Skills Awards

Generic Skills Awards

Level 1 Skills

Level 2 Kayak Skills

River Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Kayak Skills

Level 4 Kayak Skills

Level 5 Kayak Skills

Sea Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills

Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills

Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills

Canoe Skills Awards

Level 2 Canoe Skills

Level 3 Canoe Skills

Level 4 Canoe Skills

Level 5 Canoe Skills

Sit on Top Skills Awards

Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills

Sit-on-Top River Skills

Sit-on-Top Sea Skills

Paddlesurf Skills Awards

Level 3 PaddleSurf Skills

Level 4 Paddlesurf Skills

Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Board

Intro to SUP Award

Flat Water SUP Skills award

Generic Skills Awards


Level 1 Skills

Back to Top

General Aims

The Level 1 Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Perform fundamental Paddling Skills.

Requirements

Participants must successfully demonstrate the following:

  1. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
  2. An ability to Enter and Exit correctly.
  3. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.
  4. An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  5. Capsize Drill

Assessment

  1. There is no formal assessment for the Level 1 Skills Award, however, a participant must be able to demonstrate the required skills in the presence of a registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor before being given the award.
  2. All strokes must be demonstrated on both sides.
  3. The Level 1 Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Canoeing Ireland skills awards.
  4. No age restriction applies to this award

                Assessment Guidelines

The Level 1 Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor.

                Notes

Safety Rules of Canoeing

 

Entry and Exit

Entry and exit with or without the use of a paddle is acceptable.

Forward and Reverse Paddling

Veering is allowed for, but a participant must be able to maintain reasonable directional stability for at least 25 metres.

Stopping

A participant should demonstrate an ability to stop when moving forward and in reverse.

Forward and Reverse Sweep Stroke

There should be an efficient use of the paddle in turning.

Capsize Drill

The capsize and exit should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank.


Level 2 Kayak Skills

Back to Top

General aims

The Level 2 Kayak Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Kayak safely and competently on flat water and Grade I rivers as a member of a group being led.
  2. Assist in basic rescues.

Requirements

Participant must successfully demonstrate the following techniques and skills:

  1. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
  2. An ability to Enter and Exit a kayak correctly.
  3. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.  
  4. An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  5. Simple Draw Stroke.
  6. Low Brace.
  7. Turning on the Move.
  8. Edging while the kayak is moving.
  9. Capsize Drill.
  10. An ability to assist in an Assisted X Rescue and/or an H Rescue.

Assessment

  1. The Level 2 Kayak Skills Assessment must take place outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty). No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool.
  2. During an assessment all techniques and skills must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in rescues - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of each of the required rescues and have some role to fulfil in the completion of these rescues.
  4. A spraydeck must be worn throughout an assessment.
  5. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the kayak to the bank. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.
  6. The Level 2 Kayak Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Canoeing Ireland skills awards.
  7. No age restriction applies to this award.

                Assessment Guidelines

  1. The Level 2 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor who is, at minimum, a Level 2 Kayak Instructor.
  2. The assessment will be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor for Level 2 Instructors and eight candidates to one assessor for Level 3 Instructors and above.
  3. All required assessment rescues should be kept until the end of an assessment.
  4. Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

                Notes for Level 2 Kayak Skills Awards

                Safety Rules of Canoeing

Entry and Exit

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

Forward Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Reverse Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of reverse movement or continuous veering from side to side. A wider stroke than that used for forward paddling is permissible.

Stopping

Stopping should occur in a straight line allowing some leeway, but not veering from side to side. Ability to stop should be demonstrated while paddling forward and in reverse.

Forward Sweep Stroke

There should be full arm extension. The sweep should be initiated at the front of the kayak and continued to stern with trunk rotation evident.

Reverse Sweep Stroke

Trunk rotation to place paddle in the water at stern should be evident. There should be continuous sweep to the front of the kayak as the trunk unwinds. There should be full arm extension throughout.

Draw Stroke

The paddle should remain in the water throughout. Some slight bow or stern swing is acceptable.  An ability to maintain the paddle shaft vertically should be evident. Some body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

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 hip action should be evident.

Turning on the Move

The kayak should be moved at good speed through a series of turns.  The turns should be induced by applying a combination of strokes and edge control appropriate to the kayak and the participant. The kayak should continue moving throughout the series of turns without stopping or significantly slowing down.

Capsize Drill

While wearing a spraydeck, and followed by a 10 metre swim towing the kayak and paddle to the bank, then emptying the kayak correctly. The paddle should be retained.


 


River Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Kayak Skills

Back to Top

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.

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. Be a member of Canoeing Ireland either as an individual member or as a member of an affiliated club.

                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

Back to Top

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.

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

Back to Top

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. Be registered as a member with 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. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.
  8. 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.

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.


 

Sea Kayak Skills Awards

Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills

Back to Top

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

 

 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

Back to Top

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 registered as a member with 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

Back to Top

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. Develop the necessary skills, group awareness, and group management to kayak and lead groups safely and competently on seas up to and including moderate seas (Douglas Sea Scale) and gale force winds.
  2. Deal competently with rescue situations which might occur on moderate seas (Douglas Sea Scale) and gale force winds.
  3. 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.

Training Course

  1. 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 may be held over one or two weekends.
  2. 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 with the groups they lead.

Applying to attend a training course

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

  1. Hold the Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award.
  2. 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. Be at least 18 years of age.
  4. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.

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:

  1. Demonstrate an efficient and effective forward paddling technique.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to manoeuvre and control a kayak in a variety of different situations. Skills are the same as those outlined in the level 4 sea kayak skills award.
  3. Pack a sea kayak with suitable equipment for an overnight camp in preparation for a two-day journey.
  4. Navigate a sea kayak in hours of darkness.
  5. Access flares easily and be conversant with the procedures for firing them.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to keep a compass course on open water and make good a course across a tide stream using transits.
  7. Demonstrate an ability to take bearings on known features.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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.
  11. Demonstrate an Eskimo Roll after capsizing to the left and to the right and be able to roll both sides.
  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.
  13. Show sufficient leadership skills under a variety of situations.
  14. Repairing a holed kayak whilst afloat.
  15. Produce spare paddles whilst afloat.
  16. Towing an incapacitated person (e.g. dislocated shoulder).
  17. Safely landing an injured paddler.
  18.  Demonstrate an approved method of resuscitation.
  19. Produce whistle, emergency food, and bivvy bag or preferably KISU whilst afloat.
  20. Deal with likely emergency situations or incidents.
  21. Exercise group control and show concern for the general welfare of other group members.

