Learn To Paddle

Learn to Paddle

Pangbourne Paddlesport Club offers a number of different water based evening courses in canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding; helping you to work towards the nationally recognised British Canoeing paddle awards.

Detailed information regarding these awards can be found by visiting the British Canoeing website.

So, what is the difference between a canoe and a kayak?


In a canoe, the paddler:

• Uses a single blade paddle
• Adopts a kneeling (one knee/ both knees) or sitting position
• Can move around the boat freely

The boat is:

• Generally, “open” to the elements
• Feels reasonably stable


In a kayak, the paddler:

• Uses a two bladed paddle
• Is seated in a cockpit and may wear a spray deck to cover the cockpit to keep the water out!

This boat is:

• Usually made of plastic and comes in different shapes and sizes as there are several types of kayaks such as: white water, sea, racing, polo and sit on tops

Stand Up Paddleboard

Stand up paddle boarding is a popular outdoor water sport where you stand up on a board (similar to a surfboard) and use a single blade paddle to steer and move through the water.

Please note SUP course is 4 weeks other courses 5 weeks.

All our courses are run by experienced qualified coaches and all necessary equipment will be provided.

Please see FAQ below for more information or email [email protected]


Kayak & Canoe (5wks)

 SUP (4wks)







[email protected]




Mixed ability Kayak (5 weeks)

Not currently available. 


Mixed ability Canoe (5 weeks)

Not currently available. 


Stand Up Paddle boarding

Not currently available. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any fitness pre-requisites?

Yes, we would like you to be able to swim at least 50 metres in light clothing should you capsize (and most people do at some time?). We provide buoyancy aids, which we require you to wear when on the water. Additionally, all club boats have enough buoyancy to support you.

What should I bring with me?

For the majority of conditions, layers of light, fitted clothing that will dry quickly when wet are most suitable. Thermals and running clothes are ideal. Clothing that gets heavy when wet, like jeans and woollens, are unsuitable. No hoodies.  Wetsuits are not necessary. Do not bring valuables – there are no lockers available.

Beginners should bring:

  • Thin, quick drying shorts or leggings.
  • Thin quick drying T-shirts and long-sleeve tops.
  • Cagoule or other thin wind/waterproof top.
  • Cap/sunglasses (inexpensive!)
  • Aqua shoes, wetsuit socks or similar soft soled shoes (NOT trainers or crocs).
  • A change of clothes and footwear (you will get wet), a towel and shower kit.
  • Any cuts/wounds should be covered with a waterproof plaster whenever possible.

Are there any showers at the club?

Yes. We advise you to shower after each session and before you take any food or drink. It also warms you up after a session in cold weather! Although generally clean, the river may have some sand and mud. Although extremely rare there are waterborne bacteria (e.g., Leptospirosis) which again make showering after contact with the water or the muddy banks sensible.

Is there a minimum age?

We take juniors from age 10, and adults to any age

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