Club Rules & Constitution
Club rules are contained in the constitution which can be downloaded here club constitution
General Club Activities
The main activity of the club is whitewater river trips & kayak surfing but some members also participate in freestyle, canoe polo, sea kayaking & long distance races.
We are primarily a Kayak club but Canadian canoes do make the occasional appearance.
Club trips take place every Sunday with most trips based in Limerick on the rivers Shannon, Maigue, Mulkeir, Deal and Clare Glens. Additional trips also take place some Saturdays and midweek evenings in the summer. We also paddle further afield with trips to rivers in Kerry and to Clare & Kerry for surfing. We arrange annual trips to Wales and club members also travel to the French Alps, Norway and Slovenia.
Kayaking & Canoeing – General Info
Traditionally in Ireland, paddlers have used the term canoeing to cover all types of paddle sports using both kayaks and canoes.
Kayaks are the most commonly used craft and are paddled in a seated position inside a closed cockpit with a paddle that has two blades. Kayaks are generally one-person craft but also come in doubles. Kayak designs vary hugely depending on the discipline and there are specific types for river running, freestyle, touring, slalom, polo, racing and sea kayaking.
Canoes are most commonly a two person craft but can also be singles or for more than two paddlers. Paddlers should properly kneel in a canoe (although Canadian canoes also have seats) for best control and use a paddle with only one blade. Canoes can be open or closed deck and the best known of all canoes is the open Canadian style canoe.
Kayaking and Canoeing have lots of different disciplines so the sport has lots to offer for everyone.
Whitewater river running
Touring on lakes, river and inland waterways to include canoe or kayak camping
Racing – Sprint, Marathon and wildwater
The Irish Canoe Union is the national governing body for kayaking and canoeing in Ireland.
Equipment for beginners and buying gear
If you are new to the sport it’s always a good idea to get a bit of experience and to talk to more experienced paddlers before you buy any gear.
Below is some of the gear you will need to get you started. Kayaking gear can be expensive but will last for a long time if you get good quality kit that is suited to the type of paddling you’ll be doing. You can also pick up second hand boats quite easily.
Gear to get you started:
A general purpose/ whitewater kayak – make sure the boat is the right size for you and is well suited to river paddling. Examples of suitable types of boats would be Dagger Mamba, Pyranha B-Two, Jackson Karma, Zet Raptor, Waka Tuna…. Sit on Top kayaks and longer touring/ fishing kayaks are not suitable for river paddling.
A good quality paddle – paddles come in different lengths and paddle angles so talk to a more experienced paddler before you buy.
Buoyancy Aid / Personal Flotation Device (PFD) – get a good quality buoyancy aid specifically designed for kayaking. Your buoyancy aid should by CE approved, fit snugly and styled so as not to restrict movement. A front pocket will come in handy and you might want to consider a design that has an in-built harness/ towing system.
Helmet – again you need a helmet that is specifically designed for kayaking. Make sure the helmet covers your forehead & ears properly.
Clothing – base layer. A good thermal layer is essential for cold water paddling. Any good quality brand thermal or light fleece clothing will do as long as it is comfortable to paddle in.
Clothing – outer layer. When it comes to outer layers, paddlers can choose from two systems, dry or wet. A wet system uses a longjohn wetsuit without sleeves combined with a semi-dry or dry top paddling top called a cagoule or cag for short. A dry system is the better alternative. This consists of either a dry cag and dry pants or a drysuit, which is the more expensive option.
Spraydeck – a spraydeck seals you into the cockpit of your kayak and keeps water out of your boat. If you intend to paddle regularly you should get a neoprene spraydeck. You need to consider two sizes when buying a spraydeck, your waist size and the size of the cockpit on your boat.
Footwear – You can use either neoprene booties or alternatively neoprene socks with runners or river shoes.
Drybag – ideal for keeping your spare gear or first aid kit dry.
After a while you might also want to purchase:
Rescue throw rope
Rescue kit – slings, carabiners etc.
First Aid Kit
and maybe even another boat for freestyle or surfing.
Where to buy ?
There are a number of reputable kayaking suppliers throughout the country.
Most of these will give discounts to Irish Canoe Union members.
Skills and Instructor Awards
The Irish Canoe Union have a range of skills and Instructor qualifications in Kayaking, Sea Kayaking and Canoeing. Limerick CC has a number of qualified coaches and we can train and assess for many of these awards. We also arrange more advanced training from time to time.
For more information on ICU awards visit http://www.canoe.ie
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Kayaking and Canoeing in Limerick
Limerick has a good choice of rivers for paddlers of all abilities. The River Shannon at Castleconnell is a very popular stretch and is an excellent training ground. The Clare Glens is one of the best pool-drop whitewater rivers in the country, while Curragower wave on the Shannon in Limerick city attracts freestyle paddlers from around the country. For more information on any of these rivers just click.
Shannon at Castleconnell
We also travel to Kerry and further afield for club trips.
Yearly trip to Wales
Frequently asked questions
Q. Can I join now if I have not paddled before ?
A. Membership is open to any paddler who is ICU Level 2 skills or higher. If you have not paddled before you need to complete this course to join up. The club runs a new members course each year in July/ August. Alternatively you can contact Kilfinane Outdoor Education Centre or University of Limerick Activity Centre for training.
Q. Can under 18’s join the club ?
A. We have a Junior section which accepts applications from children aged 8 – 17 years. Spaces are limited and there is a waiting list a present. To apply send in an Junior Membership application form, without fees initially to register your interest.
Membership for our Adult section is open to Adults and junior members aged 14+ who must be accompanied on all trips by a participating parent or guardian.
Q. Do I need my own equipment to join ?
A. If you are just getting started the club has a limited amount of equipment that new members can use for their first few trips. New members are then expected to get their own boat and gear.