Objectives: In addition to the objectives under the Weather topic, Trip Leader Candidates shall know the upper limits of the Level 2: Essentials of Kayaking Trip Leader environment and understand the importance of keeping their trips within those parameters.

Course Application and Suggestions: ACA clearly spells the maximum conditions. For Level 2:

Course Location/Venue: Calm, protected water with constant access to safe landing and with 0.5 nautical miles from shore. Conditions include

  • Winds less than 10 knots
  • Waves less than 1 foot (0.3 meter)
  • Current less than 1 knot
  • No surf with shore break less than 1 foot (0.3 meter)

Information is available from marine weather forecasts and tide tables (see related topics). When underway, check your VHF radio weather forecast.  In addition, compare conditions to your experience and a Beaufort Scale.  As examples:

  • In the absence of current, the appearance of whitecaps generally indicate 10 knot winds (Level 2 maximum).  Note that opposing current steepens waves which causes them to break earlier.
  • Waves can be judged relative to height in the kayak.  Two foot waves come up between my shoulder and eye level.  One foot waves are near my elbow when down next to my side.