How easy is punting?


August 14th, 2019

 

Punting in Cambridge 144

 

Professional chauffeurs make the act of punting look very easy, but don’t be fooled it is very difficult. You could be forgiven for thinking that the act of pushing the boat with a pole off the river bed seems straight forward, and in theory, it is. The problems that you face are getting the pole in contact with the river bed whilst moving, and finite adjustments in pole placement and body position. Pole placement is also counter-intuitive, like using an outboard engine.

 

How long does it take to learn to punt?

 

The basics of beginner punting are push and steer. Some people are able to grasp this very quickly and can zig-zag up and down the river straight away.

In order to punt to a professional level, it will take at least 15 hours of practice.

 

Will I complete a whole tour in an hour?

 

Some methodical people have good special awareness. These people will complete the whole 2km stretch of river within an hour.

Other people will make no progress and need to be assisted back by punting staff. It’s likely they will be swept down steam

 

Will I lose my deposit?

 

You will only lose your deposit if you lose or break equipment. Luckily the equipment is very robust and it all floats, so you are very unlikely to lose your deposit.

 

Is it dangerous punting my own boat?

 

All water sports are dangerous because there is a risk of drowning.

The main danger during punting is getting trapped between two boats, this is generally only a problem if you are travelling fast. To avoid injury punt slowly until you are in full control of your boat.

 

 

Should I bring a change of clothes?

 

You can avoid falling in the river if you punt from inside the boat, not on the deck. This lowers your centre of gravity. Unfortunately, it also makes punting even more difficult.

 

 

Should I pay for someone to punt for me?

 

If you are interested in history and a relaxed tour, then self-punting isn’t for you. Check this link to our quick book. It has the two most popular choices for chauffeur-driven tours; shared and private tours.