Upcoming Events

  • M4 of 2020
    Nine Elms Reach - Victoria Rail Bridge - Isophase Lights
  • M3 of 2020
    Lambeth Reach - Charing Cross Rail Bridge - UAV (Drone) Survey
  • M2 of 2020
    Kings Reach - Cannon Street & Blackfriars Rail Bridges - UAV (Drone) Surveys
  • M1 of 2020
    Upper Pool - The Tower of London - 2020 Gun Salutes
  • M73 of 2019
    Lower Pool - Wapping Police Station - Preparatory Works

Trip and Session Guidelines

The grades and paddler standards described below are indicative and for guidance only.  They are also subject to continual review and revision.

It is NOT a requirement that individuals hold the British Canoeing (BC) Award certificate indicated, this is a general indication of the level of proficiency.  It is intended to help individuals progress their paddling and identify suitable trips / sessions that they can attend.  Refer to the Resources section of the website for more information about the BC Awards.

There are, however, no hard and fast rules as everyone progresses at different rates.  Neither is there a fixed progression where the next level is reached when a particular trip is completed. The jump in skill level is more marked between the higher levels and most paddlers will need to do several trips at a certain level to demonstrate that they are confident and competent before moving up.  Your level of paddle fitness is another important factor to consider.

Please contact the trip / session leader to confirm your place and discuss the trip’s suitability for you.  There will be people who want to push their paddling skills on by trying a level above where they have been before and this is fine as long as the trip / session leader is happy with this.

Remember on the day the trip / session leader has final say on how things are run and who gets to paddle.

Grade Indicative Proficiency

British Canoeing Award level

Thames “Discover” with confident low brace skills (you must have done a capsize drill before) Applies to the Club’s local paddling area only – east to Westminster Bridge, and west towards Teddington. Note: in respect to the Thames only approved Club leaders are able to lead sessions east of Westminster Bridge.
A  “Discover” and above Generally more relaxed trips including sheltered tidal areas and flatwater touring trips.
B “Explore” – “Sea Kayak” Award Generally coastal paddles not more than ½ mile (c.800 metres) from the shore potentially some slightly choppy seas, wind below force 4, tide approx 2 knots max.  Plenty of opportunity for landing and resting.You are not required to be able to roll or self-rescue. These trips will not involve open crossings. Any particular additional prerequisites will be specified.
C Confident “Sea Kayak” and above More testing/advanced conditions or longer paddles where paddle fitness is extremely important.  May involve short open crossings.Longer gaps between landing opportunities (more committing paddles) with the potential for more difficult landings and some moderate surf.Potentially some choppy seas, wind up to force 4, tide approx 2 knots max.
D “Coastal Sea Kayak” award paddlers and above These trips are for experienced paddlers who are capable of looking after themselves in fairly testing conditions.These trips may well extend beyond the technical 4* remit.You would be expected to be able to self-rescue in ‘moderate’ seas (1 2.5M waves). Clapotic waves, tide races and overfalls may be encountered on some trips.