Itís one thing to experience a sea kayak trip;
quite another to build your paddling experience through a
continuing educational process. At Azimuth Expeditions we have
worked hard to establish a selection of programs that will be
right for you, a curriculum that can be tailored to meet your
kayaking goals. The learning progressions are clearly laid out
so that raising your skills from one level to the next is simply
a matter of continued practice and attaining the specified
degree of competency. The five levels of the program cover the
range of paddling skills. The divisions correspond to those in
other training programs, notably those of the British Canoe
Union and the American Canoe Association. Formal assessment of
Azimuth Expeditions awards are available upon completion of each
level. Since each separate level builds on the skills and
concepts of those that precede it, it is important that the
levels be completed in order.
LEVEL 1: A basic skills introduction that covers kayak features
and related equipment; emphasis on practicing correct
stroke performance and boat control on flat water.
Forward, reverse and turning strokes. A wet exit is not
LEVEL 2: Competence in basic skills and maneuvering strokes
along with a wet exit and assisted re-entry. Introduction
to intermediate skills and concepts including draws, boat
tilt and bracing.
LEVEL 3: Competence in intermediate skills, a variety of solo
and assisted re-entries and boat towing. Introduction to
the use of these skills in current, waves and rough
conditions. Introduction to more advanced techniques
including the sculling draw, underway strokes and the
roll. Emphasis placed on understanding various aspects of
trip planning, group dynamics and navigation.
LEVEL 4: Competence in intermediate skills,
recovery and rescue in rough water, currents and inclement
conditions. Competence in trip planning, group dynamics
and navigation. A reliable roll and a high level of
comfort in current and surf.
LEVEL 5: Command of advanced skills including a
highly reliable roll. Extensive experience paddling in
current, wind, surf and rough conditions. High level of