Sea Kayak Leader Training & Assessments

Sea Kayak Leader Courses

In January 2021 the British Canoeing Sea Kayak Leader (moderate and advanced water) awards changed. I’ve written about the changes here. Our Sea Kayak Leader courses take place in moderate tidal waters.

Contact us for more advice. Custom dates, small group and 1:1 assessments can also be arranged.

Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning (CNTP), VHF Marine Radio and First Aid can usually be added to your course if requested in advance. We also offer British Canoeing Sea Kayak Guide modules.

Our 5-day kayak trails in moderate and advanced tidal waters can be viewed here.

Paddlers who do not plan to lead other sea kayakers may want to consider the Coastal Sea Kayak award. Read the latest BC syllabus and course information here.

Coastal Sea Kayak

The British Canoeing Coastal Sea Kayak (CSK) award is a great way to assess your skills and competence in moderate water without having to lead groups as part of your assessment.

Over five days, we aim to explore the fantastic coastline of Jersey and its huge tide range while you tune up your skills.

Paddlers should be at around intermediate level. (e.g. BC Sea Kayak award). Assessment can be in either a sit-on-top or sit-inside sea kayak.

Drysuits, VHF marine radio, flares and other assessment equipment can be hired in advance if needed.

Add an extra day for the Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning (CNTP) course.

Assessment for the Coastal Sea Kayak Award can be included during the week -if you are paddling at this standard-. There is an additional charge for the certificate.

We can also arrange a 2-day Coastal Sea Kayak assessment on custom dates.

British Canoeing Coastal Sea Kayak syllabus

Sea Kayak Leader Training

Note. The Sea Kayak Leader (SKL) award changed in January 2021, and it is no longer necessary for candidates to complete SKL training before your Assessment. Though formal training is not mandatory, if you chose our training course, you will have a great couple of days to develop your practice in a superb location with experienced sea kayak leaders.

Our Sea Kayak Leader training is a great way to prepare for the updated award. During the course, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your leadership, paddle skills and incident management in a range of sea conditions with a British Canoeing Sea Kayak Leader assessor.

The course will also give you an insight into the British Canoeing Leadership Model and what to expect when you book your Assessment.

All participants leave our training course with a detailed action plan to help you become a better paddler and sea kayak leader. Mentoring is also available for those planning to continue to the Assessment.

Even if you have no plans to undertake the Sea Kayak Leader assessment, this course is a great way to develop your sea kayaking knowledge and experience.

Jersey, the island of the tides, has lots of paddling opportunities. Discover cliffs, caves, Atlantic facing surf beaches, tide streams, overfalls and Spring tides of up to 12m.

Add extra kayaking days, sign up for our 5-day courses, Assessment for the BC Sea kayak or Coastal Sea Kayak award, or complete the assessment prerequisites: Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning (CNTP) course, First Aid, Safeguarding and guide modules.

Skill Level

To get the most from the training, you should be able to kayak for between 4-5 hours per day in winds of up to force 4 in moderate tidal waters. This may include overfalls, swell and tidal streams of about 3 knots (or more) off some headlands. You must be kayaking at around British Canoeing 3 Star/Sea Kayak/Coastal Sea kayak award (or a similar level) and are prepared to kayak in moderate water conditions.

Most of our SKL training dates include the option to add the Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning as an extra day of training. We can also run online BC approved CNTP courses.

Kayaks and equipment is included in the price: £230

Fly from UK regional airports to get more time on the water. Jersey also has good connections to European airports via Gatwick and Heathrow.

Learn more about the British Canoeing Sea Kayak Leader award: syllabus.

To help us meet your needs, we ask all participants to complete a Sea Kayak Leader Skills Checklist.

Please visit our booking page for the 2022 dates of our Sea Kayak Leader (Tidal) training courses.

Custom dates can also be arranged.

Email Derek for custom dates and advice.

Sea Kayak Leader (Tidal Water) Assessment

The Sea Kayak Leader (tidal) assessment demonstrates you have the experience and skills to lead a group of paddlers on short, single or multi-day journeys on the sea in moderate tidal waters.

Note. The Sea Kayak Leader (SKL) assessment changed in January 2021. The award now offers two routes: a tidal and non-tidal waters assessment option. For most sea kayakers, the SKL tidal waters assessment is the best option because it allows you to lead in a broader range of conditions and waters.

