Welcome New Paddlers!
BBOP Membership Benefits
Long-time BBOP members have repeatedly mentioned that this is what they love about being a BBOP member:
The feeling of belonging…walking into the CBC boatyard and being greeted by name, by smiling crew-mates. Joining in to move the canoes to the water. Entering the canoe, settling into your seat, getting ready to take your first stroke. Looking around the beautiful Bellingham Bay, enjoying close views of birds and sea animals.
Knowledgeable patient coaches offer tips on how to keep strokes synchronized to most efficiently move the canoe smoothly through the water.
It’s a fun way to achieve your fitness, health, and wellness goals. As you paddle, you’re fully engaged, mentally and physically. Working almost every part of your body, increasing your bone density, and burning calories.
Then there’s the adrenaline-rush of being part of the competitive crew - or - the occasional canoe race during rec practice.
Being part of a diverse, multi-aged group, giving your time as a volunteer to help make it all come together.
And, most important, an opportunity for Hawaiians living in Whatcom County to share their voyaging traditions and non-Hawaiians to experience and learn the Polynesian outrigger cultural values and language.
Register and Sign Up
To try out paddling with BBOP please register with the club using the link below. We use TeamSnap for registration and practice sign ups.
All new paddlers will attend our Demo Day for basic paddling and safety instructions. After this free instruction you can attend 2 more free recreational crew practices to decide whether to join (must be completed within 1 month).
2. Select New Paddler on the Payment page and you will be able to complete registration without paying
3. Log back into TeamSnap (bookmark!) and navigate to your Team page. Open the Availability menu on the Team page and you will see the Demo Day event (only the upcoming one is scheduled on TeamSnap).
4. Check off your name to schedule yourself on the Demo Day. If the Coach needs to send any communications to those signed up you will be notified based on the email/phone number you registered under. (To sign up, click in the box under the date, then select "Going". A green check mark will appear. If you make a mistake select "Clear" instead. Hover to the right of the checkbox and use the pencil icon to add comments. Use the question mark icon "?" to indicate "Maybe". Please change to "clear" or "No" within 24 hours of practice start.)
Download the TeamSnap app for easier practice sign up and other features.
Demo Day is the new paddler's introduction to BBOP outrigger paddling in our 6-person canoe. This is paddling 101, no experience necessary, no equipment needed, no obligation. Just a good attitude and team spirit!
Paddlers with no experience in a 6-person outrigger canoe must attend Demo Day. It's free! We love all you kayakers out there, and familiarity on the water is awesome! But even experience in a related sport like dragon boating or OC1 is not the same as an OC6. For anyone with no experience in water sports or none in an OC6, Demo Day is a great place to start. We want you to know what's happening when people start calling Hut, Ho, or Kahi Left. What will your role be if the canoe capsizes? A capsize is rare but you must have a general idea of what to do, and this will all be covered. The paddle stroke is a little different in every boat type and we want you to know a proper technique for an OC6. You will have about 45 minutes on the water after the on-land discussion to practice your skills. There is plenty of time to ask questions.
We will encourage you to join our rec practices immediately after Demo Day. We find new paddlers retain their new skills much better if they practice them right away. Rec practices are Sunday 10-11:30am and Wednesday 5:30-7:00pm.
Upcoming Demo Days:
No more demo days for 2023 - come visit us again next season!
See Registration section for more information about the next Demo Day.
BBOP membership is open during our main paddling season from March through October. Becoming a BBOP member gives you access to join any of our practices.
Your first practice will be our monthly Demo Day where you can get dry land safety and paddle stroke instruction. You can use the next month to paddle two more times free. During practices, you will receive instruction and coaching. You can use club paddles and PFDs if you don’t have your own. While previous paddling experience is not required, it helps to be able to tread water and swim a little so you can safely remain in the water and reenter the canoe in the event of a capsize.
If you join, your membership fees cover purchasing and maintaining equipment, storage for our boats and insurance. The club is run entirely by volunteers. We ask all members to also volunteer for one of many needs throughout the year. Some of these volunteer opportunities include helping with canoe maintenance, volunteering at our race or other events, and handing membership and safety functions.
Joining after guest paddles
We've put together some of the most frequently asked questions in case you might be wondering: What should I wear? What kind of facilities are available on site (can I refill a water bottle? Is there a bathroom?) What do I wear? How do you carry a 400 pound canoe to the water? Can you give me some basics on the paddling stroke?
Also check out our favorite Equipment and Gear vendor links
Check out these coaching videos on outrigger paddle stroke technique by one of our members. Four videos break down the stroke in easy to follow segments. Another video provides coaching on "timing" in the canoe. We try to get all 5 paddles IN and OUT of the water at the same time. In addition, Kim says, we want the power of the stroke at the same point. While we have paddles to borrow, Kim does a video with advice on how to choose the right paddle when you decide to buy your own. Go to video/coaching page
Get in touch with us if you are a new paddler with additional questions.
New Paddler Coordinator
If you are an experienced paddler and believe the Demo Day/Paddling 101 and-or the Rec Crew may not be the place for you, please contact Head Coach Kelly Abbott to discuss paddling with the Competitive Crew.