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Grading pathways

The VSKC grading system is comprised of Sea Kayak Basics (an internal VSKC award) and Paddle Australia’s (PA’s) higher Sea Awards - click on the links to view the assessment guidelines for each grade.

  • Sea Kayak Basics: Mandatory for all members on joining the club, this is an internal VSKC award assessed by a Trip Leader (except for Sea Skills Trip Leaders). Sea Kayak Basics covers basic kayak skills to safely participate on club trips on enclosed waters in mild conditions.
The following grades are Paddle Australia Sea Awards assessed by VSKC members who are qualified Paddle Australia Sea Assessors. Holders of these awards must register with Paddle Australia and in some instances demonstrate currency every three years.
  • Introduction to Sea Skills: Open water paddling, including small surf. An increased skills set including correct paddle technique in a range of strokes, rescues, and knowledge of navigation and trip planning.
  • Sea Skills: Takes you to the next level - open water paddling in larger seas, building on all the skills of Introduction to Sea Skills to a higher standard.
  • Sea Leader: Allows you to lead club paddles. A high skills set with emphasis on planning and group management in open water conditions.
  • Sea Instructor: For experienced Sea Leaders. Ability to teach at all levels. High skill set and knowledge.
  • Sea Assessor: Experienced instructor able to assess all skills across all levels.

Your Paddle Log

Paddle Australia awards such as Intro to Sea Skills, Sea Skill and Sea Leader have an experience component.  You prove your paddle experience by keeping a log using the official Paddle Australia App.   

The Paddle Log App is available free of charge from: 

·         Apple AppStore for IPhone

·         GooglePlay for Android

·         PA Page on Paddle Log App with additional information

You can also use an on-line Web version of the App without downloading it to your phone:

·         Paddle Log Online

The App is free. Anyone can use it.  The online version of the Log  App requires the creation of a logon ID with Paddle Australia.

Paddle Australia Qualification Search

Check out the accreditation status of VSKC (and other) Sea Leaders, Sea Instructors and Sea Assessors, or find accredited Introduction to Sea Skills or Sea Skills paddlers in the Paddle Australia Qualification Search tool.


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