Ray Boucher teaching sea kayaking in Georgian Bay, Ontario to some adults.
Location: Georgian Bay, Ontario. Photo Credit: David Johnston

Sea Kayak Level-2 Skills

Discipline: Sea Kayaking Stream: Skills Development

Building on the skills developed in Level-1, Level-2 provides paddlers with the intermediate skills they need to go sea kayaking in class-2 conditions along semi-exposed shoreline with a possible overnight bivvy.


Leadership, incident management, open-water rescue, self-care and navigation are core parts of the curriculum.

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Course Overview

Typical Course Length

32 hours of instruction (4 days).

Course Water Class

This course runs in Class-2 conditions which are described as:

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.

Learn more about our water classification system.

Course Topics

Re-entry Skills
  • Unassisted re-entry
  • Assisted re-entry
  • All-in re-entry
  • Bow rescue
  • Re-entry exercises or scenarios
  • Introduction to rolling
  • Towing
Paddling Skills
  • Launching and landing
  • Forward stroke
  • Turning strokes
  • Sweep strokes
  • Low and high brace turns
  • Bow rudders
  • Low and high brace
  • Draws
  • Draw stroke
  • Sculling draw
  • Hanging draw
  • Stern draw and stern pry
  • Paddling in rough water
Knowledge
  • Equipment
  • Introduction to tides and currents
  • Wilderness navigation techniques and chart/map work
  • Navigation techniques
  • Nautical charts and topographic maps
  • Other navigation tools or activities
  • Weather interpretation and basic forecasting
  • Heat/cold issues
  • Emergency overnight
  • Leadership and decision making
  • Risk assessment, incident management and evacuation options
  • Kayak knots and rope work
  • Transport Canada collision regulations
Course Prerequisites
  • Certification
    • Sea Kayak Level-1 Skills certification or equivalent skill and knowledge at the discretion of the course director.
  • Paddling experience
    • At least 3, one-day-long kayaking trips in Level-1 conditions in different locations.
  • Other training
    • Wilderness first aid (16 hours) with CPR strongly recommended.
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