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Introduction to Kayaking

Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore our rivers, lakes and streams while also having great fun and keeping fit. The sport is incredibly old, with the inuits building the first kayaks over 4,000 years ago! In recent years the introduction of modern materials and techniques has helped to propel Kayaking to mainstream success; it’s never been easier to get out there and see why so many people love Kayaking!

Here at Dolygaer you can Kayak on canals, rivers or even the beautiful Pontsticill Reservoir, there really are few better locations to get out on the water and have some fun! What’s more, due to its inclusive nature, kayaking is a great activity for families, groups, and individuals.

We offer courses for all ages and abilities so whether it’s your first time on the water or you’re ready to test yourself in our White Water session, we have the right activity for you. 


Our flat water taster sessions are a great way of having a go at Kayaking and seeing if it’s the activity for you. They typically last about two to three hours, which gives you enough time to learn the basics and leaves you excited about the sport and ready to take your next steps into the world of Kayaking.

The sessions include a full health and safety briefing and demonstration at the start making them suitable for those with no previous experience. Once onto the water you will learn basic paddling technique and how to effectively maneuver your Kayak. We then progress as a group a short way onto the reservoir, keeping in close communication the whole way.

Before finishing we give you a chance to put your new skills to the test in a friendly race back to the buses. For those so inclined there is also the opportunity to take a quick swim!

Our fun splash sessions are exactly what they say on the tin! They are all about getting out on the water and having some fun (and yes there is usually a some splashing involved…!)

As with all our sessions we start you off with some basic health and safety information and, depending on your experience as a group, we will spend some time covering basic techniques for maneuvering on the water. We then take you to the reservoir where we get out into the water and the fun begins.

Throughout the day we play lots of games and activities which will ensure you are always smiling and having a good time. Each session is suitable for beginners and typically lasts 3-4 hours but this can be tailored to fit your requirements.

Our White Water sessions are perfect for those with some previous experience of Kayaking who are looking to take things to the next level! With the feisty River Usk within easy travelling distance you can expect an adventure to remember as you test yourself against varying rapids that range from grade 2 - 4.

Of course, our fully qualified instructors are always on hand to guide and assist you on your journey so you need not worry too much! All of our white water sessions begin with a full health and safety briefing as well as instructions on what to do should you find yourself the wrong way up and there is the option to skip some of the more fierce rapids if you are feeling nervous on the day.

If you have tried Kayaking on flat water and are looking for the next experience then we highly recommend our white water sessions.

We are incredibly fortunate to have a huge range and variety of places to go Kayaking within easy travelling distance, meaning no matter how many times you get out there you can always experience something new.

First and foremost we have the beautiful Pontsticill Reservoir right here on our doorstep, where you can experience some of the most relaxing and serene moments you could wish for ion a Kayak. With stunning views of the surrounding mountains and countryside, this really is a great way to see the local area.

We have a great number and range of rivers in the area that all have different characteristics and are great to explore. We are very close to the River Taff, which is great to explore by Kayak, while for those looking for a longer session, we have the beautiful River Wye, which is perfect for those looking for full or multi day trips. If you are looking for more adventure still we have the fast flowing waters of the River Usk, which holds a range of rapids between grade 2 - 4, a sure way to turn your knuckles as white as the water!

Finally you can also explore the beautiful 200 year old Brecon to Monmouthshire Canal by Kayak, a varied journey where you travel over aqueducts and pasted fantastic views of the central Brecon Beacons mountains. This canal is an old traditional route which was built to transport, limestone, steel and coal down to Newport, before exporting across the world. 

Book your Kayaking adventure online today!

Our Instructors

Mike Smith - Mike has been Canoeing and Kayaking ever since his school days and loves spending time out on the water. He has his Level 3 and 5 Star Advanced Water Endorsement (AWE) training and delivers the majority of our water-based courses.

Lisa Boore - Lisa is a Level 2 kayak coach and has been involved in teaching Kayaking for twelve years. She has kayaked in the England and Wales, and Austria. Her favorite river section is the Usk, particularly the section from Talybont to Llangynidr.

Our Equipment

Here at Dolygaer we have a variety of modern kayaks for you to use, including Dagger RPM and Piranha Masters. The Masters have a drop down skreg which helps with paddling in a straight direction and stops the kayak turning as much, making them perfect for those just getting started.

We also have paddles, helmets  buoyancy aids and wetsuits in a range of sizes that we provide you with to keep you safe and warm.



Q: What do I need to wear?


A: There are no real requirements, though it’s a good idea to come in clothes that you don’t mind getting wet! A pair of old jogging bottoms and shoes is usually a good idea. It’s also best to bring a spare change of warm clothes to leave at the centre for once you’re finished (just in case!). 

We have helmets and wetsuits in a range of sizes and colours that we provide to keep you safe and warm.


Q: Can I take part if I can’t swim?


A: Yes, as long as you are relatively confident about being around and near water. Whilst around or near the water the participants will alway have a correctly fitted Buoyancy on. if the participant lets the instructor know that will can not swim, the instructor will give the participant extra advice on what to do if they capsize. 


Q: Will I get wet?


A: You will probably get your shoes wet getting in and out of the Kayaks but other than that there is no reason you should get wet - unless you want to of course!


Q: What’s the difference between Kayaking and Canoeing?


A: Both sports have similarities but the primary difference is that Kayaking involves using a paddle that has a blade at both ends. Kayakers also sit on a low seat with their legs extended as opposed to the raised seats common to Canoes. 

More Kayaking Questions?

Contact us today on: 01685 848 309

Contact Us

Business Hours

Opening Days:

  • Monday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday   09:00 - 17:00

About Us

Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer is an activity centre based in the south of the Brecon Beacons, just a 15 minute drive from Merthyr Tydfil. We offer a fantastic range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities


Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer Pontsticill Merthyr Tydfil CF48 2UR