Theory

Chartwork

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

Applying for Assessment

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

  1. Have completed an Advanced Coastal Navigation Course and obtained an ACN Certificate.
  2. Have attended an approved Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Training Programme within the 24 months period proceeding a selected assessment date.
  3. 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 slight to moderate seas and Force 3 to 8 winds under the supervision of peer paddlers or if possible at least two registered Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructors.
  4.  In addition to 5.02 a candidate must 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.
  5. Possess a current and approved First Aid Certificate. (for example, REC Level 3).
  6. Be at least 18 years of age.
  7. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.
  8. 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.

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

Assessment

                Assessment Guidelines

The assessment format will include:

Evening 1 - Navigation Exercise and presentations

The navigation exercises will be for areas outside the assessment areas and have a time constraint. The exercise is to be an ‘exam type format’.

Day 2 - Sea Trip

Navigation exercise for the trip. The trip may include a camp and go on beyond dark. This day should examine personal skills, equipment, safety and rescues.

If the trip does not go into the night, then a night navigation exercise should follow.

Day 3 – Sea Trip

Group leadership day. Candidates will be required to plan a trip for a group and execute the planned trip and ancillary activity associated with the trip. This trip should challenge the group appropriately. The Assessor may have to have an input here in some situations.

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 5 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
  • 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.


Canoe Skills Awards

Level 2 Canoe Skills

Back to Top

General Aims

The Level 2 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to

  1. Canoe safely and competently on water of Grade I difficulty as a member of a group being led.
  2. Assist in basic rescues.

Requirements

  1. To obtain the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills.
  2. The participant should be capable of carrying out all the strokes in either double and solo canoe (where the stroke is relevant).
  3. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
  4. An ability to enter and exit a canoe correctly.
  5. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle and Stop.
  6. An ability to turn the canoe through 360 degrees in both directions using a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  7. Simple Draw Stroke and Pry.
  8. Brace.
  9. Trim
  10. Capsize Drill.
  11.  An ability to assist in an assisted X Rescue.
  12.  Knots: a figure of eight and a round turn with two half hitches.

Assessment

  1. The Level 2 Canoe Skills Assessment must take place outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty).No part of an assessment may be taken in a swimming pool.
  2. During an assessment all techniques/skills must be performed to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in rescues - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of required rescues and have some role to play in the completion of the rescues.
  4. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the canoe to the bank, sweep and Pry should ideally be carried out as a manoeuvre to move the canoe sideways to avoid an obstacle. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the canoe.
  5. The Level 2 Canoe Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Canoeing Ireland skills awards.

                Assessment Guidelines

Notes for Level 2 Canoe Skills Awards

                Safety Rules of Canoeing

Enter and Exit

Using paddles across the Gunnels for balance. For entering, stepping into the centre line, rear canoeist entering first should be demonstrated.

Forward Paddle

A Goon Stroke is sufficient for the solo & Double canoeing, some straying off course is permissible, but a straight line of at least 50 metres is required. Small use of Stern Rudder and Sweep permissible in both solo and double.

Reverse Paddle

Veering is permissible.

Stopping

Should occur in a straight line within four strokes.

Turn

Sweep strokes in Doubles should be demonstrated from Bow to Hip and Stern to Hip and a full sweep stroke in solo, both forward and reverse sweeps should be demonstrate on each side.

Simple Draw Stroke and Pry

The canoe should move sideways in a reasonably straight line. Roles to be reversed if demonstrated in double. Combination of Draw and Pry to be used in doubles.

Brace

Horizontal loom extended beyond the gunnel.

Pry Turn

Under movement the canoe should be turned sharply using pry at the back of the canoe, and sweep at the front.

Capsize Drill

After capsizing, the canoe should be held and towed 10 metres to the bank where it should be emptied correctly.

X Rescue

To be carried out on a half full upright canoe.

Knots

A figure of eight and a round turn with two half hitches.

 


Level 3 Canoe Skills

Back to Top

General Aims

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

  1. Canoe safely and competently on rivers up to and including of Grade II difficulty as a member of peers
  2. Be capable of negotiating obstacles encountered on water of Grade II difficulty
  3. Assist in basic rescues.

Requirements

To obtain the Level 3 Canoe Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award.

The participant should be capable of carrying out all the strokes in both double and solo canoe (where the stroke is relevant).

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, a Forward J Stroke, Reverse Paddle, a Reverse J Stroke to be used in the solo and Emergency Stop
  2. Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  3. Draw Stroke and Pry
  4. Sculling Draw
  5. Hanging Draw
  6. Brace for Support
  7. Bow Rudder & Bow Draw
  8. Cross Bow Rudder & Draw
  9. Stern Rudder
  10.  Inside Pivot and Outside Pivot turn

Techniques

  1. Enter and Exit
  2. Trim
  3. Forward Ferry gliding
  4. Reverse Ferry gliding
  5. Breaking in
  6. Breaking out
  7. Knots: an ability to tie a round turn and two half hitches, and clove hitch Highway mans hitch

Rescues

  1. Capsize Drill
  2. X & CurlRescue
  3. Offensive and Defensive Swimming

Theory

  1. Knowledge of Safety Rules
  2. An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, V Waves, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes
  3. Knowledge of wind effect on the canoe and trimming of the canoe for wind  and rapids, i.e. weight at back for running with the wind, forward for heading into wind. Sitting towards centre in rapids/drops etc should be known.The importance of trim in Doubles and Solo Canoeing
  4. An understanding of  various signals and commands.
  5. The Painters  at either end of the canoe should be easily accessible during the trip, but should not be able to wrap around the participant's legs whilst they are in the canoe.

