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Are you trying to find some kayaking groups? Not sure where to look?
If you don’t have friends or family that share your interest in kayaking, there are many ways to find people who would love to share a day on the water with you.
Below, I’ve listed nine ways to find a kayak group near you. I’ve used many of these resources myself and have made lifelong friends from doing so.
Online community kayak groups and kayaking clubs are two of the easiest ways to find fellow paddlers. Searching for kayak groups online on Meetup.com, Facebook, and forums like Reddit and Quora will rapidly lead you to groups that offer learning, events, and paddling opportunities in your area.
You’re going to be on the water with a group of kayakers in no time!
Online Community Groups
You might be looking for a local kayaking group and while it’s wonderful meeting other paddlers in person, you can meet paddlers from around the world in online community groups that are dedicated to specific types of kayaking or specific types of kayaks. For instance, Sea Eagle Kayak Owners and Kayak Fishing – Group are two of my Facebook groups that come to mind.
The people in these online community groups have so much to offer and their combined experience is unfathomable. I’m very grateful for the friendships I’ve made through online groups whether I’ve exchanged ideas online or had the privilege of paddling with them.
Let’s look at where you can find the best kayak community groups online.
Meetup.com is one of my top online resources for meeting like-minded people for outdoor adventures. I’m a member of a lot of local and regional kayaking, camping, and hiking meetup groups.
Why do I have such an affinity for the outdoor groups on Meetup.com?
I met my wife on a canoeing/kayaking trip through a Meetup outdoor group! How’s that for a lifelong connection? It’s been years since I met her and we now have two little ones. Joining and participating in that group set me up for the greatest adventure of my life!
If you are like me, I don’t know the interests of all my Facebook friends. Start by asking your friends if they kayak, if they are interested in kayaking, or if they know anyone who kayaks.
There are also thousands of kayaking groups on Facebook that offer incredible opportunities for networking and meeting new kayakers. I’m a member of three kayaking groups near me and one kayak fishing group.
The bonus of Facebook is that you can vet potential kayaking buddies to see if they are a good fit. You can check out their posts in your group and can friend them on Facebook before you ever meet them in person.
Look online for a kayak forum that is location specific, paddling-specific, or dedicated to your brand or make of kayak. Forums are great for getting answers to your kayak questions and for helping others. It always feels good to give back to your kayak community.
If you don’t know where to start, try Reddit and Quora. They have a lot of great kayaking forums with very knowledgeable paddlers.
Community Paddle Events
A quick search of the internet or a visit to a local outfitter can provide you with the schedule of local community paddle events in your area and larger regional paddle events as well.
I’ve lived in Tennessee and Kentucky most of my life. Larger cities in these states, like many in the US, have yearly events, seasonal, monthly, and weekly too.
The paddling events that happen annually are typically larger, where weekly ones are smaller. These events may be leisurely floats, paddles, or races. Join in with an event that interests you.
Community paddle events offer a great opportunity to join in with local groups or meet other paddlers while enjoying a day on the water. Making friends with fellow paddlers often provides you with a group of kayaking buddies that you can join up with at will.
If you happen to be anywhere around my old stomping grounds, be sure to check out the Annual Outdoors Inc Canoe and Kayak Race.
Kayak Demo Days
Outfitters and manufacturers occasionally team up for demo days. These events allow you to connect with other paddlers with a similar interest in gear as you.
Check with national, regional, and local outfitters to see when they are having their next kayak demo day and so you don’t miss out on future events, sign up for email from the outfitter and add them to your social media.
Kayak demo days are often combined with a kayak tour.
Head out with a kayaking group on a tour. There are outfitters like REI that arrange kayak tours for a fee. The outfitter does all the planning, packing, and hauling of gear.
All you have to do is show up and pay the tour fee. Demos of gear like kayaks, PFD, dry bags, paddles, and more may be part of these kayaking tours along with how to stay safe while kayaking.
Outdoor Associations and Clubs
Kayaking groups regularly provide paddling opportunities and some provide learning opportunities.
Check to see if there is an ACA Paddle America Club near you and join the American Canoe Association (ACA) to be a part of our nation’s oldest paddlesport organization.
After looking at ACA, look for other paddling clubs whether national or local. One of these clubs may fit your needs.
Take Kayaking Lessons
My first kayaking lessons were through the continuing education department at the University of Memphis in 1998. I met a wonderful group of people through the class that I’m proud to have as friends.
Finding close friends to kayak with while learning more about the sport and safety on the water is a win-win! I’m a strong proponent of taking kayaking lessons.
Is there an REI near you? Check the REI Kayaking Classes & Events page for lessons.
Reach Out and Connect
I am an introvert, yet I love meeting and getting to know new people. I also have a knack for forming groups. I started a hiking group, a kayaking group, a professional photography group in Nashville that has grown to over 550 members, and a Christian study group.
Creating your own kayaking group is easier than you think.
Keep a list of people you have met and enjoyed while kayaking alone, taking lessons, kayak demo days, events, and even those you have met online.
Make contact. Tell them that you’re getting a group together to go paddling at a particular place at a set time and ask them if they would be interested in joining up.
Most of the groups I’ve formed over the years have started out small and then grown so don’t be discouraged if only one or two others show up in the beginning.
Kayak at Popular Locations
Maybe it’s just me, but when I go kayaking alone on rivers with lots of kayakers, I often get “adopted” by a nice group of kayakers for the day.
Be open, personable, and engage with fellow paddlers. You too might get “adopted” for the day. You might even get to meet up with them again in the future.
Introduce Others To Kayaking
You can create a kayaking group by introducing people you already know to the sport. Ask friends and family if they want to join you or if they might know others interested in a paddling group.
I got one of my best friends, wife, and in-laws into kayaking.
I always get a kick out of kayaking with the people I’m closest to. It’s great for catching up and bonding.
I hope this post helps you find a group of kayaking partners you enjoy. It’s truly wonderful when you find a group of people to share experiences and common interests. I want those friendships for you and all the other benefits of being part of a kayaking group.
Online community kayak groups and kayaking clubs are two of the easiest ways to find paddlers in your area. My top pick for my region is Meetup.com. Its format is easy to use and I met a beautiful woman through one of the paddling groups that later became my wife.