General Aims

The Level 5 River Kayaking Skills Award is designed for kayakers wishing to develop advanced skills and rescue techniques appropriate to Grade IV & advanced white-water rivers.

It is an appropriate award for advanced kayakers who kayak with others of similar ability on Grade IV & advanced white-water rivers.

The Level 5 River Kayak Skills Award is a pre-requisite for progression to the Level 4 Kayak Instructor.

The Level 5 Kayak Skills Award aims to enable candidates to:

  • Develop the necessary skills, group awareness, and group management to kayak safely and competently on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade IV & advanced white-water difficulty.
  • Deal competently with rescue situations which might occur on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade IV & advanced white-water difficulty.
  • Deal competently with First Aid situations in a remote river environment.

Attendance Requirements

The Level 5 River Kayak Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training course prior to assessment. The course for the Level 5 Kayak Skills should be held over a minimum of one weekend.

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Kayak Skills Training Course, a candidate must:

  • Hold the Level 4 River Kayak Skills Award.

  • Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped kayak, personal equipment, and additional equipment as listed for a Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • A current member of Canoeing Ireland.

Requirements

The Level 5 River Kayak Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training course prior to assessment. The course for the Level 5 Kayak Skills should be held over a minimum of one weekend.

The Level 5 Kayak Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a two-day training programme and a one-day assessment. The training programme will include the following:

  • Trip Planning
  • Equipment for Advanced White Water
  • Methods of River Leading
  • River Reading
  • Protection against Hazards
  • Management of Rescue Situations
  • Rescue from a Kayak
  • Use of a Throw Rope
  • Rope Rescues
  • First Aid in the River Environment
  • At least one grade IV/ Advanced white water trip demonstrating appropriate peer leadership techniques/ ability to work as a group, under the supervision of the Training course/ Assessment panel member.
  • Assessment Procedures.
  • Efficient forward and backward paddling.
  • Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep, and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  • Edging
  • Draw Stroke
  • Sculling Draw
  • Hanging Draw
  • Low Brace
  • High Brace
  • Sculling for Support
  • Stern Rudder
  • Bow Rudder
  • An ability to use water conditions available for the effective and efficient manoeuvring of a kayak.
  • Competence in negotiating water obstructions i.e., Standing Waves, Stoppers, and an ability to utilise it to cross a river.
  • Competence in negotiating bends where water flows under trees or against vertical riverbank.
  • Forward Ferry Gliding.
  • Reverse Ferry Gliding.
  • Breaking In accurately.
  • Breaking Out accurately.
  • An X Rescue and/or Assisted X Rescue.
  • Eskimo Rescue (maximum lower body rotation).
  • Eskimo Roll.
  • Capable of Self-Rescue.
  • Curl Rescue and/or TX Rescue.
  • Stern Carry.
  • Unconscious Casualty (method of righting an unconscious person in a capsized kayak).
  • An ability to manoeuvre an empty kayak between two specified points.
  • An ability to assist an incapacitated paddler in a kayak between two specified points.
  • Offensive & Defensive Swimming.
  • An ability to use a Throw Rope to rescue a swimmer.
  • Dealing with a rescue scenario appropriate to the environment include the application of first aid in the advanced kayaking environment.
An understanding of the following:            

  • River Grading
  • River Route Finding
  • Types of GP kayaks and paddles
  • Towing Systems and methods
  • Group Control and Awareness
  • Signals and Commands
  • Personal Equipment

Course Documents

Assessment Guidelines
Equipment List