going forwards and backwards, how to turn and move sideways and what to do if you capsize. Safety is of paramount importance and instructors cover topics such as the basic safety rules of canoeing and appropriate safety equipment.

Most of the time on an introductory course is spent on flat water but towards the end you may get a chance to experience the thrill of some white water on weirs or small rapids.

What equipment do I need to start canoeing?
Most introductory courses provide all the equipment you need – kayak, paddle, wetsuit, waterproof paddle jacket, buoyancy aid, helmet and a spraydeck to keep the water out of your boat. This gives you an opportunity to try out different types of equipment and to decide if you really like the sport before making a big investment.

The best way to continue kayaking after your introductory course is to join a club.



The Difference Between a Canoe and a Kayak...

A frequently asked question!

A kayak is a boat with a closed cockpit, where the paddler uses a paddle with 2 blades.


A canoe is a boat with an open design, where the paddler uses a single bladed paddle. Canoeists often kneel, rather than sit.

Both styles of boat have 1 and 2 person versions, but a canoe generally holds two people, while a kayak usually holds just one.

However…
In some countries (Ireland included), canoeing has become a generic term for both activities and since kayaking is the more common type of craft, the terms often get mixed up.

All introductory courses run from the ICU Training Centre are done in kayaks!
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08-02-2010, 21:49   #4
 
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While the ICU are great for running courses, there is very little follow up afterwards, try join a club if at all possible!!!
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09-02-2010, 14:29   #5
 
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In fairness to the ICU i have to SLIGHTLY dis-agree with tony there.

I'm coming up on the end of my first year paddling and have felt that their training and resources have helped enormously. Having said that i'm fortunate enough to live within easy driving distance of their Centre on the Strawberry Beds in Dublin. For someone starting out they are very good as they

1) Train you. In my training group we had 1 Training Instructor, 1 Instructor and 2 trainee instructors. This level of support for a group of 12 people meant even the least confidant person felt safe.

2) Once trained (to level 2 standard) they bring you out with a so-called bridging club. This allows you bridge the gap from brand new newbie who capsizes every 30 seconds or so to someon who isn't going to be a liability when out with a full club. (Personally i've graduated to being able to stay upright for a full 35 seconds! )

3) Let you use their gear for the bridging club. This is very handy as we all know how expensive it can be starting up in the sport.

4) Apres Kayak fun........I'll leave that to your imagination!!


The bridging club trips are all done with established clubs (this year it's been predominantly The Rock-hoppers, and Lir) and allow you get a feel for the different clubs around and which you may wish to join.

Having said that, i'm lucky enough to be living close enough to the centre, and with a durty great big dam lake beside me (anyone guess?? ) If i was living further away from the ICU i can see where tony's point would be more accurate than mine.

Last edited by cyrusdvirus; 09-02-2010 at 15:03. Reason: added in the last bit cos, well, tony was KINDA right!! :)
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09-02-2010, 17:43   #6
 
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Having said that, i'm lucky enough to be living close enough to the centre, and with a durty great big dam lake beside me (anyone guess?? ) If i was living further away from the ICU i can see where tony's point would be more accurate than mine.
If you live where i think you do ( Leixlip???) then Salmon Leap Canoe Club is just down the road from you . . . .
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09-02-2010, 21:03   #7
 
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If you live where i think you do ( Leixlip???) then Salmon Leap Canoe Club is just down the road from you . . . .
Yup, Leixlip it is, and Salmon Leap Canoe Club is a damn fine club, but they seem to be a more competetive club than a "Fun-n-Games" club, which is what more what myself and Lady Crash are looking for.
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09-02-2010, 21:11   #8
adrianshanahan
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Hey Gatecrash,

If you are looking for infor on clubs in your area Conor Ryan from the ICU will be able to help you out for sure.

There are 3 largeish clubs of note within distance of you which would include Rockhoppers and Lir canoe clubs who are more river / whitewater baised and are known as roofrack clubs and do not have a tradtional clubhouse set up. To be part of these clubs you kinda need to have all your own kit sorted etc.

Another option would be wildwater canoe club who are baised in strawberry beds just down from the Angliers rest. They take part in almost every diclipine for paddle sport and are a friendly lot. An added advantage is that they have allot of kit that they let their members use. This might suit you better if you are just setting out.

If you need any information on gettin kit together or getting intouch with any of the clubs I have mentioned just drop me a line.


Adrian
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09-02-2010, 21:24   #9
 
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Hey Gatecrash,

If you are looking for infor on clubs in your area Conor Ryan from the ICU will be able to help you out for sure.

There are 3 largeish clubs of note within distance of you which would include Rockhoppers and Lir canoe clubs who are more river / whitewater baised and are known as roofrack clubs and do not have a tradtional clubhouse set up. To be part of these clubs you kinda need to have all your own kit sorted etc.

Another option would be wildwater canoe club who are baised in strawberry beds just down from the Angliers rest. They take part in almost every diclipine for paddle sport and are a friendly lot. An added advantage is that they have allot of kit that they let their members use. This might suit you better if you are just setting out.

If you need any information on gettin kit together or getting intouch with any of the clubs I have mentioned just drop me a line.


Adrian
Hey Adrian,

I've been out a few times with the Rockhoppers (mad bunch of nutters) and a few of the bodies from Lir were on the instructor team during our training. Roofrack is the way that i was planning on going to be honest.

Dunno why though!!
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09-02-2010, 21:30   #10
adrianshanahan
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Well I can thourohly reccomend that you hook up with the guys form Rockhoppers, a very enthuastic , active and welcoming group of paddlers.

They have a message board where you can get more info from them as well as information on their weekly trips.

HERE


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11-02-2010, 00:54   #11
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Its a fantastic community

Have to agree starting out with the ICU is the way to go - boats & equipment provided and it certainly gives you the confidence to progress. Join into clubs when you can - you will be welcomed warmly however most appreciate some paddling ability (still will take on complete novices though) courses for the ICU come up in the summer but sometimes places go fast, they do evening and weekend courses to suit most schedules.
I have to say having this forum will encourage grass roots in paddling - the other forums www.irishfreestyle.com and www.irishwhitewater.com are great resources and provide loads of information however it is very daunting for new starters to ask questions that may be seen as basic or even silly.
I personally hope this forum will encourage all questions and I would suggest a sticky on "strokes & moves" or "tips & tricks". each of the levels with the ICU require specific strokes and recoveries there are many ways of learning and teaching these however if you paddle with a set group you may only learn one technique or be taught by only one style. There are also tips and tricks to everything that people could share.
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12-02-2010, 21:23   #12
dubes
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Id have to agree with the Tonynator, joining a club is the way to go!

Most clubs have all their own equipment aswell and offer a road into many different disicplines including racing which the ICU training centre does not really focus on . .
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19-04-2010, 04:03   #13
 
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I don't know if I'm going off topic or not, but how much would a basic kayak be?
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19-04-2010, 08:22   #14
 
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I don't know if I'm going off topic or not, but how much would a basic kayak be?

Depends on what you're looking for.

There are 2 different class of boats Sit On Tops or Sit In's. then all different types of boats within those classes; river runners, play boats, sea kayaks etc.
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19-04-2010, 11:37   #15
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I don't know if I'm going off topic or not, but how much would a basic kayak be?
from about 250 euro+ second hand or about 500+ new, depending where you go and what you want to do.
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