The sea kayak leader pathway is for those who wish to lead groups of sea kayakers in a moderate tidal environment. It recognises the experience you have paddling on the sea, allowing you to support your club or lead commercially.

The Sea Kayak Leader award is open to anyone with experience of paddling in moderate tidal water with winds not exceeding Beaufort force 4. The award will enable you to lead fun, safe and enjoyable sea kayaking trips for groups of sea kayakers.

The Sea Kayak Leader award is used by clubs, outdoor centres and organisations to support their sea kayak journeys on moderate tidal water. This includes short, single or multi-day journeys in appropriate conditions.

Sea Kayaking Cornwall run both training courses and assessments throughout the year. If you’d like to be trained or assessed in your local area, get in touch (outlining your requirements) and we’ll see if we can help!

Sea Kayaking Cornwall offers training over five days, which enables us to maximise the learning and experience you are able to gain from the course.

The Sea Kayak Leader Training is split into the following areas:

  • Personal Paddling Skills
  • Rescue Skills
  • Safety, Leadership and Group Skills
  • Theory (including navigation, trip planning and beyond)

The training emphasises the application of a variety of techniques appropriate for leading a group in exposed open water, requiring the paddler to perform appropriate and effective manoeuvres in real situations.

The five day training will try to encompass the following structure (conditions allowing):

  • Day 1: Personal Skills, Rescues & Towing
  • Day 2: Trip Planning & Rock Gardening
  • Day 3: Leadership
  • Day 4: Surf
  • Day 5: Incident Management

At the end of the training you will be provided with an individual action plan to support your progress towards a successful assessment.

Before registering for assessment trainees will need time to consolidate experience and gather the following:

  • Safeguarding Training (dated within the last 3 years)
  • First Aid appropriate to this award (dated within the last 3 years)
  • Costal Navigation and Tidal Planning Course (can be completed online or in person)
  • Full National Association Membership

*Although not a prerequisite, it’s advisable for a Sea Kayak Leader to have a VHF radio as part of their safety kit. Therefore the appropriate VHF licence should be required.

What's included?

  • Sea Kayaking Cornwall’s experienced coach with area knowledge offering coaching, assistance, planning and safety throughout the course.
  • Kayak – we supply suitable sea kayaks. You are welcome to bring your own kayak which we will gladly place on our trailer and transport and store for you during the duration of your course.
  • Spray decks.
  • Buoyancy aids /PFD.
  • Paddling kit – We can supply wind proof jackets (cags), thermal rash vests, wetsuits, and helmets. Please advise us of your kit requirements prior to arrival.
  • Kayak storage and under cover drying area in our barn.

What's not included?

  • Transport to start locations in Cornwall. We have a limited number of passenger seats available in our van; please advise if you require transport from our site to launch locations before your arrival.
  • Food and beverages during the trip.
  • Accommodation
  • Suitable footwear.

Time and Location

Meet at our base at 9:15 am on the first day of your course:

Sea Kayaking Cornwall
Tregedna Farm
TR11 5HL

We will brief and debrief each day at our warm and fully equipped log cabin at Tregedna Farm with a welcoming cup of coffee or tea and free Wi-Fi to source our weather forecasts (or to check mails).

We will plan each day around what we need to learn and achieve in conjunction with what the weather allows us to do.

What to bring

  • Travel insurance.
  • Food & drinks. Packed lunches, snacks, hot drinks, water etc.
  • Dry bags – various sizes for lunch, valuables and dry clothes to change into at the end of the day.
  • Paddling kit – suitable for cold-water paddling.
  • We supply suitable and appropriate entry level paddling kit, however we do advise that you bring your own paddling kit that you would normally use for a comfortable paddling experience relevant to the advanced level that you are training at.
  • Please contact us if you are uncertain that you have the correct gear. We can supply windproof jackets, thermal rash vests, and wetsuits.
  • Suitable footwear: Wetsuit booties / water shoes / old trainers.
  • Sun cream.
  • Sunglasses and hat.
  • Personal medication and first aid kit.
  • Money, as there is cafes and restaurants to visit.
  • Safety kit – if you wish to learn or practice with kit you have, we would suggest that you bring it along to familiarize and train with during the week, a group can never have too much safety kit.


This course consists of individual days of training from our Cornwall base while enjoying accommodation of your choice.

The best option if you have your own transport is our neighbourly lodge and campsite at Tregedna Farm –Tregedna Farm Holidays

Please enquire and book directly with Tregedna Farm holidays

Further accommodation options can be found at


Bespoke Option

This course can be booked as a bespoke week / weekend / day at anytime of the year for a group, club or family provided we have space in our calendar to accommodate your required dates.

Please contact us on for your bespoke booking requirements.

At a Glance..

  • Price: £530 per person
  • Dates: Dates available throughout the year.

What experience do I need?

To get the most out of the course you should be fit and comfortable swimming, floating and capsizing (assisted by a flotation device) in deep and dynamic moving water. All participants will be required to complete a full medical questionnaire.

This course is suitable for kayakers who have completed formal training to an intermediate level and a have fair amount of experience in a variety of ocean environments as a competent group member with their own paddling and safety kit.

You must have an understanding of the different strokes and basic rescues and how to use them in moderate to windy conditions up to force 4 and have experienced conditions associated with force 5.

The objective you should have for doing this course is to leave with a structured understanding of sea kayaking, sea safety and developing leadership at sea. Knowing your areas of weakness or strengths with the goal of progressing to doing/leading/assisting on expeditions or multi day trips and to have some fun.

We would expect to cover distances of between 10 – 20 km (7 hours) a day depending on conditions.

If you have any questions regarding the required ability please feel free to contact us on

Read our guide on levels of sea kayaking ability

Contact Us

Please give us a call if you have any queries or wish to discuss any of our courses or expeditions:

0044 (0)1326 250889 (office)
0044 (0) 7555 763695 (Shaun Rodgers)
0044 (0) 7455 884482 (James Roberts)

Sea Kayaking Cornwall, Tregedna Farm, Maenporth, TR11 5HL
20 March 2023 – 24 March 2023 all-day