5 Important Things Canyoning Beginners Must Know
So, you’re a canyoning beginner about to take the plunge? You’ve made the right choice. But still, you may be nervous, or unsure of what to expect – which is all too normal. That’s why this guide is here, to put you at ease and make sure you don’t miss out on the adventure!
First things first, canyoning is an exploration adventure where you wetsuit up and get yourself down a gorge, river or – well – canyon, by any means necessary. But nowadays, with a surge in people canyoning, the canyon adventure is what you make it to be. With many routes down a river, there really is something for everyone, from the adrenaline junkie to those who simply want to explore beautiful spaces otherwise impossible to reach.
With that aside, here are the 5 things you’ll learn as a canyoning beginner…
1. ROPE SKILLS AREN’T ROCKET SCIENCE FOR A CANYONING BEGINNER
If you’re a canyoning beginner, you may not have experienced abseiling. It can look quite ominous when James Bond does it in the movies. I mean, you are walking horizontally on a very tall, often bumpy rock with only a rope to stop gravity’s magic. But rest assured, it will all be okay.
Canyoning requires great professional guides and even better equipment. So, while you may feel inches from danger, you are actually well protected, learning a new skill and enjoying yourself. A win-win…win really. The guides are always helpful and the rope skills are easy to pick up after your very first abseil. By the end of the day you really will be bounding down the rock faces!
2. CANYONING HATES FOOTWEAR
Well, I’ve been kind to canyoning so far and it’s getting too big for its boots. And those boots, if they have gone canyoning, are now very wet with loads of scrapes.
Seriously, we have your best interests at heart…canyoning is NOT for new or expensive shoes. They won’t be destroyed after you’ve gone canyoning but, they certainly won’t have you friends asking you where you got them from.
Some canyoning companies include shoes or wetsuit boots, it is best to check this in advance. If they don’t provide footwear, you can get canyoning shoes online which provide grip and enough waterproofing to tame the river. But, if you’re a canyoning beginner, a pair of old trainers you don’t mind getting messy will do until you get the urge to go more regularly. Just beware, these shoes will get very wet and wet feet is not one of life’s great pleasures!
3. YOU REALLY CAN DO IT
You may be a canyoning beginner with a fear of heights, or have never even seen a canyon before. Maybe the rocks are scary, or you are unsure you are up for the challenge. This always plays out the same way. By the end of the day, you will be leading the charge into a deep pool of water, armed with a huge smile.
The canyoning guides are always reassuring and knowledgeable. They will help you find your comfort zone and allow you to go at your own pace. If you’re ever scared, they will show you exactly how to safely navigate the river, and explain how it is safe.
Furthermore, as canyoning has taken off, there are better routes found. These routes accommodate canyoning beginners, intermediates and the advanced alike. And if ever you find yourself struggling, an alternative abseil or walk will be available. It really is a chose your own adventure.
Physically, you may be worried about the tight squeezes and difficult jumps. But, as there is so much variety in what you can do, there is something in canyoning for everyone! If you want help training for any adventure, a good article can be found here.
So, through the day, the terrifying jumps, abhorrent abseils and scary scrambles will turn into joyous jumps, amazing abseils and splendid scrambles. This happens naturally, at first any new thing is scary but, the more you do it, the more you grow in confidence. You really can do it.
4. RIVERS ARE JUST NATURAL WATERSLIDES
One of the joys of canyoning is exploring the natural wonders you wouldn’t normally be close to. The complex rock formations, chaotic waterfalls and idyllic pools are not to be missed out on. It truly is a liberating feeling to be amongst it all.
And on further analysis of this splendour, you will realise that over billions of years, the intricate world has conspired to create natural waterslides – just for you! Slippery rocks forming natural chutes which drop you into a pool of water sounds like you’re at a waterpark. But it is commonplace canyoning, and this is without the long queues, unnatural surroundings and unhygienic slides.
5. CANYONING IS RIDICULOUSLY FUN
The beauty, the thrill, the experience, it doesn’t take Einstein to work out why canyoning has taken off! It’s insanely fun and it’s a simple as that.
It’s a fantastic way to learn something new, travel to new places and release some adrenaline. You can explore areas otherwise unavailable to humans. Exploring the countryside and waters of different countries while enjoying the adult equivalent of a children’s play park meets water assault course, it really is fun. You’ll certainly get the adventure bug!
It is difficult to know how you will feel at the start of the course as a canyoning beginner. But it is easy to know how you will feel at the end. You will promise to do it all over again, this time with more friends so you can show off your new found James Bond abseiling skills.