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NSSKA trip leaders are sticklers for safety and enjoyment. We believe they go together like paddle and boat. When you join our club, you agree to respect our Safety Rules and comply with our Paddler Expectations.

Safety Rules


  • Wear a Coast Guard-approved Type III or Type V Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while on the water.
  • Provide your own basic gear in good working order and appropriate for the event. Specific gear may vary based on the event and environment (saltwater, lake, river) and an event leader may allow other types of craft, including canoes, sit-on-tops, and inflatables. Contact the event leader with any questions. 
  • Dress for immersion. Most trips require a dry suit, but a wet suit may be appropriate depending on its quality.
  • Bring adequate food and beverage.
  • Be comfortable floating in water. 
  • Comply with the event leader’s requirements and follow their instructions during the event. 
  • Do not consume drugs or alcohol during the paddling portion of an event. 
  • Behave courteously and respectfully toward and around fellow paddlers.
  • Accept the decision of a trip leader to decline your participation in an event due to lack of experience/skill, inadequate or inappropriate gear, or behavior that is incompatible with the group


Paddler Expectations

  • Register for trips via the Events Calendar unless noted otherwise in the trip description.
  • Arrive on time to events and notify the event leader if you’re going to be late.
  • If you need to cancel your registration in an event, do so as soon as possible so that others have a chance to sign up.
  • Read event descriptions carefully and register for those that match your skill level. Contact the event leader if you are unsure about your ability to safely and enjoyably participate in an event.
  • Familiarize yourself with details of a trip, such as tides, weather and wind forecasts, and charts. (See our Resources page..)
  • Provide up-to-date emergency contact information in your website account profile. We also recommend leaving the trip description with a family member or friend.
  • Inform the event leader of any health issues that may arise during the course of an event, and allergies that might affect treatment of an illness or injury.
  • Bring any personal medications you may need during an event.
  • Stay with the group. Inform the event leader if you are struggling to keep up and be willing to accept a tow.
  • Comply with NOAA distance regulations for viewing marine mammals