Luckily I had a willing guinea pig in the shape of James.
We bust out on to the canal on a windy and grey February day but managed to find some sheltered spots to work on towing. And of course we managed to sneak in a quick hydrating pint at Double Locks. the return trip was somewhat quicker with the wind behind us.
James did really well for a first go, no falling in (good job, the water is still kind of chilly) and soon wanted to go faster.
Setting out from the canal basin. A safe and easy launch spot.
Dressed for the occasion. Water temps are still cold despite the mild winter weather.
Full salopettes, thermals, quick draining footwear and a pfd.
A PFD is personal choice but highly recommended. In warmer water I may forgo it but in winter it helps with keeping your head above water which helps stop the cold water immersion shock and is great extra insulation. Always wear a leash, your board is a pretty big pfd.
Kneeling is the most stable position for the rescuer but it is harder to paddle.
Standing is much more efficient for paddling but can be less stable and you get a bit of a judder when the board behind catches up with you.
James after successfully tackling the low bridge.
Rewards by the log fire at Double locks.