Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

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sundaykayaker
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Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by sundaykayaker » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:23 pm

I have a number of kayaking friends who have used the opportunity to develop there skills through a club over the last 10 years. some have gone from no paddling skills to grd 4+ runners.
So I now find my self paddling with a group
- those that cough up £25 to £50 membership fees
- and those that point blank refuse to pay anything. and are just happy to paddle with any one.

(£40 in scheme of things is not a lot of money.
Should I save my self the club membership fee.)

What to do??????
Should point blank refuse to paddle with them?
Should I pay the money? and still paddle with them?
(This not a question of what do u get for the £40 - hell I can spend that kind of money in one night on takeaways
Its a fundamental question. BTW I would loose a lot of kayaking partners if a took a stand on this. )

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by neonbowhawk » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:11 pm

Why limit yourself to one group of boating buddies? I paddle weekly with one club, do separate river trips with a group outside of a club ( which are the people I've learnt most from) and this winter I will pay club fees for a different club for the convenience of their pool sessions nearby.
If you limit paddling partners you limit your knowledge Base.

sundaykayaker
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by sundaykayaker » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:45 pm

Question isn't who to paddle with. I too paddle with a wide group many from other clubs.
BUT there r some who do not belong to any club at all. should I paddle with them.

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Big Henry
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Big Henry » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:09 pm

To be honest I'm confused that you think there is any sort of issue, from what
you've written.

Are you really complaining about non-members going on club trips? (Some say you have to be a member to go on any trips, whereas some let non-members go on up to 3 trips before they have to join.) If you are then the club exec should have some rules about how many trips non-members can go on. If you object to those who have not joined/paid going on the club trips, take it up with the exec, and if they don't do anything about it you have to decide whether you want to continue paying or going on the trips. If the question is 'there are (non-club) trips that club members go on, should I go on them? " (which is how it reads) then I don't understand your problem, if you want to do the trip with those who are paddling then do it, otherwise don't. Easy.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by gp.girl » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:11 pm

No reason not to paddle with them, it's your choice. I paddle with different clubs and sometimes informal groups just so I can get out as much as I'd like :) If it's a club trip for members there might be a problem but most trips are self financing and if there organisers don't mind its their time. Insurance might be an issue so check it if you want to.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by buck197 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:24 pm

Paddle who you feel comfortable with, it's not about stars and grades they've run or clubs there in. Are they safe, can you trust them in a sticky situation and do you have fun with them on and off the water.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Big Dee » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:57 pm

If you've got the money and won't miss it, spend the money. If you haven't then don't pay it.

I'll paddle with anyone from anywhere as long as we get out on the water it doesn't matter to me
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:01 pm

I'm in 2 clubs.

In number 1 there have been no club organised trips this membership year, so I won't be rejoining. Any trips with people from that club have been those that I've arranged myself and have been "peer paddling" rather than club approved.

I'll still turn up on the river for the odd Saturday paddle with them to have a natter & I'll tag along on any trips if they need help, but I don't see the point in paying just for the sake of it.

In number 2 there have been 5 or 6 weekend trips arranged and I'm quite happy to pay the membership fee to be entitled to go on them.

So I suppose my summary is that I'd stay with a club if it's beneficial to me, but would have no qualms about not being in the club.

I'll paddle with anyone, not really sure what your opening question is asking TBH.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by DaveBland » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:34 am

You should NEVER paddle with 'clubbies'. Their nylon spraydecks, tartan thermos flasks and boats with no outfitting will hold you back.

I'm thinking your question /observation is over the dramatically different dynamics of the two group 'types'.

For me I haven't been anywhere near a club since I was about 14. But what with now playing polo and being a bit later on in my paddling career - clubs are becoming another part of my paddling experience.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Jim » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:25 am

I'm in several clubs and don't do river trips with any of them, I get far better river trips by paddling with friends outside of clubs, in fact it was club trips ruining my opportunity to paddle with non-club friends that lead me down this route in the first place.

But we each have our own idea of what is right, wrong, moral, immoral, good and bad, and we each like different things.
Many clubs seem to pressure members not to paddle outside the club, primarily because they need those members to make club trips work, and if you get into that situation you need to take stock of your priorities (bearing in mind that they will change throughout your life). If what you want out of your paddling is to be introducing people the sport, doing some coaching etc. but have no real desire to push your own limits, then you should primarily or maybe exclusively paddle with your club. If you have ambitions way beyond what the club scene can provide, you should consider paddling primarily, or exclusively outside your club. If you feel a sense of duty to reciprocate the coaching you received through the club then you stay with the club and continue to help out, even if you maintain your outside contacts, if on the other hand you feel you have already put back in way more than you ever got out, and/or it grates on you, consider ditching the club completely. If you actually like paddling with the club and want to mix it up with external friends but are getting your ear bent by someone in the club because they don't think you should be paddling outside of the club - get together and discuss it, make your needs clearly known, set down what areas you intend to continue to help the club with and if they still don't like it explain that the alternative is that you will leave because you can't handle the bullsh, er baggage.

