FAQs

Where is the Kayak Club?
The Kayak Club is in Fisheries Field, across from the Cathedral. Look for the BIG, blue door and our club logo. More info: Find Us.

When are sessions?
The session plan can be found here.

How much are sessions?
Sessions are €3 for 1 session or €5 for the entire week. There are normally 3-5 sessions per week, so it's worth it to pay the €5 if you plan on attending more than 1 session that week.

Do I need my own gear?
Nope! We provide all the necessary equipment. While it’s great if you own all your own gear (and by all means bring it if you do), it’s no problem if you don’t.

What do I need to bring so?
All you need is a towel, swimming togs, old runners (closed-toe), and a pair of shorts/old top. Try not to bring cotton or denim, as these materials tend to absorb and hold water next to your skin, becoming heavy and chilling on you. Synthetic materials like Nylon, polyester or even fleece are best. Wool can keep you warm even when wet, and natural woolen tops retain a degree of waterproof-ness when wet due to the natural oils.

Do I need to have previous experience?
Nope, we don’t discriminate at all. For the first few weeks, we will work on basic strokes and focus on having fun and making you comfortable on the water. You might find that you are a bit tired after a kayaking session, but you will soon develop new muscle groups and get used to it.

I already have some kayaking experience. Do I still have to go to the beginners’ sessions?
Unless you have a lot of experience, it’s probably a good idea to go to these sessions anyway. As well as experiencing our beginner curriculum, you’ll get to meet everyone in the club, play games, and make friends! If you do have a lot of experience, you should contact the Training Officer (training@nuigkc.com) early and get involved in helping teach sessions. The T.O. can also tell you about the intermediate activities we run for more experienced paddlers.

Do I need to be able to swim?
You do not need to be able to swim. However, when you’re learning, there is a very high likelihood that you will get wet on a regular basis. If you can handle going under water for five or ten seconds, getting your face wet, and waiting in the water floating in your buoyancy aid for less than a minute while we empty the boat, you should be fine. While you’ll always be safe on the water with us, it’s better if you don’t panic while we’re putting you back in the boat. We ask is that you be comfortable in the water for your safety and the safety of our instructors.

I missed the first beginners’ session: Is it too late to join?
No, it’s not too late at all! While it’s best to try and come to 1 session every week, if you don’t, come along anyway and tell your instructor that you’re a first-timer. Instructors usually ask at the beginning of sessions anyway. There’s bound to be others who missed the first session too, and we’ll bring you up to speed in no time.

Is kayaking dangerous?
While we do our utmost to minimise risk on sessions, kayaking is inherently an adventure and risk-based sport. If an instructor thinks there’s an elevated risk to paddlers on a session, they just take everyone off the water. Technically there is a risk but practically it’s negligible, as we do everything in our power to ensure your and our safety.

What's the difference between kayaking and canoeing?
Basically, you kneel in a canoe and sit in a kayak. Also the paddle in a canoe (also known as a C1) has one blade, whereas the kayak paddle has two blades.

Is kayaking expensive?
It all depends on how committed you are to the sport. Technically, as long as you’re in the college club, it’s almost free. You don’t need anything that we don’t provide. However, most members usually buy their own boat, paddle and gear. It does get expensive here, especially if you buy new. For example, a new top of the range playboat is €1100, paddles can be €300, cag €220, deck €110, helmet €100 and booties €40. That’s €1870. Although you can find some great deals second hand, and most people buy their gear over a period of years – they’re always saving up for the next bit of gear.

What club gear can I use?
Unless you have permission, the only gear, boat or paddles you can use are the boats on the racks nearest the door, the paddles hanging from the rack against the wall, or the gear hanging on the hooks halfway down the shed. Everything else is private gear and out of bounds, unless you have kindly asked permission from the owner. If you take gear without permission, it can lead to a 3 day shed ban and if it is a continual issue, you may be banned for up to 6 months or asked to leave the club. If you want to take club gear anywhere other than the canal, the Lower Corrib, or the rapids, then you must ask permission from the Captain (captain@nuigkc.com) or Equipment's Officer (equipments@nuigkc.com).

Kayaking looks fun but I don’t like the idea of getting cold and wet...
That's not really a question, is it...
Kayaking does indeed involve getting wet from time to time, people generally overestimate the extent to which they’ll be bopping around in the water. But it is kayaking, not swimming. For the first few weeks you will fall out of your boat from time to time, but we’ll get you back in quickly. We also make sure everyone is dressed for warmth, and if anyone is cold the instructor will take them off the water for some hot soup. Besides that, we have pool sessions, where you can practice the skills that will keep you from capsizing when you paddle on the canal, in a nice warm pool. Finally, it rains a lot in Galway - you're definitely going to get wet anyway, so you may as well enjoy it!

Where/What is the Shit Chute?
The Shit Chute, or more accurately, Sruthán na gCaisleáin, is the little drain or stream by which we enter the Lower Corrib. Contrary to popular opinion, we do not simply shoot the Salmon Weir, (at least not with beginners we don't do it at all). From the canal there is a fun, little slide that takes us down to the Shit Chute and then onto the Lower.

You didn't answer my question...
Well maybe it's not a frequently asked one, eh?

If you have any more questions, ask anyone on the committee, or on the forum.

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