course-siton-topSit on top kayaks have become extremly popular over the past number of years. Due to their extra stability they allow a novice paddler to take to the water with no previous instruction. With more and more of these boats it was inevitable that there would be safety issues associated with the increased number of people paddling these craft. Lack of knowledge and engaging with the outdoors created situations where people got in to difficulties with sometimes serious consequences.

In 2010 the Irish Canoe Union introduced specific awards for sit on top kayaks.

The awards are aimed at novice / intermediate paddlers and upon completion will make the novice aware of their paddling environment and give them the skills to negotiate it safely and without incident. Seapaddling.com is now the only company to offer these courses so if you have purchased a sit on top kayak and want to develop your skills these courses are the one for you

There are three awards:

Basic sit on top skills award:

The basic sit-on-top skills award aims to enable participants to perform fundamental sit-on-top paddling skills., paddle safely and competently on a sit-on-top on sheltered flat water as a member of a group being led, assist in flat water rescues and develop further participation in canoesport

Sit on top river skills award:

The sit-on-top river skills award aims to enable participants to paddle safely and competently on rivers up to and including Grade 2 as a member of a group, be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade 2 rivers, assist in rescues and foster further participation in canoesport.

Sit on top sea skills award:

The sit-on-top sea skills award aims to enable participants to paddle safely and competently in a Sit-on-Top on the sea as a member of a group being led, paddle competently in following winds, head winds and beams winds of up to force three, assist in rescues and have an understanding of the importance of weather as a factor in paddling a Sit-on-Top on the sea.