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Sea Kayak award

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:28 pm
by John K
Sea kayak award and Coastal sea kayak award. How do they compare to the old 3 star?

Looking at the syllabus, such as it is, the Sea Kayak Personal Performance Award appears to be a sheltered water award done in long boats rather than something we might normally recognise as sea kayaking. Is that right?

Environmental limits are "winds up to and including force 3 and/or tides up
to 1 Knot" and it's only the Coastal Sea Kayak award that moves into moderate water "winds up to and including force 4 and/or tides up to 2 Knots".

There's no specific mention of landing through surf in any of the personal award descriptions, even the Advanced Sea Kayak, although it is included separately in the moderate water definition. The PPA documents don’t actually appear to be specifically aligned with the BC environmental definitions though, so I’m a bit confused.

It seems to me that Sea Kayak award could all be achieved somewhere like Chichester Harbour without actually going on on the sea, and it’s the Coastal Sea Kayaking Award that’s nearer to an old 3 Star equivalent.

What's your take on it?

Re: Sea Kayak award

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:43 pm
by Mark Graham
Not a direct comparison but I did the coastal award. By then I'd done a fair bit of padding and quite a few courses and trips but didn't necessarily have formal qualifications to go with all of them (example Glenmore Lodges advanced course - a great course, lots of learning and experience but no formal qualification at the end of it. Likewise for a tides and moving water course I did on Anglesey). I've got some ISKGA qualifications (incident management and sea survival) and the BCU navigation, plus an outdoor/kayak specific first aid certificate which now should ideally be renewed. Before all of that I did a 3 star syllabus/training course but never went for a formal assessment although the course provider was kind enough to confirm I was then paddling at above a 3 star standard.
The reasoning I had was that I wasn't seeking employment as a guide and was mostly paddling in a small group of friends, most of whom had broadly similar experience. I didn't feel the need to pursue formal certification, but if a course I was interested in lead to a qualification I was keen to achieve it - but the qualifications were secondary to the course content.
Back to the point - When the PPAs were introduced I saw it as an opportunity to gain an objective qualification/assessment that I could use simply as what it said on the tin - or a personal performance measurement. With the experience I had already I set my sights on the advanced. I felt I wanted something around 4Star + but without the group leadership element. Something to objectively reassure me as to where my abilities stood in the scheme of things. As the system is new not too many providers seem ready to assess this yet, although sea kayak and coastal awards seem to be coming through. So (long story I know, sorry!) I got my coastal during my moving water course on Anglesey. I'll still go forward for the advanced as and when the opportunity arises but to finally give my take on the original question I felt I was probably (hopefully?) paddling about 4 star standard during that course - when I go on to finally do the advanced I don't expect to have to do a lot more. So I think the coastal is probably approaching 4 star without some of the group leadership and the advanced is possibly 4star +?

Re: Sea Kayak award

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:03 pm
by on the rocks
As I understand it Coastal Sea Kayak is old 4 star now SKL without the Leadership. In an SKL assessment the paddling skills are no greater than for the Coastal award, but one may need to demonstrate them in a more stressful group situation. Sea Kayak Award is old 3 star without the roll. Holders of Sea Kayak Award are competent to be lead in up to Moderate conditions, the criteria of F3 and 1 knot is not something I’ve noticed, maybe it refers to capability without being lead? If so maybe an artificial distinction for some?