My own situation is incredibly complex and I'm not sure if it would help to explain it or not. I do a bit of everything and I am always busy. I rejoined an old club that had apparently started playing polo, in order to play polo. I made it quite clear I was having nothing to do with beginners trips, or coaching, or pool sessions - I've done all that in the past and have given it up for various reasons. Actually they had kit but no team, so I ended up as the polo rep and have just about formed a team - so actually I am kind of coaching polo beginners, as a well rusty former player.....I'm in another club for slalom paddling - I had a little coaching to start with but have reverted to my normal learning technique of just getting out paddling and copying people better than me, I sometimes end up helping out with the kids session before our WW session if I'm early and we are short of bodies to supervise. I am also in a number of groups for various things: a polo training group, a freestyle group, an OC1 group - I paddle informally with all of these and probably some I have forgotten about (my sea kayaking friends for one). I do help people in the groups out with tips and advice and such - it's not that I am completely selfish and refuse to help others, just that with so many other things going on, that I simply don't have time to put aside to be doing it in a club context as well.

So don't do what any of us think you should, do whatever is right for you.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Simon Westgarth » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:45 am

If there is no ultimatum being demanded, do not take it. Paddle with good people. If you want to help the next generation do it, if its with a club so be it, it is more likely to be structured there which can be both a good and a bad thing. The future of how people will gather for activities is an interesting one, clubs were once the main focus point, but this is less and less so. Effectively the internet's social media has allowed pop up clubs and groups to form and ebb away as demand changes. This is a difficult thing for some club focused people to deal with, as people get as much from being part of a group no matter whether they are in a club or not.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by sundaykayaker » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:51 pm

Thanks Guys/Girl
It was really helpful.
Jim U r right its a moral issue....and Our club is an easy going club and does not enforce the 3 paddle rule and we have Cub paddles and "mates" Paddles... Ur analysis from various points of view helped a lot to clarify my own thoughts.
The easy with which we can tie up with people from different parts of the country has definitely changed who we Kayak with.
I guess, the heart of my delama was how does one fund and maintain a club if some ...don't pay a subscription yet take advantage of the club scene. And what is the purpose of the club.
My Personal view has crystallized - after reviewing ur comments into:-

a) Club is a social gathering of like minded individuals. and like any other type of club that I join I have to pay a subscription.

b) to maintain the numbers of people interested in Kayaking.
I have to contribute towards developing new comers. So that in the future I have more people to paddle with.
This is a heavy investment of time and effort and am happy to do so for a period of time as long as the rewards are there. Measured by increase in number of paddlers.

c) For personal development. I have to paddle with people better then me.
Either through paid coaching / guiding or "Mates" paddles which are generally at the top limit of my skills.

Thanks for ur help
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by DaveBland » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:12 pm

I think there will always be a role for clubs. There are just two different types of paddlers. Those that like the 'security' and set up of a formal structure along with those that like to be 'somebody' within a group.
And there are the essentially self sufficient 'loners' who paddle in tight groups – totally away from any club format.

I think the point about the internet and social media forming virtual clubs is very valid – and for many fills the gap between lone groups and a formal structure.

The Calgary Kayak Club is an interesting hybrid of all of these. It exists as a formal entity in a way that it can gain grants and funding and is a vehicle to support any member that wants to run an event. There is no clubhouse or regular meeting night or anything like that, but those that want to organize a festival or polo or youth training – whatever – can have a structure in place to assist.

Other than that it's just a FB group and a website.

It's a great model that works well.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by sundaykayaker » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:36 pm

Yep :) That's me. lol

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by gp.girl » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:48 pm

You could join a team :)

I can roll :)

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Lancs_lad » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:32 pm

from no paddling skills to grd 4+ runners.
I doubt they are gd4+ paddlers from a club only back ground! I have paddle with enough idiots who say they are "grade 4" paddlers to take that statement with a massive pinch of salt!!

If you want to get good you need to paddle with good boaters, ideally better than yourself.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by DaveBland » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:15 pm

Was thinking about this thread at the weekend. Yeah, no floods like back 'ome... so re-read the original post. Is this the point of what you are asking?
sundaykayaker wrote:...BUT there r some who do not belong to any club at all. should I paddle with them.
...in terms of no recognized structure, insurance, organization etc? There can be a lot of perceived security in club trips that may not be seen as there with a bunch of randoms on a river.

