PADDLE PUSHERS: Test yourself with the Club Whitsunday Outrigger four-week challenge.
PADDLE PUSHERS: Test yourself with the Club Whitsunday Outrigger four-week challenge. Contributed

Paddling adventures aimed at beginners

GLIDING along the water in a six-person canoe sounds ideal for some, and if you've ever wondered about outrigging, now is the chance to quell the curiosity.

Club Outrigger Whitsundays' Gina Bellinger is running a four-week challenge, beginning Wednesday, February 20 at 5.30pm at Shingley Beach.

"The sessions that we're running are especially for novices. Each canoe will have a coach and beginners will be paddling in our OC6 Canoes, a six-person canoe," Mrs Bellinger said.

Beginners will start off with paddling distances of 4km, along with learning the correct technique to propel the canoes through water.

The traditional Hawaiian canoes are built for surfing through big swell and ocean waves, but waters around Airlie Beach and beyond are not known for huge chop, so paddlers can expect smooth, glassy waters for training.

"It's just lovely to be out on the water. You sort of forget you're training and working hard," Mrs Bellinger said.

Whitsunday Club Outriggers has about 70 members, with juniors starting at eight years of age.

"We've got members who are in their 70s, there's no age limit. It's a nice low impact sport, you can take the intensity as far as you want," Mrs Bellinger said.

"It's a full body workout, that's for sure." Mrs Bellinger said it's a great way to meet new people.

"Everyone has a different reason for loving outrigging. You're out on the water, every session is different, it's a little adventure and it beats being stuck in a gym," she said.

is different, it's a little adventure and it beats being stuck in a gym.

"Everyone has a different reason for loving outrigging. You're out on the water, every session is different, it's a little adventure and it beats being stuck in a gym."


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