Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course - Tacoma - 2018

Sea Kayaking Course

Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course

Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course

Candidates must have completed the Basic Sea Kayak Course or been granted Basic Sea Kayak Equivalency.  They must be approved to graduate by the sponsoring committee.  Sponsoring committees must be satisfied that candidates have completed the course requirements.  For the Tacoma branch to award this badge, the Tacoma Sea Kayak Committee must know the participant personally and have had enough experience paddling with the participant in SK IV/V conditions to feel that they have a reasonable paddling proficiency at an Intermediate Sea Kayak level.  This may require going on several paddles where conditions exist (ie, wind, current, surf) before they are deemed “proficient.”

The content of the Intermediate Sea Kayak 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 five years qualify, as long as you can locate a leader with personal knowledge to validate your successful completion. 

Adjustment in the Program

Once the participant has signed up, they won’t be held to future standards.

Course Content

The content of the Intermediate Sea Kayak Course shall include full-day training or equivalent experience in SK IV/V conditions on the following topics:

  • Kayaking in Wind and Waves
  • Kayaking in Tidal Currents at Deception Pass or similar area
  • 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

To graduate, Intermediate Sea Kayak Course students must demonstrate competence in the course content.  Specifically, while completing the course activities the student must:

  • Demonstrate, in conditions of wind waves or currents, that you can get back into your kayak in under one minute using a t-rescue AND rescue someone else in under one minute using a t-rescue.
  • Exhibit comfort and control performing strokes, maneuvers, self- and assisted rescues in 12 – 15 kt of sustained wind and 1-2 ft of waves.
  • Exhibit comfort and control performing strokes and maneuvers under tidal current conditions at Deception pass or a similar area, of at least 5 – 6 kt, including crossing eddy-lines, ferry-gliding, and ferrying across a channel.  Demonstrate comfort and control while eddy hopping up-current.
  • Demonstrate comfort and control while launching and landing in a minimum of 3 foot 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 3 kt average pace for a minimum of a 12 nm trip.
  •   Go on at least four Mountaineer day paddles of at least  12 nm.
  • Complete a minimum of three  SK IV or V Mountaineer trips in a variety of conditions (ie, current, surf, etc.) and locations.  These can also count as your 12 nm trips, if they are at least 12 nm long.
  • Demonstrate that you have a reliable kayak roll (ie, 80% successful) in conditions such as wind waves, current or surf.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively tow another paddler in a variety of conditions including dynamic water.  


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 conditions


Volunteer Requirements

Help teach in any of the Mountaineer branches’ Sea Kayak classes for a combined total of at least 40 hours.

Instructors/Leaders sign off:

Qualified Tacoma Sea Kayak leaders (or other leaders who have been approved by the individual branches) must sign off on each step of this logbook. You can see which leaders have been approved to sign your logbook by looking at the Intermediate Kayak Course (IKC) listed by branch on the Mountaineers website.  Approved instructors/leaders will be listed on that branch’s IKC webpage. If your branch does not have an Intermediate Kayak Course, contact the Tacoma Intermediate Kayak Course leader to find out which kayak leaders from your branch have been authorized to sign off on this logbook.

Related Club Policies and Standards

None at this time

Comparable Standards

  • American Canoe Association Level 4 Skills Assessment
  • British Canoe Union Level 4* Skills Assessment
  • ACA Guidelines for Safe Coastal Kayaking
  • ACA Coastal (Sea) Kayak Curriculum
Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

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 Beth Owen at if you are interested.






Course Materials

There are no materials for this course.