What do we do?
The club is the crossroads for members who participate in a wide range of paddle sports. Formal club activities include introductory sessions, group flat water tours, and a monthly 5km time trial. Smaller groups of members are active in sea kayaking, marathon racing, multi sport events, ultra distance events, flatwater touring, canoe touring and surfski racing. If it’s happening in the NSW area, we probably have somebody who’s involved in it.
Club activities centre around our clubrooms in Burnum Burnum Reserve, Woronora.
The club is open every Sunday throughout the year, for a social paddle. Members often arrive early for training, but the club opens to the public at 9am. All paddlers must be off the water by 11:30 and the Clubrooms (and most importantly the gate) are closed at noon. During the public sessions there is a rostered committee member available to assist with inquiries and get visitors started with basic instruction.
The club facilities are located on the Woronora River so depending on their interests, members might head upstream to The Needles, or downstream to Como, with some continuing on to Alford’s Point on the Georges River, or even out to Botany Bay.
Once a month on Sunday, we hold a 5km handicap time trial over a course from the clubrooms to the footbridge at Prince Edward Park and back. Outside the regular Sundays at the clubrooms, smaller groups of members paddle almost every day of the week, all year round in Sydney’s mild climate.
Club sessions usually finish up with a cup of coffee and a biscuit while we wash down our boats.
The club caters for individuals wanting to try out kayaking. Visitors can have up to three trial sessions at the clubrooms on a Sunday morning before becoming a member. During these sessions, you can use club equipment under the supervision of the duty member. During summer, these sessions can be quite busy and we may need to operate two sessions of 1 hour. 9:15-10:15 and 10:15-11:15.
There is a $20 fee to cover the cost of three sessions, mostly insurance, and a trial session form must be completed.
Children under 12 must be supervised by a guardian while on the water. All visitors must wear a Personal Floatation Device (Life Jacket) while on the water. Trial sessions are limited to the area of water in front of the clubrooms.
What do I need for a trial session?
We have all the equipment available for loan, so all you need is a some clothes to paddle in and a towel. During summer months, most people paddle in board shorts and a rash shirt. To protect from the sun, we recommend hat and sunscreen. Eyewear should be on a strap to avoid losing them.
Becoming a member
Membership comes in two parts. First you sign up to PaddleNSW, the governing body for the sport in NSW. That provides insurance and representation. Then you join the club.
PaddleNSW costs $60 for an adult, $50 for a junior, with a first time member surcharge of $11.
Sutherland Shire Canoe Club costs $55.
After the first year, membership renewals are $60 for PaddleNSW and $45 for the club.
There’s an information page on our website explaining the process to become a member
Do I need my own boat/paddle?
Not immediately, the club has equipment available for trial sessions and club activities. If you do have your own equipment already, you’re welcome to use it.
What sort of boat/paddle should I get?
Don’t rush out and buy one. One of the things you’ll notice when you visit is that the kayaks the club members paddle come in all shapes and sizes. There’s fast kayaks, touring kayaks, sea kayaks, and a dozen other specialty styles. You’ll also notice that the experienced paddlers in the club tend to favour very light weight boats which are way to lift onto the roof. Paddlers love talking about their boats, so take some time to talk to our members about what sort of paddling you think you want to do and what sort of kayak would suit you.
The club is also a good source of second hand equipment as members evolve through different aspects of the sport.
I’m interested in xxxxxxx can the club help me?
The club promotes all sorts of paddling and we welcome everybody. Within the club we have members who have specialised interests in all aspects of kayaking, canoeing, and paddle sports. If you’ve got a specialised interest, we will have somebody who shares it.
I’m worried that I’ll capsize and won’t be able to get out of the kayak.
Most people start out that way, but we show you its nothing to be concerned about. If an enclosed kayak is really a concern, there are other styles of kayak to look at.
Do I need to be able to swim?
Yes. Our safety requirement is that you can swim 50 metres while wearing a PFD. If you are not a confident swimmer, you will need to wear a PFD when you are paddling with the club.
Do I need to be physically fit?
Not really. Kayaking is a very low impact sport which attracts participants from all ages. We have active members in their 80’s. Our location on the Woronora River allows members to explore as far as their fitness and time allows.
Where can I get more information?
There’s also a Facebook page for Sutherland Shire Canoe Club, or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org