Thursday, March 15, 2012

Size does matter

One of da boys

We have a group of ten that we call on for paddles. We don't always get ten but occasionally everyone is on the same page and we get 100% turnout.

Yesterday I got mail from one of the gang to add another paddler. That raises the question as to what is the optimum group size. At a recent paddle in Bay Bulls there were six of us. The wind speed picked up to force 5, gusts to force 6. The group got strung out but no one was left alone. It was manageable but on that day a larger group could have been problematic.

Furthermore, we all know the capabilities of each of the group members. We practice rescues together. We feel comfortable with each other. We are a team.

We will have to decide whether we can accommodate one more.


  1. Maybe you can have patch members and pledges. Do some tests and stuff until they get full members.

    10-11 people on the water can really turn into a baby sitting job; not what people would like to be doing on a relaxing trip.

    Being somewhat inclusive can be a very good form of group safety. I wouldnt add the member until you were very sure of their skills/ attitude.

  2. I'm thinking Lee that we'll wait to see if he shows up at St. Philips practices. I hate to tell a guy that he can't paddle with us but we have to be realistic as far as group size goes.

    Tony :-)

  3. Absolutely. I'm sure if the guy trying that hard to get paddling with you guys won't miss a practice once they start up again.

    I'm sure if he's reading it he will be working hard to impress come april 5th!

  4. You raise a good point, Tony. This is a self-propelled sport in which, "the more the merrier", can jeopardize group safety and incur increased risk - especially when conditions are less than "perfect". I think your caution is well founded. D.

  5. Thank you Duncan. You might say we are a victim to our own success but we have to be realistic.

    Tony :-)