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Backwaters
Canoe and Kayak Hire

Guidance on the skill and experience needed to hire canoes and kayaks on the

River Wye.

There are short sections of the River Wye which are slow-flowing and where beginners or novices could take a short trip upstream, returning to the start point. However, the river is generally fast-flowing, and paddling downriver between launching/landing points will take you onto more challenging water.

Y Glas ar Wy - Glasbury to Mynwy - Monmouth

For unaccompanied hire on trips along the River Wye between Glasbury and Monmouth, paddlers should be able to:

  • Lift, carry, launch and land the canoe/kayak safely. This may involve getting up and/or down steep muddy banks;
  • Paddle a straight course, keeping forward momentum;
  • Change course safely while the boat is moving;
  • Move the canoe or kayak sideways;
  • Stop the canoe or kayak within a short distance without losing direction.
  • Recognise rapids or weirs from a safe distance;
  • Recognise submerged rocks, strainers and tree hazards;
  • Assess rapids and hazards, to make in informed choice whether to paddle or portage;
  • Recogise a safe eddy;
  • Break out of the current;
  • Hold position in the flow and ferry-glide into an eddy;
  • Break into the current;
  • Get into/out of the canoe/kayak safely in deep and shallow fast-flowing water;
  • Move canoes past hazards by safely using lines;
  • Understand the dangers of an unintentional 'swim', and trying to wade, in fast water;
  • Swim safely to the shore;
  • Empty a swamped canoe or kayak using safe handling techniques;
  • Climb back into the canoe from deep water in the event of a capsize, and help others to do so.
  •  
  • For journeys finishing below Monmouth, in addition to the above:
  • Plan a journey to take account of tides;
  • Paddle strongly enough to make way against a fast tidal stream;
  • Have a strategy for emergency landings across large areas of deep mud;
  • Carry out deep water rescues and self-rescues;
  • Recognise and make the planned landing - on no account may our hire canoes proceed beyond Chepstow.

There are no formal requirements or assessment, but the BCU 3-Star Touring Award is a useful indicator of the appropriate standard.

Ready to plan your trip?

For launching/landing points, B&B's, campsites, facilities and distances, see our River Wye Route Planner.

 

Not sure of your ability?

Why not book on a Skills Training Course or River Awareness Day with our associate company 'Mountain and Water'. Or consider starting with a trip the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

 

 

If you are not sure about your ability for unaccompanied canoe hire see our Guidance for Canoe Hire page. We offer Guided Tours and a 'River Awareness' Day. We can also arrange skills training courses at various levels from beginner to open and white-water.

 

Backwaters

is associated with

Mountain & Water: Wales-wide Adventure Ltd.

For guided tours, activity holidays and courses.

Contact and Booking
Home Page
About Us
Types of Craft for Hire
Trip Planning Advice
Availability
Prices
Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated 13 January 2013