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fatgit

Beginning Kayaking/canoeing

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I'm considering getting into canoeing or kayaking due to needing sone form of exercise, but my balance is totally shot and I get intense dizziness due to a genetic disorder (so cycling etc is out), plus we are going seasonal just outside the Lake District next year so it seems an ideal time (or a mid-life crisis).

 

What are the best ways to get into the sport/activity? I'm not interested in comoetetive stuff or white water etc, but would like to explore the canal networks and lakes/rivers at my leisure.

 

Any advice is appreciated :)

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I would ask a local club, most will do a taster session.

 

Why the fatgit name?

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What about a folding recumbent trike?

I built mine it's done 14 countries and 16000 miles with me.

I have almost no balance and was pretty unfit.

You can try one for about £30 try a few.

Basically there is the tadpole two wheels in front like mine or the traditional two wheels at the back.

There are pros and cons of each.

Are you capable of walking holding on to something?

I have a four wheeled push along that doubles as a seat.

I have a gym subscription £34 a month.

I go on the running machine but just walk for 20 minutes then on to the recumbent gym cycle if I feel up to it on to the pool.

I always use the sauna and the hot tub.

Good luck.

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Exercising in the gym?

OR

Canoeing in the Lakes?

 

Tough call but the canoe has it for ambience, views etc.

 

Graham

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I also have severe visual vertigo :o

Gym equipment reduces me to jelly in minutes (other than rowing machines, which I can handle if I take it easy), I walk using hiking poles but still fall a lot and my speed is slow (it's also destroying my back, constantly trying to remain bakanced). I do have a walker but it isn't steady enough when I stumble tonthe side, so I just fall.

A recumbent trike would be ideal, but is way outside of my budget and building one is out of my skillset (I did buy a Sinclair C5 but it was too heavy and underpowered to get up and down the local hills).

Even the local pool wont allow me in without supervision if I'm ill :o

 

It sounds like a lot of excuses, but I've literally tried it all, plus I've always loved being on, in or near the water.

I would ask a local club, most will do a taster session.

 

Why the fatgit name?

Because I was a fat git :) (although I'm slowly returning to the fat bit :o ). As kids do, I always got called fat as a kid but rather than letting it upset me, I embraced it and it stuck :)

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Canoeing is a great sport and really interesting on canals and rivers. The shallow draft enables exploration of over grown back waters and tributaries. However a good sense of balance is a must.

I would strongly recommend taking a beginners canoeing course at a public swimming baths, before you venture out especially if you are going to be alone. They are very low cost and taught in the safety and warm temperatures of your local swimming baths.

The focus is on keeping you safe and how to get out of situations that could be dangerous on rivers or canals. Remember river water is often just above freezing. A course will teach you how to extract or right yourself from a canoe if it turns turtle or how to safely exit the canoe if you are in difficulty.

I do hope I haven’t put you off, because canoeing is great fun. If you don’t go for canoeing give swimming a shot. It’s another great way to exercise, but will give your whole body a work out. ;)

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My balance is OK sat down (usually), it is standing/walking that I have a problem with

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There is no way I would be safe in a canoe.

If it overturned I would drown.

My muscles would lock solid with the cold shock.

I did try ordinary unheated water swimming I was incredibly lucky to survive.

Like yourself I am an expert in falling.

I break fingers and dislocate them.

For people like me it's a very stark choice.

Keep moving.

Keep my weight under control.

Or die!

Could you not try the running machine?

I swell Bannatines coffers with a cheap monthly subscription.

I just shuffle along at 3mph.

Unfortunately trikes cost about £1200 even 2nd hand something like the ICE trike would suit you perfectly.

Mine took me six months to build suspension all round drum brakes 63 ratios Sachs 7x3 plus triple chain ring clip on shimano sandals 16000 miles in 14 countries and still a few miles left in it.

My health is pretty fragile these days so I seldom cycle out.

