Some common questions answered...

General Questions

I am new to canoeing. What is the best way to start?

The best way to start is to come to one of our pool sessions, introduce yourself to whoever is collecting the money and they will find someone to show you what to do. Afterwards you can meet the club members in the caf�/bar and find out what else we do.

Pool sessions usually run from October to March. If you are reading this in the summer and can?t wait until then you can join one of our midweek evening paddles or email the club and see if anyone wants to go out at the weekend.

How old do you have to be to start canoeing?

There is no set age. You need to be big enough to sit in the boat and hold the paddle, to be comfortable in the water and ideally able to lift the boat (about 12kg) for a short time. A particularly athletic 8 year old might be ok. A 12 year old should be fine. This is a family club and children should be accompanied by a responsible adult, although we are happy for family members (or anyone else) just to watch and enjoy the social aspect of the club so if not everyone wants to paddle that's fine.

Is canoeing expensive?

If you want all the latest gear a new boat might be �600 and you would probably spend the same again on paddles, a drysuit and various safety equipment. Second hand alternatives are readily available and considerably less expensive.

We don't recommend buying everything straight away. You will be able to borrow most things from other club members within reason, which will also help you decide what to get.

When we run activities and weekends away we try to keep the costs low so they are accessible to as many people as possible. Usually the most expensive aspect is travelling to and from the venue.

I am already an experienced paddler. Is there anything else for me?

Great! We run trips away, usually one weekend a month and various other activities from time to time. Take a look at the calendar page and email the trip organiser if there is anything you are interested in.

Pool Sessions

Where and when are the pool sessions?

Clements Hall, October to March, Fridays 8pm. Sometimes we skip a week if we have something more exciting planned so check the calendar.

Can I just turn up?


I don't have any equipment. Can I hire a boat?

You can hire a boat, paddles and deck for £1.

What else do I need to bring to the pool?

You should bring your usual swimming things and a towel. Some people also like to wear an old t-shirt in the pool.

Can I bring a large group, e.g. Scouts?

We are happy to have groups in the pool but please call in advance to check that there will be enough boats and enough space for everyone in the pool.

Do you teach classes in the pool?

It is a general paddling session but if you have something more specific in mind you should discuss it with one of our coaches. They are usually happy to help or to arrange a course if there is demand for it.

Evening Paddles

Where and when are the evening paddles?

The evening paddles are on Fridays at 7pm. We like to go somewhere different each week. There is a list of venues and a map on the calendar page.

What do I need to bring to an evening paddle?

You will need all your canoeing gear including boat, paddles and deck. If you need to borrow any equipment you should email the club well in advance to see if anyone has spare gear they can bring.

Can I just turn up?

If it is your first time it would be best to call or email in advance to make sure an experienced club member will be there to meet you. In any case you should wait until enough experienced paddlers have arrived before it is safe to get on the water.


Do I have to join the club straight away?

No. We are happy for you to try it first. We would encourage you to join the club after a few weeks if you are coming regularly or if you want to go on any trips away.

When you decide you are ready to join you can apply online or download a membership form here.

How much does membership cost?

2021-2022 membership rates for a full year are as follows. Membership is due in September each year. As the year progresses, rates for new members are reduced because you are not paying for a full year.

Adult Individual who will be paddling with the club for the year. £25
Youth Young individual who is under 18 or remains in full time education. £10
Pre-Youth A person under the age of 9 who attends with an adult member of the club. Free
Social A non paddling member of the club. £5
Family 1 or 2 adults together with up to 3 youth or pre-youth members. £40
Temporary A one month duration Adult or Youth membership. £5

Who runs Southend Canoe Club?

Southend Canoe Club is run by elected volunteers led by the chairman, Ray Rawlinson.

Is Southend Canoe Club a charity?

No, we don't aim to make a profit but we are not a registered charity.