The following is a list of the kinds of topics that Level 2 instructor candidates may be asked to present in a certification course. Other topics may arise during the course or may be of particular interest for an individual to present. (See Levels 1 and 2 courses, assessment and instructor criteria for complete examples of the material that could be considered an L2 Kayak Instructor’s “body of knowledge”.

Presentation assignments might be made more formally, where the candidate is asked ahead of time to develop and present on a topic, giving them a chance to thoroughly think through, research and develop materials,  or, candidates may be asked to make impromptu presentations on a topic to demonstrate their existing knowledge and ability to gain and maintain a group’s attention and participation.

Paying attention to presentation style, location, tools-at-hand, appropriate scope of material and key points are the goals in these presentations. Try to make them meaningful, interesting and pertinent. Use your normal routine of introducing the topic, providing a “sell” or motivation for learning the topic, demonstrate it (if appropriate), demonstrate it and have the class do it (if appropriate). Use assistants or co-instructors when possible. Try not to make the presentation a show of everything you know about a topic. Always recognize the time constraints a class places on you and hone your presentation to just the material the student needs to know at their level of progression.

You will always be under time constraints in a teaching environment and managing time will always be one of your bigger challenges. Make your points succinctly and don’t allow yourself to be dragged off-message. For our instructor course, plan out about a 3-minute presentation.

Classroom (or Land)

  • Parts of a kayak
  • “What kayak should I buy”
  • Float bags
  • Part of a paddle and how to hold it
  • Types of Kayaks
  • PFDs and how to wear them
  • Hypothermia/hyperthermia
  • How to dress for paddling
  • Paddling etiquette
  • Leave no trace ethics

  • Wet Exit
  • Hazards on the water
  • Hazards on Land
  • Warmup
  • Put-in safety talk
  • How to lift and carry a kayak
  • How to transport a kayak

  • Sweep strokes
  • Stern Draw and Pry strokes
  • Forward Stroke
  • Rudder
  • Draw stroke
  • Sculling Draw stroke
  • Deep-Water Rescues
  • Low or high brace
  • Edging
  • Self-Rescue

  • River features
  • River hazards
  • Self-rescue
  • How to empty a boat
  • Scouting a rapid
  • Strainers
  • River signals (hand, paddle, whistle)
  • Eddy Turns
  • Peelouts
  • Ferries


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