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My advice is join a BCU affiliated club in your region. most of them run free inclusive coaching session and you will get good advises on equipments.

 

http://www. canoe-england. co. uk/findaclub. aspx

 

from a canoe coach.

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Ancell - treadmills trigger my ataxia nd visual vertigo pretty much instantly (as do cross trainers etc), but I am a strong swimmer. I'd get the full safety kit if I enjoyed the wctivity, including a wetsuit or drysuit.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm having a good look at the links.

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If you can swim safely and you feel confident of surviving a capsize I would take the advice of getting proper canoe instruction.

My friend has a proper inflatable sit on canoe no spray deck to fiddle with I would think combined with a dry suit it's the way to go.

Everyone is getting dry suits these days so there must be advantages over wet suits.

I only have experience of wet suits impossible for me to don unaided now.

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You don't need a dry suit with a canoe. A kayak it certainly makes life easy though.

 

I used to be an avid extreme kayaker. Since having the kids there is nothing better than gently moving along in an open canoe. Canoe camping is amazing among the Scottish Lochs.

 

As others have said, join your local club. Cheap coaching and kit to borrow and plenty of free advice with like minded people to learn from.

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Thanks. I've found a couple of local clubs and will contact them.

I hadn't considered canoe camping, but that sounds like fun (no way the wife would camp again, but I would)

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Like back packing but easy and you get to take what you like!

 

We even took comfy chairs last time on a four night Loch Awe trip.

 

Amazing!

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On 25/09/2015 at 18:49, John W said:

Like back packing but easy and you get to take what you like!

 

We even took comfy chairs last time on a four night Loch Awe trip.

 

Amazing!

ah loch awe, my cousin used to live  up there spent many a happy but wet week during the holidays,pike fishing etc

 

so iv just bought a n inflatable kayak ready for the summer for me and my 7 year old, never been in one and dont have a clue what i need to go with it. .. im guessing foam lifejackets but will i need a wetsuit and swim shoes?

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1 minute ago, chris76 said:

ah loch awe, my cousin used to live  up there spent many a happy but wet week during the holidays,pike fishing etc

 

so iv just bought a n inflatable kayak ready for the summer for me and my 7 year old, never been in one and dont have a clue what i need to go with it. .. im guessing foam lifejackets but will i need a wetsuit and swim shoes?

You certainly need a bouyancy aid,  just in case.  

 

Wetsuit shoes or just old trainers will be fine. A wetsuit does keep you warm, depends on how cold the weather is if you decide to get one or not.  

 

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As a level 2  kayak/canoe instructor, my advice is buoyancy aid is a must for everyone, depending on what you want to do and weather condition a wetsuit is not necessary ideally you will need a good wind and waterproof Cagoule. if you are not sure I will suggest you join a club to gain some basic instruction.

 

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And a helmet. Capsizing in a shallow bit and smacking your skull on a rock, will donyou no good at all.

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it'll be a summer thing for now. if  only cagoules are needed what about trousers then? just waterproof trousers?

 obviously if the weathers decent im guessing shorts t shirt and bouyancy aid

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As a number of people have already said go to a local club. They will have all the gear you need, let you try a suitable canoe or kayak and give you some basic training. Then you can take it further if you enjoy it.  

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6 minutes ago, chris76 said:

it'll be a summer thing for now. if  only cagoules are needed what about trousers then? just waterproof trousers?

 obviously if the weathers decent im guessing shorts t shirt and bouyancy aid

If it is just going to be a summer thing then dress according to the weather condition on the day.   but if you venture out far make sure you carry some appropriate clothing with you for any change in weather condition.  

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just been reading about needing to be a member of the canoeing club,is this really enforced/ needed?

 

just want to go out the odd time with my son, planning a week away back end of may to either north wales or the broads.  

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Joining a canoeing club is not enforceable or needed. But if you can join one even just for a year you will get some training in safe kayaking.  

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