Becoming a Sea Kayak Leader (tidal) in Norway

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Hear from Samuel, one of the first to become a NEW Sea Kayak Leader (tidal) in Norway…

I remember when I started paddling, I think I was around 12 years old in a three-man canoe at the school camp. I did not really enjoy being in a canoe, but I felt a connection to paddling on the water. It wasn’t until the second grade of high school where I got into a kayak and I felt welcome to the world of paddling. There was no stress or pressure from others. During this time, I had just begun to get better from a 2-and-a-half-year long chronic fatigue syndrome and I really needed an activity to connect with.

From that day, I developed as a paddler and enjoyed being on the water more and more. As the school year went on, I got a taste of leading on the water and I loved it. In July 2019, I became a Norwegian certified coach on flat water. I then decided that I wanted to be able to lead paddlers in waves, so that I could show other people how much fun it is to play by the coast. Thus, I took the Sea Kayak Leader training in the autumn of 2019.

I tried the Sea Kayak Leader assessment in Spain December 2019…

Unfortunately, I did not pass, but I learned a lot. I decided to continue to gain experience and learn, so I could meet my goal of passing the assessment.

In the spring of 2020, I got back out on the water and started leading people in waves, practicing leadership and gaining a lot of experience. Experience is something you must spend time on.

2020 was marked by a new virus, so this had to be considered in addition to practicing leadership. I learned a lot about adapting and overcoming situations, so at least something good came out of the corona situation. I led lots of trips where I got good feedback and when things did not go as expected, I learned a lot!

In the autumn of 2020, I finally felt ready to take the Sea Kayak Leader assessment. I kept up the training during Christmas holidays. I made checklists and received lots of support from family, friends and fellow paddlers. Then came the day of the assessment, I felt both nervous and excited. But I believed I would make it!

I can say I did and that it was one of the best days of my life. I felt I had finally made it.

As I reflect back to the last two years of paddling, I am proud that I can now lead people in moderate sea conditions. My journey into the world of paddling has been an amazing one and I am happy to share it.  I hope more people will have a good experience and joy with kayaking and get the chance to develop as I did.

If you’re interesting in leading groups of sea kayakers in moderate water, then become a Sea Kayak Leader (tidal or non-tidal). The new awards have optional Leadership training so you can design your own learning journey. Find out more:


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