If that's what you are asking... 'security' – comes from paddling with people that know what they are doing. And I would argue that there are more knowledgeable experienced paddlers out there who are NOT club types than there are in clubs. It also comes from paddling with people that understand you as a person. The formal or informal structure of it is irrelevant.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by davebrads » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:27 pm

Lancs_lad wrote:
from no paddling skills to grd 4+ runners.
I doubt they are gd4+ paddlers from a club only back ground! I have paddle with enough idiots who say they are "grade 4" paddlers to take that statement with a massive pinch of salto!!
Well I'm not the only grade 4+ paddler our club has produced. Don't tar all clubs with the same brush. There is nothing to stop the right kind of club from offering the opportunity for paddlers to progress to that level.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Chalky723 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:52 am

Lancs_lad wrote: I doubt they are gd4+ paddlers from a club only back ground! I have paddle with enough idiots who say they are "grade 4" paddlers to take that statement with a massive pinch of salt!!

If you want to get good you need to paddle with good boaters, ideally better than yourself.
But if those "good" paddlers spent a bit of their time working with the club to get people the exposure to bigger water & to give people better boaters to paddle with then surely that'd change things?

The main problem with that though is that clubs are so tied down with insurance, coaches, leaders, paperwork etc. etc. that it won't happen - there are far too many hoops to jump through to take club paddlers out on the water for someone that doesn't have the time & will to wrestle with the BCU (or whatever it's called now) system.

It's almost designed to keep clubs at a certain level of paddler whilst forcing "good" paddlers to move on....
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by davebrads » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:12 am

Chalky723 wrote: The main problem with that though is that clubs are so tied down with insurance, coaches, leaders, paperwork etc. etc. that it won't happen - there are far too many hoops to jump through to take club paddlers out on the water for someone that doesn't have the time & will to wrestle with the BCU (or whatever it's called now) system.
It really isn't that hard, but I hear your view echoed far too often in clubs. Insurance isn't a problem, as long as the club is affiliated to the BCU their insurance covers club trips. You don't need to be a qualified coach to lead a trip, we had a system at my old club where we had a list of coaches and river leaders which was reviewed by the committee to say at what level each person could operate. Now I admit that is some paperwork, but it isn't that much.

The problem it seems to me is the awards and coaching system. I haven't had overly much to do with it, though I am level 2 qualified, but you do hear far too often from coaches that have been on these courses about what their remit is - they all seem far too concerned about what their bit of paper will allow them to do rather than using their common sense. To be honest I think the personal awards system, despite the recent revisions, still fails to offer a pathway that will lead to producing a skilled white water paddler. Partly that is down to the way it is structured - I don't see any reason why beginners can't go straight onto moving water, nor why they can't be coached by any level 2 coach. Furthermore the awards system still insists on teaching skills that are irrelevant in white water, and I have seen paddlers that have come through the system really struggle to make the transition as they will revert to what they were taught on flat water as soon as they feel at all uncomfortable.

Any club is going to be limited by what facilities it has available. But if a club has access to easy moving water where the risk are easily managed I don't see any reason why beginners can't be taught the basics there, and by any coach, and that is exactly what we did at my old club. The other thing that they were good at was having regular trips out to better quality water. I am convinced this is why they are more successful at producing white water paddlers than any other recreational club that I have experience of. The only type of club that is more successful at producing white water paddlers is a slalom club, and that is because they don't mess about, for which they get far too much criticism (some on this site) from people that have come through the BCU system and think they know better.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Simon Westgarth » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:38 am

There is little doubt that too much structure within clubs, reflecting the BCU's award system is and has been stifling for paddlers over the years. An award scheme pegged to competences, can appear aspirational, yet the ling term fall out is that its increasingly exclusive. We as a body of paddlers know that paddling in its diverse possibilities is for anyone , and as such it should be accessible to everyone. The principals of paddling have evolved very little, whilst the delivery of technique, tactics and their application has moved at a pace depending on your view point. A system that shares these principals and there interpretation where by anyone who is willing and able can access help with their performance or coaching is what we should be driving towards. If paddlesports schemes and structure were as open as the possibilities in paddlesport, seasoned veterans and those with developed expertise could in turn be open to helping others as they were once helped.

Within a club you require no formal BCU qualifications. If you have paddlers that can frame operating procedures and training for there development, then as a collective of volunteers there is no obligation to be formally qualified. By all means get outside help to develop your ideas and practices, opening up ,earning throughout the club.

