Paddlesports & Outdoor Education

As the name suggests, paddlesport encompasses any on-water activity that relies on paddle power.  Our centre is well-equipped with a fleet of sit-on and sit-in kayaks, sea kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards, meaning we can offer a range of activities to suit your needs.

Paddlesports encourage a great degree of self-sufficiency and personal motivation.  At Topper Sail Phuket we follow the guidelines for experiential learning laid out by the British Canoe Union

(BCU).  From the moment they launch, students are encouraged to learn through experimentation, discovering how their craft behaves in relation to the different forces acting upon it.  Challenges are set and overcome as students become increasingly aware of how to control their craft and to work with the elements instead of against them.  Paddlesports cultivate stamina, perseverance and a positive attitude, as students are encouraged to stretch themselves, to set new goals and to celebrate both their own achievements and those of others.

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Kayaking is the most flexible paddlesport, with different types of craft allowing students to embark on a whole host of on-water activities, each presenting its own challenges.  For the novice, our one- and two-person sit-on kayaks are ideal, enabling students to discover the basics of paddling quickly and safely without the need for specialist equipment and drills.  Our two-person boats also encourage good teamwork, as both paddlers must learn to coordinate with each

other in order to keep their boat under control.  For the more advanced, our sit-in kayaks allow students to master more technical skills, including self-righting techniques, which will prepare them to venture further afield.  Once they’ve mastered the basics, our sea kayaks provide endless opportunities for exploration in the local area, allowing students to go on day-trips and expeditions that will test their skills to the limit, whilst emphasising the vital role of teamwork and mutual support.

Stand up paddle boarding is a relative newcomer to the paddlesport scene, but has gained popularity as a whole body work-out, testing balance, coordination and stamina.  For young people it is an ideal way to get afloat quickly and simply, whilst its unique challenges encourage perseverance and determination.

Whichever paddlesports you choose, you can be sure that your students will gain a sense of personal achievement, adventure, and willingness to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zones.  They will also learn the importance of teamwork, working together to improve their skills and supporting each other through the challenges they face.  Paddlesports are ideal for one-off events such as team-building or study reinforcement, and also make a great addition to the sports curriculum, allowing students to chart their progress over months or even years.

Key Skills:

  • Determination
  • Learning through experimentation
  • Teamwork
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Personal challenge

 

Paddlesport and the School Curriculum

The learning opportunities provided by paddlesports are as diverse as the sports themselves.  Our experiential approach allows students to take charge of their own learning, gaining vital investigative and analytical skills that will help them in all aspects of their education.

More specifically, paddlesports can be used to enliven many aspects of the curriculum, including:

–   Geography and natural science: how local and global weather works; the causes and effects of tides; coastal erosion; marine species’ habitats, behaviour and characteristics; human effects on the natural world and the importance of conservation

–   Physics: buoyancy and boat stability; speed/distance/time calculations; energy transfer and forces acting on the paddler

–   Human biology: muscle groups; effects and benefits of exercise; proper nutrition