Membership requires approval
New applicants must have completed an introductory session or a full beginner's course and been approved by the session coach before joining the club.
Viking has been serving Bedford since 1961 and aims to provide the same friendly, family-based club that has helped us to grow from a few friends out for a casual paddle to a membership of over 150.
We offer various membership options which are detailed below.
If you would like to join the club or have any questions about membership, please don't hesitate to contact the Membership Secretary: [email protected]
Annual membership is for twelve months from your date of joining, as follows:
Paddlers with existing links to the club who no longer live in the local area may apply for Distance Membership. Membership fee will be 50% of the applicable rate. Please contact the Membership Secretary for more information.
Use of club equipment is included in the membership fees but priority must be given firstly to Viking courses (including Kids Club/Paddlepower etc), then to beginners to allow them time to learn about equipment and acquire their own. All members are expected to provide their own boats and equipment after a reasonable period of time.
Access to more advanced equipment e.g. polo, racing, slalom boats and open canoes is also available as part of the membership, subject to availability and coach's permission.
Membership wait lists
Although Viking is proud of being open to all, from time to time Viking may have to impose a 'wait list' for potential members seeking to join the club. This is most likely to apply to beginners, children and/or those without their own boat & equipment. This is because although the club has excellent kit available for the use beginners, numerous coaches and many adult paddlers who are willing to supervise, these are all finite resources and Viking must ensure that existing members needs are met first. Sometimes, therefore, demand is still greater than we can meet and we apologise for any disappointment if you have to add your name to a 'wait list' but please be assured that we will let you know when we will be able to accept you.
Clearly competent, adult paddlers with their own boat & kit are the easiest new members to accommodate and we welcome any existing/former paddlers and coaches who wish to get back into paddling or take their paddling to the next level!
Changing Room Policy
Our changing rooms, which are single sex, are currently used by both Star and VKC members, often at the same time, and by both adults and juniors, again often at the same. We do not currently provide 'supervision' in the changing rooms. Parents/carers should be aware of this and, in allowing their children (or children in their care) to use the club's changing rooms, will be deemed to have done so in the full knowledge and understanding of this fact.
At Viking Kayak Club, we've done our best to create a Web site that anticipates and satisfies our members’ and prospective members’ needs. With that goal in mind, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here contact [email protected].
I’m not sure but I want to have a go... How do I start?
Contact the membership Secretary, he will put you in touch with one of our coaches who will get you onto the water. [email protected]
But I don’t have a boat or any equipment... Can you loan me some?
Viking has boats and equipment for the use of members as you learn more about paddling and figure out what boat is right for you. Priority for boats etc. has to be with students on Viking courses first but after that beginners have first call on our training fleet so that they can learn before buying their own kit.
What about training... Do you run courses for beginners?
We run regular courses in the pool and on the river.
I haven’t got the membership fee... Are there any other ways to pay?
We offer standing order payment and online direct debits in quarterly instalments (on application).
I want to try something more exciting... What is available to the experienced paddler?
We organise frequent trips to white water and surfing venues in Wales, Scotland and the North of England. We also have lots of club boats for polo, racing, slalom and open canoeing which might interest you. And we run sessions in all sorts of different disciplines.
How safe is all this... Don’t you have to have qualifications?
All our coaches are trained to British Canoeing level or equivalent and have the requisite qualifications. Many of our club paddlers have also taken extra qualifications such as safety and rescue (FSRT, WWSR or CST) and first aid courses. All members are encouraged to attend the courses.
We also constantly monitor the risks along the river and teach risk awareness as part of our courses.
Parking, Clubhouse etc Can I park in the club car park?
To use the car park a valid sticker needs to be shown in the vehicle. Stickers can be obtained from the Membership Secretary for £5. They are valid for the calendar year (i.e. 2015) & normally available at the AGM in November or December.
There is an agreement between Viking and Star about the car park. Viking's Wednesday club night and Star's Thursday club night are protected and members will be asked to respect car parking priorities of members of the other club on respective nights.
The council have agreed that Viking & Star Club members can park in the Prebend Street car park (MAP HERE) at no charge after 6pm on weekdays & at all times at weekends.
You must display a valid VKC car park sticker or you will be fined. It's a pay & display car park; other people pay per visit.
There is a height barrier at the entrance so watch out when you have boats on the roof. You can walk under the road bridge & launch onto the river from the bank opposite the clubhouse.
Can I get a key fob to get into the changing room?
Yes. The bar staff keep the key fobs & a list of current VKC members. If you are on the list they will give you a key fob in exchange for a £10 deposit (BACS transfer). If you are not on the members list please contact [email protected].