Canoe Section Equipment for Hire
The club has a certain amount of equipment available for members (and prospective members on club trips) to hire, by the day or by the week. Currently, the club insurance precludes this equipment being taken on trips abroad unless the trip includes only club members, has been advertised in the programme, and has fulfilled certain other requirements regarding members' own insurance.
The equipment is checked regularly, and the complete list is uploaded to the website sometime later: Full equipment checklist (only available to logged in members).
Single cockpit kayaks cost £5 per day or £25/week. Seating two people, the costs for the Topo Duo, the Aleut II sea double and the open boat are £10 per/day but as we are renewing equipment and these prices are way less than commercial hire, they are under review. Hire of a boat includes suitable paddle(s) and, for kayaks, spraydeck(s); at present, buoyancy aids are being replaced so temporarily you will need to borrow one from elsewhere - once replaced they will be included in the cost of boat hire. The same currently applies to helmet(s) which are essential for whitewater boats, but less so for sea trips where they are only needed for rock-hopping, surf or exploring caves which are not really beginner activities. Hiring odd items of equipment like these or throwlines, Bivvi or Bothy bags costs £1 per day or £5 per week if not included with a boat. Equipment is available on a first come, first served basis, with members having priority. Non-members (on club trips or pool sessions only) pay 50% extra. In order to ensure that we replace only equipment which will see some regular use it is important that you record all use of club kit, even small items like helmets and PFDs. Although gear is regularly checked, we cannot guarantee the level of attention that would be expected of a commercial hirer, so users are wholly responsible for making their own check that everything is in order and is suitable for the proposed trip before use, and must report any issues noticed to the Section Leader as soon as possible. Equipment is not always kept at the clubhouse (to avoid wasting fuel on special journeys - since we changed store pretty much all our equipment at least fits inside) and anyone wishing to use equipment should give as much notice as possible. Don't rely on the section organiser or trip leader to pick up equipment for you, especially at short notice, as it may not be anywhere near their route to the trip!
At pool sessions, Richmond Leisure Trust has some boats available. Using these is by arrangement by RLT (who will charge £10 for a boat for the session). As there are few staff at the pool by the time of our session, they do need at least a half-day's notice to ensure boats are at the poolside when we arrive. It may not be possible to get boats out of storage at short notice on the night.
This is obviously a fairly limited equipment pool - just enough to give you a range of boats to try out. We recommend you try as many boats as possible before lashing out cash for your a boat, but you will find it much easier to join lots of trips once you do have your own kayak. We have some advice to help you choose: Rivers: What Gear Do I Need? gives an overview of the essential equipment with ideas on what to buy first. What Whitewater Boat to Get? gives some general advice on boat types and uses, whilst Some Sea Boats to Try gives a bit of info on club sea boats and others you may see in use by various members.
Currently, the club has the following boats: