Our Doggy Paddle session is a chance to enjoy the river with your best friend. The session is suitable to beginners as well as more experienced paddlers.
You will be paddling from Richmond on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames, either upstream towards Eel Pie Island and Teddington, or downstream towards Isleworth, Kew Gardens and Chiswick.
We paddle at low tide, so there are no fast currents or tides, and will launch from a "beach" so everyone can get on their boards safely.
All equipment is provided - board, paddle and buoyancy aid, but we only have a few dog lifejackets, so please bring your own to ensure a good fit. We use big stable boards for this session, so you should stay dry, but please bring warm thermals and a change of clothes just in case.
The session will start with a safety briefing and some land-based training before heading out on the water for a tour of the river around Richmond.
Cancellation and Bad Weather
Occasionally, due to bad weather (high winds or poor visibility), instructor availability or low booking numbers, we may need to cancel your paddleboard session.On these occasions we will attempt to reschedule your lesson, and if this is not an option, we will offer you a credit voucher or full refund. We will always endeavour to contact you as soon as we are able to discuss the options with you.
If you need to cancel or reschedule your session, you will need to give us a minimum of 48 hours notice. Please email us on [email protected] or call us on 0203 488 1785.
No specialist clothing is required, but no jeans please, as cotton gets very cold when wet. In warm weather, ordinary quick drying gym gear will be fine (shorts/leggings/T-shirt/fleece), with old sandals or trainers that you don't mind getting wet. Or you can get cheap neoprene wet shoes from most large supermarkets. No bare feet please, footwear is required at all our paddleboard locations.
If it’s sunny please bring an old baseball hat and sun cream.
Also, please bring extra thermal layers, a towel and a change of clothes just in case you take a little dip during the lesson.
You may also want to bring a small dry bag for spare waterproof/warm clothing, money, any medications you may need and your phone in a waterproof pouch. If you are worried about losing sunglasses please use a sunglasses strap!
Buoyancy aids are provided for humans, but we only have a few for dogs, so please bring your own.
You do not need to be a proficient swimmer, but should be comfortable with falling into water while wearing a buoyancy aid.
A certain level of flexibility and ability to get up to standing from kneeling is required for learning to paddleboard.
We will also need to know of any recent injuries prior to the session.
You will need to shower / wash thoroughly after the session if you have fallen in or been splashed, and need to ensure that any open cuts are covered.
Your session will start with a safety briefing and some land-based training on the riverbank near Richmond Bridge. This typically takes 15-20 minutes depending on group size.
We will then head out onto the river, either upstream towards Eel Pie Island and Teddington or downstream towards Richmond Lock. We will return to our launching place at the end of the session.
*How far we go will depend on conditions on the day.