Canoeing, paddle boarding and kayaking are types of paddle sports which can take place on fresh or saltwater. If you are looking for water-sports activities in Qatar, there are plenty of options to choose from. Companies like Entalek organise kayaking trips in the mangroves during the weekends.
The type of boat you use will depend on the type of water you are paddling on, as well as the wind factor. Paddle sports can be as recreational or as competitive as you want it to be, and similarly, as individual or group orientated.
What type of boat will suit you best?
Canoes are generally open top. You can paddle on your own or choose to take up to four people at one time. Recreational canoes tend to be made out of plastic and you use a single bladed paddle to propel yourself through the water. The type of paddle you use depends on the type of water (ie flat or moving).
Will you need lessons?
Canoeing, paddle boarding and kayaking take skill and practice to enable the paddler to manoeuvre their boat or board in a safe and effective way. While it is easy for anyone to begin paddling, lessons are essential to learn the skills you need to develop in the sport.
On your first lesson you will have a safety briefing for the type of water you want to paddle on. This is essential for you and the other people you are paddling with. The instructor will talk you through getting in and out of your boat and will teach you the best way to hold your paddle. As we mentioned earlier, there are different types of water and you need to be prepared for everything that might happen (including falling in), so your lessons are really important.
Adapted Paddle Sports
There are some fantastic adaptive devices available to enable inclusive paddling. Kayaks and canoes are available with adapted seats and allow added comfort, stability and balance for the individuals. There are even sip and puff devices available to ensure that everyone has equal access.
Inflatable boats often provide more stability on the water and may be helpful for individuals with poor trunk strength or balance. Inflatable support can be added to existing canoes for additional aid. Sit-on-tops are often used, and adapted, to the needs of disabled individuals.
Velcro gloves are also available for individuals with dexterity problems, or to help with the grip of the paddle. The can help to prevent sores or irritation and may also benefit individuals with poor circulation.
What are the health benefits?
The therapeutic benefits of participating in paddle sports can include:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest
- Improved torso and leg strength
- Low impact
To go out on the water in Qatar, either in the ocean or to meander through the green mangroves, contact Entalek.