SAFETY AND PROFICIENCY
Before you can start planning your first major river race, each new paddler needs to complete a simple process of safety and profiency tests. These are intended to check that you have learnt and mastered the basics, such as balancing and turning your boat, recovering from a spill, and getting back into the boat.
Here is a step-by-step guide to getting qualified for your first river race!
1. Become a member of NCC (click here to find out more).
2. Download a copy of the CSA Safety booklet from the KNCU website here and study the booklet
3. Find an experienced paddling friend who can then:
a. Help you borrow/buy equipment
b. Get you started in a boat
4. Once you feel confident (ideally in a K1 or in the front of a K2), contact the Safety Officer (through email@example.com) to make an arrangement for your flatwater proficiency test.
5. Paddle three of dices/flatwater races.
6. Get your experienced paddling friend then to take you down an easy section of river (e.g. the Upper Umgeni) and can show you a few principles and help you practice for your river proficiency.
7. Once you feel confident (ideally in a K1 or in the front of a K2), contact the Safety Officer to make an arrangement for your river proficiency test.
8. There is an option to do your flatwater and river proficiency tests together, and this arrangement can be made with the Safety Officer, however you must have tripped a river at least once.
Additional information on the proficiency process and river ratings can be found on the KNCU website here