Sea Kayak Skills Awards

Sea Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills

Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills

Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills


Sea Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills

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General aims

The Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Kayak safely and competently in smooth seas (Douglas Sea Scale) as a member of a group of peers.
  2. Paddle competently in following winds, head winds and beams winds of up to force three.
  3. Assist in rescues.
  4. Have an understanding of the importance of weather as a factor in kayaking on the sea.
  5. 2.00    Requirements for the Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Award

Strokes

Techniques

Rescues

Theory

Assessment

                Assessment Guidelines

Properly equipped kayak:

  • End loops and/or toggles.
  • Suitable buoyancy
  • Suitable foot rest
  • Tow and Deck Lines

 

Personal kayaking equipment:

  • Paddle
  •  ISO approved Buoyancy Aid
  • ISO approved helmet
  • Spray deck
  • Adequate footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cag or dry suit, combined with sufficient thermal clothing

 

 Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Award Guidelines

Strokes

Entry and Exit

Can be carried out with or without the use of paddles, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward and Reverse Paddling

The correct seating position, good trunk rotation, correct width of paddle grip, sufficient power to paddle against the current while the keeping the kayak straight.

Emergency Stop

Using forward and reverse paddling, stopping should be evident within 4 strokes.

Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes

Candidates should demonstrate effective use of Sweep Strokes on slightly choppy seas.

Draw Stroke

Paddle near vertical, blade well covered, kayak moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. Top hand pushing while the lower hand is pulling.  The blade must remain in the water throughout. Good body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Sculling Draw

Paddle off vertical, blade covered, kayak moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. Top hand pushing while the lower hand is pulling with an efficient blade angle. Long strokes while the kayak remains level.

Sculling for Support

Performed sitting upright with the kayak at a precarious angle. The paddle should be kept low with good solid sweeps and confident committal to paddle.

Low Brace Support

The kayak must be sufficiently tilted for water to reach the spraydeck. A good push down with the elbows above paddle and associated kneelift and hip rotation should be evident.

High Brace Support

The water must reach the paddler’s armpit, with good push down. Associated kneelift and hip rotation should be evident.  Paddle shaft no higher than chin level and arms flexed. Must be demonstrated both stationary and in small surf as appropriate.

Low Brace Turn

The Low Brace Turn should be demonstrated in small breaking waves (1 Foot) or in a slightly choppy sea as the conditions allows.

Edging

Demonstrate as a skill that assists in the turning of the kayak.

Stern Rudder

Should be performed while on the move, a push pull action should be exhibited as well as good trunk rotation.

Bow Rudder

In the Bow Rudder the paddler should show excellent posture and the kayak should turn effectively.

Techniques

Paddling in head beam and following winds.

Candidates must demonstrate that they can control their kayak in wind conditions up to Force 3.

Rescues

Candidates must act as rescuer and rescuee.

Eskimo Rescue

A confident capsize and banging of the hull with the rescuer moving in from a distance of 5 metres.  A first time recovery must follow but two attempts are allowed.  Rescuer should approach from the front, or back, of rescuee to lessen the risk to rescuee’s hand. Paddle or Bow Presentation method may be used.

Capsize Drill in Deep Water

This aspect must be demonstrated both as a rescuee and rescuer.

Weather Forecast

A candidate should be able to record that section of the Marine Forecast that is relevant to their geographical area.  They should be able to describe what conditions are to be expected on the sea in Forces of wind from 1 to 5.

Surf Conditions

This aspect of the assessment involves a candidate demonstrating that they can control their kayak in sea conditions where there are small waves. If there is no surf present on the day of assessment, sea conditions in up to Force 3 winds will suffice.  On no account should candidates be asked to paddle, as part of the assessment, in surf conditions with waves of greater than one foot.

High Tide

The candidate must simply demonstrate that they can ascertain what time high water is at the nearest standard port. They may use newspaper, almanac or local tide guide to get this information. The candidate is not expected to be familiar with secondary ports or how to work out tidal streams etc.

