A man in a kayak paddling down a river

Have you ever dabbled in paddling? It’s a great year-round activity that keeps you out and about, fit, active and (mostly) dry!

Whether you opt for a kayak, canoe or SUP board - are a seasoned paddler or are just picking up the paddle - we’re here to help you have a great and safe time on the water experiencing WA!

All the gear and no idea? We think it should be - all the gear and ready all year!

  • Before you paddle out, make sure you have a lifejacket, and we don’t just mean any lifejacket - It’s important to have a lifejacket that fits you well, is in good condition and is appropriate for your chosen activity. Remember, bulky lifejackets can make paddling uncomfortable, so opt for one that is custom made for paddlers if you can!
  • If you’re paddling far from shore (+400m) you are also required to carry other gear to keep you safe too – for more information on this, head to the Department of Transport's website!
  • Make sure you check your craft thoroughly before heading out to ensure it has no holes or potential leak points, and that your paddle is in working order!
  • It also pays to wear warm clothing - cotton is not recommended as it get’s chilly when wet.
  • Pack a towel, water bottle and sunscreen too!
  • Buddy up! It’s always safer to paddle in pairs or groups and let others know where you’re headed and when you will be home.

Rain hail or shine? We don’t think so!

Safety should be your number one priority when paddling, so check conditions before you go – conditions of high rain, wind or swell are not recommended for paddling, so choose a calm day and remember, conditions can change – so check the weather forecast for at least an hour after you plan to return too!

Ready to hit the water, but not sure where?

WA boasts beautiful lakes, rivers and coastal waterways all of which can be ideal for paddling. If you’re just starting out, we recommend hitting up your local lake or starting out in the Swan River! Lakes and rivers are great safe options for those starting out, here’s a few places we’d recommend:


  • Swan River: Ascot, Elizabeth Quay, Pelican Point, Matilda Bay
  • Canning River

Outside of Perth:

  • Margaret River
  • Mandurah Estuary

Paddle addict? Join a club!

Here at Royal Life Saving WA, we support and work with Paddle WA who have clubs across WA where you can upskill, make friends and go on regular paddles!

Mny of their clubs are also helping us to promote our Respect The River campaign, so can upskill and become a lifesaver by obtaining your Bronze Medallion too – a great thing to have with you on a paddle is a set of safety and survival skills.

Find out more about our Respect The River program at the link below.

Explore more button

Get your Bronze

Four young persons at the swimming pool with lifesaving equipment

Bronze Medallion courses are regularly conducted throughout the year. Find a course near you.

Read more button


Are you river ready?

Read more button


Know someone who's saved a life?

Nominate them for a Royal Life Saving Bravery Award!

Cockburn ARC lifeguards with their Bravery Awards

Explore more button