SKABC COVID-19 Protocols

Date: January 20, 2021

Currently SKABC is not able to offer club trips or training courses because of provincial restrictions on gathering and travel. As the season progresses the club will conduct activities in accordance with BC Provincial Guidelines. These guidelines are subject to change and this may result in updates to the SKABC protocols. Once club activities are allowed, each trip leader / instructor / event leader is advised to determine if their activity can be conducted safely within the guidelines outlined below. Club members planning their own trips will also find these guidelines useful. 

A note: In British Columbia, under the Emergency Program Act (M183), sports organizations and organizers cannot be sued if someone contracts or transmits COVID-19 as a result of their participation, as long as those activities are following provincial pandemic guidelines.

In addition to provincial pandemic guidelines, here are some ideas and precautions designed to facilitate planning and help to protect all members of SKABC.

Planning guidelines for for trips, courses, and club events 

Adapted (with thanks) from the Pacific International Kayak Association 

When deciding where to paddle:

  • Pick waterways/launches that can accommodate physical distancing;
  • Choose sites that aren’t too busy or crowded (including for the proposed return);
  • Pick a site with enough parking to accommodate higher car usage;
  • Check BC Parks, Metro Vancouver Parks, Parks Canada, BC Hydro recreation sites, or the local regional authority to see if the area you want to visit is open or closed;
  • Consider available facilities along the travel route and at launchsite—public restrooms may not be available;
  • Keep track of participant replies to the club’s health questionnaire (which will be sent as an automated reminder email) 2 to 3 days before the trip. Confirm that no one participating in the trip has answered “Yes” to any of the questions. If they have, they cannot participate in the trip. Do not facilitate or take part in a trip if you have any symptoms of a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or COVID-19. Please ask all participants to be proactive and disqualify themselves, if in doubt, rather than putting the onus on the trip leader.
  • Print out the questionnaire and contact list in preparation for the day of the event.

With consideration of these guidelines, leaders and instructors are asked to review the Guidelines for Leaders and Instructors During COVID: Determining if a SKABC activity will follow COVID-19 safety measures.

Event Day Guidelines

  • On event day, fill out the questionnaire and contact list and confirm that no one answers "yes" to the COVID 19 risk questions.
  • Per the BC Centre for Disease Control, wearing a mask is not required but you may choose to do so. Note that wearing a mask while on the water can be a safety hazard.
  • Don't paddle alone...paddling in groups of 3 or 4 is best. No more than 6.
  • Do not participate if you have any symptoms of a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or COVID-19.
  • No car pooling unless you live together.
  • No handshakes or hugs at this time please. 
  • Don't touch each other's gear and don't help undo each other's kayaks without prior permission (with precautions as below).
  • Be careful when assisting another kayaker with their kayak - unloading, carrying, loading.
  • Use hand sanitizer after helping to carry/load/unload someone's boat.
  • Make sure the foot pedals/rests/rudder controls are set for the length of your legs before starting the on-water trip. No one can help you adjust them on the water whilst remaining COVID-19 safe. Carry hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes (a few wipes in a Ziploc will fit in your PFD pocket.
  • Carry a mask (or masks) in an easily accessible Ziploc in your PFD pocket (would be ideal) should it be required on short notice.
  • Remember to stay at least 2 metres apart, including when you stop for lunch. On overnight trips please position cooking stations 2 metres apart.
  • Don't go out in rougher waters than you (or any other party member) are comfortable with… we don't want you to have to do an assisted re-entry, or need to involve search and rescue. Please take extra care to consider the needs and skill-levels of each participant.
  • Be confident in your self re-entry so that an assisted re-entry is not necessary.
  • Don't forget all your usual safety equipment and dress for the water.. .it is still cold.

If you have any questions or suggestions for improvements for these guidelines, please contact

Additional resources:

Guidelines for Leaders and Instructors During COVID: Determining if a SKABC activity will follow COVID-19 safety measures

Health and Safety Questionnaire

Trip Planning



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