Most people feel quite apprehensive about the prospect of trying kayaking and other paddlesports for the first time.
We are trained to keep you safe on the water and provide you with an unforgetable experience, for all the right reasons
We have tried to give answers to the most common questions we are asked.
If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us.
Some Questions we are Frequently Asked... and the answers
In general, the differences between a canoe and a kayak are;
- In a canoe the paddler either kneels on the bottom of the boat or sits on a raised seat and uses a single bladed paddle.
- A kayak paddle has a blade at each end and the paddler sits in a cockpit, usually wearing a spraydeck.
However, there are now a lot of ‘grey areas’ in between, such as Sit-On-Kayaks, Open Inflatable Kayaks, etc.
Open Canoes are available for hire at West Loch Shores. We do not hire out our kayaks for reasons of safety.
We only experience a few capsizes each year and we will coach you on how to avoid it at the start of your trip. However, if you do, it’s not a problem as we a trained to deal with any situation and will get you back into your boat and paddling again within a couple of minutes. You will not be asked capsize your kayak unless it is part of a course or assessment.
You don’t need a wetsuit for Kayaking or Canoeing, but it is best to wear a wetsuit for Stand-Up-Paddleboarding. We have a range of different sized suits you can use if you dont have your own.
Please note, for reasons of hygiene, we do not provide footwear. If you don’t have you own wetsuit boots or shoes, old trainers are fine.
Depending on the type and length of paddling trip you are doing, some of the following items might be useful:
- Water bottle, drinks.
- Packed lunch and/or snacks and energy bars.
- Any medications you may require, (please make the coach/guide aware of medical conditions/medications).
- Sun glasses (on a cord or headband).
- Cap or hat.
We provide dry bags, but recommend you do not take your phone or car keys with you onto the water. You are responsible for any items you wear or take with you.
All you need to wear are items you would typically choose on the day for a hill walk. We recommend:
- Walking trousers (denims are not suitable).
- Waterproof over-trousers are a good idea.
- Thermal base layer top.
- Fleecy top layers.
- A cap or hat.
- Old trainers or neoprene shoes.
For Kayaking trips, we provide a cagoule for you to wear. For Canoeing a waterproof jacket is ideal.
Please bring a full change of clothes and a towel just in case some of you clothing gets damp or wet.
Our single kayaks are only suitable for paddlers aged 11 years or over. However, for younger children you can opt for one of our two seater boats.
- A parent must accompany paddlers under 18 years on the water due to AALA rules.
- For Open Canoe and SUP Hire, a person aged 18 or over must be the hirer.
Open Canoe and SUP tuition sessions can take place with a parent present on-shore, but within sight and earshot, so that they can intervene if they wish to for reasons of safety or behaviour. However, it is always much better if the parent participates in the session, actually on the water.
Please contact to organise a fun activity package for you.