Anyone familiar with Wikipedia will get the idea behind the OCA Wiki: it's a community-edited online "Resource Base"... with scope to develop, in time, into a full Canoeists' Encyclopedia.

A wiki (i/ˈwɪki/ wik-ee) is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser

We're currently working on a structure for core content - but we'll not let that stop us making a start - so keep checking back for additions and get in touch if you'd like to get involved!

The Important Places...

"Flipping through Dad's old slides it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, if I can bring back together these two things that were young once - my father and the Colorado river - I can somehow travel back in time to learn something of who my father was...

The narration is superb... but Dad's the real star of this beautiful film....

The Important Places...

"Flipping through Dad's old slides it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, if I can bring back together these two things that were young once - my father and the Colorado river - I can somehow travel back in time to learn something of who my father was...

The narration is superb... but Dad's the real star of this beautiful film....

Morall River Films - Introduction to Canoe Camping

Two years ago, Mark and Merri Morall of Morall River Films built up expectations of a DVD they had been working on by releasing "More than a River": a lush opening sequence, capturing the spirit of tripping and journeying in song as well as in great footage, and heightening anticipation by ending with Sigurd Olsen's famous line about the way of the canoe being "the way of the wilderness and of a freedom almost forgotten"...

Morall River Films - Introduction to Canoe Camping

Two years ago, Mark and Merri Morall of Morall River Films built up expectations of a DVD they had been working on by releasing "More than a River": a lush opening sequence, capturing the spirit of tripping and journeying in song as well as in great footage, and heightening anticipation by ending with Sigurd Olsen's famous line about the way of the canoe being "the way of the wilderness and of a freedom almost forgotten"...

Groups

Adventure Sailing

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

Adventure sailing in in many way the most distinctive of all British open-canoe traditions.  That was true in the 1870s, and since the early 1990s, this tradition has witnessed a remarkable revival... one closely identified with a remarkable series of Scottish Coastal Canoe expeditions well documented through the Open Canoe Sailing Group's Gossip. 

Recent contributors

C-Boating UK

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

C-Boating.uk

Ever wanted to know what those funny little canoes are all about?  Are you interested in pushing your whitewater paddling to a whole new level?

The team from C-Boating UK is always keen to help - so get in touch or get over to...

Camp Cooking

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

For those who prefer to eat well when tripping and journeying...

Canoe Outfitting and DIY

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

Once you've decided what you want to do... and how you want to do it... and you've found a more or less appropriate craft... how do you set about adapting what you've got and setting it up so that it's fit for purpose?

Please keep context in mind at all times - as what's "right" will vary depending on intended usage, approach, style and more.

Recent contributors

Canoe Touring - Weekend Trips and Beyond

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

For many in the OCA, "canoeing" is defined by the use of the craft in a trip or journey, generally in a craft which only really makes sense when laden with enough kit to be fully self-sufficient for at least a long weekend - meaning it's perhaps more related to backpacking than to so-called "paddlesport".

With care, we can get into tripping and journeying from our very first time on the water.  Here, Morall River Films provide an introduction from across the pond.  It's arguably better than any introduction ever offered in the UK - enjoy :)

Recent contributors

Coastal Canoeing

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

Britain's coastline gets explored by all manner of craft, from rowing boats to dinghies and from sea kayaks to yachts.  Most coastal canoeing tends to be in comparatively sheltered tidal waters (notably in estuaries and sea lochs), but recently, open canoes have been used to circumnavigate Anglesey, Mull, the Isle of Wight and Skye.

Getting Involved

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

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

Want to get involved with the OCA?  Get started here!

Headwaters - OCA e-Journal

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

Join this group to follow everything we showcase from the world of Open Canoeing!

Much of our content will be added directly to this site: news, trip reports, equipment reviews, interviews and more.  We'll also highlight the best material from elsewhere on the web - including in partner sources such as:

  1. As part of Canoefest 2017, the OCA took Quietwater "Style" Canoeing to the Beale Park Boatshow...

    Here's a write up from elsewhere:

    Years ago, Mark-Jan Dielemans​ was instrumental in popularising quietwater "style" canoeing within Europe. He ran International Symposia and attracted enthusiasts from far and wide. These had quite an impact, and many look back fondly on (for example) tandem Freestyle demonstrations from European enthusiasts Wouter​ and Annemieke Kieboom​.

