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Tampereen Vihuri ry, a versatile paddling club

Tampereen Vihuri ry is one of the most versatile paddling clubs in Finland, where almost all types of paddling are practiced, such as expedition kayaking on inland waters, river routes and at the sea, track and marathon kayaking, raft kayaking, raft paddling and canoe polo. For eight years, Vihuri has also organised applied paddling for members of the Pirkanmaa Neurosociety and for people with special needs.

Activities range from 8-year-olds to seniors, with a variety of skill levels and varying intensities, all year round. There are currently around 500 members with a very even gender distribution (50%-50%).

Vihuri has athletes competing in all under-18, adult and Special Olympics competitions. Vihuri’s Netta Malinen is paddling at the top international level and has her sights set on next summer’s Olympic Games.

The paddling club, which will be 80 years old in a few years, has had a paddling shed at Rauhaniemi on the shore of Lake Näsijärvi since the 1950s. The facilities will be extended and a new building extension will hopefully start construction later this year. Vihuri also has activities at Kaukajärvi, where juniors and racing paddlers train. Just an hour’s paddle from the Vihuri paddling shed, at the end of Niihamanselkä, is Vihuri’s very own island with a sauna.

The paddling club is also expanding its activities towards Lempäälä. Plans have been drawn up with the town of Lempäälä and local fishing clubs for a whitewater rafting spot to be built at Herralankoski. The aim is to start regular youth and white water rafting activities in Lempäälä before the end of this year.

Getting involved in Vihuri’s activities is possible through paddling schools for children and young people as well as the basic Paddler 1 courses for adults. Starting paddling is suitable for people of all ages! If you have already paddled before, you can also demonstrate your paddling skills and knowledge of safe paddling by taking a practical paddling exam.

Everyone wears appropriate safety vests on paddling trips, and the coldness of the water is taken with respect, even though the sun in May at the cold Lake Näsijärvi is already inviting you to paddle.

During the summer, weekly paddling trips and paddling training sessions are organised for all members of the club who wish to participate. Members of the club can use shared equipment or keep their own kayak at the Vihuri paddling shed, where it can easily be taken along on the club’s trips. Paddling trips are organised both nearby and further out, even as far as the Norwegian coast.

For a few years now, the closure of the Pispala timber rafting tunnel has been one of the obstacles to local paddling trips during the construction of Näsisaari. When the tunnel is reopened after the construction of the nearby bridges, it will again be possible to paddle from the Vihuri paddling shed to Lake Pyhäjärvi and even as far as Hämeenlinna – as long as you first take your canoe through the tunnel.

You can also paddle during the winter: either on weekend swimming pool shifts at the Tampere Swimming Centre or as land-based training with the kayak ergometers equipment at Varala Sports Centre. Juniors keep up their physical shape in winter by skiing on the Kauppi cross-country skiing trails, and the club also has gym sessions for its members. International-level paddlers train for part of the year at camps abroad.

You are welcome to visit Vihuri either at our paddling shed in Rauhaniemi or in the training sessions for our enthusiastic junior paddlers in Kaukajärvi.

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