Lydia and Rachael report on the Introduction to White Water Kayaking course and their recent day trip to Shepperton.

Rachael reports:
The introduction to whitewater course is the best thing I have done since joining the club. I am brand new to kayaking, and the intro course is a great opportunity for me to learn more, from paddling on the canal to tackling my first river.

Simple but lifesaving techniques improved my confidence, and the pool sessions are a great way to practise. We often play team games on the canal which are really useful for putting our new skills to the test. Our first trip to Shepperton was a chance to try out a few drops and gives you a taste of white water.  The coaches are very helpful and they explain things very clearly. Overall a very fun, challenging and worthwhile experience so thanks guys!

Shepperton was my first trip, and after a number of pool / canal sessions with the course I was raring to get on a river. Shepperton didn’t disappoint, and my coaches for the day Colin and Aisling were amazing. With clear instructions I learned a lot of new techniques and was able to put some of the things I have already practised in the pool to the test. The sweep stroke is my new favourite. This trip challenged me and surprised me at times but it was great fun and I would definitely recommend it to all.

Getting ready to seal launch


Lydia reports:
This weekend just gone, members of Regents Canoe Club led us newbies to Shepperton for a taste of white water kayaking. Our bravery ranged but we were all new to kayaking on moving water – even the smallest weir looked like Niagara falls to me!

We were ready for anything… except for Christine’s (one of the coaches) warm up when we arrived! Breathless but enthusiastic, we split into groups and started paddling towards our morning challenges. With two coaches for every five students, we got loads of support to improve the skills we had learnt back in the club.

My group’s coaches, Steffi and Liza, skilfully showed us how to turn and ‘ferry’ in moving water – moves that are essential to get from one ‘eddie’ to the next (still water to a newbie like me!). I’d like to say that we were all instant pros but one of our cohort may have fallen in… all part of the course!

After our action packed morning we settled down for lunch. Some of the group had even baked for us all but we didn’t sit around as we were eager for more watery fun. As the afternoon went on I could see all my group getting to grips with the activities, I even unintentionally slid sidewise down a weir without capsizing (win!). The highlight of the day had to be the giant game of kayak polo, the perfect way to round off the trip!

Driving back to the club, everyone was happy but tired. All in all the day was such good fun – the coaches make you feel really safe and the club is so welcoming, I am really looking forward to our next trip away!

Click here to watch the video of the day trip to Shepperton

Images and video by Sean