What is the Canoe Club?
The Imperial College Canoe Club is primarily interested in White Water Kayaking. It is a recreational club funded by the Imperial College Union and run by the Canoe Club's committee. We have weekly pool sessions in Ethos swimming pool and regular weekend trips to whitewater destinations all over the UK.
What is White Water Kayaking?
Kayaking is a water sport in which participants sit in a small boat (legs forward) and uses a double-ended paddle. In England it is also called canoeing, which is a more general term encompassing other types of boat also. The boats that we use are called kayaks, rather than canoes.
Canoeing and kayaking are diverse sports, with many disciplines (see the Wikipedia article on Kayaking for a list).
We are primarily interested in whitewater kayaking. This can range from a gentle, relaxing meander down a small river through beautiful countryside to an intense flume ride involving a precise combination of speed, balance and agility with no second chance and no margin for error.
Club-organised weekend trips will give you experience of easy and medium difficulty white water during winter months, and kayak surfing in the summer. We also organise longer trips in the winter and summer for more experienced paddlers.
Does the club do anything else?

  • Pool Sessions: we meet every Tuesday evening during term time to paddle kayaks in the pool at Imperial's Ethos Sports Centre. Pool sessions run from 8.30-10pm (meet at 7.30pm in Beit Quad) and usually involve a couple of drinks at the union afterwards. These sessions provide a safe, warm environment for beginners to learn the key kayaking skills, from paddling and exiting your boat in the event of capsize, through to more advanced skills such as rolling and performing flatwater tricks. Remember the first 2 pool sessions of the Autumn Term are FREE (you don't need to buy membership to attend)!
  • Canoe Polo: at the end of each pool session, we spend some time playing canoe polo. There is a growing interest in forming a dedicated canoe polo team - ask around in the club if you are interested in this
  • Canal trips: during summer months and the early autumn, we go for a paddle along Paddington Canal.
  • Social activities: the club is very sociable, and we often go to the Union for a drink or two, as well as the occasional meal out

​What do I need?
For the pool sessions, you just need some swimwear and a towel. We can provide all the essential equipment for the pool to allow beginners to have a go at kayaking, without spending lots of money.
Read the 'My first trip' page for a run down of what you'll need to bring with you on a weekend trip. The club can provide all essential equipment you'll need on weekend trips so you don't need to shell out! When you get to the stage of buying your own kit there are plenty of people who can offer advice on what and where to buy. The 'Kayaking Kit' page gives a run down of canoeing equipment, and what the club can provide. Many people in the club own at least some of their own kit and we have plenty of space in our stores for members to keep their stuff (including boats).  
So how much will this canoeing lark cost?
The club is subsidised by the union, so you'll always be getting more than your money's worth, but you will have to fork out £35 to join for the year. Not a huge amount, when you consider that it includes use of the pool every week. Trips normally cost £40 for Wales or Devon. This pays for food, accommodation, and (most expensive of all) travel. You also get equipment, tuition and beer thrown in. Bargain.

How can I join?
Please join online via the Union Shop! It is best to join at the beginning of the year, because we'll be geared up to deal with new members, and you'll be getting the most from your year's membership fee. Come and talk to us at the freshers fair, or just turn up on a Tuesday night at the meeting place. See if you like it, then join if you want to try more. Alternatively, email us for more details.
So how do I find out what's going on?
The best way, of course, is to go to the pool sessions and the bar afterwards. The latest News on this website is usually up to date with all the important information about club trips and events, but members should also be on the Mailing List.