Assessment

  1. The Level 3 Canoe 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 assessment candidates must demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award. All techniques and skills must be performed to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations and demonstrated on both sides of the canoe.
  4. Generally all 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. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.

                Assessment Guidelines

                Level 3 Canoe Skills Award Guidelines

Forward Paddle, a Forward J Stroke

To be demonstrated in a  solo or double canoe with only a small amount of veering, near vertical paddle shaft

Reverse Paddle, a Reverse J Stroke

To be used in the solo or double

Emergency Stop

The paddle can cross the canoe in order to stop the canoe veering when solo

Draw Stroke and Pry

To be used in moving water to avoid obstacles

Bow Rudder

To be demonstrated in break out and break in manoeuvres

Cross Bow Rudder

To be demonstrates in break out and break in manoeuvres Bracing

Will be assessed as part of your canoe handling in Grade II rapids

Edging/Trim

To be shown as part of a Breaking In and Breaking Out manoeuvre.

Stern Rudder

Used to compensate at the stern of a double or for maintaining direction. Gunnel can be used for lever

Forward Ferry gliding (facing upriver)

Candidates must ferry glide in a straight line between two selected points on the river

Reverse Ferry gliding (facing downriver)

Candidates must ferryglide between 2 selected points, a combination of offside reverse strokes and reverse J stroke can be used

Breaking In and Out

May be carried out using any of the above strokes, confident strokes with edging and leaning should be evident

Knots

An ability to tie a round turn and two half hitches, clove hitch and Highway mans hitch.

Capsize Drill

An attempt should be made in Grade II water to bring the canoe to the bank and if unsuccessful should form the basis for assessment rescue.

X Rescue & Curl Rescue

To be carried out in a  canoe with the other canoe to be fully flooded and upside down, the rescuees can assist. All participants should act as rescuer and rescuee

Offensive and Defensive Swimming

Participants must fully understand the technique and its uses


Level 4 Canoe Skills

Back to Top

General Aims

The Level 4 Open Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

Requirements

During assessment, a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Open Canoe skills award and be capable of demonstrating any combination of the strokes competently and efficiently:

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle and Emergency Stop
  2. All Sweep strokes, including Outside Pivot Turn and Inside Pivot Turn.
  3. Edging & Trim.
  4. Bow Rudder, Cross Bow Rudder, Stern Rudder.
  5. Bow Jam & Crossbow Jam.
  6. Support Strokes.
  7. Draw, Sculling Draw and hanging draw strokes.
  8. Polling & snubbing in a Grade 1 environment.

Techniques

  1. An ability to use water conditions available for the effective and efficient manoeuvring of an Open Canoe
  2. Competence in negotiating water obstructions i.e. Standing Waves, Stoppers during the course of a trip
  3. Competence in negotiating bends where water flows under trees or against vertical  river bank
  4. Forward Ferry Gliding (facing upriver)
  5. Reverse Ferry Gliding/ Setting (facing downriver)
  6. Breaking in accurately
  7. Breaking out accurately
  8. Controlling a canoe with a pole in a grade 1 environment

Rescues and Safety Techniques

  1. X Rescue
  2. Curl rescue
  3. Self Rescue
  4. Deep Water Rescue of an incapacitated paddler
  5. Rescue and Tow
  6. Offensive and Defensive Swimming
  7. An ability to use a Throw Rope to rescue a swimmer

Theory

An understanding of the following:

Applying for Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 4 Canoe Skills assessment, a candidate must:

  1. Have obtained the Level 3 Canoe Skills Certificate
  2. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland either as an individual member or as a member of an affiliated club.
  3. Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped open canoe, personal equipment and additional equipment (see Level 4 skills list of equipment).
  4. Be a least 16 years of age.

Assessment

  1. The Level 4 Canoe Skills assessment will take place during a river trip of at least three miles on water of Grade II–III difficulty.
  2.  During assessment candidates must demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 3 Open Canoe skills award in order to achieve this award.  All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated and assessed to the required level in order to achieve this award.
  3. All strokes and techniques must be demonstrated on both sides of the Open Canoe and in relevant situations.
  4.  All rescues must be executed by the candidate acting as both rescuee and rescuer.  Generally the required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of the assessment river trip
  5. While it is not compulsory to attend a training course prior to assessment, it is strongly recommended.

                Assessment Guidelines

                Equipment List required for Assessment

Properly equipped Canoe:

  • Suitable Buoyancy
  • Sufficient length of painters
  • Method of securing paddles

Personal kayaking equipment:

  • Paddle
  • ISO approved Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • Adequate footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cags or dry suit, with sufficient thermal clothing
  • Helmet

       

Other Equipment:

  • Throw Rope
  •  Knife
  •  4 – 5 m OpenSling
  • Karabiners x 2, one screw gate, one snap gate
  • Towing System
  •  First Aid Kit
  •  Mobile Phone
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  •  Flask and Food
  • Spare Clothes
  • Bivy Bag or group shelter
  • Spare 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 Canoe Skills

Back to Top

This award is designed for Open Canoeists wishing to develop advanced paddling and rescue techniques appropriate to Grade III+ water.  It is an appropriate award for Open Canoeists who paddle with others of similar ability on Level III+ rivers.

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award is a pre-requisite for progression to Level 4 Canoe Instructor.  The Level 4 Canoe Instructor is the appropriate qualification for those wishing to teach others on Grade III+ water.

General aims

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

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

Training Course

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training programme and a two-day assessment. The general course outline is as follows

  • Trip Planning
  • Equipment for Advanced White Water
  • Methods of River Leading
  • River Reading
  • Protection against Hazards
  • Management of Rescue Situations
  • Rescues from a Canoe
  • Use of a Throw Rope
  • Rope Rescues
  • First Aid in the River Environment
  • At least one Grade II/III river trip leading a group under the supervision of a Level 4 Canoe Instructor.
  • Assessment Procedures.
  • Poling & Snubbing on Grade 2
  • Lining/Tracking

Applying to attend a Training Course

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

  1. Hold a Level 4 Canoe Skills Award.
  2. Have unrestricted access to a suitable Canoe and the necessary equipment. (See Level 5 Canoe Skills List of Equipment).
  3. Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  4. Have registered, with the Canoeing Ireland Office, as a Level 5 Trainee.
  5. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.