You can now go directly to assessment without having to attend a training course. Currently, I would only recommend you go straight to the examination if you already have a lot of sea kayak leadership experience. Please read the Sea Kayak Leader Assessment Guidance to know what the assessment involves.

If you need advice about whether you should book an assessment, please download, complete, and return to me, the Sea Kayak Leader Skills checklist.

In theory, it is possible to be assessed in one day on request. However, we will continue to offer a two-day assessment because it allows candidates more time to be evaluated in a range of conditions.

Jersey has large tides and a coastline ranging from cliffs, surf beaches, caves, rock gardens and offshore sea kayaking opportunities. This makes the island ideal for the sea kayaker who wants to pack a range of paddling experiences into their assessment.

Fly from regional and European airports (Easyjet, BA, Blue Island) to get more time on the water. There are lots of travel and accommodation options available.

Sea kayaks and paddle kit is included in the price: £230.

Drysuits, VHF marine radio, flares and other equipment can be hired in advance.

You can also add extra paddle days to prepare for the assessment or complete British Canoeing Guide training modules.

New for 2022; If your Sea Kayak Leader assessment is unsuccessful, you may still qualify for the Coastal Sea Kayak personal performance award.

Custom assessment dates can often be arranged. Email Derek.

Add extra paddle days to prepare for your assessment. 

We can also arrange British Canoeing Guide training modules.

2022 assessment dates. See our online booking page or, Contact us for dates.

Sea Kayak Guide modules

British Canoeing guide modules courses are available for all kayakers, so you do not need to be a coach or sea kayak leader. These one-day modules are an excellent way to develop your knowledge.

The Guide Modules are recognised as Continuous Professional Development (CPD) by British Canoeing (1 module = 18 months CPD).

We offer one-day British Canoeing Guide modules;

Camp-craft and expedition skills.

Trip Planning and organisation.

Customer experience.

Details of the content of each module are in the Guide Module Outlines.

Contact us for dates.

Advanced Sea Kayak Training

Note. The Advanced Sea Kayak Leader (SKL) award changed in January 2021. Formal BC approved training is not mandatory, so you do not need to attend Advanced Sea Kayak leader training. Instead, paddlers can develop their own training programme in a personalised and individualised way.

You may prefer to consider joining our Advanced Jersey Sea Kayak Trail 5-day course or the Big Tides week instead. We will develop both your sea kayak skills so you can paddle and be a valuable part of your team in an advanced sea environment.

Or, contact us to arrange custom training.

Advanced Sea Kayak Leader (Tidal Waters) Training/Assessment

The Advanced Sea Kayak leader (tidal waters) training is available on request. This training course is intended for sea kayakers who paddle or lead/guide trips in areas where tide races, headlands, open crossings, swell and challenging coastlines will be encountered.

Holders of the Advanced Sea Kayak Leader (formerly called the 5-Star) award have successfully demonstrated a high level of performance, involving personal skills, leadership ability and sound judgement to lead groups of paddlers with a range of experience on advanced tidal waters.

Two days. Kayaks and kit included. £TBC.

Option to add the Open Water Navigation module to make this a three-day course.

Contact us for 2022 dates.


Read our COVID-19 guidance here (opens in a new window). 

Important notes for all British Canoeing training and assessment courses

Any loaned or hired equipment used on the assessments will be assessed as if it were your own, so ensure you know how it works!

If you combine a training course with an assessment course, please understand that attendance on a training course does not imply that you will have reached the required standard to pass the award at the end of the course. Much depends upon your level of paddle skills and experience. Ensure you have the prerequisites and have read the syllabus for the relevant awards.

If you are considering undertaking Sea Kayak Leader training and assessment by linking both courses together, please discuss this in advance with us. Likewise, if you decide to go directly to the assessment, please ensure you are confident that you meet the requirements of the syllabus.

Leadership Registration (LR). A copy of your completed and officially approved LR form is required when you book/pay (no later than 14 days before the assessment). If you arrive without a valid LR form, we cannot assess you for the leadership award, and no refund of your course fees will be made.

If you need advice or assistance, contact us in advance.