Paddling -- whether canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding -- on the tidal Thames requires knowledge of the powerful river and awareness of other river users.
The river above Putney is relatively benign and suitable for all types of canoeing and stand-up paddleboard craft as long as the right precautions are undertaken. Below Putney Bridge the river becomes increasingly sea-like and sea kayaks are most commonly used.
The guidance in the Tideway Code gives advice on how to navigate and stay safe on the river.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a growing recreational activity on the tidal Thames. Providing you follow the Tideway Code then you may paddleboard between Teddington Lock and Putney Pier during the day.
Paddleboarding downstream of Putney Pier is only permitted for more experienced paddlers who have undertaken recognised training courses and only at the times when the river will be less busy. Please refer to the Tideway Code. Contact [email protected] for more information on these courses.
Guidance on using waist leashes and personal floatation devices can be obtained from British Canoeing.
If you are interested in paddling on the Thames, we strongly suggest joining one of the many paddling clubs on the river. Visit Canoe London for club information. They can provide training, local knowledge and accompany you on your first trips out on the river.
Navigating in the upper tidal Thames
Navigating in central London
Navigating in the lower tidal Thames
External sites of interest to paddling enthusiasts.