Sea kayakers are inspired by adventure yet seek to responsibly manage the balance between paddling excitement and safety. This document outlines a flexible learning pathway for Sea Kayak Club WA (SKCWA) members to develop their paddling skills over time by attaining Paddle Australia awards. The pathway helps instructors and members develop a common language to discuss the learning of skills. Instructors will add value to learning as they also provide an understanding of the context in which skills should be applied.

Paddle Australia and SKCWA Modules

Paddle Australia is the peak sporting body for paddling in Australia. Detailed on the following pages are SKCWA modules that contain learning suggestions on the execution of skills. These elaborations relate to Sea Awards | Paddle Australia guidelines that are used by instructors to assess learners.

Linking Awards with Levels of Paddles

The program encourages members to voluntarily gain awards so that they can feel confident and have the necessary skill to paddle at three SKCWA levels. These levels are: All Paddlers (AP), Introduction to Sea Skills (ISSA) and Sea Skills (SSA). While paddlers attempt to accurately self-assess their ability the leader organising the event is the final arbiter of who can participate in a trip. Members should seek an experienced paddler such as a SSA holder to support them if they want to participate in an event above their current award. The modules are described as follows.

How the Sea Awards Pathway Works

Structured workshops

The club publishes a workshop schedule at the beginning of each year. These workshops are usually half-day events held at different times of the year so that skills can be developed in different locations and conditions. The club workshops are aimed at the Introduction to Sea Skill Award (ISSA) level. Sea Skill Award workshops are targeted to those who have achieved the ISSA and above who are excited about more skill development.

Sharing and informal workshops

Within the club resides a substantial amount of goodwill to incidentally share expertise. For instance, efficient paddling, rescues, downwind strategies, rolling, environment specific advice, and expedition know-how. Four avenues of sharing such expertise are Skill and Scenario Saturdays, Rolling Sundays, peer paddles and club organised events. Some of these avenues occur on an ad hoc basis and will be advertised by email.



Assessment is dependent on weather and sea conditions, which are explained in the table above.

When a member indicates they are pursuing an award the training officer allocates an instructor in negotiation with the member. Nominating members are ideally assessed by one instructor throughout attaining the award, dependent on instructor availability. If the original instructor is unavailable for an extended time, then an alternative can be sought with the knowledge of the original instructor.

The club uses continuous assessment on assessment days and workshops if the instructor is in attendance. This process gives the opportunity for skills to be assessed in different contexts and situations. To enable the instructor time to prepare, the member should give 2 days’ notice to the instructor of their desire to be assessed.

Instructors record the learner’s progress and when the criteria have been completed only then does the instructor complete the assessment on Paddle Australia’s webpage.

There is a maximum ceiling of 4 assessed paddlers at workshops and in assessment days per instructor.

Theory day

The required theory day for ISSA and SSA contain interactive workshops to work though the components of the award that are highly likely to be in the Paddle Australia quizzes.

Using the Paddle Australia app

Club members document their paddling experience on the PA app and submit the information to their instructor or assessor.


These modules are designed to be read in conjunction with the Paddle Australia Sea Awards Assessment Guidelines Sea Awards | Paddle Australia.

The following modules are developmental in that they build upon one another. Furthermore, if a skill is covered in a previous award it may not be mentioned in a higher award.

Embedded within the modules are videos from different sources. Whereas they may not be the same technique the club uses they provide a good source of information.


To attain ISSA and SSA you need to document your paddling in the Paddle Australia logbook.

There is an abundance of video material on the web which demonstrates various methods of sea kayaking. Below are examples available in 2020.


The SKCWA Training Committee of Andrew Munyard (President), Tony Beswick, Bruce Pilgrim and Peter Seebeck would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following people who helped shape the Pathway and Modules. Les Allen, Judy Blight, Geoff Emery, Steve Haddon, Jenni Harrison, Colin Priest, Kevin Piper, Jill Sievenpiper and Ann Smithson.


A review of this document and outcomes will occur in December 2021.