We have traditionally had one, much reduced, group that will paddle together in winter. Dry suits etc required and everyone needs to be at least somewhat capable at rescues. In warmer weather/water, the group is much looser - skirts and something resembling a real boat, but skill set for the paddlers that get invited can be pretty limited. In less risky conditions the ones who do know what they are doing have more leisure to solve problems.
In sum, there are groups and there are groups. Meet-ups are particularly wide-ranging, so try them out but be ready to decide a particular one is not for you. You need to find your own level in terms of what is comfortable and encourages growth and a good time in paddling.
First Need Purifier
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