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Backwaters
Canoe and Kayak Hire

Skill and Experience Guidelines for Canoe and Kayak Hire

We want you to enjoy an adventure that will lead to a lifetime of safe paddling; NOT to have an epic!

There are no formal requirements for skills or qualifications to hire canoes and kayaks, and you do not need to produce a certificate of competence to hire from us. However, we believe that you will get the most out of your canoe or kayak hire by taking on manageable trips and building up to more challenging water as your skill and experience increases.

You can find the guidelines for the skill and experience needed to hire canoes and kayaks on various waterways by clicking the link for each waterway. By following these guidelines, you will be able to build up not only your paddling skills, but more importantly, your experience of water conditions, the ability to carry out a continuous dynamic risk assessment, and to make sound paddling decisions.

 

Camlas Mynwy ac Aberhonddu - Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

If you are a complete beginner, or have limited experience, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal offers simple, placid water, where you can build up your confidence and paddling ability, with the added reassurance of a towpath along the length of the canal.

Read more...

 

Afon Gwy - 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.

Read more...

 

Afon Hafren - River Severn

Afon Hafren - River Severn changes considerably in character along its course, and if you undertake an extended journey you will need to be prepared for a wide range of river conditions.

At Pool Quay, the highest point on the navigation, the river is narrow and twisting, generally fast-flowing, often with trees obstructing the channel. The river widens below the confluence of the Vyrnwy, but there are numerous riffles and rapids, and the banks continue to be lined with vegetation.

In Amwythig - Shrewsbury there is a weir which MUST be portaged. Below Shrewsbury, the river is swift, with riffles, fast water at bends and islands, small rapids and one major (grade 3+) rapid at Jackfield, just below Ironbridge.

The river changes character below Stourport, with large motorised craft, locks and weirs on the following section.

Read more...

 

Waterways 'A la Carte'

On 'Waterways A la Carte' you have the potential to access any of the managed canal and river navigations within the British mainland waterways system (provided you start and finish at one of our designated points), so you will need to read the guidelines appropriate to any waterway you are thinking of including in your itinerary.

 

 

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 30 March 2016