Level 3

General aims

The Level 3 Kayaking Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Kayak safely and competently on rivers up to and including Grade II rivers as a member of a group of peers.
  2. Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade II rivers.
  3. Assist in rescues.


Participants must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayaking Skills Award. Must be a member of Canoeing Ireland.


  1. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Emergency Stop.
  2. Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  3. Draw Stroke
  4. Sculling Draw
  5. Hanging Draw
  6. Low Brace
  7. High Brace
  8. Sculling for Support
  9. Stern Rudder
  10. Bow Rudder


  1. Entry and Exit
  2. Edging
  3. Forward Ferry Gliding
  4. Reverse Ferry Gliding
  5. Breaking In
  6. Breaking Out


  1. Capsize Drill
  2. Offensive & Defensive Swimming
  3. Assisted X Rescue and an X Rescue
  4. Eskimo Rescue
  5. Eskimo Roll


  1. Knowledge of Safety Rules
  2. An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, Upstream & Downstream V’s, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes
  3. An understanding of river signals and commands.


  1. The Level 3 Kayak Skills assessment must take place outdoors on water of Grade II difficulty as part of a river trip. No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool.
  2. During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor’s satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. sculling in a small stopper. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.
  4. Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.
  5. Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.
  6. Must be a member of Canoeing Ireland.

Assessment Guidelines

  1. It is recommended that a Level 3 Kayak Skills Award is assessed by a Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.
  2. The Level 3 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor who is, at minimum, a Level 3 Kayak Instructor.
  3. The assessment can be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor.
  4. Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

Level 3 Required Skills Playlist