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Welcome to BBOP FAQ.  Select from the categories below for different sets of Q/A.  Registration Form questions are designed to help people completing the BBOP TeamSnap membership registration form.  

  • What should I wear?
    Wear weather-appropriate performance apparel: moisture wicking base layers, wind/rain resistance jackets if necessary. Hat and sunglasses, depending on need. Sandals or neoprene booties for footwear. Jeans, sneakers, cotton tees should be avoided.
  • Do I need any equipment?
    Paddles and life jackets are available to borrow. Water bottles/hydration systems are recommended.
  • I’m new, what can I expect at the first practice?
    BBOP practices from the Community Boating Center, a small-boat recreation center in Fairhaven. You can park in the gravel just outside of the fenced boatyard. We store our canoes in the boatyard and have a large locked shed inside where we keep our smaller gear such as club paddles and PFDs. The boatyard is a busy place with sailing clinics, kayak owners, SUP lessons, etc. Lots of people moving their equipment around, plus fishing boats pulling onto the same boat ramp we use. BBOP takes up a lot of room with our big long canoes and large membership so help us be respectful of sharing the space! When you arrive you’ll see us milling around the canoes chatting. The coach will identify new paddlers and make sure you have proper equipment (paddles, PFD’s). Coach will then set line ups (announce who will sit in which seat number in each canoe) and then ask everyone to get the canoes to the water. This can be a little chaotic and will take a little time to know where to stand! The official launching protocol can be found here. OC-6’s are heavy and awkward to move because of the outrigger attached to the side of it ("ama"). They must be lifted off their racks by about 6 people simultaneously and set onto a sturdy 2-wheeled cart. A steerer or other experienced person will lead the lift process (1,2,3, lift!”). The group can then begin rolling the canoe to the boat ramp. Once it is floating, we lift the boat off the cart and one person removes the cart and stores it. Then everyone can climb into the boat in sequence, beginning with the person assigned to seat 1. The reverse process happens when you pull off the water after practice. Definitely! Our coaches work hard with paddlers of all experience levels on technique and fitness.
  • Can I try paddling with you before joining the club?
    Yes! You will need to attend our Demo Day before attending practices. After that you can use the next month to attend 2 more practices for free. Most new paddlers will begin in the Recreational Crew unless the Head Coach determines that the paddler is a fit for the competitive crew. Email membership to get started at bbopmembership
  • What if I can't make all the practices?
    That’s OK. In the Recreational Program, you may attend as many or as few practices as you’d like. Paddlers in the competitive program are expected to attend practices regularly, particularly before a race.
  • What if I can't swim?
    Safety is critical and swimming skills can definitely come into play. A Personal Floatation Device (PFD) must be worn or nearby at all times in case of a capsize ("huli").
  • Will I get wet?
    Probably. Rain, waves, perspiration can all be factors.
  • Is it safe?
    BBOP takes safety seriously. Our coaches and safety officers have decades of paddling experience in extreme conditions on Bellingham and all over the world. We require all paddlers to wear good-fitting PFD’s (life jackets, Personal Flotation Devices) and we have our own to lend if members don’t have one. Board, coaches and steerers meet regularly to review club safety protocols. We carry liability insurance for every member provided by Paddlesport Risk Management, LLC.
  • What facilities are available on the site?
    There are two clean porta-potties, a locking shed for gear, and a water fountain for drinking and filling water bottles. Hand wash stations are hand sanitizer only. There are hoses to rinse gear and large rinse barrels with an enzyme solution to rinse neoprene booties, gloves, PFD's if you choose.
  • Can you give me some paddling basics?
    Coaches will go over everything at Demo Day but here are some starting points. There are 6 paddlers in each OC6. The steersperson sits in the back (seat 6) and usually acts as coach in the canoe. Coaching will include general directions such as when to start and stop paddling, specific coaching to individuals and general advice to the crew to “watch your timing”. Seat 1 (front of the canoe) is the stroker and sets the pace. Each seat paddles on alternate sides of the canoe - seats 1, 3 and 5 start on the left, 2 and 4 start on the right. Here is a full run down on each seat role. Our club call is “Hut” at the top of the stroke (usually 14th stroke or so, this is up to Seat 3), when the paddle hits the water, with the change following 2 more strokes.
  • Will I get to race? Do I have to race?
    BBOP has two adult paddling crews, rec and competitive. Those who are interested in racing OC6's and race training will practice with the competitive crew. The Head Coach will determine race line ups. BBOP races primarily against other clubs in the PNWORCA paddling association. Paddlers in the Rec crew do not typically race our OC6's. There are many small boat races for owners of single outrigger canoes and other small craft, providing more racing opportunities for all our members.
  • Participant Info - what's in this section and what do I need to know?
    Here we ask for basic contact information of the registrant: Name, address, email etc. Uploading your photo is helpful for other paddlers to get to know you! Certainly not required.
  • Emergency Contact?
    Please identify a name and phone number of someone we can contact if there is a medical or other emergency when you are at a BBOP practice or other event. Ideally this is not someone who is typically on site with you.
  • My Role in Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers?
    This drop down menu offers 2 options: Guest, Club Member. These options come from our liability insurance provider as a way of understanding how each paddler is interacting with the club. Choose Member if you are planning to pay today (online or by check). Choose Guest if you are a new paddler and using our free paddles to try out the club.
  • What are Volunteer Selections?
