The Thames Skills & Knowledge course is required by the PLA for anyone wanting to SUP downstream of Putney Bridge and above of Chelsea Bridge.
The course includes detailed information about tides and how they affect Thames users. We will also cover wind effects as well as navigation rules for paddleboarders and other river users. Risks such as being pinned by strong currents against moorings and pontoons and collision with other craft are discussed during the training, as are strategies for avoidance.
The course is organised into two parts, both covered on this day: Part A covers theory and is classroom based using slides to illustrate hazards, tide tables and internet resources available. Part B is carried out on water and aims to illustrate the risks discussed in Part A on the river.
Participants are also expected to demonstrate a level of personal competence and confidence on the river and be able to paddle against the tide, carry out a self-rescue, cross the river safely and turn effectively.