If you’re one of the more sensible club members to whom paddling on the Thames on a dark, cold winter evening doesn’t appeal, how about paddling in a heated pool? There are several local sessions organised by various canoe clubs that are open to non-members. All the sessions detailed below have a good selection of boats, paddles and decks available to use, included in the session fee. All you need to take with you are your usual swimming things + a ‘rash’ vest or t-shirt.
The boats at the pools are of the ‘closed cockpit’ type, like our Easkys (and the Ethos). If you’re not familiar with this type of boat there are always coaches or experienced paddlers to advise you. For those who are thinking of going out in an Easky during the colder months this is a great opportunity to practise using a spray-deck and how to cope with a capsize (which are much less likely in these stable boats).
None of the sessions listed below are structured in that unless you ask for help or coaching, you will just be left to do your own thing (though if you’ve not been before, for safety reasons, they’ll probably ask about your paddling experience). Although some people go to the pool to learn to roll, there are lots of other techniques & skills to practice, many of which are transferable to our racing boats. For example, it’s a lot easier to learn good technique for doing draw & support strokes when you don’t have to worry about capsizing into the Thames! And for those going on the club trip to Sardinia, the pool is a great place to practice those rescue techniques, prior to our rescue practice sessions on the Thames.
October to March, 20.45 to 22.00
Isleworth Leisure Centre, Twickenham Road, Isleworth, TW7 7EU. Tel. 020 8560 2934
Organised by Edge Kayak & Canoe club (Brentford & Kew). Communication and announcements are on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/edgepaddling/ They also have a website but the FB page is more up-to-date.
No need to pre-book.
£8.00 or £5.00 to Edge club members, cash only. £1.00 for lockers (refunded), free parking
All year round, 20.00-21.30 (on water at 20.30)
Janet Adegoke Centre, Blomfontein Road, W12 7DB (Shepherd’s Bush). Tel. 020 8735 4900
Organised by Putney Bridge Canoe Club. www.putneybridgecc.co.uk/pool
No need to pre-book
£10.00 or £6.00 to PBCC members but they have been charging HCC members the lower rate. Cash only. 20p coin need for locker. Parking is 20p – you pay £2.00 but reception refunds £1.80 on presentation of the ticket stub
All year round, 21.00-22.15
Gurnell Leisure Centre, Ruislip Rd E, London W13 0AL (Ealing/Greenford). Tel. 020 8998 3241
Organised by Chiswick Pier Canoe Club: http://www.chiswickcanoeclub.co.uk/asp/Club.asp
No need to pre-book
£7.00 or £6.00 to CPCC members. Cash only. 20p coin (not refunded) or £1.00 coin (refunded) for lockers. Parking is 60p
All year round, 17.00-18.00
Clapham Leisure Centre, 141 Clapham Manor Street, Clapham SW4 6DB. Tel. 020 7627 7900
Organised by Battersea Canoe Club: http://www.batterseacc.org/pool-session.aspx
Advanced Booking Required by Friday before session via link to BCC website above
£9.00 cash or card. 20p coin (not refunded) or £1.00 coin (refunded) for lockers. Free parking on streets around Leisure Centre
Contact Peter Loy for more details, or to join the WhatsApp group