Courses FAQ

This page will hopefully answer any questions you may have about our courses. Please take some time to read through further information about what to expect on our courses. If you do have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to get in touch.

Where is Viking Kayak Club?

Viking Kayak Club shares a building with the Star Rowing Club at Batts Ford, off Commercial Road, Bedford, MK40 1QS.  What3words  ///poker.dawn.potato

When should we arrive?

On the day of your course, please arrive in your paddling clothes for the start time of the course (normally 9:00am for weekend day courses). We’ll meet at the Viking rear boathouse, which is at the back of Star Rowing Club, Batts Ford, off Commercial Road, Bedford, MK40 1QS.  What3words  ///poker.dawn.potato

Once everyone is together, we will aim to complete introductions and get any outstanding administration completed so that we can start and commence the fun!

Where do we park?
  • The car park at the club is for members only with a valid permit, and is shared with Star Rowing Club, so please do not park here.
  • There are three pay and display car parks close by, at the Harpur Centre, River Street and Prebend Street.
  • If you drive an electric vehicle, there is a designated car park adjacent to the club house. However, do read the signage carefully as some of the spaces are for taxis only.
What should we wear?
  • Clothes suitable for Kayaking on the river – i.e. suitable for the expected weather conditions and ideally made from modern wicking & quick drying materials rather than cotton-based materials. You don’t need a wetsuit, but if you have one feel free to wear it. Gym clothing is also a good choice. Please do not wear denim.
  • Footwear – without laces. Ideally water sport shoes, plimsolls or lightweight sports type shoes you do not mind getting wet.
  • Remember to pack a set of dry clothes for when you finish.
What should we bring?
  • Any medication that you need during the session.
  • Shower kit & towel.
  • Sun protection and Sunglasses, if it’s going to be sunny.
  • If you wear glasses for sports etc. – we recommend using a retaining strap to secure them during paddling.
What about food and drink for the day?
  • Please bring adequate drinks, snacks and lunch. Unfortunately there is nowhere on-site to purchase drinks or food, please bring everything you need. There is the Harpur Centre and Riverside North nearby which have a number of cafes and fast food outlets, but time may be limited and you will be wearing your paddling clothes.
  • A hot food or drink flask is a good idea, especially if you get a bit wet and cold.
What facilites are available at the Club?
  • There are separate male and female toilets and changing rooms with showers at the clubhouse but in the interest of time we suggest you arrive ready to paddle.
  • Unfortunately, there is no secure storage for valuables so try not to bring anything other than essential items. Items left in the clubhouse or changing rooms will be done so at your own risk. We normally lock participant’s bags etc. in the paddle leader’s vehicles on site but again, this is at your own risk.
  • Please read our changing room policy for more information.
Will we do a capsize drill?

If you haven’t already completed a capsize drill at a Viking paddling session, you’ll be encouraged to do a ‘wet’ exit capsize drill, most likely near the end of the session. This is all part of canoeing on the river and your course leaders will be there to talk you through it.

What can we expect on the course?

This will depend on the course. As a rough guide this is how the day course will look,

9am. Welcome, intro, boat & kit selection. On the river for some intro paddling 

<Morning tea break >

Back on the water for some activities 👍

< lunchtime >

Short afternoon paddle either upstream or downstream and return to the clubhouse.

3pm Review, discuss what’s next 🛶

What happens next, how can I practice my new skills?

Included in the course fee is a months membership of VKC so you can practice your new found paddling skills and also meet other members before committing to an annual membership.

Please do get in touch with Andrew Bennett by email at, or Gemma Rogers at if you cannot find the answer you are looking for.