Choose Your Level

River & Ocean’s coaching program is built around the American Canoe Association’s instructional curriculum. Our focus is on classes at Level 3 and above. There are many fine educational establishments in the Bay Area that will teach you the skills and at Level 1 and 2 and they are listed HERE.

The goal is to help you easily understand the progression of classes available and identify which Level of class is appropriate for you.

LEVEL 1 (Kayaking & SUP): Calm, flat water, protected from wind, waves and outside boat traffic, with no apparent current and within swimming distance of shore. NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.

LEVEL 2 (Coastal Kayaking & SUP): Protected water near shore with winds up to 10 knots, waves up to one foot, and current up to one knot. You should have ideally spent some time in a kayak or on an SUP to enjoy and get the most from a class at this level.

LEVEL 2 (River Touring / Whitewater Kayaking): Flat water and rivers of no more than Class I difficulty. You should have ideally spent some time in a kayak to enjoy and get the most from a class at this level.

LEVEL 3 (Coastal Kayaking): Protected freshwater lake or saltwater cove environment. Waves should not exceed 1 foot; winds should not exceed 10 knots. Groups must be kept within ½ mile of shore. If teaching/assessing in current should not exceed 2 knots. A Level 2 class (or similar training and experience) is strongly recommended for a class at Level 3.

LEVEL 3 (Surf Kayaking):  Flat water venue and Ocean beach with surf less than 3ft., off shore winds less than 10 knots. You should have ideally spent some time in a kayak in surf and a solid combat roll is strongly recommended to enjoy and get the most from a class at this level.

LEVEL 3 (Whitewater Kayaking & SUP): Course may be conducted on sections of rivers rated up to class I-II. You should have ideally spent some time in a kayak or on an SUP on moving water is strongly recommended to enjoy and get the most from a class at this level.

LEVEL 3 (Surf SUP): Surf break with 1 to 2 foot waves (as measured by the face of the wave) and offshore winds less than 10 knots. A Level 2 SUP class (or similar training and experience) is strongly recommended for a class at Level 3.

LEVEL 4 (Coastal Kayaking): Average wave height less than 3 feet; winds should not exceed 15 knots; current not to exceed 4 knots. Groups must be kept within 1 mile from shore. A Level 3 class (or similar training and experience) is strongly recommended for a class at Level 4.

LEVEL 4 (Whitewater Kayaking & SUP):  Course may be conducted on sections of rivers rated up to class II-III. You should have ideally spent some time in a kayak or on an SUP on moving water is strongly recommended to enjoy and get the most from a class at this level.

LEVEL 5 (Coastal Kayaking): Areas where escape from rough conditions is reasonably accessible. Courses should not be taught in flat calm, but conditions such as: Wind up to 20 knots; seas to 4 feet; spilling surf with average wave height less than 4 feet; currents up to 4 knots, with standing waves. Some combination of 2-3 of these conditions may exist but all 4 together are not recommended in the same course. Completion of an L4 course (or similar training) and proficiency and experience in executing all strokes, maneuvers and techniques in open water is required for a class at Level 5. A reliable roll and the ability to aggressively self-rescue required

LEVEL 5 (Whitewater Kayaking): Minimum of class III whitewater / Maximum of class IV whitewater. Completion of a Level 4 whitewater course and proficiency and experience in executing all strokes, maneuvers and techniques needed for paddling on class III whitewater. A reliable roll and the ability to aggressively self rescue required. Participation in a Swiftwater rescue course strongly recommended.

Upcoming Courses & Events

  1. Intro to Rock Gardening

    July 2 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  2. Skills Through Fun

    July 8 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  3. Mendocino Weekend Trip

    July 15 - July 16
  4. Intro to the Surf Zone (Half Moon Bay)

    July 22 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  5. Open Coast Skills (Marin Headlands)

    July 29 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  6. Bill & Kelly’s Excellent Open Coast Adventure

    August 11 @ 9:00 am - August 13 @ 4:00 pm
  7. Intro to Surf Zone (Half Moon Bay)

    August 12 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online now!

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