Prerequisites for Club Trips
The club has minimum criteria for joining in the Club’s outdoor trips, including Tuesday evening Park and Play and 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 or Leaders.
These criteria help us to run safe trips, while ensuring that one person won’t hold back the whole group. The Club’s full Trip policy and Participants Guidance can be downloaded below.
For those new to the sport, the Club does run introductory courses – and completing one of these will enable most people to join us on Club trips (they generally run in the spring, so that you can then paddle with the Club through the summer). Some of these are run by our own (volunteer) coaches, others might be organised through an external provider – 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 (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your skill level. All trips are graded and more information about this can be found in the various discipline sections.
Risk Assessment and Safety
Please see Safety pages in Members Information menu.
Contact Information for Club Events
In the event of any incident, it is very helpful 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 these records are not immediately available to leaders, and they may not be appropriate to a particular day’s paddling, or may have changed.
All Club trips are now booked through WebCollect, which ensures that coaches and leaders have an up-to-date list of contact details for participants for every trip or event, this is governed by the Club’s trips policy. It is up to participants to ensure, when booking, that the contact information they provide is correct. Participants will also be asked a simple yes/no question as to whether or not they have any medical conditions which may affect their paddling; this will highlight any potential issues to the coach/leader, but it is the responsibility of the participant to ensure that the coach/leader is aware of the details of their condition. The coach, leader or event organiser will destroy any locally held copies of that information once the event is over.
In case of any emergency, it is Club policy that each paddler equips themselves with a set of “tickets” or cards for recording essential paddler information and brings the completed tickets on each paddling trip. One “ticket” should be carried on the paddler (in your buoyancy aid) and one should be stored in your boat, somewhere it will easily be found. They can be laminated or placed in a plastic bag. You can make your own ticket by using this template.