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This classroom based course will give you the knowledge and insight to paddle on rivers such as the Hamble as well as canals, lakes, harbours and tidal estuaries.

There will be a mix of teaching, which will cover need-to-knowledge (eg do I need a licence to paddle ?), discussions looking at topical issues (should I wear a buoyancy aid ?) and videos (eg identifying a dangerous weir).

The course aims to give you the facts, the insight, and the ability to weigh up the various risk factors and make sensible decisions in choosing where, when and how to paddle.

These are the topics we will address:

What to wear and what to bring

  • Drysuits, cags, and wetsuits
  • Buoyancy aid, lifejacket or neither ?
  • Paddleboards: ankle leash, waist leash or no leash ?
  • Safety kit to carry


  • Causes
  • Prevention
  • Treatment

Planning trips

  • Spring and neap tides
  • Recognising and dealing with rip tides
  • Onshore and offshore wind
  • Worked examples

Rules of the river

  • Who has right of way ?
  • Navigation channels
  • Do I need a licence or permission to paddle ?


  • Recognising safe and dangerous weirs
  • How to get free of a retentive weir

Worst case scenarios

  • The roles of the Coastguard, RNLI and Harbour Master
  • Getting help: what3words and emergencySMS


Andark Lake | Oslands Lane Lower Swanwick Southampton SO31 7EG | What3Words ///brains.contrived.valley | Map

Previous experience needed for this activity:


Duration & cost:

3 hours | £30


Saturday 2nd September 2023 9am - 12pm

Please Login or Register to book, or ask a question.