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Learning to paddle

Devizes Canoe Club is a great place to start or develop your paddling. Our coaches are British Canoeing qualified and trained in rescue techniques, safeguarding and First Aid. Devizes Canoe Club holds the Sport England Clubmark award.

We run ‘Introduction to Paddlesport’ sessions for novices from Easter to October when the weather is kind. You don’t need to be a member to participate in these introductory sessions which usually take place over 4-6 weeks. After completion of the course, you will be invited to attend at least a couple of supervised club sessions to gain more experience and meet other members. To continue paddling after this time you will need to join the club as a full member.

If you wish to sign-up for a 2021 session, please get in touch. The courses are filling up quickly!

Our paddlers range from 8 years old to 80+ years old and many started to paddle at Devizes. As well as social paddling for exercise and health we are also recognised for developing talented local junior athletes, some of who have represented Team GB in age group and at senior level.
If you are a junior or senior competent and experienced paddler you can join the club straight away and we will integrate you with members of similar ability:

  • You are ranked in marathon Division 6 or above in the UK and have paddled in the last couple of months;
  • You are already an experienced paddler in racing kayaks/canoes from another club or attend a local school and have paddled regularly.

If you have paddling experience in a racing kayak or racing canoe but haven’t paddled for a while or your experience is in another discipline (white water, surf or sea) but not a racing kayak we will invite you to do a one-to-one introductory session so we can assess the best path for you.

Specific skills are needed to paddle a racing kayak (such as using your feet to steer and getting in and out of the boat) that are different to other sorts of kayaks and we recommend giving yourself time to establish the basic techniques by learning in a small group.

If you have never paddled before, have never paddled a racing kayak and are not in one of the categories above you should attend one of our novice introduction to paddlesport sessions. Or, if you are under 18, you should attend one of the series of junior introductory sessions than run on Saturday mornings.

Different abilities and needs

If you have any specific impairment or needs, please let us know. We can offer support to most people with limited mobility, provided they are ambulant and able to navigate steps safely. This is a physical limitation of our site, but one we are currently trying to resolve to support more people. We don’t, at present, have specially adapted boats but if we can’t accommodate your needs we will do our best to offer you alternative options to learn to paddle and put you in touch with a suitable paddlesport centre.

Becoming a member

Thank you for your interest in joining Devizes Canoe Club. We are an inclusive club and welcome new members from all backgrounds and abilities. We are a racing club open to all paddlers (including Stand-Up Paddleboarders) and our passion is ensuring everyone has an opportunity to have a go at paddlesport and to achieve their goals, whatever they might be. Our members have a broad range of interests from leisure paddling on the Kennet & Avon to representing Great Britain.

Adult (23-64)


Senior Adult (65+)


Young Adult (19-22)


Student (19-22 and in full-time education)


Junior (8-18)


Family (2 adults and all children under 18)


Joint (two adults)


Social (non paddling)


Membership fees are reviewed annually and fees approved for the next membership year at every Annual General Meeting.
Application forms and payment details are available in our website shop.

If you have any questions regarding membership, how to join, fees, family membership or anything else, then please contact our Membership Secretary, Sue Colby.

Renewing membership

If you are a current member, you will receive an email about one month before renewal inviting you to renew membership online and complete a boat storage application if you wish to store your own boat at the club. All you need to do is to renew your membership online by the end of March each year.

If your membership has lapsed, please contact the membership secretary for further guidance. Membership fees are the same for new and renewing members. If you haven’t paddled for a significant period, we will need to invite you to do a one-to-one introductory session so we can assess the best path for you.

Please remember that our boat storage capacity is less than the annual demand and it gets allocated at the start of the membership year. There is no automatic right to boat storage for current or lapsed members. If you fail to renew on time, there is a good chance your storage slot will be reallocated. If you don’t think you will be able to renew on time you must let us know and we will do what we can to help.

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