Kayakers should have a good mix of skills, experience and fitness. Paddling regularly on the Thames is a good way to acquire this. We paddle all year round. We are currently running sessions with groups of a leader & 5 paddlers most days. Beginners need to contact us to arrange to come out with us.
Book your slotThames trips are organised via the Club’s membership system emails. We must know in advance that you are attending in order to organise sufficient leaders. You will be turned away if you arrive unannounced. For provisional members, please pay the £5 Thames cash paddling fee to the organiser.
- See the contact page for a map of where to go to
- Please arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled start time
- See the What to wear and Extremities in the FAQ
- Bring a change of clothes and a towel in case you get wet. Even in the driest of boats and good weather, the water often seeps in.
- Bring some water to drink and a snack to eat
- Please read the rest of this page!
Your responsibilities!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 to all other rivers users. Read the PLA Thames Tideway Paddling Code, the river’s ‘Highway Code’ on how to behave and what to look out for on the Thames.
Cold Water SafetyAlways wear a Buoyancy Aid and appropriate clothing. Avoid cotton T-shirt and shorts which will chill you. Dress for the water temperature with polyester fleeces etc. Look at our information on what to wear, click here.
Safety on the waterTake 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. We do not use safety boats. It is staying as a group that ensures our safety. We are only a group if everyone is within close range and ready to help. This means being within sight and hearing distance. On a windy day this is less than 20m. Look around frequently to check on others, especially if you are at the front. Please read our PBCC Thames safety guide
Choice of boatsWe have a range of different kayaks, we will help you choose a suitable one. Notes on using Race boats Notes on using the surfskis
Night time lightingIf 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 (PLA) regulations. The lights are to be seen by other river users, not to see with. One option is to use a head torch: Another is to attach lights high up on your buoyancy aid front and back. This is a DIY solution, made with a diving torch shining into a translucent plastic top or milk bottle:
Thames paddling informationTides 4 Fishermen – Serious users only apart from the tidal coefficient! The following coefficients are a guide:
- 120 – max Springs
- 95 – Springs
- 70 – Average value
- 45 – Neaps
- 20 – Lowest Neap tide