Paddle Sports

Canoeing and stand up paddleboarding has become an increasingly popular sport in the UK and, with the introduction of readily available inflatable paddleboards and kayaks it is viewed as an easy way to get onto the water for a relatively modest cost.

A 2019 survey indicated that stand up paddleboarding was the fastest growing UK water sport. As with any water sport or activity we would always recommend suitable training should be completed before going afloat. Both the British Stand-Up Paddle Association and British Canoeing offer courses from the beginner to experienced paddlers.

Conditions can change quickly and if you are not prepared, it is easy to get caught out. We would recommend that your property is labelled in case you become parted from your equipment and the emergency services need to establish that you are safe.


Considerations before going paddling:

• Always tell somebody your route and time of return.

• Wear a suitable serviced buoyancy aid or lifejacket for your activity.

• Take a means of calling for help, mobile phone in waterproof bag or VHF.

• Wear suitable clothing for the time of year, in the winter a wetsuit or dry suit.

• Always use a paddle board with the right leash.

• Check the tide times before you depart, which can be found here: Tide tables

• Check the weather forecast and avoid offshore winds.

• Do not drink alcohol and paddle.

• Keep a good look out for other water users and obey International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (IRPCS).

• Do not paddle under jetties and piers.

• Know your limits. 

• Be mindful as a water user on your effect on other water users and minimise impact on wildlife.

• If you are launching on a lifeguarded beach, make sure you launch and recover between the black and white chequered flags.

• Take extra items, refreshments, sun cream, first aid kit etc in a waterproof dry bag.

• At the end of your paddle, wash your kit to avoid contamination from invasive species and advise your shore contact you are back in and safe. Take all your litter and food waste home.


Please note that if you are organising a crossing, event, tour etc with multiple participants, KHM will need to see a risk assessment for your activity.

This enables us to assess the risk level of the event and advise other mariners via a Local Notice to Mariners.

A risk assessment template and how to contact us is available on the website.

Contact us here