    Here in the UK, Colin Broadway​ and others ensured these same traditions gained exposure and in recent years, Freestyle and "Canadian" style have become staples at our annual Canoe Symposia. In addition, Brits have travelled across the channel for more, including to Kringelfieber. In 2015 a few of us built on this by hosting our 
    inaugural Quietwater Plus conclave with Mark Maier​ and Lennart Bal

    This week, we have been at it again. Mark-Jan arranged for Paddle Canada guru Charles Burchill​ and ACA Freestyle gurus Jörg Wagner​ and Sebastian Stetter​ to be the main draw at Canoefest 2017... and by the final weekend, home grown talents were running short workshops in both traditions of quietwater "style" canoeing.

    The thanks of all concerned go to Mark-Jan for making all of this possible, and to the visiting specialists (including Frank Münker​). All contributed to a truly wonderful Canoefest, and to one which will hopefully kick-start the growth of our home-grown "quietwater plus" community 

    For Nick Dennis' blog see Carting a load of wood around- Canoefest- Part 2 Beale Park

    For the earlier part of the story goto Canoefest 2017 @ Hay-on-Wye

  2. Canoefest 2017 kicked off on the banks of the River Wye alongside the Hay Festival. Quietwater "Style" Canoeing took centre stage, but as ever, the weekend also included everything from tripping and "bushcraft" to the OCA's Annual General Meeting.

    Nick Dennis takes up the story: 

    We were blessed with good weather arriving at Hay on Wye on Friday 26th in stifling heat. OCA had the bottom section of the field adjacent to the river. There were loos, showers the large marquee and of course, a beer tent. It was also good of the Hay Festival organisers to coincide their event with Canoefest as we had a short walk into town to enjoy the delights of the world famous Hay Festival and to empty our wallets and purses in the variety of nice shops in Hay.

    To read Nick's full account goto Carting a load of wood around- Canoefest- Part 1 Hay on Wye

    For the rest of the story goto Canoefest 2017 @ Beale Park

  3. Three minutes of really classy footage showing how the Silverbirch Paddlesport Festival got folk introduced to canoeing on the newbie-friendly Lee Valley Legacy course - and a few clips showcasing open boats on the Olympic course. 

    OCA Members participated and OCA coaches ran workshops in this great weekend for showcasing canoeing. Newbies found their feet, older hands uppped their game and we converted a host of kayakers to "the dark side" and smiles were seen at every turn :)

    Ps. Great workshop titles - "Staying Ahead of the Game" with "High and Dry Lines" - "The Dark Side" smiley

    Details: http://www.paddlefestival.co.uk/

  4. Three minutes of really classy footage showing how the Silverbirch Paddlesport Festival got folk introduced to canoeing on the newbie-friendly Lee Valley Legacy course - and a few clips showcasing open boats on the Olympic course. 

    OCA Members participated and OCA coaches ran workshops in this great weekend for showcasing canoeing. Newbies found their feet, older hands uppped their game and we converted a host of kayakers to "the dark side" and smiles were seen at every turn :)

    Ps. Great workshop titles - "Staying Ahead of the Game" with "High and Dry Lines" - "The Dark Side" smiley

    Details: http://www.paddlefestival.co.uk/

  5. "Flipping through Dad's old slides it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, if I can bring back together these two things that were young once - my father and the Colorado river - I can somehow travel back in time to learn something of who my father was...

    The narration is superb... but Dad's the real star of this beautiful film....

    "When I was very young the smaller rivers and creek taught me a certain wisdom of flowing water, but they also gave me a sense of wonder [...] the first time I experienced the Colorado, water to flesh [...] inside [...] there was an awe which is indescribable [...]

    This film was Winner of the Most Inspirational Film award at the 2015 5Point Film Festival... and should feature on the big screen this weekend as it's part of the 2016 Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour.

  6. "Flipping through Dad's old slides it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, if I can bring back together these two things that were young once - my father and the Colorado river - I can somehow travel back in time to learn something of who my father was...

