How old do I need to be to join the club?
To join as an individual member, you need to be 11 years old, but there is no age restriction for ‘Family Membership’. For under 11′s, we ask that a competent paddling parent be prepared to be on the water with the child for all activities.
How soon can I come to a session?
We try to fit in new starters as soon as we can, but we are a very busy club and can only take a few new starters at a time. If you make an enquiry you will get a response in a few days and then you will be contacted by the membership secretary to arrange the next suitable session where you will get the full attention of a qualified instructor.
Do I need any previous experience?
You do not need any previous paddling experience, but it is useful if you are comfortable on (and in) the water, and able to swim with a buoyancy aid. For those who are slightly nervous of getting into a boat, we recommend a swimming pool taster session to begin with.
Do I need my own equipment?
Club equipment for taster sessions, training courses, general paddling, and trips away is available for all members to hire at very reasonable rates. This includes everything except clothing. Swimming gear is ok for the pool or in the summer when it’s warm outside, but for the rest of the year, you should ideally have warm paddling gear and wet boots. There are lots of alternatives, so ask an instructor what is best for you. After a year or two, or when you get to a reasonable standard, we expect members to consider getting their own equipment.
Where do you meet?
We meet at a local pool or at various outdoor locations near Ipswich. We ask all new members to book their first session with our membership secretary, who can tell you where and when to turn up. This helps us to manage the numbers and avoids the disappointment of being turned away.
When do you meet?
Our main club nights are on Monday evenings at an indoor pool during the winter season (September to April), and Thursday evenings on the river during the summer season (May to August). As the club has grown, club sessions have expanded so that various specialised groups within the club (e.g. racing boats, sea kayakers) meet at various locations on additional weekday evenings during the summer. We also run trips at weekends, locally and further afield, all year round.
Do I have to join straight away?
For insurance reasons we have to ask all new starters to sign up before paddling with us.
What do I get for my membership?
In summary, lots! Here are some of the main benefits you’ll get by joining the club:
Coaching: dedicated coaches offer year-round training to help you build and improve your paddling skills. You’ll always be learning in a supportive and safe environment among like-minded people. You can work towards British Canoeing qualifications with the club if you wish.
Access to equipment: the club has a wide range of boats, paddles and safety equipment for hire at very reasonable prices, so you can try out different types of paddling before you splash out on your own kit.
Access to waterways: you’ll need a licence to paddle on any UK inland waterway legally. As a club member, you’re automatically licensed while on club events. We encourage all members to join British Canoeing, which then provides your licence for non-club events, but if you only want to paddle with the club, your club membership has you covered.
Events: you’ll have access to a full programme of local and further afield paddles all year round. These are always led by qualified trip leaders, so you’ll be safe and have great fun with other members.
Winter pool sessions: if you’re more of a warm-weather paddler, come along to our weekly indoor pool sessions, where you can practise your skills in the warm or join in a kayak polo match. (Note: small additional charge per pool session)
Club magazine: you’ll get a quarterly pdf copy of our club magazine to keep you up to speed on news from within the club and beyond.
Social media: if you’re a Facebook user, you can also join our closed group, which is exclusive to club members.