Edinburgh Kayak Club organises a number of Club Trips throughout the year which are primarily on rivers. They can vary enormously, from a gentle paddle on a loch to rugged conditions on fast white water. Members may use the club as a forum to advertise opportunities for people to run rivers together. In the event that these are not Club Trips, they shall be termed peer paddling.
It can be helpful to refer to the water grading on the UKRiversGuidebook and SCA websites for a general idea, but the conditions on the day depend on the weather, and on water levels. The trip might have to be relocated, often at the last minute, and on occasion a trip might have to be cancelled. EKC will endeavour to run its activities in as safe a manner as possible, however participation in the sport of Canoeing/Kayaking can be a dangerous activity with risk of injury. It should be understood that participation could lead to injury or in severe cases, even death.
Club Trips are advertised via the events calendar on the website. For details, click on the entry in the Calendar, or contact the trips coordinator. The trips constantly evolve, so please check the link regularly. The advertising for the trip includes information on the trip leader, the difficulty of the trip, and the level of ability expected in the participants. Those interested in any trips please contact the trip leader or the trips coordinator well in advance. Do not simply turn up on the day.
The overall ethos is that each participant should come prepared to look after themselves. As with any outdoor pursuit there is an element of risk, so it is important to study the information below and the Trips Policy, understand the basis of your participation and not put yourself, or other paddlers, at risk. Junior members attending club trips must have parental approval and have completed the consent forms. All participants must be fully paid up members of EKC. Please note children attending must be accompanied by at least one responsible adult. This can be a parent, guardian or named guardian for the day.
For kayak trips, attendees must have attended a least two pool or pond sessions, have demonstrated a basic level of competence and be comfortable doing wet-exits. For canoe trips, paddlers must be able to demonstrate competence on very sheltered water and capsize drills prior to moving onto gentle rivers. For all paddlers some level of familiarity with rescues of self and others is preferred.
Please check the specific requirements of a trip with the leader, or the trips coordinator. Please be aware that trip leaders may refuse to let participants come on a trip because they are unsure of their competence or fitness or because the trip is oversubscribed. Participation is always at the discretion of the trip leader.
Club Trips are split into four different levels for guidance of those who wish to participate as described below:
Beginner (Grade 1/2)
These trips provide an introduction to moving water and the basic techniques for entering and leaving, breaking in or out of, the river flow.
Improver (Grade 2/3)
This category of trips is to provide a bridge between beginner and intermediate trips. These trips are for those who have been on a few beginner trips and want to progress to something slightly more difficult and further develop their river running skills.
Intermediate (Grade 3/4)
These trips are for those that are confident running rivers at the improver standard, have a better ability to stay upright, and either have the makings of a working river roll and/or do not mind swimming and want to try paddling more challenging water.
Advanced (Grade 4/5)
Trips at this level can have serious consequences and therefore should only be attempted once you have paddled plenty of intermediate rivers and can run them with relative ease.