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SAFETY: About Me

'River Ettiquette' Top 10 Tips. 

Part of the enjoyment of being on the river is the sense of camaraderie with other river users,  

all enjoying that wonderful feeling of floating along and relaxing!

As paddle boarders we are somewhat the 'new kids on the block' but it's worth

knowing that the River Thames is for everyone and there is no hierarchy of people or craft using it.

We have put together the following Top 10 tips to help ensure we all rub (or float) along together with other river users - apart from #1 these are not rules but more of a guide to avoid 'misunderstandings' on the water.   

  1. Always navigate (paddle) on the RIGHT HAND SIDE  of the river.  This applies to everyone (boats, canoes/kayaks, SUPS, rowers etc)

  2. We may have right of way (ie. the least amount of power - 1 paddle), BUT... if it's bigger than you KEEP OUT OF THE WAY. 

  3. Be polite and courteous to other river users.  A friendly, 'hello',  a wave or a nod goes along way.

  4. Help keep the river clean. On a SUP it is really easy to grab that crisp packet or drinks can as it floats by.  Do your bit and you might even earn a thank you from a passing boater! 

  5. If paddling in a group, try to keep to 2-3 boards abreast especially if the river is busy.  This makes it much easier for boats to overtake (think of the cycling pelotons on their Sunday morning ride outs!) 

  6. Paddle as straight as you can.  Own your line so other river users will know what your intentions are.  Don't zig -zag across the river.  Remember, some boats can be massive and cannot stop or change direction quickly - let them know where you're going or planning to go as early as possible. 

  7. If a boat slows down for you, remember to say 'thanks'!

  8. Get the right river license for where you are paddling.  The Thames is for all but this also means we need a license just like every other river user. 

  9. Anglers - no harm in checking if you're clear to paddle past their lines.  Most will have seen you coming and pulled their rods or lines up in advance.  If they have, again remember to say 'thanks'.

  10. Last but not least - take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but ripples!

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