Richmond Canoe Club Paddle Camps – FAQs

How can you book a place on a course?

Complete the application form and pay using WebCollect

What is included in the course?

  • Monday – Friday outing in a single-person canoe or kayak
  • Supervision by qualified coaches
  • Small groups of 3-4 paddlers with one coach and assistant (i.e. 2-to-1 ratio of paddlers and staff)
  • Learning will include
    • Boat control, movement and balance
    • Correct paddle use
    • Capsize procedure
    • Rules of the river
    • General water safety

What are the hours of the course?

Courses run either in the mornings or afternoons, depending on when there is no tidal flow on the Richmond stretch of the Thames. Course times are either

  • 9:00/9:30 – 10:30/11:00 and 11:00 – 12:30 for morning sessions
  • 13:00/13:30 – 14:30/15:00 and 15:00 – 16:30 for afternoon sessions

Course times will be the same throughout the week.

What should you bring?

  • A set of clothes that you could potentially swim in. Close-fitting clothes are recommended, preferably synthetic / water repellent
  • A change of clothing in case you fall in
  • Water shoes or spare pair of sports socks
  • A warm top such as a fleece
  • Big towel or a changing robe if possible
  • A plastic bag for wet kit

Is there somewhere you can leave valuables?

We recommend you leave all valuables at home. However, during outings, we will provide a safe storage inside the club for keys, phones or money.

How do you get to Richmond Canoe Club?

The address is Landsdowne Boathouse, 81-83 Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 6UT. The 65 bus stops right outside in either direction. The club is a 15 minute walk from Richmond underground/overland station.

What happens if I fall in the Thames?

All course participants will practice capsizing. The water is warm in the summer and we encourage capsize practice and swimming in safe areas. Coaches will assist with unintentional capsizes which are to be expected and are considered run of the mill when learning the sport. Paddlers will get back in their boats and continue the session.

How clean is the Thames water?

Thames water quality has steadily improved over the years and it now supports a variety of wildlife including many species of birds, fish, crustaceans and shellfish. However the water is not safe to drink: ingestion should be avoided. Any cuts should be treated and covered. No one should engage in paddling with open wounds or if unwell.

COVID-19 measures

Richmond Canoe Club is committed to providing safe paddling by following all applicable Government and British Canoeing guidance on social distancing and hygiene. Measures will include

  • Sessions will be conducted outdoors; no use of indoor facilities is permitted with the exception of toilets
  • All paddlers will use only single-seat boats
  • All club equipment used by paddlers (buoyancy aid, paddle, boat) will be cleaned before each session
  • Cleaning materials and hand gels will be provided on site and use encouraged
  • Equipment swapping will not be allowed
  • Paddlers will boat in groups of maximum of 4 paddlers with one coach and one assistant (i.e. a maximum of 6 households)
  • Paddlers will be reminded throughout about the social distancing rules
  • Physical contact between coaches and attendees would only be allowed in emergencies (i.e. capsize or safety situations)
  • The club will retain record of attendance for at least 21 days for the track-and-tracing purposes

If you have a vulnerable family member, or are shielding someone that may come into the contact with one of the attendees, please make your own risk-assessment.

Who do I contact with any questions?

You can email paddlecamps@richmondcanoe.club and we will try to help you with any further questions.

What are the Terms and Conditions of the courses?

Please see our T&Cs page.