River Kayak Skills Awards

River Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Kayak Skills

Level 4 Kayak Skills

Level 5 Kayak Skills

River Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Kayak Skills

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General aims

The Level 3 Kayaking Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Kayak safely and competently on rivers up to and including Grade II rivers as a member of a group of peers.
  2. Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade II rivers.
  3. Assist in rescues.

Requirements

Participants must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayaking Skills Award. Must be a member of Canoeing Ireland.

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Emergency Stop.
  2. Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  3. Draw Stroke
  4. Sculling Draw
  5. Hanging Draw
  6. Low Brace
  7. High Brace
  8. Sculling for Support
  9. Stern Rudder
  10. Bow Rudder

Techniques

  1. Entry and Exit
  2. Edging
  3. Forward Ferry Gliding
  4. Reverse Ferry Gliding
  5. Breaking In
  6. Breaking Out

Rescues

  1. Capsize Drill
  2. Offensive & Defensive Swimming
  3. Assisted X Rescue and an X Rescue
  4. Eskimo Rescue
  5. Eskimo Roll

Theory

  1. Knowledge of Safety Rules
  2. An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, Upstream & Downstream V’s, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes
  3. An understanding of river signals and commands.

Assessment

  1. The Level 3 Kayak Skills assessment must take place outdoors on water of Grade II difficulty as part of a river trip. No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool.
  2. During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. sculling in a small stopper. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.
  4. Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.
  5. Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.
  6. Must be a member of Canoeing Ireland.

                Assessment Guidelines

  1. It is recommended that a Level 3 Kayak Skills Award is assessed by a Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.
  2. The Level 3 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor who is, at minimum, a Level 3 Kayak Instructor.
  3. The assessment can be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor.
  4. Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

Level 4 Kayak Skills

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General aims

The Level 4 Kayaking Skills Award aims to enable candidates to:

  1. Kayak safely and proficiently on rivers up to and including Grade III difficulty as part of a group of peers.
  2. Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade III rivers.
  3. Deal competently with rescue situations that might occur on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade III difficulty.
  4. Develop group awareness.

Requirements

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

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Emergency Stop.
  2. Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  3. Edging
  4. Draw Stroke
  5. Sculling Draw
  6. Hanging Draw
  7. Low Brace
  8. High Brace
  9. Sculling for Support
  10. Stern Rudder
  11. Bow Rudder

Techniques

  1. An ability to use water conditions available for the effective and efficient manoeuvring of a kayak.
  2. Competence in negotiating water obstructions i.e. Standing Waves, Stoppers, and an ability to utilise it to cross a river.
  3. Competence in negotiating bends where water flows under trees or against vertical riverbank.
  4. Forward Ferry Gliding.
  5. Reverse Ferry Gliding.
  6. Breaking In accurately.
  7. Breaking Out accurately.

Rescues and Safety Techniques

  1. An X Rescue and/or Assisted X Rescue.
  2. Eskimo Rescue (maximum lower body rotation).
  3. Eskimo Roll.
  4. Capable of Self-Rescue.
  5. Curl Rescue and/or TX Rescue.
  6. Stern Carry.
  7. Unconscious Casualty (method of righting an unconscious person in a capsized kayak).
  8. An ability to manoeuvre an empty kayak between two specified points.
  9. An ability to assist an incapacitated paddler in a kayak between two specified points.
  10. Offensive & Defensive Swimming.
  11. An ability to use a Throw Rope to rescue a swimmer.
  12. A practical knowledge of First Aid and its relevance to possible situations arising during a canoeing trip to include: Shock, Hypothermia, Head Injuries, Dislocations, Bleeding, CPR, EAR.

Theory

  1. An understanding of the following:            
  2. River Grading
  3. River Route Finding
  4. Types of GP kayaks and paddles
  5. Towing Systems and methods
  6. Group Control and Awareness
  7. Signals and Commands
  8. Personal Equipment

Applying for Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 4 Kayak Skills Award Assessment, a candidate must:

  1. Have obtained the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award.
  2. Have completed an RSR 2 Training Course and obtained an RSR 2 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 kayak, personal equipment and additional equipment. (See Level 4 Kayak Skills List of Equipment).
  5. Be at least 16 years of age.
  6. Be a member of Canoeing Ireland.

Assessment

  1. The Level 4 Kayak Skills assessment must take place during a river trip of at least three km on water of Grade III difficulty.
  2. During an assessment a candidate must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to the required level in order to achieve this award.
  3. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. sculling in a stopper. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.
  4. 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 river trip.
  5. While it is not compulsory to attend a training course prior to assessment, it is strongly recommended.

                Assessment Guidelines

  1. A Level 4 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a Level 4 Kayak Instructor who meets the Level 4 Kayak Skills Assessor Panel requirements.
  2.  It is recommended that the award be assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.
  3. The assessment will be carried out with a maximum ratio of 4:1.
  4. Should a candidate fail an assessment written guidelines should be given as to the areas that they need to improve on.
  5. No other award may be assessed at the same time as the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award.

