RICKA Sea Kayaking Forum

Full Version: Sea Kayak trip levels
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
Sea kayakers, we’d like to propose minor changes to the trip levels posted on the RICkA site - to adjust Level 3 down (right now, it seems like a big step from 2 to 3 and little difference between 3 and 4), and add mention of current to level 4. These changes would make our levels more aligned with ACA and BCU. We propose:
- level 3, set distance to 12 miles, wind 10-15 knots
- level 4, add “and current”

We discussed this at the July4th potluck. If anyone else has comments or concerns, you can post them here or email me at rickaseakayak@gmail.com
What about specifying maximum wind speeds instead of ranges?
E.g.
Level 2: Up to 10 knots
Level 3: Up to 15 knots
Level 4: Up to 20 knots
Level 5: Up to 25 knots
I concur.  Max winds will be better, and also consider lowering them. A level 2 trip with 10kt winds will not be very pleasant for that target audience, and paddling in 25 kt winds is also difficult (if not dangerous) even for a Level 5. So I propose the following:

Level 2: 8 kts max.
Level 3: 12 kts max. (white caps)
Level 4: 16 kts max.
Level 5: 20 kts+ max.

Any other thoughts?
(07-12-2022, 09:38 PM)Cam Wrote: [ -> ]I concur.  Max winds will be better, and also consider lowering them. A level 2 trip with 10kt winds will not be very pleasant for that target audience, and paddling in 25 kt winds is also difficult (if not dangerous) even for a Level 5. So I propose the following:

Level 2: 8 kts max.
Level 3: 12 kts max. (white caps)
Level 4: 16 kts max.
Level 5: 20 kts+ max.

Any other thoughts?

    The only thing I see as a problem here is that the NOAA marine forecasts always report wind speeds as multiples of 5 kts.
                                                    Tony
Also the forecasts differ from reality sometimes. We usually see a build up of SW afternoon winds in the summer.
I think keeping Level 2 max winds that low is not realistic .
- Jon
I love the rating system. I used it all the time when I was starting my kayak hobby.
I was also always frustrated when people didn't self evaluate and changed the ethos of the paddle.

I have not reviewed the BCU system but obviously using their system or keeping ours as consistent with their language as possible is a good idea.

My thoughts,

Winds:

I would suggest you set the wind speed levels based on what level you would cancel the paddle or change the paddle level.
(Also, as Tony suggests, consistent with how the NOAA marine forecast would call them.)

As such, I think this is how most of us would call it:

Level 2 10-15 kn or less (Really lower number greater than 10)
Level 3 15-20 kn or less (Really lower number greater than 15)
Level 4 Gusts to 25 kn
Level 5 Gusts to 30 kn


Distance:

The levels discuss distance. I'm OK with the 6/13/15/20+ distances knowing that we often create level 2+ paddles (2 conditions but a bit longer)


Sea State: you could say level 2 is flat to less than 1.5 feet. I suspect level 2 skilled people focus on sea state when thinking of their capabilities.


What we don't talk about is "Speed"

Level 2 We will go slow (<2mph) to keep the group together
Level 3 We will go moderate (<2.5mph). You are expected to keep up but we will frequently re-group
Level 4 We will go aggressive (<3mph). You are expected to keep up
Level 5 Hard continuous paddling expected

We don't talk about speed because we don't really know our speeds, but speed really is one of the biggest issues in creating good group dynamics.


And finally, special conditions... we will spend time surfing, rock gardening, current play, etc.
These should be stated because for instance people need to know they will be bobbing around while everyone rock gardens. We tend to add these descriptions naturally.

Hope this is helpful,

P
I really like the idea of including sea state and possible activities.

In my mind the biggest difference between L2 and L3 is sea state and amount of shelter available. L2 is really more protected, flat, coastal paddling while L3 is more open ocean with swells and more limited options for protection/landing.

Personally, I think distance is far less of a factor than sea state and type of activities. There are plenty of L3/L4 paddles where we opt for playing over touring and most L2 paddles are purely touring. I think most L2 paddlers could do 15 miles in calm coastal conditions and most L3 paddlers could do the same in open water with more wind and swells.
Just to clarify my logic of using maximum wind speeds rather than a range for RICKA trip levels.  The wind speed ranges for ACA and BCU are part of the required conditions for assessment/certification for each level. 

For instance, for an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayaking course, at least 3 of the following conditions must be present for some part of the course:
10 - 15 knot winds
1 - 2 foot waves (chop) (0.3 – 0.6 meters)
1 - 2 foot surf (0.3 – 0.6 meters)
1 - 2 knots of current

To my way of thinking, this is a different purpose than RICKA trip level conditions, which serve as limits (maximums) for what people should have to handle.
I agree that Level 2 wind speed should probably be less than 10 kts.

And folks, I think this is going to be a fairly long thread, so rather than just hitting the little Reply icon at the bottom of the post, please use the New Reply feature so we don't have to keep reading the same (lengthy) posts over and over again. Big Grin
Thank you all for your ideas on SK trip levels - I don’t think this forum is the most effective way to reach agreement, let’s discuss more at our next event and maybe also have a zoom call. 

In the meantime, I will make the most minor changes possible:
Level 3, remove “to 20knt
Level 4, add “and current”
(07-12-2022, 09:38 PM)Cam Wrote: [ -> ]I concur.  Max winds will be better, and also consider lowering them. A level 2 trip with 10kt winds will not be very pleasant for that target audience, and paddling in 25 kt winds is also difficult (if not dangerous) even for a Level 5. So I propose the following:

Level 2: 8 kts max.
Level 3: 12 kts max. (white caps)
Level 4: 16 kts max.
Level 5: 20 kts+ max.

Any other thoughts?

Hi Cam,
     On Saturday's paddle you said you have a NOAA site where wind speeds are given in numbers that are not necessarily multiples of 5 kts. I couldn't find this on the internet. Could you post a link for this site? The NOAA site I use is always multiples of 5 kts...here is the link: NDBC - National Weather Service Marine Forecast FZUS51 KBOX (noaa.gov)

                                   Tony
Pages: 1 2