Building on the information covered in Basic Skills, Sea Kayak Level-1 Skills is a two-day course that moves participants beyond flatwater kayaking and into the sport of sea kayaking.
The course is conducted in slightly rougher water than Basic Kayak, aiming to develop the paddler’s comfort. There is a strong focus on re-entry techniques as well as the skills required to safely plan and execute a day trip with friends (for example, navigation & route planning, weather interpretation, proper clothing/gear.)
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to confidently paddle in class-1 conditions in the company of one or more paddlers with similar skills or knowledge. The paddler should be self-reliant yet an asset to the group and an active participant, willing and able to assist others if they need assistance.
This course runs in Class-1 conditions which are described as:
Non-challenging waters with mild wind effect (0-20 km/h or 0–11 knots), little or no current (0-1 km/h or 0–0.5 knots), uninterrupted easy landing options, and ready access to land-based assistance. Sea state is calm to light chop.
Paddle Canada Basic Kayak skills certification or equivalent skill and knowledge at the discretion of the course director.
Five kayaking excursions (2 or 3 hours) in class-0 conditions.
Can execute a controlled wet exit in class-0 conditions.
Can perform a simple assisted re-entry in class-0 conditions.
The Small Print
The content on this page is provided for information only and could be incorrect or outdated. The course program manual is the official syllabus.
If you have any specific syllabus questions, please get in touch with the
Sea Kayak Program Committee who is responsible for the development and maintaince of this course.
Paddle Canada Water Classifications
Canada is a large country with many different environments including rivers, lakes and oceans. To help standardize the learning environment for our students we developed a water classification system ranging from 0 to 4.
Each class describes the optimal environment expected including wind speed, current, wave or swell height, shoreline accessibility and finally access to land-based assistance.
The water classes were designed to be in alignment (where appropriate) with other organizations’ own classification including Transport Canada and Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.
Environment: Non-challenging protected waters with limited wind effect, little or no current, easy landings, and ready access to land-based assistance. Wind and sea state is calm to rippled (<15km/h or 8 knots).
Environment: Non-challenging waters with mild wind effect (0-20 km/h or 0–11 knots), little or no current (0-1 km/h or 0–0.5 knots), uninterrupted easy landing options, and ready access to land-based assistance. Sea state is calm to light chop.
Environment: Moderately exposed coastline with frequent easy-landing opportunities and short crossings. Moderate potential wind effects (22-35 km/h or 12–19 knots), surf of less than 1 meter and a combined sea state of less than 1 metre, gentle to moderate non- turbulent currents (< 6 km/h or < 3 knots), and light surf beaches. Short delays in access to land-based assistance should be expected.
Environment: Exposed water, with more committed crossings and any combination of the following: moderate to strong currents with turbulence (≥ 6 km/h or ≥ 3 knots), moderate to strong wind effects (22-35 km/h or 12–19 knots), ocean swells and a combined sea state near 1 meter with occasional rough sea state. Difficult but frequent landing opportunities, surf-beaches with surf up to 1 metre. Delays in access to land-based assistance can expected.
Environment: Rugged and exposed coast with long and committed crossings and any combination of the following: strong turbulent currents (≥ 6 km/h or ≥ 3 knots), strong wind effects (near 37 km/h or 20 knots), large swells with a combined sea state 1 metre or more with a moderate to rough sea state, exposed surf beaches (≥1 metre), infrequent and sometimes difficult landings which present significant challenges for individual safety and group management. Significant delays in access to land-based assistance can be expected.
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