Trip Information

Prerequisites for Club Trips

The club has minimum criteria for joining in the club's outdoor trips, including Wednesday evening sea paddling. These are:

Paddle Discover (formerly 1 star) plus 4 trips with club coaches OR
Paddle Explore (formerly 2 star) OR
Relevant previous paddling experience that can be verified by someone known to club coaches.

These criteria help us to run safe trips, while ensuring that one person won’t hold back the whole group.

For those new to the sport, the club runs an introductory and a refresher course in the spring (for more details see here). Completing one of these courses will enable most people to join us on club trips. Unfortunately, our volunteer coaches do not have the capacity to run these courses more than once a year - but, if you do miss out on these opportunities, there are plenty of other ways to gain experience, including through some of the very good commercial providers locally.

If you don’t have a BCU skills award, but do have a lot of previous kayaking experience, then please contact the trip organiser or one of the discipline leads (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to discuss your skill level. All trips are graded and more information about this can be found in the various discipline sections.

Before attending any club trip, please make sure that you either have all of the appropriate kit and safety equipment to hand, or you have arranged to hire appropriate kit well in advance (see Equipment Hire; please note that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, club boats have been put out on long term hire to members. This runs on a monthly basis: an email will go out to all members when these come up for renewal). Please read the Club Risk Assessment policy, which can be downloaded below. There is also an Activity Specific Risk Assessment (also downloadable below), which is intended to be a useful guide for thinking through the safety implications of a trip beforehand. 

COVID-19 update, August 2020: in order to help us manage the risks around COVID-19 and ensure that the Club complies with Government/SCA guidance as we look to get back on the water, we would ask all members to read the Covid19 risk assessment  (see download below). This will be updated in response to any changes to the guidance - all members will be notified by email as and when any changes occur.


Contact Information for Club Trips

In the event of any incident, it can be essential to have a contact number for each paddler and also emergency contact details. In the wider paddling community, a number of incidents have arisen in the past where the group has become separated and the rescue has been hampered because it has been unclear whether all paddlers were off the water. Shared contact details within the group helps avoid this situation. In the event of illness or injury, emergency contact numbers can also be useful. Members do provide such details at annual membership renewal, but they may not be appropriate to a particular day’s paddling, may change, and will not routinely be available to the leader or event organiser.

It is recommended that each event organiser collects names and contact details for all participants, together with any medical issues or requirements, prior to the start of each trip.

For some trips, these details can be collected by using a form in WebCollect at the time of booking (which then allows the organiser to print off a summary sheet before the event). The Membership Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., can advise on setting up events in WebCollect. As WebCollect is not always used for Club trips, it is Club policy that each paddler equips themselves with a set of “tickets” for recording essential paddler information and brings the completed and laminated tickets on each paddling trip. One “ticket” should be handed to the trip leader before launching - with all participants being made aware of the location of that information (e.g. trip leader’s day hatch) - one should be carried on the paddler (where possible, in your buoyancy aid) and one should be stored in your boat.

Summary sheets containing paddler information will be destroyed by the trip leader (in accordance with GDPR legislation) at the end of each trip. It is intended that the tickets handed into the trip leader should be returned at the end of the event or trip: it is the member’s responsibility to ensure that this is done. Unless they can be returned in a timely fashion, any tickets accidentally retained by a trip leader will be destroyed in accordance with current GDPR legislation. Blank tickets can be downloaded below - any problems please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note: while COVID-19 measures are in place, all trips and activities will be pre-bookable only. Coaches/leaders will therefore rely on the information provided on booking and will not collect tickets. Each paddler should still carry a ticket in their buoyancy aid and in their boat.


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