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Thames Skills & Knowledge TSK1 Theory

sup - Up to 8 people


TSK 1 Theory part - Lockdown Special Offer £50

This course is for paddlers with some SUP experience on moving water who want to paddle on the Tidal Thames.

Online course - 4 Theory Modules (4.5hrs total learning time)

  1. Saturday 16th May 10.30am - 12pm Module 1 + 30min. Q&A session
  2. Sunday 17th May 7.30pm - 8.15pm Module 2
  3. Monday 18th May 6.30pm - 7.15pm Module 3
  4. Thursday 21st May 6.30pm - 7.30pm Module 4

Some flexibility of times is possible, depending on participants' availability. If you can't make some of the dates, please contact us prior to booking and we can see what can be done.

*Module 5 (£35) Practical 3hr Guided Trip on Thames will be booked separately once we are allowed back on the water.

Thames Tideway is a beautiful but very specific urban body of water with a huge tidal range, strong currents, busy traffic and risks associated.

The Thames Skills & Knowledge (TSK) 1 course aims to provide a good knowledge of the main risks for people navigating the Thames in unpowered craft. It has been developed in cooperation with the Port of London Authority (PLA). Content has been agreed with the Assistant Harbourmaster responsible for sport and recreation.

Although mainly aimed at paddleboarders, this training is also relevant to canoeists (excl. SUP specific Modules Modules 2 and 3, although recommended for anyone who would like to broaden their range of paddlesports).

Completion of TSK1 is required by the PLA for anyone wanting to paddleboard downstream of Putney Bridge and above Chelsea Bridge. TSK1 is als a pre-requisite for taking TSK2 allowing paddle boarders down to Tower Bridge in groups. 

TSK1 is aimed at paddlers with some Tideway experience / canoeing on the Tideway but who want to expand their knowledge and paddle alone / in unguided groups (above Putney) or in small unguided groups (Putney – Chelsea Bridge).

What to bring

You can do it from the comfort of your sofa. A cup of tea or a glass of water is recommended but not obligatory.

No writing materials required - just an open mind. However, if a notepad gives you assurance, feel free to make notes.


  1. Prior Tidal Thames paddling experience (or comparable moving water experience)
  2. Zoom app (best on a computer for clarity of slides but smartphone is fine)
  3. Strong wi-fi connection


The 4.5hour theory part of the TSK1 course consists of 4 modules:

Module 1: River Knowledge (90min.) 3x30min. Zoom sessions in sequence with two short breaks in between (time for a stretch!)

Optional interactive Q&A session at the end (up to 30min.)

Module 2: Equipment (45min.)

Module 3: SUP Paddling Skills (45min.)

Module 4: Trip Planning (60min.)

Theory part of the TSK 1 includes detailed information about tides and how they affect Thames users; weather effects, river traffic and navigation rules for paddleboarders and other river users; tidal river hazards and associated risks;

SUP equipment selection appropriate for the Tideway, essential SUP paddling skills and SUP river safety skills are also covered.

Theory part is delivered through narrated slides.

Basic summary handouts are provided.

*please note that no recordings or any form of copying, reproducing, sharing and publishing of slides is permitted.

Practical part - 3hr guided River Trip (with coaching and informal assessment of skills and knowledge) will be booked separately (£35 - cost based on min. of 5 participants). This is a practical application of theoretical knowledge acquired in Module 1, 2 and 3 with practical application of Trip Planning from Module 4.

All participants are expected to demonstrate a good level of personal competence and confidence on the Tideway, be able to paddle against the tide, apply basic SUP strokes efficiently, carry out a self rescue and demonstrate an understanding of the navigation rules and protocols on the Tideway incl. crossing the river safely, working the slacks etc.


Free flexible rescheduling of sessions with 5 days notice

We do not offer full refunds. Refunds minus admin/coaching fee will only be considered in unprecedented circumstances.

We understand circumstances change and you may wish to change the date/time of your session.

We offer flexible rescheduling:

  1. first reschedule is FREE if email request to reschedule is submitted 5 days before the session's start; every subsequent reschedule will be subject to £15 admin fee
  2. reschedule request submitted less than 5 days but more than 72hrs in advance will be subject to £15 admin fee
  3. reschedule request submitted less then 24hrs will be subject to 50% charge of the value of the session

All requests to reschedule must be submitted by email to: [email protected]

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