Personal Skills Star Award Course

Course Information

1 Star Award

Aim: To introduce beginners to Canoeing in a safe and enjoyable way.
Course Duration: 12 hours
  • Swimming 50m with PFD
  • Minimum 12 years old
  • Lifting & Carrying
  • Launching & coming ashore
  • Disembarking & embarking
  • Forward paddle a circuit of 100m with directional control
  • Reverse paddle a circuit of 25m with directional control
  • Stopping
  • Forward & reverse sweep strokes
  • Planned capsize followed by swim ashore with retention of kayak and paddle
  • Emptying of water
  • Simple beginnings of moving sideways (‘J’ and Classic draw)
  • Simple beginnings of stern rudder (going in a straight line)
  • Simple beginnings of low recovery
  • Rafter ‘TX’ rescue

2 Star Award

Aim: To develop the range of basic strokes and maneuvers for novices.
Course Duration: 18 hours
Requirements: 1 Star Award
  • Lifting and carrying of kayaks
  • Launching and coming ashore
  • Demonstrate efficient forward and reverse paddling
  • Demonstrate forward and reverse sweep strokes
  • Demonstrate the ability to spin the kayak on the spot using alternate forward and reverse sweeps
  • Demonstrate J draw and Classic draw with directional control
  • Demonstrate stern rudder
  • Demonstrate basic use of edge control
  • Demonstrate basic low support and recovery
  • Demonstrate basic high support and recovery
  • Demonstrate low brace turns with understanding of edge control
  • Capsize and wet exit with retention of kayak and paddle
  • Demonstrate a X rescue as a rescuer and patient
  • Demonstrate a kayak to swimmer rescue (bow carry)
  • Demonstrate an Eskimo bow rescue as a patient
  • Demonstrate the beginnings of sculling draw strokes
  • Demonstrate the beginnings of bow rudder (blade placed between bow and cockpit)

3 Star Award

Aim: To introduce more advanced maneuvers and full range of dynamic skills to intermediate paddlers. This award confirms candidate as a competent canoeist with a comprehensive repertoire of basic strokes and a general awareness of the sport and the opportunities it offers.
Course Duration: 24 hours
  • 2 Star Award
  • Swimming 50m with PFD
  • Log book showing required previous experience
  • 5 Journeys of 8km each at 2 different sections of coastline
  • Demonstrate efficient forward and reverse paddling
  • Demonstrate efficient use of sweep strokes both stationary and on the move
  • Demonstrate edging to assist turning
  • Demonstrate efficient support and recovery strokes, including on the move
  • Demonstrate sculling for support
  • Demonstrate efficient bow rudder (dynamic body position with blade between leg and hips)
  • Demonstrate draw on the move
  • Demonstrate hanging draw
  • Demonstrate an efficient X rescue without assistance
  • Demonstrate an efficient Eskimo bow rescue as a patient and rescuer
  • Demonstrate an efficient paddle rescue as a patient and rescuer
  • Demonstrate a swimmer to kayak rescue
  • Demonstrate 3 reliable consecutive rolls on flat water
  • Demonstrate the use of long tow
  • Plan and execute a journey

4 Star Award (River/Sea)

Aim: This is an environment specific journeying award to be designated and endorsed for “Sea and Open Water”/River. It confirms the candidate’s competence of journey on technically demanding water requiring judgement and refinement of basic strokes, skills and techniques.
Course Duration: 4 full days
  • 3 Star Award
  • At least 18 years and above
  • Attended a Sea Kayak Workshop
  • Recognized current First-Aid Certification (River)
  • Log book showing required previous experience
  • 10 open water journeys of 15km each on 2 different sections of coastline, including 2 camp out
  • Evidence of at least 10 “quality” river journeys (requiring more than half a day to execute), 6 on graded water and 2 on different rivers
Syllabus: Sea:

  • Demonstrate Launching on both steep and shallow beaches
  • Demonstrate coming ashore on both steep and shallow beaches
  • Demonstrate surfing technique on both green and breaking waves
  • Demonstrate efficient use of paddle brace
  • Demonstrate reliable rolling technique
  • Demonstrate Eskimo rescues as rescuer and as a patient
  • Demonstrate ferry-glide technique
  • Demonstrate efficient TX rescue as a rescuer and as a patient without assistance
  • Demonstrate efficient contribution to an all-in rescue
  • Demonstrate the use of long tows

  • Demonstrate sound understanding of “reading the river”. In particular the selection of a safe and controlled line to negotiate a grade 2-3 rapid
  • Demonstrate the ability to move the kayak sideways to maintain a suitable line through a grade 2-3 rapid, including use of reverse ferry glide, draw and hanging draw
  • Demonstrate the ability to both forward and reverse ferry glide in a moderate current, including the use of such manoeuvres to select a line and set the kayak up for the descent of a chute or rapid
  • Demonstrate the ability tot execute controlled break-ins and break-outs (eddy turns) on grade 2-3 rapid using both low-brace turn and bow rudder as appropriate, with clear evidence of tilt and edge control
  • Demonstrate the ability to surf small waves and use waves to assist in the crossing of a “jet” or “tongue”
  • Demonstrate any reliable rolling technique on a “safe” tongue of moving water
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise “friendly” holes and stoppers, including the ability to enter them, paddle-brace and exit from such hole
  • Demonstrate the use of a throw line, including the ability to throw with reasonable accuracy in the prevailing conditions and set up a sound waist-belay
  • Demonstrate the ability to help manoeuvre both a “swimmer” and an empty kayak in need of rescue by suitable to/nudging technique.
  • Demonstrate the use of appropriate equipment to carry out a simple kayak repair during a river journey

5 Star Award (River/Sea)

Aim: This is an environment specific advanced journeying award to be designated and endorsed for “Sea and Open Water” / “River” Award. It confirms the candidate’s competence at an advanced level to journey on the most demanding water, requiring the highest levels of judgement and technical skills, including the ability to lead a group at this level.
Course Duration: 3 full days
  • 4 Star Award (Sea and Open Water/River)
  • Hold a valid First-Aid Certification
  • 5 sea journey of 30km each
  • 24 hours of 4 Star skill consolidation
  • Endorsed by Level 4 Coach as competent to proceed to 5 Star Training Course
  • Recognized current First-Aid Certification (River)
Syllabus: Sea:

  • Organise problematic launches and landings
  • Brief, organise and maintain group control in a 4 star environment
  • Organise and execute various techniques in rescue in waves of 0.5m

  • Organise and lead an expedition for a group for river award of at least 4, experienced, white water kayakers on a river expedition, which includes sections of up to grade IV rapids
  • Demonstrate the ability to establish a clear plan, including such logistics support as is necessary
  • Demonstrate sound judgment in choice of both personal kit and additional group equipment, making due allowance for the ability of the group
  • Demonstrate sound leadership and group control throughout the journey, including facilitation of briefing and discussion and choice of rapid-running strategies, and the ability to make sound judgement in risk assessment and overall safety awareness
  • Demonstrate the ability to setup a variety of systems and techniques for rescue cover on more difficult rapids, including the retrieval of kayaks and equipment
  • Demonstrate a solid base of personal skills, including all those required at level 4 but performed with confidence on more demanding water.

To sign up, please click on this link.


For information on certificate conversion, please click on this link.

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For more information contact Mr Goh Eng Soon at 96901619 for gohes@scf.org.sg