Canoe and Kayak Store is an independently owned, specialist paddle-sport store based in Gloucestershire. We also have a store in South Wales inside the Cardiff International White Water Centre, where you can Demo our boats and paddles on the course.

Our roots trace back to the year 2000 when Richard (having paddled since he was a child) was offered the chance to buy a canoe business. Loving the industry but not liking the company he decided to set up his own – opening a shop in Gloucestershire and leading to where we are today!

Unit 8, Damery WorksDamery Lane Woodford GL13 9JR
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    Introducing our newest Team Paddler Gareth Farrow

       Words by Rosie

       on 27/10/2017 16:26:00

    We are pleased to welcome Gareth to the Canoe and Kayak Store Sponsored Paddlers Team, Gareth will be representing the store so say hello when you see him out and about on the Rivers.

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    Team Paddler Name: Gareth Farrow

    Birthday: 27th May

    Hometown: Aberystwyth

    Boats Owned: Lettmann Granate (currently broken), Liquide Logic Remix, RPM

    Favourite piece of Equipment: 5.10 Hydro Pro’s.

    Proudest Achievement: This year I entered Addidas Sickline and came 47th overall, and 2nd British male paddler.

    Favourite place to paddle: New Zealand – such a beautiful and scenic place to paddle with fantastic rivers both big volume and technical. I also love Austria, bit more accessible from the UK, lovely alpine runs with nice weather, plenty to challenge people of all abilities.

    Likes: Kayaking, food, steep technical ditches.

    Dislikes: Walking in and the end of kayaking for the day.

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    Paddler Profile in his own words:

    A colleague of mine recently asked ‘do you literally spend every waking minute kayaking or thinking about it?’ I smiled and replied ‘I dream of it too.’

    I fell in love with kayaking at a young age and ever since my life has orientated around it. It was a way of getting out and having fun on the rivers and challenging myself while having a fantastic backdrop of beautiful scenery. My mentality has not changed on this since, I still love every second I am in a kayak whether it’s training on a canal or sending some grade 5, there is no place I would rather be than by or on the water. For me it’s not just about ‘surviving’ a rapid, it’s about getting a sick line and a dry line, being able to read the water and look at the river knowing where you want to be, how you are going to get there and what strokes you need to hit the line.

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    I started kayaking when I was 6 years old. I saw my father paddling out onto the harbour with the Aberystwyth Kayak Club and decided it looked fun, so asked if I could have a go too. By age 9 I was kayaking the Tryweryn and paddling with the Welsh Junior Slalom team as an honorary member. For the next 12 years I went all over the country and continent training and racing in slalom. I had my first international trip in 2004 to Bratislava (Slovakia) but it did not go too well, on the flight out, the airline lost my paddles and on the way back they flattened my boat. After that; abroad trips improved and during 2008 and 2010 I completed in the European Wild Water Racing Championships in Valtellina - Italy and Kraljevo –Serbia where I ranked 27th and 5th in the team race, 16th individual respectively.

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    With the Olympics being held in London in 2012 everyone was training harder than ever for it, I performed well to qualify for the selection races and making top 10 in the Premiere division and achieved 14th in the race. After this I had to take some time out to concentrate on my degree and tried out a few other sports but nothing compared to the thrill of kayaking for me; this also included rafting and passing my Level 2 raft guide course.

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    Photo Credit: Jim Swetnam

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    Photo Credit: Kate Dixon

    After 2 years out from paddling I came back and shortly after I had an unfortunate accident, as many of my friends are well aware, I am great in a boat but as soon as I get out to inspect something I am like bambi on ice, so I fell off a rock and caused degradation of my lower spine. Even after that, I messed up the line on the next rapid and paddled it a second time. Only to find out later that week, that the back pain was worse than I had thought.

    After 6 months I was back in a boat and 3 months after that I was in Scotland testing the waters and ever since then I have been pushing and progressing my paddling always looking for the next challenge and how I can make it feasible.

    The last year of kayaking for me has consisted of paddling in some wonderful places, meeting new people and paddling some rivers I dreamed of as a child.

    · Touring New Zealand and ticking off some of the classics including the Kaituna, Wairoa and Huka falls (my favourite park and huk)

    · UK boating whenever and wherever there is water with a few 5 river days. Dawn till dusk paddling in North Wales is the dream.

    · The Valsessia River festival in Italy. A beautiful place with amazing scenery and some great steep technical rivers.

    · The annual Cheltenham Canoe Club Alps trip to Austria. Always a well-organized trip with plenty of paddling to do for all abilities and the best social evening atmosphere you could ask for on a club trip. It was also nice to get out and paddle with a few of the local Area 47 guys on some larger rivers.

    · Sickline: this year I entered the Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak world Championships and came 47th. The feeling of being back in a major international race, racing down the Wellebrucke was incredible.

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    Keep an eye out for Gareth out and about on the water, give him a friendly wave or pick his brains about our range of products in store.