RIC/KA Paddling Basics


RIC/KA is not a professional paddling organization. Our members coordinate paddles for their own enjoyment and the enjoyment of the rest of the paddling community. Skill sessions, while a great way to learn, are not run by professional instructors.

The trip coordinators are not professional guides or instructors. Many of them are highly skilled and experienced paddlers, but they do not neccesarily have any professional credentials.

You choose to join RIC/KA coordinated trips at your own risk.



In order to participate in RIC/KA sea kayaking trips you MUST have the following equipment:

*Sea Kayak

A sea kayak is designed for use on the ocean and typically has the following characteristics:

If you are uncertain if your kayak is appropraite for a trip, contact the trip coordinator.


We strongly recommend that you bring along the following:


Before a Paddle

Consider the following before joining a group paddle:

  1. Check the difficulty level of the trip.
  2. Check the marine forecast and tides prior to paddling.
  3. Assess your comfort level for participating in the trip based on the difficulty level and the forecasted conditions.
  4. Each participant in a group trip shares the responsibility for the safety and enjoyment of the entire group.
  5. All times listed are LAUNCH times. Arrive early enough to prepare.
  6. If necessary, paddles will be cancelled by 8:00 AM. Check the message board for cancellation notices.

During a Paddle

To ensure a safe and fun paddle, all paddlers in the group should do the following:

  1. Stay with the group.
  2. If you are having trouble, inform the trip coordinator.
  3. Keep an eye on the rest of the group. If you notice another paddler having difficulty, help them out or tell the trip coordinator.
  4. The scheduled difficulty level of the trip is the difficulty level of the trip. Only the weather will push a level 2 trip to a level 3 trip.
  5. In an emergency situation, only one person should be in charge. Give them space and do as they say.
  6. If you choose to leave the group, tell the trip coordinator.

Special Conditions

Cold Water Paddles

When the water gets cold hypothermia is a serious danger. Consider the following:

Do not approach seals when paddling in the winter. It is against the law.

Sunset Paddles or Night Paddles

When paddling at night the following extra equiptment is required:

It is also a good idea to bring an emergency strobe light.

Surfing and Rock Gardening

Surf and rocks present special dangers to paddlers. Surf is unpredictable and powerful. Rocks can smash a kayak or a paddler's skull. Before venturing into a surf zone or a rock garden consider the following: