Coastal Sea Kayak Award
The Coastal Sea Kayak Award is designed to progress your ability in appropriate decision making and personal paddling skills for an enjoyable and safe day out on the sea in moderate conditions.
Personal Performance Awards
British Canoeing are keen to remove the formality away from these Personal Performance Awards and at discovery kayaking we totally agree. There is no requirement for assessment and this process is now fluid learning at your progression rate. As long as you can demonstrate to us that you meet each of the criteria for the Coastal Sea Kayak Award in the syllabus during your time with us, then we can validate your achievement.
To this end we have many routes available for this award to hopefully suit your needs.
Routes to Coastal Sea Kayak Award
Firstly, the award is available on any of our weekends or week trips that are in the appropriate conditions. Just book on one of these and let us know at the time of booking you would like to be observed for the Coastal Sea Kayak Award. Yes it is that simple.
Group of Peers or Club Paddlers
Secondly, if you have a group of peers or club paddlers that have developed the appropriate level of paddling and would like to come out with us for a weekend then pick your dates and an agreeable location. Over the weekend we can run through and polish off any skills that need honing. Whilst having some excellent sea kayaking journeys and observing your paddling, we will progress you onto the award. Once the weekend is over, we can provide any further action plans that need to be taken forward or if our observation of your paddling meets the criteria then we will validate your progression to the Coastal Sea Kayak Award.
Thirdly, if you want a more structured training session to set you on the right track towards progressing onto this award then we can take you through the syllabus requirements (see below) over a weekend. This would cover all the key personal paddling skills, rescues, equipment and seamanship required. Culminating with an action plan for you to take away and work. This option allows you to develop at your own pace and will focus on your key areas that need enhancing. Then whenever you are ready for an observation come back on any of our courses. We can then observe your progression and hopefully confirm your achievement or adapt you action planning accordingly with a few minor tweaks.
Whichever of the 3 options you choose join us and we will help you discover your potential. Or please do look at our other courses and trips. Whatever you choose keep enjoying your sea kayaking and discovery kayaking looks forward to seeing you afloat soon.
Coastal Sea Kayak Award: Definitions
Below are the British Canoeing definitions for this award or click here to download
At discovery kayaking, we count ourselves lucky to be able to travel to some amazing locations around the UK. We run our courses in Anglesey, Dorset, the Solent, Scotland, Devon & Cornwall. Despite this, we are also always happy to travel to other parts of the country to provide our expertise and courses. So, if you’re looking for a specific location please do get in touch! We’d love to discuss bringing our kayaking courses to you or your dream location.
If you’d like to discuss more about Coastal Sea Kayak award and how we at discovery kayaking can help you achieve your dreams and develop all your skills, please get in touch today!
Extended Coastal Sea Kayak Award Description
Your Coastal Sea Kayak Award endorses your judgment, decision making and expertise and requires a good understanding of paddling on the sea. You should be confident planning and undertaking journeys on the sea in winds up to and including force 4 and/or tides up to 2 Knots, in a sea kayak or specific sit on tops in tidal or non-tidal environments. Your confidence should be based upon both proficiency in skills and a broad appreciation of surroundings and environmental context. Your award should be seen as a sound basis for independently building the experience and expertise we associate with Advanced Sea Kayak Award holders.
Coastal Sea Kayak Award Syllabus
To have an enjoyable day out on the sea we need to make some key decisions
to ensure we are in the right place at the right time.
Key factors influencing our decisions include swell, the weather, the tide and
features of the location we choose. We can take each of these factors into
consideration and ask ourselves some questions to ensure the correct
decisions are made:
We may need to observe: How can we find out the sea conditions in the area
we are travelling? How are the waves being generated?
Factor: Weather conditions
We may need to know: How will we find an accurate forecast? Which direction
and how strong is the wind? Is it due to increase or decrease? Is it going to
change direction? How will the forecast wind speed impact on the locations we
can choose from? How might the profile of the coastline affect the forecast
Factor: The tide
In tidal environments, some locations are best when the tide is high or low and understanding this will give us a better and more enjoyable day on the sea. We may need to know: What time is high water? What time is low water?
What directions are the tides flowing? How will this impact on the locations that
we can choose from? How can the tidal movements help us in our day?
Factor: Access and environment
We may need to determine: What restrictions might there be on the water we
are paddling on? Is this a managed or supervised venue? How would we find
this information? How can we reduce our impact on the environment and
animals around us? Which areas have more potential dangers? How many
access points are there in the area we are paddling? How might the coastline
profile and conditions affect our decisions on where to launch and paddle?
2. Getting Ready
Before getting to the water we must choose suitable kit and equipment and
have the correct knowledge to use it. Key points we may consider are:
What will we wear?
What are the clothing options available to us as sea kayakers? Why might we
choose one over another? Are we confident in the use of our chosen personal
What will we use?
What are the different equipment and boat options available and why might we
choose one over the other? What different features might we consider when
choosing our craft? What features of our paddle might affect our choice?
What will we take?
What additional equipment might be useful to carry on the sea with us? What
safety kit would it be useful to have with us or available on the shore? Do we
have the equipment we will need to look after ourselves and help others during
the trip? How will we store it to make sure it is accessible when needed? How
will we deal with broken or lost equipment or carry out a simple repair? Can we
access a VHF radio and GPS and are we confident in the use of these?