    The narration is superb... but Dad's the real star of this beautiful film....

    "When I was very young the smaller rivers and creek taught me a certain wisdom of flowing water, but they also gave me a sense of wonder [...] the first time I experienced the Colorado, water to flesh [...] inside [...] there was an awe which is indescribable [...]

    This film was Winner of the Most Inspirational Film award at the 2015 5Point Film Festival... and should feature on the big screen this weekend as it's part of the 2016 Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour.

  7. "If you think of paddling as an aesthetic activity - as ballet dancing - as a mixture of art and science - then that's kayaking - the capacity to make this piece of plastic, or in the old days piece of fibreglass, perform - if you have good skills you can make the kayak carve - it's skiing - you can use the river, you can use the energy of the water and you can minimise the effort required to move around to move around - and that's a lifetime of experience and skill...

    Tales of ordinary boaters about in this wonderful film about "rivering" - and we get everything from a tale the early days of boating with Scouts in West Yorkshire to a wonderful story about making river-running rafts from inflatable life-rafts... and they've even spliced in some great historical footage of folding canoes, a "dugout" and more.

    Tearing apart the notion that rivers are for adrenaline junkies, the film shows the joys of even the gentlest of grade 2-3 water. We get to see a novice working things out for himself on a pushy wave... but throughout the film we get a celebration of folk working on the skills needed to open new horizons in a responsible manner. 

    The importance of good judgement takes centre stage. "Managing risk is mostly about the decision making process, weighing up your level of skill, your level of confidence with any objective danger, with the team you've got around you" - excellent!

    Kayaks predominate, but almost everything imaginable gets shown... and all of the above is in the first hour of what is a two hour film - so find a bit of time and treat yourself!

  8. "If you think of paddling as an aesthetic activity - as ballet dancing - as a mixture of art and science - then that's kayaking - the capacity to make this piece of plastic, or in the old days piece of fibreglass, perform - if you have good skills you can make the kayak carve - it's skiing - you can use the river, you can use the energy of the water and you can minimise the effort required to move around to move around - and that's a lifetime of experience and skill...

    Tales of ordinary boaters about in this wonderful film about "rivering" - and we get everything from a tale the early days of boating with Scouts in West Yorkshire to a wonderful story about making river-running rafts from inflatable life-rafts... and they've even spliced in some great historical footage of folding canoes, a "dugout" and more.

    Tearing apart the notion that rivers are for adrenaline junkies, the film shows the joys of even the gentlest of grade 2-3 water. We get to see a novice working things out for himself on a pushy wave... but throughout the film we get a celebration of folk working on the skills needed to open new horizons in a responsible manner. 

    The importance of good judgement takes centre stage. "Managing risk is mostly about the decision making process, weighing up your level of skill, your level of confidence with any objective danger, with the team you've got around you" - excellent!

    Kayaks predominate, but almost everything imaginable gets shown... and all of the above is in the first hour of what is a two hour film - so find a bit of time and treat yourself!

  9. Leaving Mallaig we boarded the 'Lord of the Isles' ferry and headed towards Lochboisdale on the island of South Uist. Heading out of the harbour into the evening light on a completely flat calm sea, the boat steamed through the Small Isles and around the southern tip of the Isle of Skye heading west [...]

    Passing the cliffs of Canna we were on the look-out for the Golden and White Tailed Eagles which are nesting here-abouts [...] The three hour journey passed quite quickly with so much to see, whether wildlife, the islands or just the changing light [...]

    As darkness began to fall, or rather the perpetual twighlight of the north, we [...] fell asleep to the sound of Oyster Catchers, Geese and other birdlife.

    Day two would begin with a short drive to the head of Loch Maddy where we put the canoes on the water for an exploration down the loch to Lochmaddy itself. Under the gaze of watching seals we made our way through the tidal islets before turning the corner to see two young stags leaping into the water for a swim of probably 1km across the bay to the opposite shore. 

