The Open Canoe Association was founded in 1956 and exists to promote the use of open canoes for self-reliant adventure, exploration, journeying and self-development (see here).

What does that mean?  See our What is Canoeing Wiki.

Members of the OCA explore, cherish, protect, and enjoy the diverse waterways of the UK and beyond, from steep creeks and sea lochs in Scotland to the classic rivers of the Massif Central and from quiet backwaters of the Norfolk Broads to some of the most legendary extended trips of the Northern Territories.

Our members contribute to our mission by:

  • Getting out and about, independently, in ways that inspire others
  • Sharing experiences, and learning from one another
  • Leading trips, and providing assistance to others who are leading trips
  • Representing canoeists' interests in the wider outdoor community

This results in an extensive annual programme which:

  • Provides opportunities for members to meet up
  • Facilitates training and mentoring, including opportunities to develop leadership skills
  • Offers guidance and resources to members wishing to offer an OCA event
  • Develops a network of national and international opportunities and connections

We also work with other organisations which promote a spirit of adventure.

New members are always welcome, regardless of age, experience or ability. Families, women, young people and paddlers with a disability are especially welcome as are lone paddlers looking for a network of like minded people who share a similar passion for open canoeing.

Our new website has been developed to carry details of forthcoming events, to be a portal to key articles on equipment, techniques and trips, and to allow members to publish based on their own paddling experiences.  

Our Facebook Group provides a second hub for our online community, helping canoeists keep up to date with news and events and providing a further forum for discussion.  In addition, we operate a variety of regional and specialist groups based around specific canoeing-communities.

To get a broader sense of what we're about, see here:




Louise Ridley's picture

I would be happy to receive regular updates on events coming up, and regular news letteres of events. 



Expeditions to Canada

Robbie Davies's picture

I would be very interested in joining any OCA trips to Canada in 2016.