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Punting as a Novice

By Aikaterini Lygaki

Trinity Term brings with it promises of clear skies, warm weather, and of course, punting. This tradition in Oxford is definitely one of the more fun ones, as it promises some out-door fun for you and your friends. However, punting season also brings with it many anxious moments as novice punters take to the river. The first time I went punting with my friends last year, we were like fish out of water, struggling to inch our boat forwards and instead, moving in concentric circles around ourselves. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve compiled a small essential guide on how to navigate this Oxfordian tradition with a little bit of grace and dignity.

1. Enlist the help of seasoned punters!

The biggest mistake that my friends and I made in our first excursion was that we were all novices. Instead of going in there clueless, always go punting with at least one friend that has either proved to have a natural talent for it or that has spent many summers perfecting the craft. It will make all the difference, I swear.

2. Bring snacks

Now I wish someone had told me about the ample space in those punts! I had imagined the boats to be like canoes, and yet a punt has so much wiggle room and storage space for snacks. Bring your favourite foods on the go, hummus and carrots are always a good choice, and even bring some beverages if you are feeling up to it. These additions will definitely make the punting seem smoother than it really is.

3. Wear cute outfits

I always find that a cute outfit brings along with it an optimistic outlook, and these are both vital for punting. Not only will the pictures that you will inevitably be taking look that much better, but it will also give you a sunny disposition to the challenges that may come your way.


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