4 Star Award (River/Sea)


Photo Courtesy of Outward Bound Singapore

Photo Courtesy of Outward Bound Singapore

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..


Four Star Award

Course Duration:

Four Full Days


1. Sea & Open Water in waves  of at least 0.5 m in height (Sea)

2. On moving water of Grade  II to III  ( River)

Type of Craft:

1. Sea & Open Water- Specialist Sea Kayak with closed cockpit. The rudder (if fitted) must be immoblished (Sea)

2. River- general purpose, closed cockpit  white-water kayak


1. Three Star Award

2. At least 18 years and above

3. Attended a Sea Kayak Workshop

4. Recognized current First-Aid Certification (River)

Trainer / Assessor:

Level 4 Coach and above



  • Basic navigation
  • Basic tidal vectors
  • Understanding of waves
  • Safety and risk assessment
  • Fleet management


Show good all-round knowledge of river kayaking issues, including

  • Choice of equipment
  • River hazards
  • Planning issues




  • 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 a 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 to 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 tow/nudging technique etc
  • Demonstrate the use of appropriate equipment to carry out a simple kayak repair during a river journey

Journey Experience


  • Log book showing required previous experience.
  • Ten open water journeys of 16 km each on two different sections of coastline, including 2 camp out.


  • Produce a log-book showing evidence of at least 10 “quality” river journeys (requiring more than half a day to execute) at least 6 of which must be on graded water and at least 2 of these must be on different rivers.