We do our best to answer all questions. You can find the answers to the most frequent questions below. Toggle on the question to see the answer. Email a question to firstname.lastname@example.org if you didn't find your answer.
How do I join the club?
Click on the Membership Link on the Website. Fill in the membership form and send it off with your membership fee or pay by Paypal or cheque. That’s it. You will receive a welcome letter from the membership member confirming that you are a member. Once a member, keep an eye on the website or forum to see what’s happening. Don’t hesitate to contact any of the coaches or leaders if you have any questions.
Do I need previous experience to join?
No experience is necessary to join the club. We provide training and equipment for all levels. The club runs events exclusively aimed at the novice paddler.
Is there an age restriction to join the club?
No, there is no age restriction. We have members of all ages from young children to members in their late 60’s. Children can enjoy paddlesport at any age but must be able to wear a correctly fitted buoyancy aid suitable for their age.
Do I need to be able to swim?
Yes, you should ideally be able to swim in light clothing wearing a buoyancy aid.
Can my children join the club without me joining?
Yes, children are most welcome. You can join the club as an individual or as a family. Family Membership includes you, your partner/spouse and your children. We also offer a Youth Membership for under 16’s at a discounted price. Paddlesport is a great sport for kids with lots of opportunities. All club coaches are trained in child protection and the club has a robust child protection policy. Parents are encouraged to attend with their children as we are a club and not a babysitting service!
Do I need my own clothing and equipment?
No, not initially. The club has a good range of boats and equipment including paddles and buoyancy aids. You can use club boats for as long as you like but after 3 free sessions you will be expected to pay a small fee for each use. The club does not expect new members to buy expensive dry suits etc but once you have decided to make a long term commitment to paddling then it is advisable to invest in some decent clothing. Club coaches and leaders are on hand to advise what to buy. We always advise members to try out various clothing and equipment used by current members before spending any money. Click HERE to see the rules on using club equipment.
What equipment and clothing do I need to bring on trips?
For most trips warm clothes and waterproof jacket and trousers is suffice. On the river, many layers of man-made fibres are better than fewer thick layers or cotton/wool. Jeans are not suitable. Remember you will need suitable footwear to paddle in and a complete change of clothes if you get wet. After the river you should have plenty of warm clothes to change in to (including hat and gloves etc). A lunch, snacks, water and possibly a thermos flask of hot drink. We often change near the river in public places, so bring a towel or sarong to change behind. Once you decide to purchase dedicated paddle clothing, options range from wetsuits, dry suits, helmets, buoyancy aids etc.
How often does the club meet?
The club runs a busy calendar of events. Events can take place at weekends, during the week and also in the evening during the summer months. You can pick and choose to attend as many events as you like. See the "Club Activities" tab on the website or check out the 'Events' thread on the forum.
How does the club communicate with members?
The club uses various means to inform and communicate with members:
- Club Website. The public face of the club, the website contains all sorts of information and links. This is the first port of call to access the other streams of information. It contains the events calendar, latest news, blogs and much more.
- Club Forum. The forum is the area for member interaction, conversation and the latest information on events. The forum is the place to go to find out details of trips and events. Any member can post on the forum but you have to get a login first.
- Facebook. The club Facebook site is open to all members once you have been invited to join. Anything canoe related comments and photos etc can be posted.
- Flickr. This contains photographs taken by club members. Anyone can upload photos. Email the webmaster to obtain username and login details. Ezine. The club sends out a quarterly electronic newsletter by email with the latest club news etc.
- Dropbox. These contain the club documents and policies. Any member can access the Dropbox but only certain committee members can post to it.
How do I find out about trips?
The Events Calendar on the website has a list of longterm events. The forum has all the latest information on club trips and general chat. click on the Forum tab on the website to catch up on the latest club chat.
How do I sign up to events and trips?
Once you see something you like, look to the Forum for more information or contact the coach/leader who is organising the event. Remember pulling out of a trip is just as important as signing up for one.
Where do I find the club policies?
The clubs policies and documentation is contained in the Clubmark Page. Click on Club Stuff link/Clubmark at the top of the page to access it. Remember, you need to be a member to access it.
Does the club play canoe polo?
Yes, the club is actively trying to encourage polo participation. We regularly play a game at the Friday night pool sessions. We are also in contact with other clubs to organise some games. You don’t have to be an expert paddler or polo player to take part. It’s just a bit of fun. Click here to see the latest BCU Polo Rules.
What do I need for the pool sessions?
The club regular pool sessions at Coleraine Leisure Centre. The current cost is £6 per session. Boats and paddles are available at the pool and it is also okay to bring your own boat and paddle as long as they are clean. Experienced members of the club will be attendance to help and give advice. At the pool we suggest you wear a pair of shorts or leggings over a swimming costume, as the sides of the boats can rub on bare legs. You may not be in the pool all the time, so a thermal top is also a good idea, to keep you warm. Tops made of artificial fibres such as polyester or nylon are much better at retaining heat than cotton. Don’t forget to bring a towel and a plastic bag (for your wet gear). Goggles and nose plug are also useful.
What risks are involved with paddling?
Canoeing and kayaking are not only one of the fastest growing sports in the UK but also one of the safest. Off course accidents do happen but all of our club coaches and leaders are fully trained and qualified. Members are also taught how to look after themselves and each other. All coaches and leaders are first aid trained and carry first aid kits on each trip. They are also qualified in the latest rescue techniques.
Am I insured at Club events
You are insured if you are a Full or Affliated member of CANI. You must ensure you have renewed your membership. Full details of the insurance provided by CANI can be found on their website.