Singapore may be a really small city but there are thousand and one things you can do here. This includes kayaking and canoeing at Marina Bay waters.
With increasing urbanization, our leisure activities seem to narrow to the usual few – shopping, dining and gaming. We may not have natural resources but we have our natural water bodies like rivers and reservoirs which opens up to a revenue of water recreational activities like canoeing and kayaking.
Water Sports Centre
With that, it has brought us here at the Water Sports Centre in Singapore Sports Hub.
Prior to this, I had no idea that you can rent kayaks, canoes or pedal boats for a small fee. I’ve always thought one must have some form of qualifications to row a kayak or a canoe. But in fact, you don’t have to master this watersport before hopping into one. Yes, anyone can kayak or canoe.
However, for single kayaks and outrigger, you would need to have at least a one-star Kayak certification.
We were here on a Saturday so as you would have guessed, there are more boats being rented out. Kayaking seems like a more popular activity here. There’s hardly anyone on the canoe or pedal boats.
Do You Know?
Do you know that kayaks were created thousands of years ago by the Eskimos living in the North Arctic region? It was mainly used for hunting purposes at that time but today, it has been developed into a sport by the Europeans. And it is one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel across waters.
I am just so glad to be back kayaking this time with Sam. It isn’t actually my first time kayaking in Singapore waters.
I had my maiden experience in kayaking when I was doing volunteer work with my colleagues at Waterways Watch Society. We had to kayak across the waters to pick up rubbish and we are doing this as part of the environmental efforts to keep Singapore clean and green. That was when I fell in love with this water sport!
Renting a boat
The process of renting a boat at Water Sports Centre is easy peasy.
You would just need to head over to the counter and choose which type of boat you would like to rent and sign an indemnity form.
It is definitely cheaper to rent boats during non-peak hours. You can check out the rental rates here.
For us, we decided to rent both the pedal boat and double kayak. The pedal boat is perfect for those who didn’t want to be out in the sun for long hours (as it comes with a canopy) and just want to enjoy a leisure ride across the waters. The double kayak and canoe are great for those who are seeking to do some adventurous exercises.
Lock away your belongings
You could keep your belongings in these free lockers found in both the male and female changing rooms.
What to bring and wear?
It is important to bring a cap, a pair of sunglasses and a change of clothes along with you. You might get wet especially if you are going to kayak as water can enter the boat. As for pedal boats, we were actually pretty much dry throughout our ride.
You should also bring along a pair of waterproof shoes. Slippers and sandals are fine. Wear comfortable sports attire when you are out kayaking. I highly recommend that you either wear long exercise pants or shorts to avoid getting those tanned lines at undesirable places. I had a tanned line formed right across the mid-section of my calves and that has garnered many stares from passersby.
Remember to slap on lots of sunscreens!
Can you bring your phones along with you?
Bring it at your own risks or make sure you strap it properly across your body like how we did.
Suit Up with Your PFD
Before heading out into the waters, you would need to attend a safety briefing. You will also be told where are the dangerous zones which you will have to avoid.
Once the briefing is over, you would have to put on a PDF (or Personal floating device). And you got to make sure that the PDF is secured tightly around you. Safety comes first.
If you are heading out into a canoe or kayak, you will also need to grab one of these boat pedals and carry your own kayak down to the platform. The kayaks can be pretty heavy though!
The pedal boats and pedal bikes are located at the disembarking platform so you wouldn’t have to carry it on your own. You will just need to hop into one!
Pedal Boat Adventure
We hopped on to the pedal boat first. Once you are in the boat, you will just need to pedal forward and turn the lever (located at the side) to turn left, right or go straight. Manoeuvring the pedal boat is very straightforward and I believe that even your parents or grandparents would have no qualms handling the pedal boat.
Once you are out in the waters, you will be able to enjoy a different view of Singapore’s landscape. It is actually a perfect spot to capture a photo of the World’s largest retractable dome which houses the National Stadium at Singapore Sports Hub.
We spotted some groups of dragon boaters training in the waters too. It’s quite an interesting sight to watch them paddling in a synchronized rhythm as the dragon boat glided across the waters.
“Kayak-Kayak” in Singapore Waters
After being in the pedal boat for some time, we decided to switch over to the kayak. Their team of friendly staff helped us to launch our kayaks and taught us how to get in and get out of the kayak.
Check out the glistening waters in the photo shown above. The sun was shining directly right at us as we pedalled left and right. I regretted not bringing my own pair of sunglasses.
Kayaking makes a great upper body workout and it really works on your core muscles as you try to maintain stability while pedalling on the boat.
It would have been more fun if we could kayak along larger water bodies and explore the Marina reservoir or Kallang River. As of now, we can only kayak along the main area surrounded by the lighthouse and bridges. Hence, renting a kayak for about 2 hours is more than sufficient since you can’t really kayak very far.
We spotted a family of 3 canoeing in the waters. As you can see, the differences between the canoe and kayak are the shape of the boat as well as the sitting positions of the rowers.
Once you are done kayaking, you and your partner would need to carry the kayak up to the boat storage area for washing. We rinsed our PFDs and gave the kayak boat a good rinse.
Once we had washed up, we had to place the kayak back on the rack. And that marks our kayaking adventure where we get to explore a different part of Singapore.
I believe that there are some places in Singapore which have yet to be discovered. Do you know any of such hidden gems? Do let us know in the comment box below!