L4 Skills Training

The Level 4 Kayaking Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  • Kayak safely and proficiently on rivers up to and including Grade III difficulty as part of a group of peers
  • Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade III rivers
  • Deal competently with rescue situations that might occur on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade III difficulty
  • Develop group awareness

Performance Requirements:

To obtain the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award and be capable of demonstrating any combination of the strokes competently and efficiently



  • Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Emergency Stop
  • Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep
  • Edging
  • Draw Stroke
  • Sculling Draw
  • Hanging Draw
  • Bracing (Low Brace, High Brace, Sculling for Support)
  • Stern Rudder
  • Bow Rudder


  • An ability to use water conditions available for the effective and efficient manoeuvring of a kayak
  • Competence in negotiating water obstructions i.e. Standing Waves, Stoppers, and an ability to utilise it to cross a river
  • Competence in negotiating bends where water flows under trees or against vertical riverbank
  • Forward Ferry Gliding
  • Reverse Ferry Gliding
  • Breaking In accurately
  • Breaking Out accurately
  • Rescues and Safety


  • An X Rescue and/or Assisted X Rescue
  • Eskimo Rescue (maximum lower body rotation)
  • Eskimo Roll
  • Capable of Self-Rescue
  • Curl Rescue and/or TX Rescue
  • Stern Carry
  • Unconscious Casualty (method of righting an unconscious person in a capsized kayak)
  • An ability to manoeuvre an empty kayak between two specified points
  • An ability to assist an incapacitated paddler in a kayak between two specified points
  • Offensive & Defensive Swimming
  • An ability to use a Throw Rope to rescue a swimmer
  • A practical knowledge of First Aid and its relevance to possible situations arising during a canoeing trip to include: Shock, Hypothermia, Head Injuries, Dislocations, Bleeding, CPR, EAR


An understanding of the following:            


  • River Grading
  • River Route Finding
  • Types of GP kayaks and paddles
  • Towing Systems and methods
  • Group Control and Awareness
  • Signals and Commands
  • Personal Equipment