General Aims

The Level 3 River Kayaking Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  • Kayak safely and competently on rivers up to and including Grade II rivers as a member of a group of peers.
  • Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade II rivers.
  • Be capable of carrying out rescues likely to be encountered in a grade two environment with assistance.

Attendance Requirements

Requirements for attending a Level 3 River Kayak Skills assessment:

  • Be over 12 years of age

  • Be a current member of Canoeing Ireland
  • Be able to demonstrate techniques stroke in appropriate environment
  • For paddlers U-18 it is recommended that these paddlers be supervised by a person over the age of 18 who has suitable experience.


Participants must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayaking Skills Award:

  • Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle
  • Emergency Stop.
  • Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep, and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  • Draw Stroke
  • Sculling Draw
  • Hanging Draw
  • Low Brace
  • High Brace
  • Sculling for Support
  • Stern Rudder
  • Bow Rudder
  • Entry and Exit
  • Edging/leaning.
  • Forward Ferry Gliding
  • Reverse Ferry Gliding
  • Breaking In
  • Breaking Out
  • Capsize Drill
  • Offensive & Defensive Swimming
  • Assisted X Rescue and an X Rescue
  • Eskimo Rescue
  • Eskimo Roll
  • Throw and receive a throw rope as a rescuer and a swimmer
  • Knowledge of Safety Rules
  • An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, Upstream & Downstream V’s, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes
  • An understanding of river signals and commands.
  • River Running Methods – leapfrog, herd and drive etc

Course Documents