    Read Matt's account in full at http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?51717-The-Mystery-Trip

    Notes:

    • Wilderness Canoe is planning to return to Uist later in the summer and is offering bespoke trips by prior arrangement - contact directly for details;
    • Photo credits: Matt Thompson, Wilderness Canoe
  10. Leaving Mallaig we boarded the 'Lord of the Isles' ferry and headed towards Lochboisdale on the island of South Uist. Heading out of the harbour into the evening light on a completely flat calm sea, the boat steamed through the Small Isles and around the southern tip of the Isle of Skye heading west [...]

    Passing the cliffs of Canna we were on the look-out for the Golden and White Tailed Eagles which are nesting here-abouts [...] The three hour journey passed quite quickly with so much to see, whether wildlife, the islands or just the changing light [...]

    As darkness began to fall, or rather the perpetual twighlight of the north, we [...] fell asleep to the sound of Oyster Catchers, Geese and other birdlife.

    Day two would begin with a short drive to the head of Loch Maddy where we put the canoes on the water for an exploration down the loch to Lochmaddy itself. Under the gaze of watching seals we made our way through the tidal islets before turning the corner to see two young stags leaping into the water for a swim of probably 1km across the bay to the opposite shore. 

    Read Matt's account in full at http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?51717-The-Mystery-Trip

    Notes:

    • Wilderness Canoe is planning to return to Uist later in the summer and is offering bespoke trips by prior arrangement - contact directly for details;
    • Photo credits: Matt Thompson, Wilderness Canoe
  11. After the success of our own 'Lifetime Volunteer Awards' at this years Canoefest celebrating our 60th Anniversary. It would be great for our members to nominate some of the volunteers that are working hard to support us. Here is the link to the British Canoeing Volunteer Awards. Lets get some of our members recognised for the hard work they put in. If you need any details to complete the form please contact Alan Mellor at secretary@opencanoe.info, in confidence. https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news/2016/get-your-nominations-in-for-volunteer-recognition-awards-2016/

  12. Dear OCA Member,

    In addition to being our 60th Anniversary Celebrations, Canoefest 2016 was the start of a new year for the OCA... and already it's gathering pace, not least with a big OCA turnout at this year's Open Canoe Festival on the Drôme (and on related, typically wonderful Adventures in the Massif Central, taking in the Ardéche and the "Jewel in the Crown" run on the Allier) and with last weekend's Barton Turf gathering - blogged as Five Mills On The Bure & A Wherry...

    Canoefest was hugely well attended party on the banks of the river Wye, with special guests, a Ceilidh, assorted workshops, big boat racing, beer-cooler antics, demo boat experimentation (thanks Canoe and Kayak StoreSilverbich Canoes, Hou Canoes, Venture Canoes, Burnett Boats and all else) and so on. The feedback has been excellent. If you've not caught up on reports and photos, please take a moment to read Canoefest 2016 - the OCA's 60th Birthday Bash... which has lots of wonderful photos!

    During Canoefest we also held our AGM at which we reported on the past year, updated our Constitution and Mission Statement, presented Lifetime Volunteer Awards (c/o Downcreek Paddles) and elected a new Committee. Details of the AGM are here - and to see who received the custom-built "Big Dippers" see here.

    In the weeks and months ahead we've got all sorts coming up... from the annual charity "Doggy Paddle" into Stratford on Avon to a Great Glen trip and from all-new coastal canoeing and open water journeying training at Little Cumbrae (c/o Glenmore Lodge) to fully mentored Leadership Development and Coach Education. You will even find detail of a Canada expedition being joined by a host of OCA members (one space available).

    Of course, there's no limit to our programme, so if you've things you'd like to make happen (from a peer group trip you always like to do through to an event looking at something completely new) then please get in touch. We can offer support to find others interested in helping deliver things, and to ensure anything put on is delivered in responsible ways that meet all Duty of Care obligations. If we can't do this directly through our own network of mentors, coaches, leaders and experienced boaters, we can generally do it through established links with key partners. 

    Note: if you like all of this and you've been a member and are planning to stay involved, please check your membership situation by logging into this website with your usual username and password. If you're a prospective member... please take a look at membership. If you want to join/renew the link, either way, is www.opencanoe.info/membership - and if you have questions, just contact us via membership@opencanoe.info.

    On which note, no matter how you like to go open boating, we wish you a great summer in, on and around the water.

    The OCA Committee.

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