Start Award

Start Award

We know it can be intimidating taking your first step into a new hobby, but there’s nothing to worry about, this is going to be fun! Take your worries away with this award and start with the very basics, including an enjoyable practical session. First time on the water? This is the award for you!

What is the Start Award?

The Start Award is exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a place to start your paddling journey. If you’re brand new to the sport and really want to learn the basics to get started, then this is the award for you. You’ll cover everything from getting in and out of the boat, what you need to wear and paddling forward.

Who is it for?

Pretty much anyone of any age who wants to learn how to get started on the water. You don’t need any previous experience to take your Start Award, just the desire for fun! You can take the award in any craft, from kayaks, canoes and SUPs.

Where and how can you do it?

There are clubs, centres and coaches up and down the country who offer this course. To find a Start Award course near you, visit our awards provider look up here. You can book your place by contacting the individual club or centre near you, they will have all the information you need.

Is it a compulsory award to get started?

Absolutely not, no! It’s completely up to you whether you take the award or not. It’s not compulsory, but if you’ve never ever been in a boat before and want to get started in your new hobby, it’s definitely something you should consider. Paddling is very accessible to everyone, but it’s a little like riding a bike… easy if you know how. Once you’ve got the basics nailed, the world is your oyster!

What is covered in the Start Award?

  1. Clothing and equipment information, think of it like a crash course in everything you need to physically get yourself on the water, covering all the types of equipment you’ll need
  2. Tips for getting on the water including how to get safely in and out of your canoe, kayak or SUP from different places you are likely to paddle
  3. Learn to paddle with practical skills such as paddling forward, turning and stopping… pretty much everything you need to get started and moving
  4. Staying safe on and off the water, you’ll learn about how to stay safe and make the most out of your paddle session

What’s next?

Enjoy your first session? Excellent, we knew you would! When you’ve completed your Start Award there are two options for you to progress your paddling skills:

  1. Progress onto the Discover Award
  2. Head out paddling on your own… check out the Paddle Trails for some inspiration!