Beginners & Coaching
One of our club’s key aims is to “encourage participation and fun in Paddlesports”; we welcome new members regardless of their level of paddling experience. We have many British Canoeing qualified coaches with lots of experience of introducing people into the world of Paddlesports; being pool based for most of the year makes us the ideal place to learn to paddle. Fear of falling in the water can be one of the big reservations people have about getting involved in paddlesports; we’ve found that people often feel more confident about starting out in a pool filled with clean water than they do in a canal or river.
Our volunteers can help participants learn to paddle a range of craft (kayaks, open canoes, Stand-Up Paddleboards, etc.) and disciplines depending on what you want to learn. We can also help you improve individual skills such as learning to roll your kayak, or learn a new discipline such as Whitewater or Freestyle.
Our coaches are also able to help members work towards British Canoeing awards and other qualifications when this is desired. Where there is sufficient interest the club can also arrange formal courses (Foundation Safety Rescue Training, Whitewater Safety & Rescue Training, First Aid, etc.) or bring in external coaches for skills training session (for example more advanced whitewater or freestyle).
The Canoe Polo section of the club welcome new members regardless of prior Polo experience (basic kayaking competency is required though), you can find out more on the Canoe Polo page.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I get involved?
We run weekly paddling sessions throughout the year, you are welcome to come to any of them, though our pool sessions may be more desirable for those just starting out. One of our volunteers will introduce you to our sessions and get you started with paddling. If you have any questions you can message our Facebook Page and join our Facebook group.
Note: We require all participants to sign up for a membership (free membership levels are available, but session costs still apply) before taking part in one of our sessions, this can be done when you arrive but it is quicker if you create an account on our website and apply for a membership beforehand. You can find out more on our membership page, see the website help page if you require assistance.
- When our your sessions and do I need to book in advance?
Our weekly general paddling sessions are on Wednesdays, typically at either 7pm – 8:30 pm for Lido & canal sessions or 8pm – 8:45 pm for our Yateley Manor pool sessions. You can find the details of our upcoming general sessions, polo sessions, and trips on our events calendar.
- Do I have to book on to sessions in advance?
During the COVID-19 pandemic we ask that people book on to sessions in advance on our website where possible in order to assist us with our track & trace requirements and help us better plan our sessions. It is generally possible to attend regular sessions without booking in advance, although you will need to provide your details when you arrive; in addition if there are capacity limitations then priority will be given to those who booked a place in advance.
- How much do your sessions cost?
Our weekly paddling sessions typically cost £10 with a discounted cost of £6 for those with a paid membership level. Session costs are covered within the cost of a Polo membership. It is best to check the details for the specific session you are attending. Please see our club fees page for more information.
- What do I need to bring with me, do I need any of my own equipment?
The club has equipment such as craft (kayaks/canoes, etc), waterproofs, buoyancy aids, paddles and helmets that can be used at all club activities, although not all the sites we use have equipment directly on site so check our hire pages for more information when booking. You will need to wear suitable clothes that cover the shoulders and top part of the legs (even for indoor sessions) taking into account the outside weather / temperature. In addition you will need to bring suitable footwear for paddling in, either wetsuit shoes or old trainers. It is also highly recommended to bring a towel and spare set of cloths to change into after your session.