Guide learning and the necessary training
So far, my school was the experience with the kayak and the half, my father and a few more teachers / companions.
This past winter I have dedicated to studying the TD1, the necessary training to comply with the legality in Spain if you want to work in the world of kayak (unfortunately not always fulfilled …).
But for those who may be thinking of taking a title or are curious to know how the educational system around the sea kayak, here is some information from the seakayakermag.com:
Each country has its formative structure for kayaking. In Spain the Canoeing Federation has 3 levels of training for Sports Technicians ( According to the BOE) :
TD1: Basic level training in all forms of canoeing together: White water, calm water, kayakpolo, sea kayak (it is the qualification necessary to guide groups in Spain, it would be equivalent to a monitor or guide).
TD2: It is in one of 4 modes. In the case of sea kayak, the maximum level is 2 (according to what I have been informed, only 2 TD2 courses have been given in sea kayak in Spain and one in Catalonia); Equivalent to sports coach or responsible for activities).
TD3: Only exists in the modalities of whitewater and calm waters. The Federation does not consider that the knowledge of a kayak or sea kayak technician can go beyond …
In the world of sea kayaking the formation of the “British Federation” BCU (British Canoe Union) is also very popular and internationally recognized.
In Sea Kayak there are the following:
BCU1 (basic), BCU2 ( autonomous ), BCU3 (experienced), BCU4 and BCU5(guides). This line evaluates technical and guiding skills.
Then there is training as a coach : BCU1 coach , BCU2 coach , etc. That evaluates the didactic capacities.
Nowadays, in many rental companies and guides around the world you are asked by the BCU3 to rent a kayak if you want to make a trip of several days, or, in any case, they do a level test themselves.
In my case the TD1 I did between Castelldefels, Ponts and the common block in Sant Feliu de Guixols.
But if anyone wants to learn sea kayaking I would not recommend this course at all. What you do learn is to be a monitor and a sports coach, but of skills of each discipline, very little.
For me, learning is always fun and having the experience of seeing how to use kayak from such different points of view was very enriching (kayakpolo, white water and calm waters).
The teachers worked hard to try to get everyone to learn, but the students had very different experiences and knowledge and could not demand much. Even so, all the students gave us the feeling of being more a bureaucratic process than a course.
Also add that some aspects did not seem very well covered. For example, the level of first aid seemed very basic and I am glad to have several first aid courses already made before. As for the knowledge of orientation in the natural environment so important in sea kayaking, there was no time to be treated on the agenda. However I think they will be covered in the TD2 kayak sea theme that I will do next winter. I’ll tell you …
On the other hand, the BCU3 course did feel that it greatly strengthens technical skills and explores boundaries regardless of level. Of course, it is still an examination, you have to go with the studied subject: security, paleo, twists, supports and the much feared esquimotaje.
Do not be afraid of the esquimotaje because you can learn in a day if you already know the support technique.
Also we have the luck of being able to do the BC3 on the Costa Brava (yes, I also saved myself going to England, trip that is pending for the BCU4 soon) …
It is necessary to think that all these degrees have as objective to evaluate a degree or level, but the formation that you receive is limited, in other form: all these courses are not structured to give you the necessary time to learn but to transmit knowledge and to evaluate immediately .
In the end it’s just a role … and the federations are for what they are. The best thing to learn is to practice new things, study a little, observe and hear a lot of those who have more experience.
In summary, in my case I think the TD1 prepared me more as a monitor and the BCU3 more as a kayaker.
But there is also something that is the most difficult to teach: the value of being a person. Respect, effort, companionship, humility, tolerance, generosity and love …
All that, like everything else, is learned by paracticing.
For me, in addition to feeling immense gratitude to those who have guided and taught me, I also feel that I must learn as a guide and monitor those who have allowed me to accompany them and guide them to enjoy and learn. You are my greatest teachers!
Thank you all for your patience and cooperation.