With over 4,500 miles of canals in the UK and 8.5 million people living within 1km of a canal, they offer one of the most accessible ways to get out on your paddle board and see the UK waterways.
Choose the right equipment:
It's important to choose the right equipment when paddle boarding on a canal. Look for a board that is stable and easy to manoeuvre, and a paddle that is lightweight and comfortable to use. You should also wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when out paddling and dress for the conditions.
Be mindful of other users:
Canals can be busy with other boats and other watercraft, so it's important to be mindful of your surroundings and follow the rules of the waterway. Keep a safe distance from other boats, and give way to larger vessels. Be sure to always be vigilant and communicate with other users.
Make sure you have a licence:
Before heading out paddle boarding on a canal you will need to check if you need a licence, you can either check the canal or river trust website or speak to other canal users, short term visitor licences can be purchased for a nominal fee and keep the canal clean and safe for everyone.
Respect the environment:
Canals are often home to a variety of wildlife, so it's important to respect the environment and minimise your impact. Avoid paddling through areas with dense vegetation or shallow water, and be sure to follow local regulations and guidelines for waterway use. We recommend taking a bin liner with paddleboarding, if it is safe to do so you can collect litter when paddling.
As with any time you head out paddleboarding, it's important to stay safe when paddle boarding on a canal. Be aware of the weather and water conditions, and use common sense to avoid hazards. It's also a good idea to paddle with a partner or in a group and to let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.