Wednesday, August 14, 2013

UKSGS: What Level Are You?

It is important to us at UKSGS HQ that everyone has an enjoyable, comfortable and safe experience at the 7th UK Storm Gathering Symposium in Oban this year.

Of course, weather conditions will have an effect on whatever we take part in afloat, but our coaches will seek to deliver a session that aims to meet your goals and also reflects the publicised activity.

To help you make the best choices, we have set out three levels that link to the sessions we plan to run as part of the symposium. So think about your aims, your current level of experience and how much of a challenge you want during the event. Try to be realistic, as we aim to ensure that everyone finds the right activity, the right group and has the right experience at UKSGS '13.

Many paddlers may find themselves at or around the standard of ‘Level 2’ or BCU 4 Star. With this in mind, many sessions will be ‘Level 1-2’ and ‘Level 2-3’. This will allow you to choose coaching activities that will be either within your comfort zone or will stretch you somewhat. It’s your choice!

We will be asking participants to make session choices in advance and these will be advertised before we begin to take bookings from June 3rd onwards. There will be a little flexibility during the event to make changes and we will do our best to ensure that you get your first choices.

If you are not sure, get in touch - - and we will do our best to advise you. .

LEVEL 1                                                                                                                                                                        

If you are used to paddling as a member of a led group and/or have previously restricted your sea kayaking adventures to relatively calm conditions (BFT. force 2-3), consider yourself Level 1 (about BCU 3 Star personal skills). 

We will ensure that Level 1-2 sessions offer the right amount of challenge for your current experience.

LEVEL 2                                                                                                                                                                        

If you are an independent paddler in moderate conditions (BFT. force 4-5) with personal skills at or around BCU 4 Star, Level 2 sessions are aimed for you. You should be used to dealing with wind and waves as well as be able to self-rescue effectively. 

If you join a Level 1-2 session you can expect a more relaxed, comfortable experience; be prepared for rather more challenging conditions on Level 2-3 sessions.

LEVEL 3                                                                                                                                                                       

If you are used to paddling with independent groups in more challenging conditions (BFT force 5-6) and are confident in breaking waves, surf and stronger tidal streams, you’ll be looking for the more challenging sessions at the 7th UK Storm Gathering. These are suitable for paddlers working toward the 5 Star award, or those simply looking to enjoy the best conditions we can find each day. 

We aim to ensure that you get the right level of challenge, while placing the safety of the group first in our decision-making each day.

ALL LEVELS                                                                                                                                                                

These sessions can appeal to paddlers of all abilities and levels of experience. The aims are broad and inclusive and do not require specific sea conditions. 

Other sessions, such as ‘Forward Paddling Skills Clinic’ and ‘Open Crossings - Tactics & Techniques’ require a specific interest in these aspects.

Look out for our next announcement which will be the scheduled sessions and the corresponding ability levels required.