There are flat water sessions most Sunday afternoons in term time where the focus is on playing games and coaching, canoe polo training sessions on Sunday mornings, marathon sessions on Friday mornings (at Falcon), social stuff on Thursday evenings (usually a college bar), and trips most weekend. Check the calendar for the latest details.
What do I need to bring?
For sessions at Port Meadow:
- Complete change of clothes! Please don’t wear jeans, as they are horrible when wet. Cotton clothes aren’t great either as they get cold when they’re wet- try to bring synthetic stuff (fleece, sports tops, etc).
- An old pair of shoes- the bottom is muddy and could have glass/sharp stones on it so you must wear something on your feet. It needs to be a pair of shoes that won’t fall of your feel and get lost so flip flops are not appropriate.
- Sense of humour
- Cash for the pub afterwards. Although you could go home and have a shower straight after the session, it is much closer and more fun to come and warm up in the pub with a pint or hot chocolate.
For trips you’ll need the above, along with things like snacks. The stuff needed depends on the type of trip and there will normally be a detailed list sent out along with other details such as when/where to meet.
For socials/weekly pub meet the equipment list is reduced to bringing a sense of humour and some cash for drinks/food/etc. Even if you have never come kayaking and don’t know who we are you are welcome to join us in the pub to find out more. To spot us: look for a scruffy looking group laughing loudly and often wearing OUCKC stash chucking around the following key words: epic, paddle, kayak, river, rapids, thermals, helmet, carrots, canoe polo.
Yes! The club owns a good selection of kayaks, paddles, spraydecks, etc. If you bring the things listed above, the club can provide the rest. If you have paddled before and have any equipment of your own then feel free to bring it along and store it in the shed. College scouts aren’t generally overly keen on the presence of kayaks in student bedrooms.
How much does it cost to join?
The cost for this academic year is £35 or £18 for one term (the summer vacation is counted under Trinity term). This money goes towards maintaining all of the equipment that we provide and paying the rent for the shed where the equipment is stored. You (and friends) can come along for a couple of sessions for free to see whether you like kayaking before you join.
Please note that for insurance purposes, you must be a fully paid up club member to come on any club trip (this includes both white water trips and canoe polo tournaments).
Fill in a membership form, available from the downloads section of the website and pidge along with a cheque (payable to OUCKC) to the Secretary (currently Matt Coulson at Queens’). Alternatively, bring the membership form and a cheque/cash along to a session or social.
If I carry on, what equipment do I need next?
The first bits of equipment you should get are some thermal tops- they aren’t expensive and make a huge difference to staying warm, especially in the winter. If you’re feeling rich/have a birthday/Christmas coming up, getting a dry cag is also very good. Generally the best thing to do is to ask members of the club for advice as they will be able to help you to make the best purchases.
Our shed off Port Meadow is where most of the actual kayaking takes place. See the map and if you’re still confused then email one of the committee and we can probably arrange to meet you in town and walk/cycle to the shed.
Do you ever do stuff in a nice warm swimming pool?
Yes, every now and again we have pool sessions for people to learn to roll. Details of times and costs for pool sessions will be posted to the calendar and mailing list as soon as they are confirmed.
We don’t run long courses. However, there are people available at all the club sessions who can provide coaching at a variety of levels. If you are new to kayaking, you will usually be taught a few basic skills at your first session before joining the rest of the group to play games. If you after something specific, just ask! If you are a canoe or kayak coach and want to get involved please get in contact with one of the committee.
We do occasionally organise safety and rescue, and first aid courses aimed at leaders and aspiring leaders.
How do I find out more?
Subscribe to the email list and keep an eye on the forum. The email list is used to give out details of all official club events, trips, and competitions. Email to the list is kept to a minimum, only giving notice of club events. Once a week, an email will be sent out detailing the events happening that week. Last minute and non-official trips, as well as spontaneous social events and chat take place on the forum.
To subscribe yourself to the main mailing list send an email to:
You will be sent a confirmation request, and one you reply to it, a message confirming that you are a subscriber. If you have any problems email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To browse the forum, simply follow the link at the top of this page.
Kayaking is usually a one person boat with a double ended paddle. Canoeing is a single ended paddle and usually in an open boat. Just to confuse matters, canoeing is also used as a generic term covering both types of boat. Canoe polo is actually played in kayaks. Despite the club’s name, at the moment we only own kayaks but there are keen canoeists around too.
What types of kayaking do you do?
Our main specialities are recreational white water and canoe polo, although we also do a bit of marathon, freestyle/rodeo, and white water racing. The club is willing to support any aspect of canoeing and kayaking even if we do not currently have expertise in it. Regardless of your paddling background, email us or turn up to a club session and let us know your interest.
Yes, anyone is welcome to come along and the weekly Sunday sessions are a great opportunity to recruit friends. Some of the sessions are geared more towards training and are restricted to members only but this will be made clear in emails. If you are unsure, then email the appropriate committee member to ask (President for Sunday session, Polo Captain for polo sessions, Marathon Rep for marathon sessions). To make it easier to plan sessions, please let the committee know if you are planning on bringing along more than two newbie friends to a club session so we can make sure that they are well looked after.