6

Is it "初めてのカヌー” or is that saying something like "It was my first canoe"?

2

"初めてのカヌー体験です" is probably what I'd say to emphasize the experience of canoeing instead of the canoe itself. 経験 instead of 体験 would probably be alright as well.

1

You can say 初めてのカヌーです for “This is my first time canoeing,” as well as, more colloquially, カヌー、初めてです。

This is an addition to the other answer.

  • Reading these sentences, I get the feeling that this is the first time seeing/owning a canoe (depends on context). By implication that means you haven't gone canoeing, but I'm not sure this has the right emphasis. – ajsmart Sep 25 '18 at 12:43
1

To express doing something for the first time, use the following conjunction:

〜初めて + action verb

Thus, for your desired sentence, It was my first time canoeing. would be expressed as

カヌーを初めてしました。

References: 1, 2

  • 2
    In this specific context, I feel like カヌーをするのは初めてでした may be more appropriate, but I am not a native speaker. – Aeon Akechi Sep 25 '18 at 8:38

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