The Long Island Paddlers, Inc.
 

PADDLE TRIP LEVELS

Trips will be rated for conditions/skills and endurance separately.  A Level 1A trip is the easiest trip, while a Level 5D is the most difficult. Kayakers should consider their skill and endurance levels with respect to trip ratings when signing up for trips.

Note: Trip levels are determined by both typical conditions plus the current weather forecast for a given area.  Changes in trip levels, for any given trip, due to weather or water conditions are at the discretion of the trip leader.  Trip levels are classified by the most severe conditions in either category "Wind Conditions" or "Water Conditions / Distance from Shore".  (Example: A trip with sustained winds of 15-20 MPH with gusts to 30 MPH is a level 5 trip).

Conditions - Skills
Trip Levels
Required Skills In Trip Level Conditions Wind Conditions (MPH)
Sustained
Gusts
Water Conditions / Distance From Shoreline Miscellaneous Requirements
1 Wet exit or permission from the trip leader S 0 - 5
G 0
Flat water
Less than ¼ mile from shore in protected waters
Entry and exit on soft beach sand
2 Perform in level 2 conditions:
  • Wet exits
  • Assisted rescues
  • S 5 - 10
    G 15
    Waves 1 foot or less
    Current 2 knots or less
    Less than ½ mile from shore
    Minimal boat traffic
    Entry and exit from a dock and/or pebbled beach
    3 Perform in level 3 conditions:
  • Assisted rescues
  • Self rescues
  • Bracing
  • S 10 - 15
    G 20
    Waves 1 - 2 feet, may break over kayak
    Current 3 - 4 knots
    Less than 1 mile from shore
    Moderate boat traffic with sufficient distance for safety
    Spray skirts required for Level 3 and above.
    Entry and exit from a dock and/or rocky beach.
    4 Perform in level 3 conditions:
  • Assisted rescues
  • Self rescues
  • Instinctive bracing
  • S 15 - 20
    G 25
    Waves 2 - 3 feet
    Currents 4 - 6 knots
    Exposed crossings up to 10 miles
    Heavy boat traffic in close proximity
    Entry and exit into breaking waves and/or rocky coast line
    5 Perform in level 5 conditions:
  • Assisted rescues
  • Self rescues
  • Instinctive bracing
  • Kayak roll preferred
  • S > 25
    G > 30
    Waves greater than 4 feet
    Currents greater than 6 knots
    Exposed crossings greater than 10 miles
    Heavy boat traffic in close proximity
    Possible crossing of shipping lanes
     


    Endurance Rating Duration* Single-Segment Duration** Pace Suggested Rest Stops***
    A Up to 3 hours / 6 miles Up to 1 hour Up to 2.5 MPH Minimum of 1 stop.
    Not less than ½-hour duration
    B Up to 4 hours / 10 miles Up to 2 hour Up to 3.5 MPH Minimum of 1 stop.
    Approx. ½-hour duration
    C Up to 6 hours / 15 miles Up to 3 hour No Limit TBD by the trip-leader
    D Greater than 6 hours / 15 miles Greater than 3 hours No Limit TBD by the trip-leader

    * Duration - considered total time paddling, exclusive of rest stops. Actual trip time will be longer.
    ** Single-Segment Duration - the longest time paddling between rest stops.
    *** Suggested Rest Stops - to be used as a guide. Actual quantity and duration of rest stops will be determined by the trip leader.