Club Grading System
All VSKC paddles are graded to indicate the level of competence and experience participants should have to be able to safely participate in the paddle. VSKC members are graded through the clubs internal training and assessment proscess to assist members and trip leaders to assess their sutabilty for club paddles. The grading system has four levels- 0 limited experience, 1 beginner, 2 intermediate, and 3 sea proficient. Trips are graded to mirror the paddler grading system. In addition the system of grading also relies on a process of self-assessment and discussion between paddle leaders and participants for Club trips when they are graded above entry level (Grade 0).
We do not allow paddlers and kayaks that are not up to the required standard on trips above entry level, as they could affect the overall safety of the group.
New members are able to display (and learn) the basic skills required at introductory paddles chiefly, trips posted at level 0 and monthly training paddles, although these are sometimes targeted at more advanced skills. This helps you understand what level of skills you have and can help trip leaders become familiar with you as a paddler for future trip assessment and inclusion.
To be accepted for inclusion on a club paddle participants must register their interest with the trip leader and should determine their suitability of their OWN ACCORD. (i.e. a grade 2 paddler may not necessarily have the experience to participate in all grade 2 paddles) As well as consulting the trip leader as to your suitability for inclusion. Trip leaders welcome a phone call to discuss your ability for inclusion on any paddle.
Upon joining the VSKC you will be given a Paddler Grading System Book, which you can present to instructors at teh end of the paddle to get competencies signed off , members are expected to log their paddle experience so trip leaders can verify your experience as necessary. A Log book proforma is available to download from the web site or you may choose to make up your own style.
The information below is intended to be provide a further guide for members to self-assess their suitability for Club paddles
The weather and sea conditions expected during the trip may result in the cancellation of a trip, or a higher skills requirement to participate.
For explicit training purposes, these weather conditions may be exceeded, at the discretion of the Instructor in charge of the training session.
Please note the club does not cater for absolute beginners with no experience, we reccomend commercial courses if you have never paddled befor.
Limited previous skills or experience required. Closed or protected waters. Usually a Basic Skills instruction session or social gathering. 5 knots wind or 0m sea.
Beginners with some paddling experience. Able to paddle up to 15 km per day on estuaries and lakes or other protected waters in winds of up to 10 knots and seas to 0.5m.
Paddlers with skills including assisted rescues, bracing, towing, and entry and exit through small surf. Able to paddle up to 15 km per day, may include 'Blue Water' in winds of up to 15 knots and seas to 1m.
Proficient Paddlers holding VSKC Sea Proficiency Certificate. Capable of sustained speeds of 6 kmh, seas and swell up to 2 meters. Typically 25 km per day along open coastlines, but distance may be greater and intending participants should consult the trip leader prior to the paddle to understand the requirements of the trip.
The VSKC also has an Instructor award, entry to this program is by invitation only and is for senior club paddlers with extensive experience at grade 3 level and a demonstrated capacity for coaching others.
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