What plans will we make?
Are we able to make a navigational plan for our day journey using a map, chart
and compass? How can we monitor times and distances to understand where
specific access and landing points are throughout our day? How can we use
our plan to follow the coastline and identify our location throughout the day?
3. At the Water
Before we set out on our journey we need to be confident in our ability to deal
with the complications it might bring. The sea is usually a shared space; we
must also be aware of other users and consider how we will safely get on the
Consideration: Other users –
we sometimes launch and paddle in busy areas.
We may need to share the water with swimmers other kayakers and anglers,
amongst others. To do this safely, an ‘etiquette’ amongst these users has
developed to minimise conflict and help everyone enjoy the environment. It is
also important to know something about the others we are paddling with.
We may need to consider: Who else is in the area? What is the etiquette
here? Who else is paddling with us? What is their current ability? Are we aware
of their motivations? What communication strategies can we agree upon to be
used throughout the trip and in case of an incident?
Consideration: Safety and rescue
We may need to know: How can we protect ourselves and others from any
potential hazards? What damage to our health might repeated immersion in
cold water cause? How can we help prevent this becoming an issue? What
would we do if someone we are paddling with gets really cold or overheats?
What potential illness or injuries might we need to treat? How might we do this?
What additional safety equipment might be useful to carry and have access to?
How will we summon help if it is needed? Do we have the equipment we need
to look after ourselves and help others during the trip? How will we ensure it is
accessible when we need it?
Consideration: Getting to the water
We may need to determine: What are the different launch sites available to
us? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these? Which launching
sites are appropriate for our skill level and that of the others we are paddling
with? How are we going to get to the access point and do we need to organise
a shuttle? What is the best way to carry, load and secure our craft to protect
ourselves or others from injury and prevent unnecessary damage? How will we
get our craft and additional equipment to the water? Are the conditions and
weather as expected? Do we need to adjust our plans?
4. Coastal Sea Kayak Skills
When sea kayaking we should be in control. Key features of being in control
include us staying relaxed, using effective positioning and keeping our actions
within our abilities.
Skill: Effective forward paddling
We may need to know: Using a paddle of your choice, understand the
advantages and limitations. How can we use different parts of our body for an
efficient forward paddling technique? How can we maintain our technique over
long periods? Which environmental conditions might have an effect on our
forward paddling? How can we adapt our forward paddling technique for
different conditions? How can we adapt our paddling style for continual and
efficient forward paddling?
Skill: Negotiating confined spaces
We may need to know: How we are going to manoeuvre in the most effective
and efficient manner, using conditions to aid our boat’s movements? How does
our boat design aid or hinder our ability to manoeuvre? What techniques and
tactics can we use to get in and around rocks? Are we able to move forwards,
backwards and hold our position to negotiate a confined space? How can we
use our positioning in a confined space to ensure our safety and help others?
Can we use different speeds and approaches to help our manoeuvring? How
can we read the water to help our manoeuvring? Can we use timing and
communication with others to help us?
Skill: Maintaining and changing direction
We may need to know: What techniques and tactics can we use to maintain
our direction? What water features might we need to take into consideration
when doing this? How can we use the water and environment to help us
maintain or change direction? How can we use our edge and paddle position to
help maintain direction?
Skill: Working as a group
We may need to know: How can we monitor and maintain our own well-being
and performance and help other people to maintain theirs? How can we
respond to this? Are we, and the people we are paddling with, coping with the
conditions and expected future conditions? Are we attending to our needs and
the needs of others we are paddling with? Are the methods of communication
we set up working effectively?
Skill: Dealing with mishaps
We may need to know: How can we support ourselves on both sides when off
balance? Can we roll in this environment (if paddling a closed cockpit sea
kayak or using thigh straps). Can we perform a self-rescue? Can we remain
with our craft and paddle in the event of capsize? What would we do if we, or
somebody else, is separated from their craft? How would we safely get
ourselves or others back into the craft? Can we help to rescue an injured fellow
paddler? How would we deal with loose kit? How can we be proactive when
being rescued or rescuing others? What strategies can we use to work with
others to prevent or deal with incidents?
Considerations: What different tows can we use? What is the best use of a
towing or anchoring technique in various situations? How can we release from
a tow? What are the dangers with towing?
5. After the Sea Kayak Session
Every sea kayak trip is an opportunity for learning and improving. We can
create a positive impact on our future experiences by performing a good post trip assessment.
Look around: When we’re back on the sea or on land we can look around.
Has anything changed whilst we’ve been out? Are there any environment
Watching what others do: It might be useful to spend some time watching any
other paddlers. How are they using the environment to get the best from their
boats? Do they seem to be paddling more effectively than we were? Can we
Consider what you will take away: What have we learnt today? What can we
focus on next time?
6. Future Development
Each day we spend sea kayaking further expands our skills and knowledge,
creating a more enjoyable experience on the water. With no trip experiences
ever the same, we never stop learning.
Continually evaluating the choices we make creates a natural evolution of
decision making ability. When we reach a certain point in this, it may be worth
considering moving onto the Advanced Sea Kayak Award.