Guide to Club Trips

Participating in Trips:

Unless otherwise stated, if you wish to participate on a club trip, you MUST contact the advertised trip leader no later than the Thursday prior to the trip. Numbers will always need to be managed and the trip leader needs to know in advance who is coming and what their paddling experience is - if you simply turn up on the day, you will probably be told that you can't take part and we really want to avoid this. Most trips are for NFKKC members only.

By the Thursday prior to the trip the leader will hopefully have a better idea of the likely weather, overall conditions, general water levels and suitability. Note: We will always try to run the advertised trip, or an alternative, but ultimately the trip leader makes the decision on whether the trip will go ahead.

Note: “On the Water for...” means on the water not arrival time — please leave sufficient time to prepare and change to “be on the water” at the time specified...

Description of Grades:

The grades and paddler standards described below are for guidance only; they are not hard and fast rules. Contact the trip organiser if you would like further information or to chat about suitability, etc.

On the day itself, wind direction, Tidal flow, temperature, participant ability and water levels (for white water) may well have a bearing on whether the planned trip goes ahead.

Note: It is NOT a requirement that individuals hold the BCU star certificate indicated, this is a general indication of the level of proficiency. It is intended to help individuals identify suitable trips. If you are not sure then obviously having a chat with others in the club and the trip leader is the best thing to do. There will be people who want to push their paddling skills on by trying a level above where they have been before and this is fine as long as the trip leader is happy with this. As mentioned above, you must contact the trip leader beforehand.

For C & D Grade trips partipants will be known to the leader from previous trips.

Paddler Standard
Grade A
All levels welcome (BCU 1* and above)
General club paddle. Open to all paddlers in the club. Generally a leisurely trip with plenty of stops, scenery, etc. Not a strenuous outing, but hopefully good fun...
Grade B
2* - 3* trip
Generally coastal paddles - potentially some slightly choppy seas, wind below force 4, tide approx 2 knots max. Plenty of opportunity for landing and resting. You are not required to be able to roll or self-rescue. These trips will not involve open crossings. It will be specified if any previous experience is required.
White Water:
Generally Grade 2 white water. Possibly some grade 3 drops as an option. It will be specified if previous experience is required or not. You are not required to be able to roll.
Grade C
Confident 3* and above
More testing/advanced conditions or longer paddles where paddle fitness is important. Potentially some choppy seas, wind up to force 4, tide approx 2 knots max. Longer gaps between landing opportunities (more committing paddles) with the potential for more difficult landings and some moderate surf. Most trips to the Isle of Wight will be at this level or higher.
White Water:
Generally Grade 2 and 3 white water. Possibly some grade 4 drops as an option. Previous experience is obviously essential, a reliable roll is not essential.
Grade D
4* or aspirant 4* paddlers and above
These trips are for advanced/experienced paddlers who are capable of looking after themselves in fairly testing conditions.
These trips may well extend beyond the technical 4* leadership remit. You would be expected to have a reliable white water roll / be able to roll in 'moderate' seas (1 - 2.5M waves) and be able to execute a self-rescue if required.

Please inform the trip leader of any relivent medical conditions and ensure that you have sufficient medication with you.

For trip planning form please got to "Trip Planning and trip grading documents" section under "Club Document" tab.