Discover white water kayaking with Regents Canoe Club

Kayaking at Symonds Yat

Introduction to White Water Kayaking courses

Discover white water kayaking with Regents Canoe Club. This six week course is designed for adults (18+) who have little or no previous experience of paddling kayaks, but who want to get onto moving water by the end of the course.

Our Summer 2018 course is now fully booked.

Register at the bottom of this page and we’ll let you know when public booking for other courses in 2018 and 2019 becomes available.

About the course

Introduction to White Water Kayaking

Each spring and summer Regents Canoe Club runs one or more Introduction to White Water Kayaking courses.

The Introduction to White Water Kayaking course is designed for adults (18+) who have little or no previous experience of paddling kayaks, but who want to get onto moving water by the end of the course.

You begin by learning how to control your boat on the Regents canal and at pool sessions, before progressing to moving water and ultimately your first taste of white water!

About the Introduction to White Water Kayaking course

The course runs over six weeks, comprising four evening sessions on the Regents Canal, two evening sessions in the swimming pool, a day trip to the Thames, usually near Shepperton on the outskirts of west London, and a weekend away to paddle moving and white water. We can take up to fifteen students on each course.

For the weekend away we will travel to the Welsh borders to paddle the River Wye, leaving London on Friday evening and returning on Sunday evening. See course dates below.

Please note that we cannot guarantee a white water experience on the weekend away. For example, on rare occasions rivers may be in flood and too dangerous to kayak on. We will however do our utmost to find a suitable and safe venue for the weekend.

It is highly recommended that you attend all of the sessions. If you miss one session it is usually possible to catch up but repeated non-attendance may mean you fall behind. If you miss too many sessions the coaches may decide it is unsafe to continue your training as we move onto moving and white water. In such circumstances no refund will be given.

This course is intended to introduce you to kayaking on moving water in a safe and enjoyable manner. Please note that this course is not accredited by the British Canoe Union (BCU) and does not lead to any qualification or certificate. Many club members do go on to earn BCU qualifications, often through instruction organised by the club.

Students on the course are welcome to use the club’s facilities on Monday and Thursday evenings without any additional charge, for the duration of the course, providing they attend the first evening of the course.


The course is suitable for all ages (18+) and abilities. It can however, be quite strenuous, so you may find it useful to do some other form of exercise before the course starts. Whatever your age or ability, you must be able to swim 50 meters in light clothing.


All of our instructors are experienced white water canoeists and kayakers. Many of them joined the club as a result of learning to paddle on a Regents Introduction to White Water Kayaking course, so they will be sympathetic to any fears or concerns you may have.

They are all volunteers and no one gets paid for their time.



The cost for our 2018 courses is £275.00 per person (payable by GoCardless). This includes all tuition, hire of equipment, fuel costs for the day trip and weekend away, as well as breakfast, lunch and accommodation on the weekend away. The instructors are all volunteers and do not get paid.

There is also a compulsory £70 refundable deposit for the club kit which used. This is refunded when you return the kit at the end of the course. The only additional expense will be for a Saturday evening meal on the weekend away and beer money!

Please note that the £275 payment is non-refundable unless the course is cancelled. In very exceptional circumstances the club may consider issuing a full or partial refund. Any such decision will be made by the RCC committee and will be non-negotiable.

We only accept payments via GoCardless (which allows payment by a one-off direct debit with no additional charges). Total payment for the course cost and the refundable deposit is £345.00.

What to wear

What you need to wear

  • Please arrive at the club wearing clothes that you do not mind getting wet, such as an old tracksuit or woolly jumper. Jeans and other heavy cotton clothes are not suitable. Footwear, such as old trainers or plimsolls, must be worn and, if it is cold, a woolly hat and a lightweight nylon jacket or cagoule would also be useful.
  • You are unlikely to fall in the canal, but you will get wet from splashes and drips.
  • Changing rooms and showers are available at the club.
  • You will need to bring a towel, a change of dry clothing and dry shoes for after paddling and a plastic bag (for your wet gear).
  • At pool sessions please bring a swimming costume and towel as you will get very wet. We would also suggest you wear a pair of shorts or leggings, as the sides of the boats can rub on bare legs! You won’t be in the pool all the time, so a thermal top is also a good idea, to keep you warm. Tops made of artificial fibres such as polyester or nylon are much better at retaining heat than cotton.
Book a Place

Our summer course is now fully booked, please sign up below for an email when we open bookings for 2019.

Regents Canoe Club on River Wye

Dates for summer 2019 Introduction to White Water Kayaking courses will be posted in spring 2019

Introduction to White Water Kayaking course summer 2018
12th July 2018Thursday 7.00-9.00pmSession 1 at Regents Canoe Club
19th July 2018Thursday 7.00-9.00pm Session 2 at Britannia Leisure Centre
26th July 2018Thursday 7.00-9.00pm Session 3 at Britannia Leisure Centre
2nd August 2018Thursday 7.00-9.00pm Session 4 at Regents Canoe Club
4th August 2018Saturday All day Day trip to Shepperton
9th August 2018Thursday 7.00-9.00pm Session 5 at Regents Canoe Club
16th August 2018

Thursday 7.00-9.00pm Session 6 at Regents Canoe Club
18th – 19th August 2018Friday evening to Sunday evening Weekend trip to River Wye staying at YHA Wye Valley

Further training

The club runs several trips aimed specifically at new white water paddlers who have completed this course and who want to learn more. These follow up trips are a great way to learn more and have fun on the rivers! We advertise such trips on our calendar page and in our regular members’ email newsletter.

Mailing list

If you wish to go onto the mailing list for courses in 2018, please subscribe here.

If you wish to learn to kayak on white water you may also wish to check out other providers, listed on our links page. Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin, although not local, are both highly recommended. The Lee Valley White Water Centre is also a good place to get tuition, and is fairly easy to get to. For a list of other London clubs see

If you have any questions regarding these courses, that are not answered here or on our ‘frequently asked questions page’ please contact our club safety and training officer.