SEA KAYAKING TRIPS GRADING

Before you book onto any trip or course, it is important that you are honest with yourself and your personal kayaking technical ability. This will allow you to find the right course for your skill level, join people of other similar capability and not be overstretched by the physical demands or technical content.

INTRODUCTORY LEVEL
This course is aimed at people with little or no kayaking experience, and will be based around the skill level of the British Canoe Union One Star award & Training
This award is not a pre-requisite to the course or trip, but could be formally undertaken and assessed as an additional element to your holiday, if you so wish?
Although you will not be expected to capsize, we will actively encourage you to participate, in a safe environment with an instructor by your side. This would reduce the potential shock and possible panic which can sometimes be experienced during a un-intention capsize for the first time.
However we will also demonstrate kayak to kayak rescues in deep water and again actively encourage you to participate to help improve your confidence and personal ability.

IMPROVER LEVEL
This course is aimed at people who have some kayaking experience or have undertaken one of our “Introductory Level” courses and will be based around the skill level of the British Canoe Union Two Star award & Training
Again this award is not a pre-requisite to the course or trip, but could be formally undertaken and assessed as an additional element to your holiday.
At this level, we would have expected that you would have experienced some wind and waves (Beaufort force 1-2), capsized and jointly participated in the deep water rescue of a capsized group member.
We will review these skills and where appropriate, actively encourage you to participate to help you improve your confidence and technical ability.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
This course is aimed at people who have limited kayaking experience or have undertaken one of our “Improver Level” courses and will be based around the technical skill of the British Canoe Union Three Star award & Training
This award is not a pre-requisite to the course or trip, but could be formally undertaken and trained/assessed as an additional element to your holiday.
At this level, we would expect you to have experienced wind and waves (Beaufort force 2-3), undertaken some simple kayak journeys with a group of individuals of similar ability but without the leadership of a Guide, Coach or Instructor.
You should know what to take with you on a day trip, be able to rescue each other and perhaps perform an Eskimo roll in flat water. If requested, we will provide coaching and personal instruction in these areas to help you to develop your skills and increase your experience base.

INTRA-MEDIATE LEVEL
This course is aimed at people who are “independent” kayakers and/or have undertaken one of our “Intermediate Level” courses and will be based around the technical level of the British Canoe Union Four Star Training course
The BCU Three Star award is not a pre-requisite for this course if you just wish to develop your skills.
At this level, we would expect you to be experienced in wind and waves (Beaufort force 2-3) if not more. Planned and undertaken a number of kayak journeys with a group of individuals of similar ability, without the leadership of a Guide, Coach or Instructor.
You probably have some of your own kayaking equipment and know what to take with you on a day trip. Be able to deal with simple incidents while on the water including a variety of deep water rescues and perform an Eskimo roll.

ADVANCED LEVEL
This course is aimed at people who are aspirant “leaders, Coaches, Guides or Instructors” and/or have undertaken one of our “Intra-mediate Level” courses. It will be based around the technical ability of the British Canoe UnionFour Star Assessment.
It is designed to increase the participants experience at this level, preparing them for the assessment. Four Star Training is not a pre-requisite for this course if you just wish to develop your own personal skills.
At this level, we would expect you to be experienced in wind and waves (up to Beaufort force 4) ideally more? Planned, undertaken and lead a number of kayak journeys with a group of individuals of similar or less ability, without the support of a Guide, Coach or Instructor.
You probably have your own sea kayak and equipment and undertaken overnight trips. Be able to deal with incidents while on the water in choppy conditions, including a variety of deep water rescues and an Eskimo roll.
Please note:-
Although we do not expect you to be an athlete, a level of fitness and all round mobility will be expected and more importantly allow you to enjoy the course to a greater level
You must be able to swim 50mtrs in light clothing and be water confident.
All participants MUST be able to walk over rough ground, unaided.
Due to the weight & size of the kayaks and the potential of personal injury, all participants will be expected to help with the loading and un-loading of the kayaks from the trailer/roof racks, as well as transporting the kayaks to and from the water’s edge.

Un-supported/hire trips
The group leader/organiser of all un-supported/hire trips MUST hold a valid BCU Four Star Sea Award. A copy of the certificate is to be provided at booking and will be checked with the BCU prior to the confirmation of your booking.
Although land based support including phone contact will be provided during your hire period, it is the group leader/organisers personal responsibility to ensure the group participants are suitably equipped and experienced for the activity planned.
If you are still unsure or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us for further information.