Water Sports Difficulty Levels
The FFOFC Water Sports schedules a number of kayaking/canoeing activities each year for the enjoyment of members. As an aid to potential participants the following levels have been adopted to indicate the level of skill and experience a person should have in order to participate in the activity. These are general guidelines and are intended to give the participants a better idea of what they are likely to encounter on any given trip. A river trip should be regarded as a common adventure by all participants. Participants share the responsibility for the conduct of the trip, and each participant is individually responsible for judging his or her own capabilities and for his or her own safety as the trip progresses. Participants are encouraged to discuss concerns with the trip leader.
Click here for level 1
These activities are designed for people with little or no kayaking experience and will most likely be held on lakes or reservoirs where the water has little or no current. These trips will be 1 to 3 hours on the water and the longer trips will usually include a shore break during the activity. A person should be able to get into and out of a kayak without assistance from others and be able to sit in the kayak for the period of time involved.
click here for level 2
Activities that are classified as Level II involve rivers that have moving water with riffles and small waves. There are few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to those that tip over is slight; self-rescue or assisted-rescue is easy. In addition to the capabilities described for Level I trip, participants should have the ability to execute forward, reverse, and sweep paddle strokes and be capable of controlling the direction of the boat. Participants should have completed training on how each member of the group should react when an unexpected event occurs. Trips lengths will be from 2 to 5 hours on the water with a shore break during the trip. Assisted and self- rescue knowledge is desirable.
click here for level 3
These trips are for people with paddling experience. Level III trips are on rivers that contain straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting or are slow moving rivers that contain strainers (brush, fallen trees, bridge pilings, undercut rocks or anything else which allows river current to sweep through and pin boats and boaters against the obstacle). Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. A boater that overturns is seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, may not be needed. A swimmer may spend some time in the water before rescue can be accomplished due to current and shore access. Rapids at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated “White Water Class II”. In addition to the capabilities described for Level II activities, participants should have the capability to perform basic kayaking/canoeing strokes plus turning and steering strokes such as bracing, draw, rudder, and “J” strokes. Participants should have the ability to identify eddies and understand the hazards associated with turning into and out of eddies. Participants should have completed training on how each member of the group should react when an unexpected event occurs and training in self and assisted rescue. These trips can involve sitting in boats for several hours before a shore break is possible for the group.
Full Source document is in the documents section