 


Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills

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General aims

  1. The Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award aims to enable candidates to:
  2. Kayak safely and competently on the Sea up to and including slight seas (Douglas Sea Scale) and force 4 winds, including overfalls and tide races as part of a group of peers.
  3. Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered in such conditions.
  4. Able to deal competently with rescue situations that might occur in these conditions.
  5. Develop group awareness.

Requirements

To obtain the Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Award and be capable of demonstrating any combination of the strokes competently and efficiently.

Strokes

Techniques

Rescues and Safety Techniques

Theory

The candidate should demonstrate a basic knowledge of the following:

  1. Tidal Streams, causes and effects and how to predict them.
  2. Weather Forecasting, obtaining and understanding forecasts.
  3. Sea Kayaks, equipment and clothing.
  4. Sea Kayaking Camping Procedures.
  5. Sea Kayaking Safety Procedures.
  6. Sea Charts and Ordnance Survey maps.
  7. The effects of wind on sea conditions.
  8. An introductory knowledge of the coastal environment.
  9. Navigation while at sea, including feature recognition, self-location, ability to route plan to alternate locations such as escape route.
  10. First Aid, to include the symptoms and treatment of exposure and an awareness of the technique of artificial resuscitation. It is recommended but not mandatory that the candidate attend a First Aid course such as REC3.

Applying to attend a Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment

Before applying to attend an assessment, a candidate must:

  1. Have obtained the Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills award
  2. Have completed an Essential Coastal Navigation Course and obtained an ECN Certificate.
  3. Be a member of Canoeing Ireland either as an individual member or as a member of an affiliated club.
  4. Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped sea kayak, personal equipment and additional equipment (see Level 4 skills list of equipment).
  5. Be a least 16 years of age.

Assessment

  1. The Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills assessment will include a short written assessment followed by a sea trip of 3-4 hours in duration which must take place in slight seas (Douglas Sea Scale) with up to Force 4 winds.
  2. The written assessment will include trip planning exercises with specified conditions and group parameters. These trips may be anywhere along the Irish Coast. No conferring is allowed.
  3. During an assessment a candidate must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to the required level in order to achieve this award.
  4. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. bracing in surf. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.
  5. All rescues must be executed by the candidate acting as both rescuee and rescuer. Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of the trip.
  6. While attendance at a course is normally necessary, exceptions to that rule are accepted based on the candidate's presentation of an extensive range of logged sea trips. While it is not compulsory to attend a training course prior to assessment, it is strongly recommended.
  7. Before assessment the candidates must present their logged trips (See details of qualifying trips in Guidelines).

                Assessment Guidelines

Qualifying Trips

The candidate should seek to include trips in a logbook that includes the following categories:

  1. Coastal trips with simple tidal considerations – it being necessary to identify which way the tide is running in order to plan the trip to take advantage of tides.
  2. Coastal trips with a crux i.e. a trip where you wish to be at a specific location at a specific time to benefit from predicted tidal conditions.
  3. Open crossings where knowledge of tidal streams is necessary.

Equipment List required for Assessment

Properly equipped kayak:

  • End loops and/or toggles.
  • Suitable buoyancy
  • Suitable foot rest
  • Tow and Deck Lines
  •  A kayak must be of sufficient volume to carry out all necessary safety equipment and perform any rescue as required by the Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award

 

Personal kayaking equipment:

  • Paddle
  •  ISO approved Buoyancy Aid
  • ISO approved helmet
  • Spray deck
  • Adequate footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cag or dry suit, combined with sufficient thermal clothing

Other Equipment:

  • Towing System
  • First Aid Kit
  • Mobile Phone
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  •  Flask and Food
  • Spare Clothes
  •  Bivy Bag or group shelter
  • Flares (one red parachute flare and one red pinpoint flare)
  •  Bailer/Sponge
  • Repair Kit (to include, at a minimum, tape and something to        dry out a kayak)
  • Spare paddles
  •  Charts (or copies of OS maps containing all relevant trip planning information
  •  Waterproof Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry)
  • Compass
  • Watch

 Recommended additional group equipment:

All equipment should be stored in a logical fashion with emergency equipment secure and allowing easy access at all times. Equipment must remain secure during rescues and spare clothing should be dry at the end of the day. The candidate must be fully conversant with the use of all equipment carried. It is not appropriate that the retrieval of emergency equipment should require assistance.


Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills

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1.00 General aims

This award is designed for sea kayakers wishing to develop advanced paddling and rescue techniques appropriate to moderate/rough sea conditions (Douglas Sea Scale).  It is an appropriate award for sea kayakers who paddle with others of similar ability on moderate/rough sea journeys.

The Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Award aims to enable candidates to:

1.01   Develop the necessary skills, group awareness, and group management to kayak as a member of a peer group safely and competently on moderate/rough seas (Douglas Sea Scale).

1.02   Proactively prevent rescue situations occurring and deal competently with any rescue situations which might occur on moderate/rough seas (Douglas Sea Scale).

The course also aims to provide the candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to help develop sea kayaking and help promote awareness of safety procedures.

2.00         Training Course

2.01   The Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training course prior to assessment.  The course for the Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills should be held over a minimum of one weekend.

2.02   The training course aims to provide the candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to help develop sea kayaking and help promote awareness of safety procedures within the peer groups they paddle with.

3.00         Applying to attend a training course

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Training Course a candidate must:

3.01         Hold the Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award.

3.02         Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped sea kayak, personal equipment, and additional equipment as listed for a Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment.

3.03         Be at least 18 years of age.

4.00         Requirements

To obtain the Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Award a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following knowledge, competence and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award.

A Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills candidate would be expected to:

4.01         Demonstrate an efficient and effective forward paddling technique.

4.02         Demonstrate an ability to manoeuvre and control a kayak in a variety of different situations. (These skills are the same as those outlined in the level 4 sea kayak skills award but displayed in moderate/rough seas.)

4.03         Pack a sea kayak with suitable equipment for an overnight camp in preparation for a two-day journey.

4.04         Navigate a sea kayak in hours of darkness.

4.05         Access flares easily and be conversant with the procedures for firing them.

4.06         Demonstrate an ability to keep a compass course on open water and make good a course across a tide stream using transits.

4.07         Demonstrate an ability to take bearings on known features.

4.08         Demonstrate an ability to plan from a chart an alternative route to a safe landing whilst afloat on a journey, in the event of a change in weather or emergency, taking into consideration tidal streams.

4.09         Demonstrate the ability to effect successful landings and launchings in a variety of situations.  The ability to handle a kayak competently in 1-2 metres of surf including the full range of turning manoeuvres and rolling in either breaking waves, tide races or overfalls.

4.10         Capsize and exit from a kayak followed by a successful solo re entry and retreat to calmer water to bail out.  Rafted assistance may be given to empty out the kayak.

4.11         Demonstrate an Eskimo Roll after capsizing to the left and to the right and be able to roll on both sides.

4.12         Tow a capsized casualty and kayak from an area of disturbed water into a calmer area for a rescue using single or multiple tows. The participant should be aware of the need for flexibility in towing and be able to drop and pick up the tow with ease.

4.13         Show sufficient leadership skills under a variety of situations.

4.14         Repairing a holed kayak whilst afloat.

4.15         Produce spare paddles whilst afloat.

4.16         Towing an incapacitated person (e.g. dislocated shoulder).

4.17         Safely landing an injured paddler.

4.18         Demonstrate an approved method of resuscitation.

4.19         Produce whistle, emergency food, and bivvy bag or preferably KISU whilst afloat.

4.20         Deal with likely emergency situations or incidents.

4.21         Exercise peer group control/management and show concern for the general welfare of other peer group members.

 

Theory

4.22         Knowledge of repairs and maintenance of sea kayaks.

4.23         General knowledge of sea kayaking, its history, kayak design and equipment.

4.24         Sea conditions and the effects of wind, particularly on: Shelving Bottoms, Lee Shore, Rips, Overfalls, Tide Races, causes of tides and tidal streams, how to allow for them, and the cause and effect of clapotis.

4.25         Weather forecasting from observation of cloud formation e.g. recognising approaching fronts and line squalls, and the means of obtaining and understanding weather forecasts.

