Kayaking & Canoeing

Come and try kayaking and canoeing! If you're part of a group, see our Groups page to see what you can achieve.

You've decided that kayaking and canoeing are for you. Work your way through the Paddle Awards.

Taster Sessions

General information

We have a range of both kayaks and canoes.
Being beside the river allows us to go for expeditions along the River Lea and paddle the Broxbourne Loop, situated directly behind ESSA.
We run a paddling group throughout the summer on Monday evenings and welcome new paddlers of any experience.

What will you learn?

Taster Session content

Taster sessions cover the basics of paddling, how to get the grips right and manoeuvre your craft effectively. We have a variety of games to help make sure everything has sunk in.

Session recommendations

Over 8 years old -
Evening, full day or part of a multi-activity day.
We don't currently have a regular volunteer BCU coach so are unable to offer this as easily as other activities. If you have a qualified BCU coach, they will be able take paddlers on the water.
If you haven't got access to qualified paddlers, we can offer other paddling activities.


British Canoeing has moved away from the old 'star' system and on to new paddle awards.
To make the most of our courses, ensure you are confident with the skills of one course before moving on to the next course. If you're a bit rusty, you may be asked to return for an extra day of training before being fully signed off.
Kayaking and Canoeing are sports which gets better with practice, and you should try to get out on the water between courses whenever you can. Practice makes perfect!

Paddle Start

Your first time on the water ‘having a go’!
A fun and enjoyable practical session, introducing you to paddlesport.
Learning useful skills for an enjoyable paddling experience, providing you with the knowledge to enable you to get safely in and out of your boat, making it move and return to your start point, ensuring you feel safe and confident on the water.

Paddle Discover

Taking you on the next steps towards becoming an independent paddler, for a fun and safe time on the water.
Developing an understanding of the factors which affect your paddling; developing your decision making and practical skills, giving you confidence on the water.

Paddle Explore

Now you’re ready to Explore!
Your Explore Award gives you ownership; allowing you to choose where you move next in the world of paddlesport.
Working with a coach you will be able to develop a programme that suits what you need. Learning to make confident choices with this individualised approach.
This award recognises your ability to independently paddle your chosen craft in a sheltered water environment.