Can I hire boats from the club
We do not hire boats out to the general public, however once a club member achieves a level of competence we describe as an independent paddler they can can hire boats. An independent paddler has the old 2* qualification or new Paddle Explore, has undertaken Foundation Safety and Rescue training, attended one of our Site Specific training sessions and is a current Paddle UK member.
Do I need to be a member?

To join our regular paddles you have to be a CPCC member. In order to join us you need to complete a taster session that runs over one or two weekend days.  If you are undecided you can do up to four taster sessions before needing to become a member. Please see our Join Us page for details of how to join our taster session waiting list.

Do I need to be able to swim?

Yes, but a non-swimmer can certainly take part in our sport. CPCC would encourage anyone to learn to swim as this improves not only an individual’s safety but also the safety of those around them.  All paddlers wear buoyancy aids when paddling. The exception is at the club’s supervised swimming pool session.

Do I need to buy any special equipment?

Chiswick Pier Canoe Club owns their own equipment, and members are welcome to use it at club sessions, so it is not necessary to buy your own. As you become more advanced, you may wish to buy your own equipment, and we will be happy to advise you.

How do I join?

Before you are able to join the club as a member, you need to complete a taster session with us over one or two weekend days. This is to enable us to ensure that you have the basic skills to safely join our regular paddles.  Full details on joining can be found on our Join Us page.

How old do I need to be to paddle?

The minimum age to paddle with CPCC is 14 years old.

The minimum age requirement is also subject to the river and weather conditions found on the day and will be at the discretion of the lead coach on that day.

We recommend younger paddlers try venues further up the Thames where there is less tide, or secluded lakes, such as the excellent Thames Young Mariners, or the Albany at Kingston.

What are the different types of canoe?

General Purpose Kayak: 
A boat that can be used on flat water, calm seas, or possibly for shooting simple weirs and small surf. Will not go in a straight line unless you control it, can be used to learn to roll in most cases. Popular with clubs, scouts, and centres as it is good teaching boat.

Canoe: A canoe is a lightweight narrow vessel, typically pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled by one or more seated or kneeling paddlers facing the direction of travel using a single-bladed paddle.

Play Boat: A boat primarily designed for achieving freestyle manoeuvres on moving water. They are getting smaller in order to make rotational moves in the vertical plane. Uncomfortable for long periods of paddling. The latest designs incorporate flat spinning hulls.

Whitewater Kayak
A boat that has been designed and built with moving water in mind. Often good for surf as well as there are similar design constraints. Designs vary, but as a general rule, the shorter the boat the harder it is to paddle in a straight line. Round hulls are easier to roll, flat hulls better for tricks and playing.

A boat designed to go in a straight line, if you stop paddling boat will continue in the direction that you were paddling. You need to bring it to a stop in order to turn around unless you have a rudder fitted.

Sea Kayak
Similar to a tourer in paddling characteristics but with a higher bow to take the waves. Also tend to be long, with hatches for storage and bulkheads for safety. Optional extras will normally include rudder, compass, and pump.

Developed from surfboards, they will frequently have fins on the bottom and straps to hold you on. You sit on top in a bottom shaped well and you basically do everything a surfer does. Catch the wave, ride it and then cut back out over the top, using your paddle to get you back out to catch the next wave.

Kayak manufacturers realised that there is a market for boats that people don’t have to get inside. A lot of people have a fear of being trapped, or they just want something on which the the kids can play safely, or they want to get an all over suntan. Whatever the reason, sit-on-tops are fun and open up the sport for anyone to try, no previous experience required. If it goes wrong, you fall off and you climb back on again. There is an ever growing range of sizes and shapes of sit-on and you will still need advice on which will best suit you.

What is the difference between a kayak and a canoe?

A canoe is an open topped boat paddled by one or more paddlers sitting or kneeling in the boat and using single-bladed paddles to propel the canoe. A traditional kayak is a closed top craft usually propelled by a single person seated with legs stretched out and using a double-bladed paddle.