You do not have to do anything, other than be safe and set up the day to have a good time.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by andypagett » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:20 am

davebrads wrote:It really isn't that hard, but I hear your view echoed far too often in clubs. Insurance isn't a problem, as long as the club is affiliated to the BCU their insurance covers club trips. You don't need to be a qualified coach to lead a trip, we had a system at my old club where we had a list of coaches and river leaders which was reviewed by the committee to say at what level each person could operate. Now I admit that is some paperwork, but it isn't that much.
Is there an official reference for this? This point is a constant headache for me in our club - as one of the clubs better paddlers (happy on Gd 3 moving up to Gd 4), am happy taking appropriate groups of intermediates on bits of grade 2(3) (eg Washburn, Ure, Lower Tryweryn, that sort of thing), but have a nightmare trying to sort it out within the context of the club programme due to the lack of availability of 4* / MWE / Old L3 qualified people. We therefore end up organising a 'mates trip', forgoing the benefit of the BCU insurance, but from what you say, that isn't necessary?

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:16 pm

To answer your question you need to get back to fundamentals and forget anything you have been told by ‘old’ coaches, the BCU or others indoctrinated by the BCU.

First off let’s talk about consequences and responsibility. People worry that their insurance won’t pay out. Insurance is there to cover you when you do something ‘wrong’ not to act as a control mechanism to prevent you doing something wrong and then arguing they won’t pay out because you did something wrong. You have a duty of care in law to behave reasonably in whatever you are doing. There is no ‘Health and Safety at Work Act’ covering you and a group paddling a river where you are not employed to do the job of leading. Of course you will do your best; that’s what right thinking people do.

The various coaching qualifications offer a ‘remit’ which is a guide to the applicability of the qualification. It is not an absolute barrier to working beyond this if you have the skills. Indeed, what would happen if there was not BCU or other ‘governing body’ for the sport. Why do these organisations feel the sport needs ‘governing’, after all, for most of us it is a pastime, not the Olympics and we do not even mention to the BCU that most of our activities are going on.

If I know how to do something and you don’t, why can’t I tell you? I am currently installing a kitchen; it is not something I have any qualifications in, I just get on with it. No-one is controlling the activity. A mate of mine thinks he would like to learn how to do tiling so he comes round and I explain to him how to set out, mark out, operate a tile cutter and even the vicious machine with a circular saw for cutting tiles and then I show him how to do grouting. He will go away and do something similar and I hope he doesn’t cut his fingers off in the machine because the non-existent ‘Governing Body for the instruction of DIY Skills’ will be on my back.

You are out paddling with a group from your club, do you feel confident to look after them on the river, give them useful instructions on lines to follow and how to approach features and to set in place effective safety and rescue strategies? If you think the answer to this is yes, then you should consider yourself a suitable leader. You then merely need to convince your club committee than you are.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Jim » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:40 pm

andypagett wrote:
davebrads wrote:It really isn't that hard, but I hear your view echoed far too often in clubs. Insurance isn't a problem, as long as the club is affiliated to the BCU their insurance covers club trips. You don't need to be a qualified coach to lead a trip, we had a system at my old club where we had a list of coaches and river leaders which was reviewed by the committee to say at what level each person could operate. Now I admit that is some paperwork, but it isn't that much.
Is there an official reference for this? This point is a constant headache for me in our club - as one of the clubs better paddlers (happy on Gd 3 moving up to Gd 4), am happy taking appropriate groups of intermediates on bits of grade 2(3) (eg Washburn, Ure, Lower Tryweryn, that sort of thing), but have a nightmare trying to sort it out within the context of the club programme due to the lack of availability of 4* / MWE / Old L3 qualified people. We therefore end up organising a 'mates trip', forgoing the benefit of the BCU insurance, but from what you say, that isn't necessary?
Talk to your BC clubs rep(s), they will be able to dig out the official references and give you guidelines - they will probably try to get you to incorporate formal qualifications as well and reccommend a long term training programme to obtain more qualified leaders, but should advise you properly.

Basically clubs are becoming more and more like the workplace - your club can do what it needs to as long as you document what you are going to do. Many clubs do not have qualified coaches and leaders, even with NGB assistance the latest scheme does not work well for volunteer coaches so this situation is unlikely to change. If you write your documentation that only a 4* or MWE qualified person can lead a trip, then that is the qualification you need, if you write your documentation to specify that suitably qualified and experienced trip leaders will be identified by the committee considering their experience and leadership qualities, you can take formal qualifications out. This may require a motion to amend the constitution or documentation at the club AGM and allow all members to vote and accept the changes, after all it is their safety you have in mind.
Whether or not you specify, or give examples of the sort of experience and leadership qualities you are looking for in a club leader is something else to consider. You should also review the documentation and authorized leaders list from time to time to see if the requirements still fit the way the club operates, and to ensure that the leaders are still considered competent, or have they gained experience to lead more difficult trips - and obviously can you add extra leaders to the list.

