Lars Thierling: „Everyone can learn to paddle - no ifs, ands or buts about it. The chance to see nature from a different side is absolutely fascinating and unique. Every season and every site have their own magical charm. Basically speaking, you should inform yourself beforehand (e.g. at a canoe club or SUP school) about the basic rules, such as nature protection, how to get safely on to the water and what to do if something unexpected happens.
Of course, paddling on your own isn’t for everyone. For this reason, canoe clubs and SUP schools offer activities in groups so no one has to go out on the water alone if they don't want to. Besides, it's much more fun to discover something new in a group, isn't it? For example, we regularly offer guided city tours. The journey of discovery in even a well-known city, but from the water, is really something special.“
What advice do you give beginners? What should they pay attention to? What’s particularly important?
Lars Thierling: „Beginners should study up on the subject a bit before getting started and not just get out and paddle or buy the next-best gear offered by discounters. I advise everyone to find out what they need to know from the experts. For example, canoe clubs (DKV) and SUP schools (GSUPA) have experienced paddlers and lots of information to help you get started. They offer beginner courses that don't cost much but will give you the confidence to get out on the water without any stress.
The right clothing and equipment are also important and not that expensive. However, this is a must (even if it’s only borrowed for starters). There are also rules on the water that must be observed, and many novices have found themselves in a dicey situation that could have been avoided with some basic knowledge. You also have the opportunity to try out different materials. But you should wait until you’ve found the right watersports equipment for you before buying it, and then get it at a specialist shop.
Ultimately, with the right basic knowledge, you’ll gain confidence and be able to experience many magical moments on the water.“