    BBOP is volunteer-run non profit. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes! Volunteering is easy and fun on our canoe maintenance days, race days, fundraising efforts and the odd jobs like moving canoes or organizing the locker. Paddlers who've gotten their "feet wet" after the first year should start seeing how they can help with membership, fundraising, equipment, safety and other coordinator positions. Teaming up with someone is a great way to get the job done. OC6 is a team sport! Select at least one option to let us know what your skills and interests are. If you are already serving as a board member, coach or race coordinator, select that option.
  • "BBOP Member Since" - do I really need to remember the day?
    No. We just care about the year. Just fill in any month/date (e.g., Jan 1). TeamSnap did not have fields for year only.
  • Can I keep my contact information private?
    Yes. On the first screen of the registration there is a checkbox called "Hide all contact information from teammates" that you will want to select. It is located at the very end of the first screen where it says "Step 3. Show or Hide Info". (Note: BBOP's TeamSnap managers, consisting of a limited number of board members, coaches and coordinators, can view data that is marked private. This is necessary for safety, and to manage BBOP registration and communications. Contact us if you have questions. )
  • How can I get more information on a particular form question?
    Many questions have a small "?" next to it. If you hover your mouse over the question mark you will see additional information on how to answer the question or why we ask it. This FAQ also seeks to provide additional information.
  • Year started paddling - And why do you ask?
    We just want to get an assessment of your experience level.
  • Why can't I move to the next screen?
    If you can't move to the next screen you probably have not completed all of the required fields on the current screen. Look closely at your screen and you will see missing fields highlighted in red with the words "This is required" in red underneath. Complete the missing information and you will be able to move forward in the registration process. Required fields have a red asterisk next to them.
  • Documents and Waivers - what happens here?
    This is where you sign a liability waiver and the Code of Conduct. To correctly sign the liability waiver, follow the provided external link to a Google Form. You can receive an email copy of your signed waiver by selecting that option on the waivers. Each family member that is paddling must have their own waiver, although minor age paddlers must have the parent/guardian sign the waiver. If multiple family members are paddling, the Google Form waivers will give you an opportunity to complete forms in sequence for each household member. The Code of Conduct can be signed directly in TeamSnap. This is a statement of BBOP's code of conduct that all members must acknowledge and agree to abide by. Note that there is only one place for a signature and only the person logging in can sign it (the form will not accept another signature). For family memberships the person signing accepts responsibility for the household/family to adhere to the Code of Conduct.
  • Can I change my fee type after completing registration? Even later in the season?
    Yes. We do see members decide to upgrade from a Individual to a Family Membership, add one of the youth memberships, etc. Or maybe you want to be a Lifetime Member! Contact membership to help you. We will add the appropriate fee differences. Then you can get back on TeamSnap to make your payment.
  • How do I get back into TeamSnap after I register?
    Use the same registration link provided on BBOP's Membership webpage. It will take you to your TeamSnap Dashboard. (You will need your TeamSnap login and password)
  • How do I register multiple family members?
    It's easy, but also easy to get off-track. Complete the initial registration page using an adult member's name, contact info. For example if you (parent) and your kiddo are the paddlers, then the parent is the primary registrant. If 2 adults in the household are joining, pick either one to be the primary registrant. If 2 adults and 1+ kids are joining, pick one of the adults to be the primary. Select Add Another Participant. This button is at the end of Participant Info section for the first person. (If you are a returning member you will probably see another button called Import Past Participant also, where you can see a list of your family members and pre-fill all their information. Otherwise just use Add Participant.) Complete the same contact and other information. Repeat for each additional adult or minor family member that you want to register. Click Save and Continue after finishing a section for each family member. Documents and Waivers. Each person must sign 3 waivers. We need one signature per family on the BBOP Code of Conduct. The waivers have headings and a paragraph explanation, with a web link to a google form. Please copy and paste this link into a separate browser window to complete the forms. There is a check box to indicate that you have completed this process. Checking the box is NOT the complete process. You must fill out the waivers by using the URL provided. Click Save and Continue. Registration Fees. Select a fee type for each family member. Make sure that there is only one fee type per person. Only select Guest Paddler if you are a new to BBOP and are trying out the club for 3 free paddles (you do not qualify as a Guest if you have paddled with BBOP in 1 or more of the last 5 years) . Checkout!
  • How do I register my minor child? I will not be paddling myself
    Enter name and other details for your child in main registration section. Enter your (parent) contact information (name, email) so our correspondence reaches you. In Section called Enter Parent Information complete as instructed for your information. Important: The adult (parent) must sign the waivers even if they are not the paddler. You will see a section where you can indicate the child's name that will be paddling. Minors can not sign waivers or they are void.
  • Can I make a donation to BBOP?
    Thanks for asking! You can make a donation while you are paying for your membership right on TeamSnap. When you register you will see Donation options. BBOP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is 100% volunteer run.
  • How do I join/pay after I've done my free paddles?
    Contact membership to help you with this. They will need to first add a regular fee type to your registration. After they do that log into TeamSnap. On your Dashboard screen scroll down to the section called My Registrations. You should see "Payment Due" information, and a link that will take you to the payment screens. There you can select Fee and Payment options.
  • Can I customize the Availability screen for practice sign up?
    Yes! On the Availability screen select Availability Preferences setting button at the top right. Change the setting for "Show /events per page" up to 15 for quicker scheduling (the default is 5). Other preferences can be customized here.
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