                Equipment List required for Assessment

Properly equipped kayak:

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

 

Personal kayaking equipment:

  • Paddle
  • ISO approved Helmet
  •  ISO approved Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • Spray deck
  • Adequate hard sole footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cag or dry suit, combined with sufficient thermal clothing

Other Equipment:

  • Throw Rope
  • Knife
  • 4-5 m Open Sling
  • Karabiners x 2, one screw gate, one snap gate
  • Towing System
  • First Aid Kit
  •  Mobile Phone
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  • Flask and Food
  • Spare Clothes
  •  Bivvy Bag or group shelter
  • Split Paddle
  • Repair Kit which should include  duct tape and multi tool (at a minimum)
  •  Dry Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry


Level 5 Kayak Skills

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The Level 5 Kayaking Skills Award is designed for kayakers wishing to develop advanced skills and rescue techniques appropriate to Grade IV & advanced white water rivers. It is an appropriate award for advanced kayakers who kayak with others of similar ability on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

The Level 5 Kayak Skills Award is a pre requisite for progression from the Level 3 to the Level 4 Kayak Instructor. The Level 4 Kayak Instructor is the appropriate qualification for those wishing to instruct and lead others on Grade III+ white water rivers.

General aims

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

  1. Develop the necessary skills, group awareness, and group management to kayak safely and competently on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade IV & advanced white water difficulty.
  2. Deal competently with rescue situations which might occur on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade IV & advanced white water difficulty.
  3. Deal competently with First Aid situations in a remote river environment.

Training Course

The Level 5 Kayak Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a two day training programme and a one day assessment. The training programme will include the following:

  • Trip Planning
  • Equipment for Advanced White Water
  • Methods of River Leading
  • River Reading
  • Protection against Hazards
  • Management of Rescue Situations
  • Rescue from a Kayak
  • Use of a Throw Rope
  • Rope Rescues
  • First Aid in the River Environment
  • At least one Grade IV /advanced white water river trip leading a group under the supervision of a Level 4 Kayak Instructor.
  • Assessment Procedures.

 

Applying to attend a training course

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

  1. Hold the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award.
  2. Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped kayak, personal equipment, and additional equipment as listed for a Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment.
  3. Be at least 18 years of age.
  4. A current member of Canoeing Ireland.

Requirements

To obtain the Level 5 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 Kayak Skills Award.

A Level 5 Kayak Skills candidate would be expected to:

  1. Demonstrate all techniques and skills at a standard necessary to deal competently with conditions likely to be encountered on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.
  2. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of safety precautions and procedures to be adopted while with a group on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.
  3. Deal efficiently with rescue situations likely to occur on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.
  4. Demonstrate the necessary skills to communicate effectively with other group members on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.
  5. Demonstrate a constant awareness of other group members, their location on the river and within the group.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to assess a group's competence to deal with conditions likely to be encountered on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.
  7. Demonstrate an ability to command trust from a group of peers while on rivers of Grade IV & advanced white water.
  8. Demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of the river's environs.
  9. Demonstrate an ability to read white water to a high standard.
  10. Present a suitable and correctly fitted out kayak and other appropriate equipment (see Level 5 Kayak Skills Equipment List). It would be expected that a candidate's equipment be of a standard consistent with the responsibilities of being part of a group undertaking a trip on a Grade IV & advanced white water river. Equipment should be readily accessible at all times.

Applying for Assessment

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

  1. Have completed an RSR 3 Training Course and obtained an RSR 3 Certificate
  2. Have attended an approved Level 5 Kayak Skills Training Programme within the 24 months period preceding a selected assessment date.
  3. Have recorded in a Level 5 Kayak Skills Logbook, following the completion of a Level 5 Kayak Skills Training Programme, at least 10 river trips of a minimum of 20 hours duration of Grade IV & advanced white water experience under the supervision of peer paddlers or if possible at least two registered Level 4 Kayak Instructors.
  4. In addition to 5.02 a candidate must record in a Level 5 Kayak Skills Logbook evidence of having gained experience over a minimum of three years on a range of advanced river trips showing a bias towards Grade IV & advanced white water rivers. Experience gained on wholly artificial courses/weirs will not be considered as part of the completion of this requirement.
  5. Possess a current and approved First Aid Certificate. (for example, REC Level 3).
  6. Be at least 18 years of age.
  7. Have returned to the Canoeing Ireland Office a completed Level 5 Kayak Skills Logbook accompanied by a Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment application form no later than three weeks before a selected assessment date.
  8. Be a current member of Canoeing Ireland.

Assessment

Assessors

Minimum of one registered Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessor

Assessees

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four Assessees

Level 5 Kayak Skills Panel Aspirants

Maximum of two Level 5 Kayak Skills Panel aspirants

                Assessment Guidelines

The format of the Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment will include assessment of a candidate's:

               

Equipment List required for Assessment

A correctly equipped kayak:

 

  • Rigid end loops and/or toggles
  • Suitable buoyancy
  • Suitable foot rest
  • A kayak must be of sufficient volume to carry all necessary safety equipment and perform any rescue as required by the Level 5 Kayak Skills Award.

 

Personal canoeing equipment:

 

  • Paddle
  • ISO approved Helmet
  • ISO approved Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • Spray Deck
  • Adequate hard sole footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cag or dry suit, combined with sufficient thermal clothing

Other equipment:

 

Throw Rope

  • Knife
  • Sling x 2, one open sling
  • Karabiners x 5, two snap gate, three screw gate
  • Prussic Loops x2
  • Towing System
  • First Aid Kit
  • Mobile Phone
  •  Whistle
  • Torch
  •  Flask and Food
  • Spare Clothes
  • Bivvy Bag
  • Group Shelter
  • Split Paddle
  • Repair Kit
  • Dry Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry

 

A candidate's personal and group equipment will be evaluated as part of the assessment. Candidates must present suitable personal equipment plus any additional equipment deemed to be appropriate to support other members of the group. Equipment should reflect such things as the season, the abilities of the group, and the grade of the river being undertaken. Borrowed equipment will be assessed as if it were a candidate's own. A candidate should be aware that on advanced grade rivers having too much or inappropriate equipment can nearly be as hazardous as having too little.