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Sea Kayak 1: Solid Foundations

Sea Kayak 2: Skills Development

Sea Kayak 3: Fine-Tuning

Sea Kayak Leader Assessment


  • tba


  • 1 Day


  • CHF260 – without Accommodation

Group size

  • 1:2


  • Dave


When you present yourself for assessment, you should have a sufficient level of personal skills and experience to lead others on the Sea, around the rocks and in the Surf in moderate conditions.  We will arrange a group for you to lead and you will take full responsibility for the group and run the day to show the best side of our sport on the day and give a fun, safe and enjoyable day out on the Sea.

We do everything we can to take the stress out of assessments. We are focused on the journey and not the destination. The experience we aim to provide will be safe, engaging and enjoyable, with you at the heart of the process, involving you in as much of the decision making as possible and allow space to develop you further.

During the assessment you will have to demonstrate knowledge and skills in four areas:

  • Personal paddling skills
  • Rescue skills
  • Safety, leadership and group skills
  • Theory (including navigation and trip planning)

The assessment will include leading a suitably sized group of paddlers (minimum of 3) on a stretch of coastline with the following characteristics:

  • Straightforward landing points a maximum of two nautical miles apart
  • Crossing not exceeding two nautical miles
  • Up to 2 knots of tide (but not involving tide race or overfalls)
  • Wind strengths do not exceed Bft 4
  • Launching and landing through surf (up to 1 metre)

Bretagne is an ideal location for Sea Kayak Leader Assessment offering a variety of conditions along a beautiful coastline. Assessments are however required to take place in conditions appropriate to the top end of the award. We run our assessments for 2 people over one day but plan in a second day as a backup if conditions aren’t sufficient. 

If the conditions on the day aren’t appropriate, we reserve the right to postpone or cancel the assessment.


What’s the Process

In preparation for the assessment we have a home paper to work through in order to help prepare for your assessment.

We meet the day before the assessment at 17:00 to run through how the assessment will work, complete the necessary paperwork and a navigation exercise.  There will also be an opportunity to meet your group in order for you to prepare for the day on the water.

The day after the official assessment day should also be kept available as a backup day in case conditions aren’t suitable for assessment.


Preparation and Paperwork

In order to attend an assessment a Leadership Registration has to be completed with British Canoeing at a cost of GBP50 for non-UK resident members.  This needs to be completed at least two weeks before assessment.

Once registered you can then “Check in” for your Assessment from the British Canoeing Members portal.

In Order to register for assessment the following requirements are needed:

  • Full British Canoeing Membership: GBP45 per year
  • Attended 2 day first Aid Certificate within the last 3 years
  • Attended a Safeguarding Course within the last 3 years
  • Completion of the British Canoeing Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning (CNTP) Course 
  • Optional: British Canoeing also have a free e-Learning on Leadership


British Canoeing Links

Sea Kayak Leader Award, Assessment & Registration Guidance:

British Canoeing Awarding Body Documents:

British Canoeing’s Digital Library:



Accommodation is not included and needs to arranged yourself.  We generally base ourselves at a campsite in the Paimpol area but we will confirm this in the month preceding the assessment.


Getting There

In order to reduce our environmental footprint, we encourage people to car share and where possible or use public transport.  We also offer the possibility to travel with us if that works either one way or both ways depending on the length of our trips.

We can also help with equipment if you want to leave that with us to enable you to take the train.  There are good railway connections to Guingamp via Paris taking around 6.5 hours from Basel.



CHF260 excludes transport costs, accommodation and food


Our Coaching Philosophy

At hightide we believe in coaching the individual. On our courses, we take people from where they are at and work towards what people want to achieve.

For some this might be gaining confidence to paddle and enjoy being out in nature, for others it means becoming more efficient in order to paddle expeditions or long distances. It could also mean developing the know how to venture out on the Sea or gaining the skills to play on rivers, around the rocks or in the surf.

Whatever your aim, with our wide experience on the ocean and our detailed knowledge of what makes up sea kayaking, we can help you achieve your goals and bring you forward. All our coaches come from a Sea Kayaking background, have qualifications on the Sea and are passionate not only about paddling but also coaching. We’ve spent years learning what really makes a difference in our sport and are committed to delivering it in the most effective way by making you feel the learning!

When you come to a course with hightide you’ll go away with a better understanding of how to improve and have a structure to remember what you have learnt. We believe our job is to set the conditions for the learning to happen so that when you go home it doesn’t stop.

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Meet our Coaching Team

Dave Storey

Managing Director Operations, Head Coach & Lifeguard

Karel Meulders

Head Guide, Coach & Lifeguard

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