Requirements

To obtain the Level 5 Canoe 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 Canoe Skills Award.

  1. A Level 5 Canoe Skills candidate would be expected to:
  2. Demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 4 Canoe Skills Award and of a standard comparable with the techniques/skills necessary to paddle competently on water of Grade II to III+.
  3. Demonstrate a thorough of knowledge of safety precautions and procedures to be adopted while paddling with a group on water of Grade III+.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to assess any group's competence to deal with conditions likely to be encountered on water of Grade III+.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to command trust from a group of peers.
  6. Demonstrate the necessary communications skills on water of Grade III+.
  7. Deal with rescue situations that are likely to occur on water of Grade III+.
  8. Be capable of knowing where on the river a group is at any time and have 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 canoe and other appropriate personal equipment (See Level 5 Canoe Skills List of Equipment). It would be expected that a candidate's equipment would be of a standard consistent with the responsibilities of paddling with others on Grade III+ rivers.

Applying for Assessment

Candidates wishing to be assessed for the Level 5 Canoe Skills Award must:

  1. Have completed an RSR 3 Training Course and obtained an RSR 3 Certificate
  2.  Attend an approved Level 5 Canoe Skills training programme with the 24 months proceeding a selected assessment date.
  3. Have recorded in a Level 5 Canoe Skills Logbook, following completion of a Level 5 Canoe Skills Training Course at least 10 river trips of a minimum of 20 hours duration on a variety of rivers under the supervision of peer paddlers or if possible at least two Level 4 Canoe Instructors.
  4. In addition to 5.03 the candidate must provide documentary evidence of a range of river trips.  These must show experience of low/medium volume rivers as well as technical rivers.  Such experience must have been gained over a minimum of three years’ white water paddling, showing a bias towards ‘wild rivers’.  Wholly artificial courses and weirs would not count towards the evidence.
  5. Posses a current and approved First Aid Certificate (for example, REC Level 3)
  6. Be at least 18 years of age.
  7. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.
  8. Have returned to the Canoeing Ireland Office a completed Level 5 Canoe Skills Logbook accompanied by a Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment application form no later than three weeks before a selected assessment date.

Assessment

  1. The Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment will take place over two days and must include a river trip on a minimum of Grade III difficulty over a distance a 3-5 miles
  2. The Assessment Group on the river trip element of the assessment should consist of the following

Assessors

Minimum of two registered Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessors

Assessees

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four Assessees

Other River Trip Participants

 

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four participants who must hold Level 4 Canoe Skills Award

Level 5Canoe  Skills Panel Aspirants

Maximum of two Level 5 Canoe Skills Panel aspirants (These may form part of the participant group above)

                Assessment Guidelines

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

A correctly equipped Canoe:

  • Suitable Buoyancy
  • Sufficient length of painters/swim lines
  • Method of securing paddles

 

Personal canoeing equipment:

  • Paddle
  • ISO approved
  • Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • Adequate hard sole footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cags or dry suit, with sufficient thermal clothing
  • ISO approved helmet

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
  •  Bivy Bag
  • Group Shelter
  • Spare Paddle
  • Repair Kit
  •  Map
  • Dry Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry

 

The candidate’s personal and group kit will be evaluated.  Candidates must present with suitable personal equipment, plus any additional equipment deemed to be appropriate to support other paddlers in the group.  Equipment should reflect such things as the season, the ability of his/her peers and the difficulty of the waters to be paddled.  Borrowed equipment will be assessed as if it were the candidates own.  The candidate should be aware that on the level of water being paddled, having too much equipment can be nearly as hazardous as having too little.

 


Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills

Back to Top

General aims

The Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award aims to enable participants to:-

  1. Paddle safely and competently on a Sit-on-Top on sheltered flat water as a member of a group being led
  2. Assist in basic flat water rescues.

Requirements

Participant must successfully demonstrate the following techniques and skills

  1. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
  2. An understanding of the correct use of Sit-on-Top back rests and knee straps.
  3. An ability to Mount and Dismount a Sit-on-Top correctly from the bank.
  4.  Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.  
  5. An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  6. Simple Draw Stroke.
  7. A water based Capsize Drill and dismount from the Sit-on-Top
  8. Self rescue following a capsize drill, including righting the Sit-on-Top and completing a water based remount.

Assessment

  1. During an assessment all techniques and skills must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  2. No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty).
  3. It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in the self rescue - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of each of the required rescues and have some role to fulfil in the completion of these rescues.
  4. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the Sit-on-Top to the bank. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the Sit-on-Top.
  5. The Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Canoeing Ireland skills awards.
  6. No age restriction applies to this award.

                Assessment Guidelines

                Notes for Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Canoeing

Mount and Dismount

Mount and dismount with or without the use of a paddle is acceptable, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Reverse Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of reverse movement or continuous veering from side to side.  A wider stroke than that used for forward paddling is permissible.

Stopping

Stopping should occur in a straight line allowing some leeway, but not veering from side to side. Ability to stop should be demonstrated while paddling forward and in reverse.

Forward Sweep Stroke

There should be full arm extension. The sweep should be initiated at the front of the Sit-on-Top and continued to stern with trunk rotation evident.

Reverse Sweep Stroke

Trunk rotation to place paddle in the water at stern should be evident. There should be continuous sweep to the front of the Sit-on-Top as the trunk unwinds. There should be full arm extension throughout.

Draw Stroke

The paddle should remain in the water throughout. Some slight bow or stern swing is acceptable.  An ability to maintain the paddle shaft vertical, should be evident. Some body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Capsize Drill

The water based capsize and dismount from the Sit-on-Top should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank. This should be followed by a self rescue, righting the overturned Sit-on-Top and mounting it from one of the extremities (horse style).  The paddle should be retained.  The instructor may help in capsizing the Sit-on-Top.


