Paddling clubs are gathering places that connect all skill levels. They are a great way to meet like minded people who share your kayaking interest. With a welcoming attitude, members are happy to lend their experience to help others develop their skills. They are a place for singles, couples and family activities. No, they don't have funny hats or wear secret decoder rings, they just enjoy paddling! So what are the benefits to joining a club?
You can always find someone to paddle with. Their members are a great resource to find new paddling areas, share techniques and they support and encourage those new to paddling.
Many of these associations offer free or low cost beginner classes and introduce advanced classes like white water or sea paddling. They usually incorporate safety and first aid classes. The classes are a lot of fun and a great way to try out the sport or to see if you'd like to join the club.
Most clubs have meetings, some are on a regular schedule and some are less formal. The meetings offer interesting guest speakers, videos of trips, plan paddling trips, holiday events or social outings. Since clubs usually welcome guests, these forums are another way to check out the club before deciding if it's for you.
Paddling groups are active in community projects, environmental activities, such as participating in river clean ups or public awareness programs. This is a way to feel part of your corner of the world.
Most clubs utilize e-mail, a newsletter or calendar web posting of their scheduled events to keep members informed. They also notify members of any club discounts on such items as magazines or gear.
Membership FeesWhere to find a Paddling Club
Groups have to collect membership fees to keep the collective going but the good news is that they're usually very affordable. Additional costs are for classes or perhaps for an outing or event if you choose to participate. Many events are "family style" where everyone brings something to share which keeps costs to a minimum.
To find one in your area just search the internet . . . "Paddling Clubs, (your state)" - don't overlook ones listed as "canoe club" because most of these include kayaking. There may be one closer than you think.
Whether you like large social groups or you're the one-on-one type, you will find friends to share kayaking and outdoor fun at a paddling club. To get an idea of what they're about, take a look at Birmingham Canoe Club, in Alabama, West Florida Canoe and Kayak Club in Florida or Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network in Maine.