Trip Leaders are the heart of our club. These experienced paddlers have received training in both rescue skills and group management. They determine which trips they want to lead, assign an appropriate skill requirement (from Level Recreational (basic) to Level III (advanced) as defined in the Skills Assessment Chart) and vet members who register for the trip to ensure that their skills and boat are a good match for the trip.
Not all paddles are a good match for each member’s skill level and boat. Some of our paddles are in open, rough water and can be for over 10 miles. Our major goals for each paddle is the safety and enjoyment of all club members attending the paddle. If a member registers for a paddle and the trip leader is not certain they are a good fit for the paddle, they may be asked not to come on this particular paddle because it can jeopardize their own safety and the enjoyment of others expecting to paddle at speed appropriate for the paddle. A paddle group can only move as fast as the slowest paddler. We recommend that inexperienced paddlers start with Level Recreational or Level I paddles.
Trip leaders need to:
There are several things which you can do. You can contact fellow members which you have met and have the same paddling interests and set up a personal paddle using the information in the Member Directory on the club site. You may also submit a “Trip Request” to TBSK by emailing email@example.com with "Trip Request" in the subject line and request a request a specific trip. We will try to find a trip leader to lead your requested trip and then invite others to join you. Another option is to work on developing the skills needed for more advanced paddles. The free instruction offered at most monthly picnics can be helpful here.
Absolutely! We have highly qualified skills instructors to help you develop your paddling skills. We also are willing to guide you through your purchase of a boat.
Unless specified otherwise by the trip leader, inflatable PFD’s may be worn on TBSK trips. Sometimes, for safety reasons, regular PFD’s might be specified.
As a social paddle club, our primary focus is to have fun and safe paddles. We follow USCG regulations as well as the requirements of our liability insurance carrier. In addition we are guided by the best practices of the ACA (American Canoe Association). The ACA serves as the National Governing body for Olympic Paddlesports.
The Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers has existed since 1993, and as an independent club since 1996. We are incorporated as a social non-profit club with officers elected each December.