Sit-on-Top River Skills

Back to Top

General aims

The Sit-on-Top River Skills Award aims to enable participants to

  1. Paddle safely and competently on rivers up to and including Grade II rivers as a member of a group being led.
  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 Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award.

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Stopping.
  2. Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  3. Draw Stroke
  4. Low Brace
  5. Stern Rudder

Techniques

  1. Mount & Dismount
  2. Tilting
  3. Ferry Gliding
  4. Breaking In
  5. Breaking Out

Rescues

  1. Capsize Drill
  2. Self rescue following a capsize drill in deep water, including righting the Sit-on-Top and completing a water based remount without assistance.
  3. Assisted Rescue and Self Rescue.Using a throw bag to rescue a swimmer, both as rescuer and swimmer.

Theory

  1. Knowledge of Safety Rules
  2. An understanding of the use of Offensive & Defensive Swimming
  3. An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, V Waves, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes i.e. the main flow down a Grade II rapid
  4. An understanding of good control (i.e. responding to various signals and commands)

Assessment

  1. During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  2. No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on water of Grade II difficulty as part of a river trip.
  3. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e ferry gliding across a flow. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the Sit-on-Top.
  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.

                Assessment Guidelines

  1. It is recommended that a Sit-on-Top River Skills Award is assessed by a Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment
  2. The Sit-on-Top River 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, however, a ratio of 4:1 is preferable.
  4. Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

                Notes for Sit-on-Top River Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Canoeing

Mount & Dismount

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

Forward & 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 Sit-on-Top straight.

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Stopping

Stopping should occur in a straight line allowing some leeway, but not veering from side to side. Ability to stop should be demonstrated while paddling forward and in reverse.

Forward & Reverse Sweep Stroke

Candidates should demonstrate effective use of Sweep Strokes. There should be good arm extension throughout. Good trunk rotation should be evident.

Draw Stroke

Paddle near vertical, blade well covered, Sit-on-Top moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. The blade must remain in the water throughout. Good body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Low Brace Support

The participant must be sufficiently tilting the Sit-on-Top for water to reach the top side of the boat. A good push down with the elbows above paddle and associated hip rotation should be evident.

Tilting

Demonstrate as a skill that assists in the turning of the Sit-on-Top.

Stern Rudder

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

Capsize Drill

The water based capsize and dismount from the Sit-on-Top should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank. This should be followed by a self rescue, righting the overturned Sit-on-Top and mounting it from one of the extremities (horse style).  The paddle should be retained.  The instructor may help in capsizing the Sit-on-Top.


Sit-on-Top Sea Skills

Back to Top

General aims

The Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Paddle safely and competently on the sea as a member of a group being led.
  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 paddling a Sit-on-Top on the sea.

Requirements for the Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, stopping.
  2. Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  3. Draw Stroke
  4. Low Brace
  5. Stern Rudder

Techniques

  1. Mount & Dismount
  2. Tilting
  3. Paddling in a following wind, beam winds and head winds
  4. Paddling into, bracing and turning in small surf. (1 Foot)

Rescues

  1. Capsize Drill
  2. Self rescue following a capsize drill in deep water, including righting the Sit-on-Top and completing a water based remount without assistance.
  3. Assisted Rescue and Self Rescue.

Theory

  1. Knowledge of Safety Rules
  2. Record and interpret a marine weather forecast
  3. Read a tide table to ascertain the time of high-water.
  4. An understanding of staying with your boat in the event of a capsize at sea.
  5. An understanding of the effects of the wind on the sea with particular reference to the danger of offshore winds.  The candidate should show an understanding of what is meant by a leeshore. dumping surf, riptides and tide races.
  6. An understanding of good control (i.e. responding to various signals and commands)
  7. An ability to recognize several of the significant flora and fauna in the seashore  environment.

Assessment for the Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award

  1. During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  2.  No part of an assessment may be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on non-tidal waters in winds up to a limit of force three.
  3. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. low brace against a small breaking wave at a beach, and demonstrated on both sides of the Sit-on-Top.
  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.

                Assessment Guidelines

  1. It is recommended that a Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award is assessed by a Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.
  2.  The Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor who is, at minimum , a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor.
  3. The assessment is to be carried out with a maximum of four candidates to one assessor, however, a ratio of 3:1 is preferable.
  4. Should a candidate fail the assessment guidelines should  given as to the areas that need to be improved on.

                Notes for Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Canoeing

Mount & Dismount

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 Sit-on-Top straight.

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Stopping

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. There should be good arm extension throughout. Good trunk rotation should be evident.

Draw Stroke

Paddle near vertical, blade well covered, Sit-on-Top moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. The blade must remain in the water throughout. Good body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Sculling Draw

Paddle near vertical, blade covered, Sit-on-Top  moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. Long strokes with efficient blade angle while the Sit-on-Top  remains level.

Low Brace Support

The participant must be sufficiently tilting the Sit-on-Top for water to reach the top side of the boat. A good push down with the elbows above paddle and associated hip rotation should be evident.

Tilting

Demonstrate as a skill that assists in the turning of the Sit-on-Top.

Stern Rudder

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 Sit-on-Top should turn effectively.

Capsize Drill

The water based capsize and dismount from the Sit-on-Top should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank. This should be followed by a self rescue, righting the overturned Sit-on-Top and mounting it from one of the extremities (horse style).  The paddle should be retained.  The instructor may help in capsizing the Sit-on-Top.

Paddling in head beam and following winds.

Candidates must demonstrate that they can control their Sit-on-Top in wind conditions up to Force 3.

Rescues

Candidates must act as rescuer and rescuee.

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 Sit-on-Top 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 by 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.


Paddlesurf Skills Awards

Back to Top

Level 3 PaddleSurf Skills

Back to Top

General aims

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

  1. Be comfortable paddling in small surf (2-3 feet or waist height) conditions with belt fastened (ski) or wearing spray deck (kayak).
  2. Assist in rescues.
  3. Have a basic understanding of etiquette and surf safety.

