New Members FAQ

What should I bring to my first session?

We provide the kayaks and all the kayaking gear. However you will need:

  • Footwear that can get wet and won't fall off if you are swimming - old runners are perfect
  • Shorts
  • A lightweight top - not cotton, sorts tops such as running tops, jerseys etc are good
  • If the weather is cold or windy an old waterproof jacket and old water proof trousers can be good also
  • A Full change of clothes
  • A completed membership form. Download from here.
  • The membership fee

Can my son/daughter join?

Unfortunately at the moment we are an over 18s club only.

When does the membership year run from/until?

All memberships run from January to January the following year, this is in line with the Canoeing Ireland membership year.

What Fitness level do I need to kayak with you?

Kayaking is an active sport and as such requires the individual to have a general level of fitness and be able to swim 25 metres.

I have a medical condition - is it ok to kayak with it?

Check with your doctor to confirm that any activity sports such as kayaking will not pose a risk to your medical condition

What type of club outings do you undertake?

  • we undertake flat water paddling on lakes and rivers
  • we paddle on grade 2, 3 and 4 white water rivers
  • we surf in kayaks at Rossbeigh and Inch Strand
  • we have sea kayaking trips along the Kerry coastine
  • trips are designed to cater for all levels of ability and experience

Do you have pool sessions?

Yes! Pool sessions are in the Gleneagle Hotel swimming pool during the winter. The pool sessions provide the ability to practice your kayaking skills and techniques. All equipment is provided

Do you paddle throughout the year?

Kerry Canoe Club paddle throughout the year. Beginner courses run from April to September.

What kayaking qualifications can I work towards?

We follow the Canoe Ireland syllabus and initially beginners work towards Level 2 and Level 3 and River Safety Rescue L1 and L2

Do I have to get wet and swim?

Kayaking is a water sport and as such will inevitably result in you entering the water (either planned or unplanned!). All members need to be able to swim 25 metres.

What’s the duration and location of your beginners course?

Kerry Canoe Club is based in the Bianconi car park, Killorglin on the banks of the River Laune. Each beginners session lasts for 6 weeks and takes place on Wednesday evenings from 6:00pm-8:30pm, April to September

What if I miss one of the beginners sessions?

Don't worry we will try get you caught up with anything you missed. When the course is over you can continue kayaking and learning with us - so there's plenty of opportunity to learn

Do I need my own kayak?

No. We can provide you with a kayak from our fleet.

It's getting cold - what clothing should I buy?

This will vary from person to person. There is a list below of items you might want to get. Start at the top and work your way down. We'd advise to not purchase anything before coming to a few sessions first and talking to other members.

  • Thermal tops and bottoms. These can be fancy or cheap but are a great first purchase. They are also useful for hiking and other sports. They need to be tight fitting and warm when wet - so no cotton. Surf Rash vests, Merino, Fleeces and even Pennys Thermal vests can all be good.
  • A Cag. This is a waterproof top for kayaking. The best ones will keep you quite dry even when swimming. It is worth spending a little money on one of these as a good cag will increase your comfort levels dramatically. Some examples from: Great Outdoors, Bantry Bay Canoes and Lomo
  • A Wetsuit. Some paddlers swear by a wetsuit and some detest them. If you have good thermals and a good cag you might not need one. That said, for beginners wetsuits do have a lot of advantages. They keep you warm while swimming and they also protect you a little from scrapes and bruises when you are swimming. There is a huge range of wetsuits from the suppliers mentioned above. The key thing for kayaking is that the suit is flexible enough for you to paddle without chafing or discomfort. 3mm thick neoprene is a good balance between warmth and flexibility.
  • Footwear. An old pair of runners with some woolly socks will get you a long way. Talk to some members if you want to upgrade.

As with most sports, you can spend a lot of money on extra kit, but the above will get you started. Members often have second hand gear for sale so ask about this too. There is also a good but slightly old guide here.