Getting Started

Event Reports



Y-Paddle is a sociable and active canoe club, based at the Central YMCA in London's West End

We have pool sessions every Monday, and run introductory courses three times a year. We have regular outdoor sessions, participate in slalom competitions and go wherever the water takes us.

Shepperton social paddle nov 2006

Martin about to lead the group

Alice on the rapids

Olaf at sea


April 5th, 2013

Beginners’ course April 2013

A six-week course course will run, starting on Monday 15th April. Booking details can be seen on the YMCA’s website:

November 2nd, 2012

Winter course: Rolling & Rescue

Rolling in the Y poolOur next organised course will run in January 2013.

A chance for kayakers to learn and improve their rolling techniques in the comfort of the YMCA pool.

Paddlers will receive close guidance to develop their roll from the Canoe Club’s coaches and members. The emphasis will be on “wet work” – rolling and rescues; participants are expected to have BCU 1-2 star kayaking skills.

Please note this is NOT a beginners’ course. There is a maximum limit of six participants.

Bookings will be managed by the Central YMCA in the new year.

If you have any questions, please get in touch via our Facebook page.

March 8th, 2012

Y-Paddle on Facebook

This is probably the quickest way to contact the club, as any member may be able to reply, not just a website admin.

March 8th, 2012

Y-Paddle membership

Y-Paddle is a pool-based canoe club based at the Central YMCA, and all Y members are free to come along and have a go in our kayaks on a Monday night. We also run up to four beginners’ courses each year. Anyone is welcome to book a place and learn the fundamentals in the comfort of the pool.

Course bookings are managed by Central YMCA as part of their lifestyle programme

The next six-week course commences on 16th April 2012

January 1st, 2010

Clubs in London

Castle Canoe Club, Stoke Newington, London –

Chiswick Pier Canoe Club –

Ealing Canoe Club –

Pirate Castle Canoe & Kayak Club –

Laburnum Boat Club, Hackney, London –

Regents Canoe Club, Islington –

Shepperton Slalom Canoe Club –

Tower Hamlets CC –

November 21st, 2006

Social Paddle to Shepperton – Nov 06

Shepperton social paddle nov 2006
Another good turnout for the traditional end of course social paddle

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September 28th, 2006

Shepperton slalom report

Saturday 23rd Sept 2006 was a very pleasant and warm late summer day as Patrick, Richie, Mirkka, Jemima, Simon and Roger made their way to Shepperton for possibly the last slalom event of the year. It was for Div 2, 3 and 4 paddlers, so everyone was eligible to compete. 

There was a reasonable flow of water down the left hand side of the course: more than usual for a Shepperton summer event – presumably as a result of the main weir at Shepperton still being closed for maintenance.

Indeed the organisers deemed the water challenging enough for Div 4 Paddlers to be told not to tackle the two gates most in the flow (gates 9 and 10). Everyone found that whilst the first eight gates of the course were relatively easy, the flow of water made all of the gates on the second half interesting.

It didn’t take long in practice for Richie to find that his back was still troubling him and he decided not to compete – contenting himself with gentle paddle up the Thames, instead. 

Patrick practised hard but decided not to bother entering. Judging by his practice runs, had he entered he would have done well and would have beaten many established slalom competitors.

Simon started the day saying he didn’t want to do too well, least he ends the year being promoted into Div 2. However, his sound runs put him second in the Div 3 men’s event – so a year-end promotion is still a possibility, even if he doesn’t compete again. 

Roger – competing in Div 2 for the first time since April – had a poor first run: he didn’t paddle hard enough in the moving water and was swept past gate 10; and after that his performance went off, so his time was slow too. He did a much better second run, although still not really fast enough for a Div 2 man. However it was fast enough to beat three others (final position 14th out 17 – his best result of the season) and was the fastest Y Paddle time (he would have been placed second in the Men’s Div 3 event – just ahead of Simon).

Mirkka was our best lady with two sound runs, although (like everyone else) she seemed tired by the second half of the course and had to take the long way round some sections. 

Jemima started the day saying she felt too rusty to go for the two most challenging gates. But on her first run she did. Unfortunately she didn’t get them, and the eddy line at gate 11 then caught her out and over she went; and as she didn’t roll (or even try) – she swam. But she wasn’t put off and she tackled the moving water much better on her second run and so collected some points in Div 3. 

So no trophies were collected, but everyone came away having had a good day and feeling they’d achieved something; apart from maybe Richie who came away saying he needs to get the weakness in his back sorted.


August 1st, 2006

Social Paddle to Shepperton – July 2006

Martin about to lead the group

Jessica attacks the white water

The beginners contemplate the weir

Morag below the weir at Shepperton

Find more photos on the Y Paddle flickr group at (nb. requires Flickr / Yahoo! login)

May 4th, 2006

Symond’s Yat – April 2006

Alice on the rapids

Myrkka in action

Jean on her first descent

February 14th, 2006

OC on the Usk

Following a lead from Roger, Alice and I pursued the chance of a free day on the river paddling big open boats.
The catch? We were to be students on a Level 3 OC (Open Canadian) coaching assessment. One of the examinees was world famous Mr Kayakojacko himself, who had been hunting for willing guinea pigs like us.
The other catch? It was January.

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