Requirements for the Level 3 Paddlesurf Skills Award

Strokes

  1. Efficient forward paddling form.
  2. Forward paddling with feet in foot loops (ski).
  3. Forward and reverse sweep strokes and a combination of both.
  4. Low brace.
  5. Stern rudder.

Techniques

  1. Turning on the move.
  2. Take off on an unbroken wave.
  3. Surf left and right in whitewater and green waves.
  4. Surf left and right from an unbroken wave takeoff.
  5. Bottom turns and top turns.
  6. Controlling edge
  7. Controlling form
  8. Coordinating speed when paddling out and paddling for position
  9. Coordinating waveski or kayak and wave speed
  10. Wave selection.
  11. Looking in the direction of travel – leading with head and paddles/arms.

Safety & Rescue

  1. Can release belt or spraydeck when capsized.
  2.  Can surf in lying on ski or boat holding paddle.
  3. Can control ski or boat and paddle in whitewater.
  4. Can remount ski from waist depth water. Can paddle swamped boat to safety
  5. Swim to shore from behind the breakline.
  6. Can surf in with 2 paddles.
  7.  Wade out and retrieve equipment.
  8. Can piggyback rescue a swimmer and shepherd a swimmer to shore
  9. Identify potential hazards in marine environment.
  10. Can carry out an X rescue behind the breakline.
  11. Can roll

Theory

  1. Surf etiquette & Knowledge of Safety Rules.
  2. An understanding of the effects of the wind on the sea with particular reference to the danger of offshore winds.  The candidate should show an understanding of what is meant by a leeshore. dumping surf, riptides and tide races.

Assessment

  1. 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.
  2. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. stern rudder on a wave to correct course.
  3. Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.
  4. The assessment is to be carried out with a maximum of four candidates to one assessor.
  5. Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.
  6. Candidates should have unrestricted access to a Waveski or surf specific kayak.
  7. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.

                Level 3 Paddlesurf Skills Award Strokes Guidelines

Forward paddling form (active position)

Head over knees, cycling action, navel pushed forward, not hunched and head down. Shoulder back & head up.

Turning and paddle for broken waves

It is not acceptable for athletes to have feet down whilst turning or paddling for waves (Waveski)

Turning static

Use a combination of reverse and forward sweep strokes and reverse pry’s with some awareness of support from the reverse strokes.

Turning on the move

Appropriate use of forward sweeps/rapid forward strokes and edge control.

Surf left/right in whitewater and green waves

Some tripping on the rail is acceptable but should be outweighed by successful runs.

Surf left and right from an unbroken wave takeoff

Wave selection should be in evidence with appropriate angle of takeoff. Athletes should demonstrate a knowledge and use of suitable bottom turn in reference to the wave i.e. turning high on the wave if it is fast and steep, a mid-wave turn or a bottom turn in the trough should the wave allow. The kayaker or waveski rider should trim the wave face until the wave closes out. Continued control in the whitewater athlete should surf left and right in a zigzag until wave loses power. Use of stern rudder/pry/low brace rudder to maintain and change direction.

Bottom turns and top turns

Turns should be executed with some thought to maintaining the run. An inappropriate use of turns is not a fail but should be highlighted.


Level 4 Paddlesurf Skills

Back to Top

General aims

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

  1. Be comfortable paddling in moderate surf*.
  2. Able to deal competently with rescue situations that might occur in these conditions.
  3. Develop group awareness.

*Moderate surf can be defined as:

Beach break or reef (3-4 feet or waist/shoulder high) wave face or whitewater.

Reef breaks should be very forgiving and free from prominent rocks or ledges. There should be a safe channel out and conditions should be free of larger set waves

Requirements for the Level 4 Paddlesurf Skills Award

To obtain the Level 4 Paddlesurf Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a skill level higher than that required for the Level 3 Paddlesurf Skills Award.

Skills & Techniques:

  1. Paddling out with feet in foot loops. (Waveski)
  2. Turning static and on the move with feet in foot loops. (Waveski)
  3. Catching and surfing unbroken waves.
  4. Surf left and right on an unbroken wave until it closes out.
  5.  Maintain directional control.
  6. Deliberate choice to surf from left to right and vice versa.
  7. Closing scissors’ connection of upper and lower body.
  8. Bottom turns.
  9. Top turns.
  10. Cutbacks.

Safety & Rescue:

  1. Can roll.
  2. Can surf in lying on ski or boat holding paddle.
  3. Can control Ski or boat, and paddle in breakzone and whitewater – holding ski upside down, nose to waves and by foot loops until safe to remount. Holding boat by the toggles and remaining ocean side of capsized boat.
  4. Can remount ski from deep water or re-enter swamped boat and paddle to safety.
  5. Piggyback rescue a swimmer from breakzone- Demonstrate with swimmer on the tail and on the front of ski or boat.
  6. Swim back to shore or to the channel from the breakline with ski or boat and paddle and remount/re-enter.
  7. Can X rescue, Stern supported T rescue.
  8. Can identify significant hazards and take appropriate steps to reduce risk.

Theory:

  1. Weather Forecasting, obtaining and understanding forecasts.
  2. Understand and identify the hazards associated with the environment.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of etiquette.
  4. An ability to recognize several of the significant flora and fauna in the seashore environment.
  5. An ability to choose suitable venues based on information gained from tides and surf, wind forecasts.

Applying to attend a Level 4 Paddlesurf Skills Assessment

  1. Before applying to attend an assessment, a candidate must:
  2. Have obtained the Level 3 Paddlesurf Skills award.
  3. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland either as an individual member or as a member of an affiliated club.
  4. Have unrestricted access to a waveski or surf specific kayak, personal equipment and any additional equipment.
  5. Have a working knowledge of First Aid, to include the symptoms and treatment of exposure and an awareness of the technique of CPR. It is recommended but not mandatory that the candidate attend a First Aid course such as REC3.
  6. Be at least 16 years of age.


Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills

Back to Top

General aims

The Level 5 Paddlesurf course aims to provide the candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to paddle safely in advanced surf conditions* and help promote awareness of safety procedures within a group of peers.

