TBSK Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does TBSK use trip leaders?

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 0 – Basic to Level III – Advanced as define 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.

  • Why shouldn’t members be able to attend all paddles advertised on the web site?

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 O or Level I paddles.

  • What are some of the major guidelines for trip leaders when planning and leading a trip?

Trip leaders need to:

      • Ensure the weather and tides are appropriate
      • Vet all members registered for the paddle
      • Keep the paddle group together – this enables the trip leader to offer rescue assistance
  • What should a member do if there are no paddles posted on the web site which are suited to their skills, boat and when they want to paddle?

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  tbsk@tbsk.club 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.

  • What is the best way to meet fellow members?
      • As a social paddle club, we encourage you to meet fellow paddlers to develop “paddle buddies”.  Come to our monthly paddle-picnics where we have paddles for all skill levels and a chance to share a meal after a paddle.  You can also come to or monthly meeting at Bill Jacksons (second Monday of each month).
  • Does TBSK offer help with skills training & buying boats?

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.

  • Why do you need to wear a PFD (life jacket) on all TBSK paddles?
      • This requirement is for the safety of you and the other paddlers and is an insurance requirement..  It is almost impossible to don a PFD while in the water and the delay may further endanger the paddler and others.  A PFD on the boat can’t help a paddler who is unconscious or separated from the boat
  • Are inflatable PFD’s allowed on TBSK trips?

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.

  • Why does TBSK have so many rules for their paddles?

As a social paddle club, our primary focus is to have fun and safe paddles.  We try and strike a balance between having a care free trip and abiding by safety and liability insurance guidelines.

  • Why does TBSK charge dues?
      • With our current dues structure, we are currently at a break-even point, spending what we take in.  Our major expenditures are for liability insurance, rental of web site software and for monthly paddle-picnics (shelter rental and food).
  • How long has TBSK Existed?

The Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers has existed since 1993, and as an independent club since 1996.  We are a incorporated as a social non-profit club with officers elected each December.


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