Getting Started

Information for Prospective New Members

So, you are thinking about sea kayaking. We hope the following will provide you with some information about our club and sea kayaking generally and will answer some of the basic questions confronting all new entrants to the sport.

INTRODUCTION

Sea Kayak Club WA Inc. schedules and coordinates a variety of paddling events for it’s members allowing them to participate in recreational sea kayaking activities ranging from leisurely trips on rivers and inlets and sheltered coastal waters to demanding adventure paddling in the open ocean plus expedition trips to remote areas in the north west of the state. The emphasis on all club paddles is on safety and risk minimisation and the club has comprehensive safety guidelines in place based on Australian Canoeing Inc. standards. Club events take place in a supportive group environment allowing members to share their accumulated skills and experience and provide support and assistance where required.

OBJECTS OF ASSOCIATION

  • To act, as a contact point for members’ sea kayak activities.
  • To promote and encourage sea kayaking to the general community as an enjoyable, social and environmentally responsible wilderness pursuit.
  • To unite and co-ordinate the activities of members in their sea kayaking pursuits.
  • To promote safe boating practices and endeavour to ensure that all rules and regulations relating to sea kayaking are complied with.
  • To encourage respect for our environment and to foster a positive attitude towards the conservation of flora and fauna and the practice of minimum impact camping.
  • To act on behalf of members in their relationship with Canoeing WA Inc. and other organizations.
  • To represent sea kayakers in consultation with Government departments at all levels.

CLUB PADDLING PHILOSOPHY

  • Club trips will be conducted at the level of the least skilled paddler in the group.
  • All safety equipment required by law and club regulations will be carried by each paddler on club trips.
  • An approved Personal Flotation Device ( PFD ) will be worn at all times on club trips.
  • Group members will paddle together for the duration of the trip unless directed otherwise by the Trip Leader or Instructor
  • All available assistance will be offered to any paddler in distress.
  • Only seaworthy sit-in sea kayaks (not sit-on-top kayaks) will be used on club trips.
  • All members on club paddles are required to act in an environmentally responsible manner.

CLUB STRUCTURE

The club committee, elected at an annual general meeting of the members, manages the activities and business of the club. The club’s paddling activities, meetings and social functions are conducted to a pre-determined schedule and a copy of the program is emailed to all members and posted on this website every two months. A general meeting of members is held periodically at which a guest speaker usually addresses the group on a subject relevant to sea kayaking. An Annual General meeting is held at the end of each club year. Members are encouraged to contribute constructive comments and ideas, relevant to the clubs’ activities and business, at these meetings.

The basis of the club’s on water activities are the paddles scheduled every Sunday. Some of these trips are more leasurely 10 to 15 km paddles on sheltered estuary or river waters or along the coastal strip, weather permitting. Other trips travel up to ten kilometres off shore and can involve round trips of up to forty kilometres in variable weather conditions. Long weekend camping trips are often scheduled as are 5-7 day trips to various locations in the north west of WA, usually during the less windy April – May period. Sunday paddles take place within the boundaries of Two Rocks to the North, Mandurah to the South and offshore islands and reefs to the West. Club trips are led by experienced and qualified Trip Leaders appointed by the club.

POPULAR ACTIVITY AREAS

Areas frequently visited by the easier paddles include the Swan, Canning, Murray and Serpentine rivers, the Peel Inlet and Yanchep Lagoon, Penguin Island, Point Peron, Little Island and most stretches of the coastal strip between Two Rocks and Rockingham. The more adventurous paddle areas include Rottnest, Garden, Carnac, Mewstone and Mandurah Island (through the Dawsville Cut). Adventure trips may involve circumnavigations. Venues for long weekends include Jurien Bay, Margaret River, Hamelin Bay, Augusta, Albany and the Walpole – Nornalup Inlet. Expeditions to the NW visit areas such as Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Coral Bay, Shark Bay and the Dampier Archipelago.

SKILLS AND TRAINING

For insurance and liability reasons, people intending to participate in club activities must be club members. An inexpensive short-term membership is available to non-members wishing to try sea kayaking, allowing them to participate in three club paddles under the guidance of an instructor. New members must have either an Australian Canoeing Inc. Basic Sea Skills Award, an Introduction to Sea Skills Award or Sea Skills Award in order to participate in scheduled club paddles. Individual and group skills training is available by accredited club instructors and through approved training providers such as Les Allen Kayaks (the website address details are on our Links page). For more information on skills progression, go to our Safety and Training page.

RISK WARNING

Sea kayaking is a high risk recreational activity which can expose participants to known, unknown or unanticipated hazards and risks that could result in serious physical or emotional injury or, in extreme cases, death. It could also result in damage to a participant’s own property or the property of others. Such risks cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of this adventure activity, taking place as it does on open waters subject to the vagaries and forces of nature. Sea Kayak Club WA Inc. promotes and coordinates a variety of sea kayaking activities with emphasis on safety and minimization of the hazards and risks involved. The club enables like minded individuals to take part in these activities in a supportive group environment, to share their accumulated skills and experience and provide support and assistance to new paddlers all within guidelines laid out in the club’s operating policies and procedures . The club and it’s members and officers do this on a voluntary basis however and those taking part in club activities or acting according to club policies and procedures or on the advice of a club member or officer do so at their own risk.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

There will no doubt be additional questions that you would like answered if you are contemplating taking up sea kayaking. It is suggested that initially you contact one of the club officers listed below who will attempt to answer your questions and will provide you with the information and documentation needed to join the club should you decide to do so. Following registration as a new member, our Instructors will assess your skill levels and training needs and ensure that you have the necessary skills and safety techniques to ensure that you can enjoy your entry into the club’s activities with safety and confidence. When you’re ready to join, you can find more information on membership fees and downloadable form on the New Member Joining Kit page.

INITIAL CONTACTS

President – Callan Gault, Tel 9444 9330, Email president@seakayakwa.org.au

Secretary – Andrew Munyard, Tel 9590 6310, Email info@seakayakwa.org.au

Postal address:
188 Penguin Road
Safety Bay, WA 6169

EQUIPMENT

Participation on club trips will provide you with the opportunity to assess and discuss the equipment used by other paddlers who may, at their discretion, let you try their gear so that you can make informed decisions regarding your own purchases.

To join a club paddle in sheltered waters you will need the following basic equipment.
• Seaworthy kayak complete with watertight bulkheads, hatch covers and a spray deck.
• A suitable paddle which must be secured to the kayak with a paddle leash.
• A bailer or sponge.
• An approved Personal Flotation Device ( PFD ).
• At least 2 litres of water, snack food and hot drink. A social morning tea on the beach is the norm, mid paddle.
• Paddling attire to suit the prevailing weather conditions plus a change of warm dry clothes in a waterproof bag.

Sea kayaking takes time and perseverance to master. The road can be both exciting and rewarding. Western Australia is an excellent place in which to enjoy sea kayaking activities because of the variety offered by our coast line, islands and inland waterways and the sort of weather conditions that allow us to paddle year round. We look forward to helping you get started on your sea kayaking experience. If we can help you by providing additional information on our club or sea kayaking in general please do no hesitate to contact one of the people listed above under “Initial Contacts”.

OTHER INFORMATION

Details about what is required to pass the Australian Canoeing Awards can be found on the AC website here.
Details about member insurance can be found on the Australian Canoeing website here.
If you would like to read the Club Constitution you can download a copy here (SKCWAconstitutionNov08, 70KB).

Go to the New Member Joining Kit page for the downloadable membership form and information on membership fees.