Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I speak to about a medical condition?
The Club is run by a committee of unpaid volunteers, most of who work full time. Please email our intro coordinators who can answer any questions you may have about our Club, courses on offer etc, drop them an email at

For other general enquires please email this goes to the Club secretary and items will be forwarded on to the right person.

What activities does the PPCA do throughout the year?
The club provides a busy year-wide programme of events and there is normally something for everyone. During the winter months there are river trips to experience the thrill of white water paddling, concurrently other paddlers will be out along the coast possibly in their sea kayaks. During April to September we concentrate on other training, be it in Open Canoes, Sit On Tops or General Purpose kayaks. We follow BC guidelines in our training programme and help people progress in their abilities.
How do I join the PPCA and what options are available?

If you don’t already hold the British Canoeing Discovery Award ( previously known as BCU 1 Star ) then we offer courses to take you to that level – Click here to see the section on joining the PPCA.

If you have paddled before to the old BCU 1 Star standard or have done a Paddle Power Discovery Award elsewhere then we advise you to contact the Introductory Course Coordinator

Let them know what paddling experience you have. We will likely suggest that you join us on a Tuesday Club night during the training season, (mid April-end Sept,) and one of the coaches will assess your ability. You may then be able to join immediately.

For people enquiring about membership during the winter months, we suggest you too contact the introductory member and depending on your prior experience we may suggest that you join us for a Saturday morning paddle and assess your ability then.

Does the club offer storage for private boats?
Click here to read about storage of private boats.
What do I need to bring with me on the Intro course?
If you attend a PPCA course, or join the club, we can provide you with all the equipment you need to get started. For the novice, the range of canoeing clothing and equipment available can be baffling, we can show you the basic’s to get you out on the water and paddling! Please follow the link here to “Clothing & Equipment”.
When are intro courses held?
Click here to see when our courses are held.
New members questions answered here - Please Read

Welcome to PPCA – this guide has been created to answer any initial queries you may have. If there is anything you think would be helpful to add just let us know via:

Equipment & Storage
Try before you buy! The Club provides a full range of equipment from boats, SUPs and paddles to personal flotation devices ( PFDs / BAs ), cagoules ( cags ) and helmets. These are stored in the Club shed nearest to the yard entrance. We recommend that you try out the full range before buying your own kit. You will only need to bring your own personal kit to wear on the water eg wetsuit / tee-shirt and shorts etc plus a towel and dry kit to change back into.
The Club also has a Members shed where Members can store their own kayaks and paddles for an additional annual fee. Spaces for sea kayaks are limited, and there is usually a waiting list to be able to store them, but General Purpose ( GP ) short boats can normally be accomodated. If you would like to use this store please speak to the Membership Secretary via and then apply via the product available on the website.
Club Members are asked to take care when removing or returning equipment as space is restricted. For this reason we ask that these sheds are not used for changing into and out of your kayaking kit.
Dry clothing can be stored on the shelves at the back of Members Shed during Kayak sessions when the shed will be locked.

Club kit may only be used during official PPCA sessions ( ie sessions led by a recognised Coach or Leader )

Please take care of the club’s kit that you borrow – boats must be carried ( with assistance if reqd ) not dragged, BA’s, cags etc should be rinsed in fresh water after use

Boats can be reserved for special Coach / Leader led training sessions or the Saturday paddles – not standard Tuesday or Friday sessions. Reservations should be made via the Equipment Officer or the session’s Coach / Leader.

Paddling sessions
Skills sessions run on Tuesday evenings during the summer. Paddlers need to arrive by 5.30pm in order to be ready to be on the water at 6pm.
Recreational ( Rec ) paddles take place where possible on Tuesday evenings (on the water at 6pm) and Saturdays (on the water at 10am).
The first Saturday of each month has a dedicated sea kayak paddle of longer duration, and also usually a short rec paddle for those wishing to build their stamina and confidence
Open canoe and any boat fun paddles take place on Friday evenings during the summer (on the water at 6pm).
Whitewater ( WW ) trips run from October to mid-March and details / locations are advertised on the Forum at short notice due to the rapidly changing river levels and conditions.
We run pool skills practice sessions during the Winter (for details and to book a place click on the Membership+Products tab on the website toolbar, and then click on the Pool product).
Dates and times of all these sessions can be found on the website on the Calendar.

Health and Safety
You must comply with any instructions or requests given by the session leader.
Please don’t be offended if you are asked to demonstrate your competence at your declared level of ability before joining a session. This may be achieved by attending a skills or pool session, by providing evidence of previous awards, or discussions with the Coaches / Leaders. This is not to deter keen future members but rather to ensure their safety and that of the rest of the group.
Each paddling session will normally be preceded by a briefing given by the session leader at the club shed.
Neither shed can be used as a changing room – many other members will be removing or returning their kit to the sheds and there are often groups of young people ( eg Cubs and Scouts ) in the immediate vicinity. If you have not also joined the Mount Batten Centre ( when you can their changing room facilities ) then most paddlers get changed by their car, using a dry robe / changing robe etc.
Members must add their details onto the Attendance Sheet prior to the session briefing. This is used to log who is on the water, with appropriate emergency contact details.
Paddlers under 16 must wear a suitable helmet, as must any adult paddlers who wish to get in amongst ( or over ! ) rocks.

You should have been shown how to lift your boat(s) safely on your Introductory Course, but if in doubt please ask for advice or help.

There are only 1 or 2 local paddling destination that that have proper toilet facilities so most of the paddling group find a convenient rock or cave during a lunchtime stop – look for the orderly queue ! Some of our members have particular medical conditions and they always find a work around.Calendar of events
This can be found on the toolbar and shows which sessions are running, with the name of Coach / Leader for that sessions. Session times are as listed above.

Club Forum and Facebook
Club members can find out/share information via the PPCA Canoe Club Facebook group (see link at bottom of the website) and via the Club Forum. The Club Forum can be accessed under the Members link. You will need to apply to the Club Leader ( for Forum login credentials.

Coaching and Leadership awards
PPCA will encourage any new members wishing to progress along the coaching and leadership pathway. The club may consider assisting with course fees and a reduced membership rate is available to Coaches who contribute to the scheduling of club sessions. Please speak to the Club Leader for further details.

PPCA Committee
Any Club Member can apply to join the Committee. The Club runs an AGM each October where nominations for Committee Membership are put forward. Descriptions of all the Committee roles can be viewed via the Members link on the website. You can contact Committee members via the Contact Us link under the About Us tab on the website.

Club Policies, discounts information and newsletters are available under the Members link on the website.
Real-time weather conditions are also available from the Useful Links entry on the toolbar

Mount Batten Centre  ( MBC ) membership
As a member of PPCA you are entitled to purchase discounted Affiliated Membership of the Centre ( further reduction available for senior members ). Membership includes:
All year round access to the Centre
Free Parking in the Centre’s car park ( otherwise you will need to pay the daily parking charge or else risk a fine from the automatic parking monitor )
Swipe card access to the Centre’s changing rooms, toilets and showers.
Discounts at the Centre’s Café Bar.
Discount on MBC run courses and accommodation.
Apply direct to the Mountbatten Watersports Centre Reception.

Parking at Mount Batten
If you decide not to join the Mount Batten Centre or pay the daily parking charge ( see above ) then you have 40 mins per day to unload / load you kayak at the slipway. You will then need to move your car out of the Mount Batten Centre car parks or else risk an automatic fine.
Most people then either park on the roadside or in the public car park opposite ( beware the height restriction ! ).

Does the PPCA follow the guidelines issued by British Canoeing?
The PPCA is affiliated to British Canoeing (BC), the governing body for paddlesports in England. Most club coaches are BC registered and qualified or else have extensive experience and are associated with other recognised bodies. Coaches / leaders plus assistants are subject to Disclosure & Barring checks as per the Government’s guidance.
How do I become a coach?
Click here to learn how to become a coach.