Kayaking Technique Forum

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Response from BCU

I received an email from Bill Lozano (the North American Administrator for the BCU) at the Atlantic Kayak Tours today. I don't know that he expected to be quoted so I'll paraphrase his comments. Firstly, keep in mind that the 3* is a personal skills award. Designed to be taken in general purpose boats, as well as other kayaks.

( The type of paddle does not matter, but the type of stroke does. No sliding hands, as this is not a Greenland paddling award. Feathered or unfeathered does not matter. All strokes should be efficient and effective. )

Now, feel free to debate how this is not fair to one style of paddler in favor of another. But as you do keep in mind that the 3* award is to be taken on sheltered water and signifies that the successfull candidate can indeed handle their boat safely on sheltered water in mild conditions. The BCU considers a 3* paddler to be an intermediate, but does not say that this person can safely manage typical ocean conditions.

On a personal note, I own and have used more than a few times some Greenland paddles. I understand that it is customary to extend the paddle. But I believe that it would be a simple task for a well practiced Greenland paddler to pass the BCU 3 Star assessment without using any extensions of the paddle. Yes, I know it's more efficient to extend. Just pretend the 3* is testing your ability to handle your craft without that extra power.

Have fun!