We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Paddling is much more fun when you have some paddle buddies to hit the water with. If you’re struggling for ideas on how to make paddling more sociable, fear not! We’ve put together a list of 4 ways that will help do just that!
- Join a Facebook Group and get social media savvy
There are good and bad things about the internet and social media, but when it comes to getting social on the water, places like Facebook can be a real pal. There are loads of groups on there which focus on paddling. Think about what sort of paddler you are. Female paddler? The women’s paddling community is a great way to make new paddle buddies. Want to try a bit of white water? The Slightly White Water Kayaking group are always organising social paddles and skill building sessions across the country. Into your open boats? Try the Open Canoe Association. Just have a little search for what you want, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the group!
- Create your own paddlers whatsapp or messenger group
Another one for those embracing the digital era, why not stick all your paddling contacts in one place? Add them all (with their consent of course) to a whatsapp or messenger group so when one person fancies a paddle, they can just shoot out a message and get people together for a paddle! It saves time messaging round all your contacts, and gives everyone the opportunity to organise their own adventures. It’s rare, with everyone leading busy lives, for everyone to be available at the same time. This way, it’s easy to get a few people on the water at the weekend, without any real logistical issues! Create a route for kayaking near you on PaddlePoints and then send eveyone the link and meet at a certain time.
- Set a team challenge or goal
It’s always easier to get people to commit to regular paddling if you’ve got something to aim towards. We’re not necessarily talking about epic challenges such as the Wye 85 mile challenge or Three Lakes Challenge (but they could be on your hit list), just set challenges you want to work towards. It might be that you want to get your time under a certain amount for a regular paddle you do. Or you set yourselves the target that collectively, you want to rid the river of 20 bags of rubbish by the end of the year? Having little challenges or goals to work towards helps keep everyone motivated to paddle together, even if you don’t really fancy it one week.
- Join or visit a paddling club
Goes without saying really. Want to be more sociable when paddling? Paddling Clubs are the perfect place to head to. They are an instant group of paddling friends, many of which cater to different disciplines, and also plan day trips and paddle holidays too. There’s loads dotted around the country, so why not go that extra mile and register with your local one for an extra set of paddle pals! Besides, you can never have too many friends!