As long as you operate a system, and as long as the system is reasonably well thought out (i.e. does not say that after 1 pool session a beginner can lead grade 5) and documented the clubs affiliated insurance will be valid.

Now, the extension to this is if your club is going to run any kind of activity specifically for non-members (this definition does not include a newbie coming to the regular club night a few times before joining, although note that there is a limit to how many times you can permit that). Such an activity could be a come and try it session, a coaching course open to all, some kind of festival/meet, or a competitive event. If you are going to do any of these kinds of things after 1st Jan 2016, you will need to appoint a safety officer to your committee and the safey officer will have to have attended the BC 'Event Safety Training' course. I've just done it, and it is much less scary than it sounds, the safety officer's primary role is to sit in on discussion about how events are to be arranged and ask "how can we cover this or that" to help the committee make sure that all the bases are covered and documented. This role has been added as a direct stipulation from the insurer who have started to have concerns about how we operate when non members are involved, but given how open and flexible we can be with events for non-members, there really should be no problem with being flexible about club activities for club members, who should know each other and have a reasonable level of training.

Actually, I would say that even if your club never runs events, get a few of the committee along to an event safety training course and they should come back with a better understanding of the expectations of BC and their insurers. We certainly identified a few holes that were not directly related to events at all!

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Robert Craig » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:54 pm

andypagett wrote: Is there an official reference for this? This point is a constant headache for me in our club - as one of the clubs better paddlers (happy on Gd 3 moving up to Gd 4), am happy taking appropriate groups of intermediates on bits of grade 2(3) (eg Washburn, Ure, Lower Tryweryn, that sort of thing), but have a nightmare trying to sort it out within the context of the club programme due to the lack of availability of 4* / MWE / Old L3 qualified people. We therefore end up organising a 'mates trip', forgoing the benefit of the BCU insurance, but from what you say, that isn't necessary?
Best source is the insurance policy itself. See the BCU website.

My interpretation is that this is a "negligence" insurance - if I'm neglectful by knowingly leading a trip outside my capabilities or negligent as a committee member by authorising an incompetent person to lead, I'm covered by the insurance against claims for negligence.

I'd feel guilty for the rest of my life, but that's not the insurance question.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Chalky723 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:48 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote: You are out paddling with a group from your club, do you feel confident to look after them on the river, give them useful instructions on lines to follow and how to approach features and to set in place effective safety and rescue strategies? If you think the answer to this is yes, then you should consider yourself a suitable leader. You then merely need to convince your club committee than you are.
Easier said than done I'm afraid. Our club is so "risk averse" that there is pretty much no scope for someone who doesn't have a BCU qualification to lead an official club trip. You can only bang your head against the wall of paranoid arse covering so long before you just contact the people you want to invite privately and arrange a trip.

Then you all become more skilled and paddle less with the club and eventually leave it - which is a shame as it got me started in the hobby and it frustrates me to see them actively holding people back due to a lack of moral fibre on the part of the committee.

C
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by DaveBland » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:43 pm

It feels like clubs are more for paddlers at the earlier stages of their development. Once 'river competent' there is less need to be part of a club structure, unless you are wanting to give back by helping others develop.

If this is the case, clubs should be set up with this in mind, with a structure that supports this.
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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:47 pm

I'm not sure that's the case. Admittedly I have only been a member of one club but we have a range of experience and capabilities and quite a few long standing members. Many of them will paddle with the club and also with other friends on trips away from the club environment. I just think participation is quite diverse.

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Re: Should I paddle with people who don't belong to a Club

Post by Lancs_lad » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:07 pm

The problem is I go kayaking to enjoy myself. My time is even more limited now that I am a father. So out of the two following options which do you think I would prefer.

A) Paddle rivers at the grade I enjoy with mates who know what they are doing etc

B) Go down my local club, faff while they decide who is allowed to come with me (fully qualified MWE + 5 star), then when they do said people faff like mad even more! I then spend the day fishing out beaters who "think" they are ready for grade 3/4 but arent. Oh and I paddle one river in the time I could of done 3 with my mates.

Oh and then to top it off they feedback that I choose a too hard a river for them!! Jog on!!

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