The following Introduction and Guidelines below are for the benefit of newcomers and experienced paddlers a like.  Please read them before joining any Club activities. If anything is unclear please contact the Trip Leader or email the Committee via the Club Secretary 

Introduction to the Club

Club Communications - A weekly email is sent to members via our Email group. 
To subscribe to the list send an email to the following email account:­

To ensure spam filters don't cause problems add the following email address to your email address book or email contacts. This is also the email address to contact Members once you have joined up.

Note: you do not need to be a paid up member to belong to our email list.

Start kayaking by coming to our Pool Sessions

Pool sessions are essential for practicing safety drills and acquiring basic skills. The training route roughly follows the British Canoe Union 2 star syllabus (BCU). The BCU star system goes from 1 to 5, and is an internationally recognised qualification, also used by other countries such as the US , Canada. BCU 2 Star level is obtainable by most people within their first year. Some organisations may require 2 star or above for trips more than 300m from shore. 

See website for current time and other details

Kayaks: these are provided along with paddles and spraydecks, and are stored at the swimming pool. 

Care: When launching the kayak do not 'seal launch' into the water directly from the side of the pool. This could damage tiles. When the session is finished please help put away the kayaks and rince the spraydecks in fresh water. 

Clothing: Normal swimming pool costumes can be worn, or with technical T-shirts etc. If you are a beginner, goggles can be useful to help you see what your paddle is doing while learning to eskimo roll. 

Thames evening sessions

Once you have done 2 or 3 pool sessions we are generally happy for you to come out on the Thames starter evenings. These are on Thursday at 18:00. You are allowed to try paddling with us on the Thames 2 or 3 times so you can make your mind up whether paddling and the Club is for you. After this you will need to join the Club as our insurance no longer covers you as a guest. 

In winter you must be visible with white lights front and back to comply with the Thames regulations.  Cheap LED lights are OK. See below for what to wear in the winter. 

We occasionally run Saturday morning sessions subject to demand.

Membership fees 

Membership costs £40. Please return a completed membership form with cheque to the Treasurer. (see the address on form.) We do not receive any grants or support so Membership fees allow us to cover our costs (mainly for the lockup and pool sessions) and provide good equipment for members use.

Everything apart from clothes and lights are provided by the club: - kayak, paddle, spraydeck, and buoyancy aid until you acquire you own.

Paddling clothes 

The general rule for paddling is to dress for the water temperature, so that if you do fall in you won't get hypothermia in 10 minutes. It is unusual for anyone to capsize; so this is a precaution but one we take seriously. 

The essentials for the Thames are below. Decathlon at Surrey Quays is a good place to start. Outdoor clothing such as for walking and cycling is fine to start with. 

Don’t wear cotton clothes except possibly in the middle of summer. Cotton stays wet and then sucks the heat from you 5 times faster than air. More information here>>

Footwear - Never have bare feet. Neoprene shoes or booties cost around £12 -£20 from Decathlon. Old trainers are a stop gap solution, but make sure the laces cannot catch on the kayak foot rests. If you have large feet, trainers will probably take up too much space in the kayak and be uncomfortable.

Legs - waterproofs and/or leggings, neoprene 'long-johns'. Shorts are ok in summer. Cost around £35

Top half  - Waterproof outer 'cag' or nylon anorak. Cags have adjustment at the waist, neck and wrist to keep out water. Cost £30 – £150

Underneath wear layers of cheap fleeces in polyester, the coarser the better as this contains more air and  is a better insulator. 

Head - A warm and or waterproof hat in winter, sun hat in summer

Hands - In summer it best to not to wear gloves as these stop you feeling the paddle properly. However in winter pogies are recommended; which are similar to motorcyle couriers handlebar covers. Neoprene windsurfing gloves, or Marigolds have even been tried but all limit proper control of the paddle to some extent.

Lights - You will need to bring your own lights for winter paddling. White which are visible front and back. These are not to see with but to be seen by other river users 

SelectionFile type iconFile nameDescriptionSizeRevisionTimeUser
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Sea Kayaking guidelines for Trip Leaders   40k v. 1 29 Nov 2012, 06:27 Putney Bridge CC
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Surfing guidelines  83k v. 1 29 Nov 2012, 06:28 Putney Bridge CC
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Thames paddling procedures  94k v. 2 29 Nov 2012, 06:26 Putney Bridge CC
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Trip Leader Guidelines for Whitewater river trips  43k v. 1 27 Nov 2012, 15:59 Putney Bridge CC