Level 4 Courses


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Kayaktraining.com’s Level 4 courses focus on the ability to apply all Level 3 skills in moderate to rough open water conditions. This level also introduces:

  • new technical skills such as kayak launching, landing and holding position in moderate surf (up three feet) dealing with currents (e.g. ferry angles, eddy turns);  rolling in open water conditions; and night paddling
  • new safety-related skills such as use of signaling devices and marine radios; knowledge of basic first aid, including prevention and treatment of hypothermia; and understanding the effects of wind, weather, current and waves;
  • new leadership skills such as effective group management practices and planning long trips in open water. 

Because of the range of skills needed at this level, Kayaktraining.com offers three separate but related Level 4 courses.  These include Open Water Skills, Surf Zone and Intermediate Kayak Navigation.

Open Water Kayak Skills: This eight hour course introduces paddlers to open water conditions with moderate wind, waves and current. The goal is to learn how take skills you learned previously and apply them in open water conditions, so that you can be a competent member of a group undertaking day or multi-day coastal kayaking trips. This means, in part, being able to paddle efficiently in winds to 16 knots and in head, beam or following seas; being able to perform various maneuvers such as bow rudders and low brace turns with confident edging in rougher conditions; being able to brace and roll in open water; and being able to perform various rescues and tows in open water.

Surf Zone: This full day course is designed as an introduction to safely negotiating the surf zone and dealing with moderate currents. We will cover – among other things – safe kayak launching and landing techniques, use of the stern rudder in surf; how to use effective edging and bracing when broached on a wave; “reading” the waves; group management in the surf zone; and paddle and hand signals. In this course, you will also learn how to deal with currents including crossing them using ferry angles and ranges, and entering and exiting currents to/from eddies.   

Intermediate Kayak Navigation: This six hour course is designed to reinforce and build upon the navigational and seamanship skills learned in the Basic course.  Topics covered will include predicting tides and currents; the rule of twelfths and the 50/90 rule and their practical applications;  correcting for wind and current in open crossings;  rules of the nautical road, use of VHF radios and signaling devices;  GPS; and multi-day navigation planning. The course will have classroom and on-water components, including a nighttime navigation exercise. It will also involve the development of a full navigation plan for a multi-day trip.

Price per student: $95   Course Length: 8 hours
Maximum of 5 students per instructor.


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Last modified: April 24, 2013