Get on Board 2021

Get on Board 2021
Say No to Plastic Pollution

Stand Up Paddle Board Event and Towpath Litter Pick
Kew Bridge to Richmond, River Lane – Thursday 9th September
All paddle board places are now sold out and the waiting list is full.






Get on Board is Back!

After a year’s hiatus, we are delighted to say that Get on Board, our unique paddle board and river clean up event is back and this year takes place on Thursday 9th September. As in previous years, the course runs from Kew Bridge to River Lane in Richmond.

The main aims of Get on Board are to highlight the problem of plastic pollution in our waterways and demonstrate Be Richmond’s commitment to the environment and the community.

The Thames is one of Richmond’s greatest assets, it supports businesses, attracts visitors and provides leisure facilities for the community.

Get on Board is also about building on the successes of previous years and creating an enjoyable community event that unites businesses, workers, residents and charities in a common cause.

All plastic and litter collected will be either recycled or used to generate green energy – nothing will go to landfill.

Be Richmond Chair Ann Chapman-Daniel said:

“We are delighted to host our first major live event since pre-pandemic. Get On Board is our signature event and encapsulates Be Richmond’s core values regarding the environment, business and the community. The river showcases our beautiful town to the world and provides important jobs and recreational facilities. A clean, healthy river is vital to the success of the town. This year’s event will bring the whole Richmond community together to say ‘no’ to plastic pollution in our waterways and provide a great fun event for participants and spectators alike.”

See the 2019 video and media coverage

Get On Board image

Event Details and Route

Date:        9th September 2021
Time:        From 12 noon
Start:        Kew Bridge
Finish:      River Lane, Petersham, Richmond

The route passes some of the area’s most famous sites including; Kew Gardens, Syon House, Isleworth Ait, Old Deer Park and Richmond Riverside.

Participants will collect plastic and litter – both on and off the water – along the route.

All plastic and litter collected will be either recycled or used to generate green energy – nothing will go to landfill.

Costs and Booking Details

Booking is via our good friends and local paddle board board specialists, Active360 and Active360 Richmond who have been reappointed to look after on-the-water activities.

The booking fee includes entrance to the event, plus a drink and snack at a post event reception.


If you are renting a board and have not paddled with an Active 360 company before, then you must sign-up at the beginners’ price of £34. You must then book and take a two-hour paddle board lesson with an Active360 company at the specially subsidised Be Richmond price of £1. These sessions are a great introduction to paddling, and are usually charged at £59!

Returning Paddlers Hiring a Board

If you have paddled on the Thames with an Active360 company before, but you need to rent a board on the day, then you can sign up as a returning paddler for £25.

Returning Paddlers with Own Board

For those who have their own kit/board and who want to take part in the event, you can register for £15.

NB please don’t be confused by the term ‘Add-ons’ (it’s part of the booking system and something we can’t change). NB, for this event, the ‘Add-ons’ are actually discounts.

All paddle board places are now sold out and the waiting list is full.

Towpath Litter Pick

As in previous years, there will be a towpath litter pick for people who want to be involved but prefer dry land.

Around 100 people will be collecting plastic and litter along both sides of the river between Kew Bridge and Twickenham.

Thanks to local natural, historic and environment charity Habitats & Heritage, for their invaluable help organising the towpath litter pick walks.

The towpath litter pick is now sold out and the waiting list is full.

Photo: Robert Piwko

Never Paddled Before?

No problem. The event is open to all abilities, because we’ve included a two hour training session in the beginners entry fee – see below for details.

Please note – to attend the event, you must complete a training session or be an experienced paddle boarder.

Beginners Training Sessions

Training sessions will take place at the  Active 360 Richmond site next to Richmond Bridge and at other Active 360 locations.

Once you have booked, you will be advised about date, time and location options.

Photo: Robert Piwko


What do I need for the training session?

Wear light sports clothing (not cotton or jeans) and bring extra warm layers to be used if necessary. Wetsuits can be borrowed with advance notice.  Active360 Richmond require you to have footwear while paddling. Wet shoes are best, but a pair of trainers (that you don’t mind getting wet) are fine.

Please bring a towel and a change of clothing – just in case…

What time do I need to arrive for my training session?

You need to arrive at least 5 minutes before your session’s start time to get changed and attend the safety briefing. NB: if you haven’t attended the safety briefing, you won’t be allowed on the water.

I made bookings for friends, now what?

If you book for multiple people, please fill in their contact details on the booking form. This ensures that they are mailed the disclaimer that we need, saves time on the day, and ensures they’re in the system for discounted rates on future group trips.

Can under-18s come along?

Sorry, the event is for adults only.

I know how to SUP, do I still need to complete the training session?

The River Thames is tidal and conditions vary, we therefore need to err on the side of safety. Please check with Active360 Richmond

How hard is stand up paddle boarding (SUP)?

It’s an excellent all-body workout. You will definitely feel it the day after – in a good way. We work around the tides and in sheltered water so your physical ability on a beginner’s session shouldn’t be a problem. You do need to be able rise to a stand from a kneeling position. When booking please advise Active360 Richmond of any medical condition(s) that they should be aware of.

How far will we get on the training session?

Our route for the training sessions depends on factors like weather and tidal conditions as well as group ability.  We have plenty of options at Richmond and will travel either upstream or downstream during the session.

Is the water clean?

The Thames is one of the world’s cleanest major-city rivers. It is recognised as an environmental success story and boasts about 325 species in its tidal stretches, including; cormorants, herons, seals and salmon, some of which you’ll be sure to see on your trip. Many people use the river for recreational activities, especially rowing and kayaking.

Before paddling in any open water, open cuts should be covered with plasters and tape. After paddling wash your hands with soap/antibacterial gel before eating any food. Always take a shower if you fall in.

How likely am I to fall in?

It’s unlikely – but there is a chance. Active360 Richmond coaches teach techniques to help improve stability. You can always return to kneeling if you need a break from standing.

Could my training session be cancelled by Active360 Richmond?

Active360 Richmond occasionally cancel group trips with 24 hours’ notice if there are not the minimum number participants to run the session (very rare between spring and autumn). They may also cancel if conditions are deemed unsafe (e.g. very strong winds, fast currents, etc. – but not rain). If your session is cancelled, you can reschedule or obtain a full refund. If you need to  cancel or rearrange your session you must inform Active360 Richmond at least 48 hours beforehand.

I really enjoyed the session what happens next?

You can join future training sessions as a “returning paddler”.

Any other questions?

Contact our partner Active360 Richmond by email or by calling 020 3488 1785. They’ll be happy to answer your questions.

We look forward to seeing you on 9th September for what promises to be a great event!