Surf Kayak Leader (Moderate Water)

Surf Kayak Leader. A paddler playing on a wave whilst a leader observes.

The British Canoeing Awarding Body Surf Kayak Leader award delivers the personal skills and the ability to manage a group of surf paddlers in moderate surf environments, and to judge the conditions and the standard of the group and make appropriate decisions.

Surf Kayak Leader Overview

Minimum age

16 years


2-day Training / 2-day Assessment


Optional and free-of-charge.   Leadership eLearning


  • Relevant Leadership Training: Surf Kayak Leader training within previous 3 years
  • First Aid Award: Recognised 2-day First Aid within last 3 years
  • Registration Fee: £39 for British Canoeing Members
  • Age: 16 years of age, or older

Finding a Surf Kayak Leader Course

To find a course in your area, contact your Delivery Centre by clicking the relevant logo at the bottom of this page

Course Documents

To view the associated documents with this course, click here

A qualified Surf Kayak Leader can plan, deliver and review short coaching sessions. This is usually with the support of a more qualified coach.

It is suitable for coaches from all paddlesport disciplines. This includes coaches who may work with competitive or non-competitive paddlers.

Core Skills Covered

The Surf Kayak Leader course content emphasises the application of skills in a surf environment, requiring the paddler to perform appropriate and effective manoeuvres in moderate surf, and covers the following:

Part A – Personal Paddling Skills
Part B – Rescue Skills
Part C – Safety, Leadership and Group Skills
Part D – Theory

For full details of the content covered, please refer to the Surf Kayak Leader Syllabus.

Methods of Assessment

Assessments are normally run over two days, in an area of moderate surf.

This is defined as:

  • Area: Sections of sandy beaches free from significant hazard (e.g. rocks and strong rips) and with easy access
  • Character: Gentle, sloping and spilling waves, preferably peeling. Not pitching or dumping
  • Height: Wave height should be no more than double overhead when seated in a kayak in the trough of the wave (head high for a stand-up surfer).

Upon completion of the Assessment, the course provider will submit successful participants for certification.