*Advanced surf can be defined as:

Beach break or reef (4’- 5’ or shoulder to head high) wave face.

‘however if wave size is small on reefs then beach breaks or sand bars that offer suitable conditions can be used’

Requirements for the Level 5 Waveski Skills Award

  1. The Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training course prior to assessment. The course for the Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills may be held over one or two weekends.
  2. The training course aims to provide the candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to help develop Paddlesurfing and help promote awareness of safety procedures.
  3. Paddling out through surf. Managing set waves and using a repertoire of skills to get out back- These will include timing, sprinting, climbing whitewater and rolling under waves.
  4. Pivoting turns and late take offs – Athletes control a tight tail pivot and use the buoyancy of the ski or boat to aid take off.
  5. Catching unbroken waves. Athletes should demonstrate a variety of take offs to gain best position and maximum power from wave. Athletes should also demonstrate critical take offs under the lip with the intention of setting up advanced manoeuvres such as barrels, re-entries and aerials.
  6. Surfing an unbroken wave- Athletes must demonstrate a solid interpretation of the waves ridden. A maximum change in speed, direction and height should be evident. The wave must be used to its full with the rider extracting as much power and potential from the wave as possible.
  7. Maintain directional control- Floating whitewater to regain green wave.
  8. ‘Closing scissors’ connection of upper and lower body – Athletes should move weight and pivot point of ski to correspond with wave and desired outcomes/manoeuvres.
  9. Bottom turns- Demonstrate a variety of bottom turns appropriate to wave, to maintain run and set up for advanced manoeuvres.
  10. Top turns- Executed on the lip to gain as much height as possible. The ski or boat should be snapped loose where top turns are on fatter or softer sections of the wave.
  11. Cutbacks-. The ski or boat should turn to face the whitewater and if possible snapped from the water to release the hull.
  12. Roundhouse cutbacks- At this level athlete’s must demonstrate a full carving roundhouse cutback. The ski or boat should be driven off the shoulder into the whitewater in an ‘S’ pattern.
  13.  Floaters- Paddlesurfers must demonstrate floating small sections of wave to maintain speed and wave.
  14. Re-entry- Riders at this level should be presenting the hull of the ski or boat to the lip to gain height before dropping back in to the wave with more speed to continue ride. This should be demonstrated off the lip and off oncoming shoulder/whitewater.
  15. Attempting aerials- Hitting the lip or oncoming whitewater with the intention of throwing the craft airborne. The paddler should show commitment and control throughout. It is not acceptable to surf to the lip and hope for the best.
  16. Attempting regains- Riders should be deliberately climbing whitewater with the intention of regaining the green wave.
  17. Rolling-Consistently rolling in surf and under set waves whilst paddling out or maintaining position in the line-up.

Show beginnings of:

  1. A high awareness of trim line and riding a high line.
  2. Rail control & pumping rail during diagonal run.
  3. Aerials.
  4. Cover ups and barrels.
  5. Re-entry off a roundhouse cutback.
  6. Regains - Whitewater climbing to regain green wave.
  7. Re-entrys.
  8. Paddleout take offs.

Safety:

  1. Can surf in lying on ski or boat holding paddle.
  2. Can control craft and paddle in breakzone and whitewater – holding ski upside down and by foot loops until safe to remount. Holding boat to the beach side of the paddler by the toggles, performing a re-entry and paddling swamped boat to safety
  3.  Can remount ski or re-enter boat from deep water.
  4. Piggyback rescue a swimmer from breakzone- Demonstrate with swimmer on the tail and on the front of ski.
  5. Swim back to shore or to the channel from the breakline with craft and paddle and remount/re-enter.
  6. Understand and identify the hazards associated with the environment.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of etiquette and awareness of other water users.
  8. Can maintain position in the line-up.
  9. Paddlers should be able to liaise with emergency services.
  10. Paddlers should be able to demonstrate basic first aid for common paddlesurfing injuries.
  11. Paddlers must be able to demonstrate curl rescues, X rescues, stern support T rescues      in varying conditions and situations. Take charge of rescues and co-ordinate others to affect rescues as efficiently as possible.
  12. Paddlers should be able to demonstrate rescuing an unconscious casualty from the surf zone from a ski and a boat. Paddlers should demonstrate the use of a Peterson tube.
  13. Candidates should demonstrate safe group awareness, control and dynamic risk assessment.

Training Course

  1. The Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training course prior to assessment.  The course for the Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills may be held over one or two weekends.
  2. The training course aims to provide the candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to help develop paddlesurfing and help promote awareness of safety procedures within the surf environment.

Applying to attend a training course

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills Training Course a candidate must

  1. Hold the Level 4 Paddlesurf Skills Award.
  2. Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped waveski or surf specific kayak, personal equipment, and additional equipment as deemed necessary.
  3. Be at least 18 years of age.
  4. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.

Assessment Requirements

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

  1. Have attended an approved Level 5 Paddlesurf Training programme within the 24 month period preceding a selected assessment date.
  2. Have recorded in a Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills logbook a minimum of 10 Skills Logbook, following the completion of a Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills Training , a minimum of at least 10 surf sessions (2 – 3 hours min) in advanced surf conditions in at least 3 different locations (reefs/beach-breaks).
  3. Possess a current and approved First Aid Certificate (for example REC Level 3).
  4. Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland.

Assessment Guidelines

  1. A Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills Award can only be assessed by a registered member of the Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills Assessor Panel.
  2. It is recommended that the award is assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who has run the training course leading to assessment.
  3. The assessment ratio is a maximum of 4 candidates to 1 assessor with a minimum of 2 candidates to 1 assessor.
  4. Clear guidelines should be given in writing should a candidate fail an assessment as to the areas which need to be improved upon.
  5. Candidates cannot depend on any assistance (material or practical) during the course of an assessment.
  6. No other award or qualification can be assessed during a Level 5 Paddlesurf Skills Assessment.


Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Board

Back to Top

Intro to SUP Award

General aims

The Intro to SUP Board Award aims to enable participants to:

 

Requirements

Participant must successfully demonstrate the following techniques and skills:

  1. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of Paddle Sports.
  2. An understanding of the correct & appropriate use of leash.
  3. An ability to Mount and Dismount a SUP Board correctly from the bank.
  4. Forward Paddle (With hands & paddle), Reverse Paddle, and Stop.  
  5. An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke.
  6. A water based dismount from the SUP Board.
  7. Participate in a rescue following a Flip, including righting the SUP Board and completing a water based assisted remount.

Assessment

The SUP Intro Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland SUP Instructor

Notes for Intro to SUP Board Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Paddle Sports:

  1. Know your personal limitations and that of your equipment.
  2. You must always wear a CE approved buoyancy aid.
  3. You must have water confidence.

 

Mount and Dismount

Mount and dismount with or without the use of a paddle is acceptable, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward Paddling

Veering is allowed for, but a participant must be able to maintain reasonable directional stability for at least 25 metres.

Reverse Paddling

Veering is allowed for, but a participant must maintain a reasonable directional stability for a short distance of 2 meters.

Stopping

A participant should demonstrate an ability to stop when moving forward and in reverse.

Forward and Reverse Sweep Stroke

There should be an efficient use of the paddle in turning.

Dismount & Remount

The water based dismount from the SUP Board should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank and an assisted re-mount should be demonstrated. An ability to assist in the righting of the board should be shown.

Wind & Tide

An appreciation of the effect of wind & tide, (onshore & off shore winds) should be shown by candidate.

 


Flat Water SUP Skills award

Back to Top

General aims

The SUP Boarding Flat Water SUP Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Paddle safely and competently on a SUP on sheltered flat water.
  2. Perform basic flat water rescues.
  3. Obtain & Understand relevant weather and tidal information.

 

Requirements

Participant must successfully demonstrate the following techniques and skills:

  1. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of Paddle Sports.
  2. An understanding of the correct use of SUP board leash and hazards associated with its use and non-use.
  3. An ability to Mount and Dismount a SUP Board correctly from the bank & water.
  4. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.  
  5. An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke. Board trim should be adjusted to suit turns.
  6. An ability to turn efficiently on the move i.e., Sweeps, Bow Draw, Cross Bow Draw, Step back pivot turn.
  7. Draw Strokes (simple draw & sculling draw).
  8. Bracing.
  9. Stern rudder.
  10. Balance and Board Trim.
  11. A water based dismount, righting and remount of SUP board.
  12. Rescue an unconscious paddler from the water and transport them to the bank.
  13. Obtain, understand and be able to translate a weather forecast and tidal information to the area you will be SUPing.

 

Assessment

  1. During an assessment all techniques and skills must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  2. No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of grade I difficulty).
  3. It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in the self-rescue - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of each of the required rescues and have some role to fulfil in the completion of these rescues.
  4. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the SUP Board to the bank. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the SUP Board.
  5. The SUP Flat Water Skills Award is a pre requisite for Canoeing Ireland’s Flat water SUP Instructor Award.
  6. No age restriction applies to this award.

Assessment Guidelines

  1. The Flat Water SUP Board Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Flat Water SUP Instructor.
  2. The assessment will be carried out with a maximum of 6 candidates to one assessor. However, a ratio of 4:1 is preferable.
  3. All required assessment rescues are kept until the end of an assessment where possible.
  4. Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

 

                Notes for Flat Water SUP Board Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Paddle Sports:

  1. Know your personal limitations and that of your equipment.
  2. You must always wear a CE approved buoyancy aid.
  3. You must have water confidence.

Mount and Dismount

Mount and dismount with or without the use of a paddle is acceptable, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation, from the bank or from water.

Forward Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task, changing sides while Paddling is permitted. An ability to use blade angle to maintain board control. An ability to propel the board forward using hands only should be shown.

Reverse Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of reverse movement or continuous veering from side to side.  A short distance of 5 meters should suffice.

Stopping

Stopping should occur in a straight line allowing some leeway, but not veering from side to side. Ability to stop should be demonstrated while paddling forward and in reverse.

Forward Sweep Stroke

There should be full arm extension. The sweep should be initiated at the front of the SUP Board with trunk rotation evident. Board trim should be adjusted to suit.

Reverse Sweep Stroke

Trunk rotation to place paddle in the water at stern should be evident. There should be a continuous sweep towards the front of the SUP Board as the trunk unwinds. There should be full arm extension throughout and board should be appropriately trimmed.

Draw Stroke

Some slight bow or stern swing is acceptable.  An ability to maintain the paddle shaft vertical should be evident. Body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident. Simple draw stroke & Sculling draw should be demonstrated

 

Bow & Cross Bow Draw

Good Body position and use of torso should be demonstrated throughout an effective turn keeping effective power on the blade face. The turn should be smooth and controlled with good balance throughout.

 

Bracing

An ability to brace using a low brace to assist in maintaining balance and whilst recovering the paddle blade from the rear to the front of the board.

 

Stern Rudder

A stern rudder should be demonstrated in order to keep the board tracking straight after paddling forwards and to alter direction while moving forward. The shaft should be parallel to the rail of the board and body rotation to the side of the stroke should be evident. Blade tilt should be demonstrated to adjust direction of travel.

 

Board Trim

An ability to move freely forward and back on the board to assist with board movement should be demonstrated.

Step Back Pivot Turn

An effective turn whilst moving forward should be demonstrated (i.e. Step back pivot turn). Good balance should be demonstrated throughout by adjusting pressure between front and back feet and lowering centre of gravity. An ability to turn through 180 degrees should be demonstrated.

Water based Dismount and Board Flip

The water based dismount from the SUP Board should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank. This should be followed by a self rescue, righting the overturned SUP Board and mounting it from side of rear.  The paddle should be retained.  The instructor may help in flipping the SUP Board.

Unconscious Rescue

The candidate should be able to get an unconscious person from deep water onto the Board and then paddle them to the bank.

Weather & Tidal Information

Be able to obtain relevant weather and tidal information. Have an ability to transfer the effects of the days forecast/tide to the area being used for the SUP session.