How can I become a Member of the Club?
In order to ensure you are safe on the water as an independent paddler, you need to hold a relevant paddling qualification. When you complete the Membership form (link on the Membership page) you will be asked to provide details of which qualifications you hold.
Alternatively you may have sufficient paddling experience already and a short assessment by one of our coaches to ensure you are safe on the water is all that is required before completing the Membership form.
If you don’t have any qualifications or sufficient experience, you can attend one of our Introductory (British Canoeing Paddle Discover) courses which we typically hold twice a year, (see the Events page or our Facebook site for details) and this will bring you up to the appropriate level to be a safe and independent paddler to become a Member of the Club.
Once I become a Member, what am I entitled to do?
As a member, you will be entitled to use the Club equipment and facilities anytime that is convenient to you and as frequently as you want as long as you have a Waterways Licence otherwise you will be restricted to Club events only (see later FAQ). Our Club-house and Stores have combination padlocks to which you will be given the numbers when you join. If you purchase your own boat, you can store it in one of the Club’s Member Stores for an additional storage fee.
Additionally, you will have free use of the gym in the Clubhouse; attendance at Club nights (nominally a Thursday evening); and subsidised attendance at any additional training courses on site.
Plus access to the invaluable knowledge & experience of a number of paddlers of different types of boats over many, many years.
How much does it cost to join the Club?
Please see the Membership rates on the Membership page
As a Member, can I borrow a Club boat for use off-site?
Yes, but you will need to seek permission from the Club Equipment Officer first to ensure that it will not clash with any courses that we may running at the Club at that time when we we will need the Club boats. Just like on our home water, you will need a waterways licence if you are paddling on a canal and be responsible for any damage / loss to the boat and any additional equipment.
How do I attend one of the Introductory courses?
Typically this is an 8 week course, run one evening a week for about 1.5hr per session and we run the course twice during the year. The first one normally starts April/May, and the second in July. Keep an eye out on the Facebook page for further details and how to register. Any questions, please use the Contact Us form.
What do I need to bring when attending one of the Introductory courses?
The recommended clothing is sports type t-shirt (one that will wick away any moisture), a waterproof, track-suit bottoms or shorts, and old trainers. Cotton t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops are not recommended. We will provide you with a boat of your choice (kayak or canoe), paddle and buoyancy aid.
It would be prudent to bring a towel and a change of clothes just in case you go for a dip.
Do I need any experience to become a Member of the Club?
Yes, you will need to hold an appropriate paddling qualification or have sufficient experience gained from personal paddling or at another Club. If you have neither, you may wish to attend one of our Introductory courses.
What types of boats do you have at the Club?
We have a wide range of boats and this allows you to try out different types if you are new to paddling and before you maybe make a commitment to buy one yourself or decide which type of paddling you prefer.
Our Club boats range from general purpose kayaks, which we use for coaching on the Introductory course, through to more discipline specific kayaks for racing, touring or polo. Additionally, we have canoes which can be paddled solo or by 2/3 persons.
What facilities are available at the Club?
We have a Club-house with male / female changing rooms and showers – and yes the water is hot!. A small kitchen area to make tea / coffee if you wish (please bring your own milk), and a gym. We have 2 indoor kayak paddling machines if you wish to keep yourself in trim during the winter months.
Why are there different Membership rates dependent on whether I’m a member of British Canoeing or not?
If you are a member of British Canoeing you will have a Waterways Licence to paddle on the majority of the inland waterways in the UK whenever you wish, including the Grand Union canal at the Club.
If you are not a member of British Canoeing, the Club pays an Affiliation fee to British Canoeing each year for you. This entitles you to use Club boats at publicised Club events only – you will not be able to use Club boats at any other time.
What are the benefits of being a British Canoeing member?
As well as the Waterways licence, being a member of British Canoeing also provides you with indemnity insurance (see the British Canoeing website for further details)
Do I need a Waterways Licence to paddle on the canal at the Club?
This has a ‘Yes’ and a ‘No’ answer dependent on when and what you wish to paddle.
If you want to paddle at Club events only with a Club boat, then you don’t need a licence as you will be covered by the Club’s Affiliation with British Canoeing. But if you want to paddle your own boat at a Club event, or at any other time, you will need a licence.
“Canoeing and Kayaking are assumed risk – water contact sports that may carry attendant risks. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks, and be responsible for their own action and involvement”.
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