Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course - Tacoma - 2016

Sea Kayaking Course

Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course

Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course

To complete this course, the paddler must have passed the Basic Kayak Class (or received Equivalency) and contacted the Tacoma Sea Kayak Chairman to sign up for the Intermediate Sea Kayak Course.  Contact Tom Harrigan at if you are interested.

It is a self-paced course that requires filling out a log book with each step of the process and having Tacoma Mountaineers Sea Kayak Committee leaders (or Tacoma-approved kayak leaders from other branches) sign off that you have completed each step.  The course must be completed within five (5) years. Once you have competed the requirements, present a copy of your log book to your sea kayak committee chairman and the sea kayak committee will vote whether to award you an Intermediate Sea Kayak Badge.

Once the paddler has graduated, they qualify to participate on SK V Sea Kayak trips, with leader's permission.

Participants will be developing and demonstrating the following skills/classes:

Tacoma Mountaineers Intermediate Sea Kayaker Course

Candidates must have completed the Basic Sea Kayaking Course or been granted equivalency. They must be approved to graduate by the sponsoring committee. Sponsoring committees must be satisfied that candidates have completed the course requirements. The content of the Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course includes training, competency demonstration, requires equipment ownership, and a volunteer commitment as follows:

Timeline to Complete Requirements

The following courses and competencies must be completed within a five year timespan. Classes or trips previously completed within the last two years qualify, as long as you can locate a leader with personal knowledge to validate your successful completion.

Course Content

The content of the Intermediate Sea Kayaker Course shall include full­day training or equivalent experience in SK­IV (or higher) conditions on the following topics.

• Kayaking in Wind & Waves

• Kayaking in Tidal Currents

• Kayaking in a Coastal Surf Zone

• Kayaking in a Coastal Rock Garden

• Sea Kayaking Incident Management at Deception Pass

• Sea Kayaking Navigation (in any SK conditions)

Competency Demonstration

In order to graduate, Intermediate Sea Kayaker Course students must demonstrate competence in the course content. Specifically, while completing the course activities the student must:

• Exhibit comfort and control performing strokes, maneuvers, self­ and assisted rescues in at least 15kt of sustained wind and 1­-2 ft  waves.

• Exhibit comfort and control performing strokes and maneuvers under tidal current conditions of at least 5­-6 kt, including crossing eddy­lines, ferry­gliding, and ferrying across a channel. Demonstrate comfort and control while eddy hopping up­current.

• Demonstrate comfort and control while launching and landing in a minimum of 3 ft of surf.

• Explain the elements and purpose of courteous surf zone conduct and safety and behave accordingly.

• In a rock garden zone with wave sets and surge, demonstrate the proper timing and technique to be able to safely navigate from safe zone to safe zone as well as perform self, assisted, and team rescues.

• Demonstrate VHF radio skills, including knowledge of regulations and the ability to communicate in scenarios such as the summoning of marine assistance and the coordination of safe passage through areas of vessel traffic such as shipping lanes.

• Demonstrate the ability to identify aids to navigation and landmarks, and navigate in a variety of conditions and settings, such as through complex waterways, long open crossings, and shipping lanes.

• Be able to maintain the equivalent of a 3kt average pace for a minimum of a 12nm trip.

•    Demonstrate the ability to roll in dynamic water within three consecutive attempts.

• Demonstrate the ability to effectively tow another paddler in a variety of conditions, including dynamic water. This can be done at the IM, Rescues, Eddies, and Currents class at DP.

• Complete a minimum of three SK IV or higher Mountaineers trips in a variety of conditions and locations.

● Go on at least 4 day paddles of at least 12 nm.

Volunteer Requirements

• Help teach in any of The Mountaineer branches’ sea kayak classes and/or perform approved volunteer Sea Kayak activities for a combined total of at least 40 hours.

Leaders (sign­off)
Leaders who may sign off on a skill or course shall be approved by the individual branches. 


Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment



Sea Kayaking Equipment Requirements

The candidate must carry the following equipment in addition to The Mountaineers Sea Kayaking Ten Essentials:

• First aid kit appropriate for trip conditions
• Emergency shelter or covering
• Waterproof light
• Signaling devices appropriate to the situation • VHF radio

• Towing system appropriate to the expected conditions

• Spare paddle adequately secured to the deck as appropriate to the expected conditions



Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.