4.26         Estuary kayaking to include buoyage, understanding of chart symbols, light and sound signals, particular dangers such as moorings, moorings in tide ways, and movement of shipping.

4.27         Determine a weather forecast from a shipping forecast.

4.28         Demonstrate knowledge and enthusiasm for the Irish coastline and marine environment.

Chartwork

4.29         Plan an advanced sea journey using an unfamiliar chart, pilot atlas, and tide tables.  Explain the plan in a simple summary, including the following information:

 

5.00         Applying for Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment, a candidate must:

5.01         Have completed an Advanced Coastal Navigation Course and obtained an ACN Certificate.

5.02         Have attended an approved Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Training Programme within the 24 month period preceding a selected assessment date.

5.03         Have recorded in a Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Logbook, following the completion of a Level 5 Kayak Skills Training Programme, a minimum of at least 10 trips of varying types in moderate seas as a member of a peer paddling group and/or if possible two registered Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructors.

5.04         A candidate must also record in a Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills logbook evidence of having gained experience over a minimum of three years on a range of sea trips showing a bias towards moderate seas and strong winds.

On the logged or additional trips, evidence of having been exposed to the following should be shown:

·             Open crossing of at least 7 miles, 3 miles of which should be one mile from the coast.

·             Navigation in poor visibility.

·             Wind of at least Force 4.

·             Tidal Streams of at least 2 knots.

·             Exposure to no landing zones.

·             Overfalls.

·             Clapotis.

·             One of the trips should include an overnight reached by carrying all the equipment in the kayaks. The camp should preferably be on an island.

·             Surf landing and launching during a trip.

·             There should be evidence of having undertaken trips of at least 20 nautical miles in a day or 30 nautical miles over a two-day period.

·             Proper attention to preparation and safety should be in evidence in the candidate's log.

5.05         Possess a current and approved First Aid Certificate (for example, REC Level 3).

5.06         Have returned to the Canoeing Ireland Office a completed Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Logbook accompanied by a Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment application form no later than three weeks before a selected assessment date.

 

6.00         Assessment

6.01         The Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment will take place over 1 day (including a night navigation) in moderate seas (Douglas Sea Scale). All personal skills must be assessed under these conditions.

 Assessment Guidelines

·         A Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a registered member of the Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Assessor Panel.

·         It is recommended that the award is assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.

·         The assessment ratio: 1 assessor with a minimum of 2 assessees and maximum of 3 assessees.

·         Clear guidelines should be given in writing should a candidate fail an assessment as to the areas which need to be improved upon.

·         Candidates cannot depend on any assistance (material or practical) during the course of an assessment.

·         No other award or qualification can be assessed during a Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment.

 

Equipment List required for Assessment

Kayak:

 ·        End loops and/or toggles.

·         Suitable buoyancy/hatches

·         Suitable foot rest

·         Deck Lines

·         A kayak must be of sufficient volume to carry out all necessary safety equipment and perform any rescue as required by the Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Award

Personal kayaking equipment:

 ·         Paddle and splits

 ·         ISO approved Buoyancy Aid

 ·         ISO approved helmet

 ·         Spray deck

 ·         Adequate footwear

 ·         Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cag or dry suit, combined with sufficient thermal clothing

Other Equipment:

  ·        Towing System

 ·         First Aid Kit

 ·         Mobile Phone

 ·         Whistle

 ·         Torch

 ·         Flask and Food

 ·         Spare Clothes

 ·         Bivvy Bag and group shelter

 ·         Flares (one red parachute flare and one red pinpoint flare)

 ·         Bailer/Sponge

 ·         Repair Kit (to include, at a minimum, wax, tape, cable ties/webbing)

  ·         Charts (or copies of OS maps containing all relevant trip planning information

 ·         Waterproof Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry)

 ·         Compass

 ·         Watch

 ·         VHF

 ·         Strobe

 

All equipment should be stored in a logical fashion with emergency equipment secure and allowing easy access at all times. Equipment must remain secure during rescues and spare clothing should be dry at the end of the day. The candidate must be fully conversant with the use of all equipment carried. It is not appropriate that the retrieval of emergency equipment should require assistance.