Thames Sailing Club, Surbiton, Kingston-upon-Thames, London
Sheltered, inland river location situated in a built up suburban area close to Britain’s London capital city.
Conditions are very placid, for the most part. Even when storms blow through there’s very little water confusion. Headwinds can be a small issue but not to the same degree as coastal venues.
Recreational boaters/dinghy sailors who run out of the Thames Sailing Club, other water user such as kayakers. Some wildlife, such as swans, may put your SUP exploits on hold for a short time as they pass by.
Access is via the Thames Sailing Club – the oldest of type in the UK – who have (limited) onsite parking and a well tended club house. The club is right on the main road through Surbiton so is easy to locate. You’ll need to pay a launch fee or take part in one of the TSC SUP sessions.
The Thames Sailing Club has a bar, cafeteria and club house. Toilets and changing facilities are also available. It’s a members club, however, so you’ll need to book a SUP session to use what’s available.
This part of the Thames is a pretty, easy going location with not much in the way of hassle or hazard factor. It’s the gateway to other parts of the Thames, which is best taken on under the watchful eye of a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable leader/guide/instructor. The SUP side of Thames Sailing Club was set up by Brian Johncey, of Blue Chip fame, who established a great working relationship with the club. Via the TSC one of the UK’s biggest SUP races is held every year – Battle of the Thames – as well as the ever popular Blue Chip Inflation Day where many of the major iSUP brands have their products on display and available for demo. If you find yourself near the capital and still fancy a paddle then this could be the spot for you. For those not into stand up paddling shenanigans, there’s outdoor gallery seating to take a weight off.