Our Trips and Events
CPA volunteers organize a number of trips, classes, workshops and other events throughout the year. CPA is primarily a sea kayaking club. We are not an outfitter and as such we do not sell, rent, or otherwise supply boats or equipment. All trips and events are run by volunteers and are free or at cost (for space rental, launch fees, campsites, etc.). Our schedule is handled through the CPA MeetUp, and our calendar is visible on our events page. You must join CPA MeetUp to view these trips and events on the CPA MeetUp calendar, and some trips and events are only for members of Chesapeake Paddlers Association. You can join CPA here.
CPA trips range from simple day trips for beginners through more advanced, higher-rated trips that may involve more hazardous conditions or multi-day kayak touring. Trips are rated according to expected conditions. Advertised trips that follow all CPA policies, require gear and completion of the Waiver of Liability are covered under the club’s liability insurance. If the waiver is modified or sections are crossed out it will be rejected and you will not be allowed to participate in the activity. All other trips are considered peer paddles and individuals are paddling under their own recognizance.
A number of mid-week evening paddling sessions are conducted throughout the Bay region, referred to as “Piracies”. These offer a chance to get out on the water and break up the work week, and offer a social opportunity. Piracies are organized under the CPA trip policies and a waiver is required.
For a listing of the Piracies locations, meeting dates and times, and leadership, see Paddling Pirates or CPA Calendar, or the Piracy Forums. Several of the Piracies use the forums to transmit up to the minute information on launch sites and conditions.
CPA usually offers a number of classes and formal training opportunities during the season. Read more details and current links to register here. These briefly include:
- Introduction to Sea Kayaking (SK101)–A one-day classroom course introducing the beginning paddler to sea kayaking, including construction of sea kayaks, paddles, equipment and clothing, safety, places to paddle, transporting kayaks, and other topics. SK101 is usually taught in mid-March, before the paddling season gets underway.
- On-Water Sea Kayaking Instruction (SK102)–A full weekend of on-water instruction in basic strokes, self- and group-rescues, Greenland paddling, intermediate strokes, intermediate rescues, and other topics. SK102 is usually taught in late April-early May on the warmed waters of Lake Anna, Virginia.
- Fall Out of Your Boat Day–This event is held in conjunction with Gear Day in June and offers new kayakers an opportunity to do a wet exit and self-rescue in warm water and with expert supervision.
- Cold Water Workshop–An afternoon class on the hazards and techniques of paddling in cold water, with an opportunity to test your cold water clothing under controlled conditions. This class is usually taught in early Winter by Moulton Avery, Director of the National Center for Cold Water Safety.
- Trip Leader Training (SK203)–This course consists of two weekends sessions, one classroom session covering navigation, weather, tides and currents and other topics, and a weekend of on-water exercises. The course is organized around the policies and requirements for CPA trip leadership.
- Other classes–CPA members have organized other classes on kayak navigation, wilderness first aid, kayak camping, and other topics of interest to sea kayakers depending on the interests of members and availability of instructors.
Class dates are listed on the CPA Calendar, but you need to register with the class organizers, not just respond on the MeetUp.
CPA members organize a number of hands-on workshops centered around maintaining or building kayaking gear. Read more detail and current links to register here. These briefly include:
- Boat and Paddle Workshop–Get your kayak ready for the upcoming paddling season.
- Gear Day–Show off your kayak gear, swap gear, trade ideas and just hang out with other kayakers. Usually in conjunction with Fall Out of Your Boat Day.
- Greenland Paddle Workshop–build a Greenland paddle.
- Spray Skirt Workshop–build a custom-fitted neoprene spray skirt
Workshop dates are listed on the CPA Calendar, but you need to register with the workshop organizers, not just respond on the MeetUp.
A CPA waiver may be required if the workshop involves the use of tools. Check with the organizer.
Although they occur very infrequently, accidents and incidents that occur on CPA trips and events must be reported in detail to the Coordinator and Steering Committee as soon as possible. Fillable .pdf forms for reporting incidents are online here.
It is suggested that trip and event leaders keep a copy of this document, plus extra copies of the witness form, on hand.