Thames trips

Competent kayakers should have a mix of skills, experience and fitness. 
Paddling regularly on the Thames is a good way to acquire this.
We paddle all year round on the Thames to acquire and maintain paddling skills and fitness. There are regular Thursday evening and Saturday morning sessions, for all levels including beginners. Approval to paddle is normally given after attending 2 or 3 pool safety sessions, though you may require more sessions to gain proper confidence.

Weekly Thames trips are organised via the Club's email group. We must know you are attending. Do this by replying to the weekly email. You will be turned away if you haven't let the organiser know. 

Guests. You can attend as a guest paddler for two taster sessions after which we will ask you to join the Club. (NB. our Club insurance does not cover you beyond the taster sessions.)

How do I join a Thames session?
Read the Thames Rules, the equivalent of the river's 'Highway Code' on how to behave and what to look out for on the Thames. 
Even if you are out with experienced paddlers and trip leader, everyone in the group on the river is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care for other rivers users.

4. Reply to the weekly Thames email
Mention if you are a beginner, newcomer to the Club or your prior experience. If you are not a Club member then it helps to give a few relevant details. Make sure your name is included on the list of paddlers so we can cater for you 

4. Do wear appropriate clothing.
A cotton T-shirt and shorts are not all right! Dress for the water temperature. Look at our information on what to wear, click here

Golden Rules of Cold Water Safety

Always Wear Your Buoyancy Aid 
Always dress for the water temperature No exceptions
Field-test your gear
Swim-test your gear 
Imagine the worst that can happen and prepare for it!

5. On the water
Take as much care to avoid collisions or causing a collision. Learn to control your kayak. Look around and be aware of other users. If you see other river users approaching warn other paddlers.

A safe group
We do not use safety boats. It is working as a group that ensures our safety. A group is only a group if everyone is within easy communication range and ready to help. This means staying within line of sight. This means staying within hearing distance, on a windy day this is probably not more than 15 metres away. This means frequently looking around to check on everyone, especially if you are one of those at the front.
6. Choice of boats
We have a range of boats available, and someone will help you choose something suitable.
6b. Notes on Race boats

6c. Notes on the surfski

7. Night time lighting
If you intend to keep paddling with us in the winter, and in the dark you must have 2 white lights which are clearly visible front and back, to comply with the Port of London Authority regulations.

The lights are to be seen by other river users, not to see with. Attach them high up on your buoyancy aid front and back. White LED cycle lights or head torches also work. 
Try this DIY solution below; made with a diving torch shining into a translucent plastic deodorant top or milk bottle 

8. Non- members pay the fee please
 £5 for non-members. Cash only please.

Hammersmith Bridge tide

Environment Agency Thames warnings Thames Flow rates at Kingston

Note river flow rates in benign conditions are between 10 to 30 cubic metres/second. However in spate the river has reached 400 cubic meters, i.e. 400 tons of water per second!

River Thames Rules

Please take time to read the regulations. It is the busiest river in the UK, and like driving on the roads not knowing the rules is no excuse for breaking them.

Thames Paddling Code

Putney paddling map 

Boating on the Thames website 

Rowing Code

Current Rules in operation (Notice to Mariners)

Thames events calendarPlease check other events if you are organising your own

Port of London Authority

The PLA has occasional meetings that some of our members attend.

A Club Trip to Tower Bridge in winter and summer. It can be done in all seasons as long as you are dressed properly

Richard Bate,
30 Nov 2017, 08:13