Introduction to paddle sport weekends

Introduction to Paddle Sport Weekends

from £0

One blade or two?

Sitting or kneeling?

Canoeing or kayaking?

If you are not sure, then one of our ‘Intro to Paddlesports’ weekends will allow you to experience the similarities, differences and quirks of both.

Paddling open canoes and sea kayaks, you will explore some beautiful locations around the West Highland Peninsulas whilst learning how to paddle both craft. You will leave with a better understanding of both craft and this remote region.

You will be under the tuition and guidance of our head coach, Karl, who will help you develop your skills and all from your base at Otterburn B&B / Otter Adventures on the shores of Loch Sunart.

  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Medium Group
All about the Introduction to Paddle Sport Weekends.

New for 2020, and based upon guest feedback, we have developed an introduction to paddle sports weekend in conjunction with Otterburn B&B (where we are based).

This is not just an opportunity to paddle both open canoe and sea kayak, but an opportunity to develop the fundamental skills of both disciplines in one weekend. From here you should be able to get into either craft with a much better understanding of paddlesport, recognition of the transferable skills between the two and increased confidence in both.

These will be fairly relaxed weekends with time to ask questions throughout and to receive 1:1 tuition and feedback. Karl, the head guide, has over 35 years experience in the outdoor industry to draw upon for your benefit and development.

There will be ample time for off-the-water discussion about paddling or whatever takes our fancy. But when you leave, I hope you will feel that you will know the fundamentals of paddling both craft. You’ll also have some personalised feedback and suggestions to develop your paddling in the future.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this activity?Items that are included in the cost of the activity

The following is a non-exclusive list of what is included in this trip:

  • Two days paddling tailored to you with the head guide, Karl
  • A day in sea kayaks and a day in open canoes
  • Use of our canoes, sea kayaks and all essential equipment
  • Adjustable buoyancy aid
  • Waterproof paddle sport jacket and trousers (recommended whatever the weather)
  • Transport during the weekend
  • Two nights accommodation at Otterburn Bed & Breakfast
  • Three-course home cooked dinner at Otterburn on Friday night
  • Cooked or lighter breakfast both mornings
  • Packed lunch and fresh hot drinks during both paddling days

* Please feel free to use your own paddle sports equipment as long as it conforms to current UK safety standards and best practices and is less than five years old. If in doubt, please ask before booking.

What's not included in this activity.Items not included in the activity price

The following are not included in this offer:

Clothes to wear during the paddling sessions and suitable

  • Clothes to wear under our waterproofs and suitable for the weather (please avoid jeans and cotton clothes – modern outdoor clothing will be an excellent choice)
  • Shoes to wear whilst paddling (these will get wet)
  • Sunhat or beanie (depending upon conditions)
  • Suncream (take it with you if it is sunny)
  • Spare jumper (better to start a little cool and add layers later if paddling has not warmed you up)
  • Sunglasses & retainer cord or band (if you wear glasses normally, please ensure they are secured by a retainer of some form)
  • Personal accident and possessions insurance
  • Dinner on Saturday night – we can choose from dining at the Ariundle Centre, Strontian Hotel, Kilcamb Lodge or other restaurant further away (travel will be provided) *
  • Any drinks on Friday night (please bring your own if you wish)
  • Travel to and from Otterburn B&B in Strontian

NB: Some of these items may be available for loan from Otter Adventures if you should forget them.

* Subject to availability and where the group wishes to eat

  1. General Itinerary Outline Plan

    There is no fixed itinerary for these introductory courses, but there is an overall plan – for you to leave having sampled the best of the region, paddled different boats (open canoe and sea kayak) and to have improved your paddling skills and understanding.

    You will receive personalised coaching, paddled in different parts of the peninsulas and discussed the transferability of skills between canoeing and kayaking.

    You will be involved in the planning and decision making during the weekend – perhaps undertaking up to four half-day sessions in different locations; or maybe two full-day journeys. That is up to the group and different on each weekend.

  2. Arrival Friday

    You should aim to arrive at Otterburn between 16:00 and 18:00 on the Friday where tea, cake and stunning views down Loch Sunart will await you.

    Once everyone arrives, we will have a chat about previous experiences in paddle sports and your aspirations for this weekend and paddling in general.

    A three-course dinner will be served at Otterburn (please bring your own drinks as we do not yet have a license for serving alcohol) so you do not need to travel anywhere and can relax afterwards (or watch paddling DVDs on the television in your room).

  3. On the water Saturday
  4. Departure Sunday

    After breakfast, we will head off to our venue(s) for the day and develop your skills and understanding in the other craft. Hopefully, the weather will allow us to paddle in new locations and you will get to see more of this stunning area from on the water.

    We will aim to finish the course back at Otterburn between 14:00 and 15:00 on Sunday so that we have time for a 1:1 discussion about your weekend of paddling. I feel this is important so that you leave with a personalised plan as to what you should consider working on. This will not be exhaustive – and other coaches may see things differently – but it will guide the next stage of your development to becoming a rounded paddler and not just a ’kayaker’ or ’canoeist’.

Otterburn Bed & Breakfast

Otterburn B&B is located on the north shores of Loch Sunart near the head of the loch and the community jetty. It is our home and also the base for Otter Adventures. The makes it an ideal place to base yourself off these courses and gives you an amazing view of the setting sun down the loch.

Accommodation consists of a double room with garden view, known as Stag, and a double/twin room with loch views, Otter. There is also a guest lounge with loch views. Have look at their website for more details. We can’t guarantee what accommodation you will be given as this depends upon who books, but will endeavour to make the best decisions on your behalf. There is no option for a single room at this stage – sorry.


I hope not, but cannot guarantee it!

And it occasionally rains in Scotland… But we will give you decent paddling waterproof jacket and trousers.

You won’t be expected to deliberately undertake a ‘capsize drill’, but you may fall in inadvertently. That goes with the sport, especially when you are perhaps pushing the boundaries of your abilities a little.

Your feet and lower legs will get wet as you get in and out of the kayaks and canoes. You will be shown how to do this in a controlled and safe manner, a way that protects you, the boats and the environment, and helped to do so if needed.

Please bring some old shoes; trainers or beach shoes work reasonably well – but nothing that well grips on wet rock and seaweed!