Sea Kayak Instructor Training March 6, 2023

sea kayaking instruction bracing
Sea kayak instructor Training

Sea Kayak Instructor Training Overview

Our sea kayak Instructor Training is specifically designed for people who are wanting to lead people on the water. If you are working towards NZOIA Sea Kayak level 1, or are wanting to become trip leaders for clubs and social groups this will be the course for you.

This is a 7 day “train the trainer” style course designed to look at key aspects that are important when leading others in this dynamic environment. There is a level of technical competency you will need to meet in regards to your personal skills in order to be able to attend this course, this is outlined in our pre-requisites below.

N.B: The 7-day instructor training is dedicated to the aspiring Level 1 instructor, the 9- day instructor training is dedicated to the aspiring Level 2 instructor



Before attending this course, you must be confident paddling in a variety of conditions, with efficient paddle strokes and self-rescue skills in moving water.

An example of varied conditions, wind up to 20 knots, surf up to 1.0 meters, swell of up to 1.5 meters and tidal current of up to 4 knots.

If you do not meet the requirements in your personal skills we have aligned this course to our sea kayak training course, where you can combine the 9-day sea kayak course and this 7 day IDP.

We strongly recommend you combine our personal skills course with the Instructor Development Programme to observe how our instructors deliver and scaffold learning to a group as well as ensure your personal skills are at industry standard. 


Level 1 Sea Kayak Instructor Recommended Training Pathway

The OENZ 9-day sea kayak course + 7-day Instructor Training for leading groups in coastal, lake or open water areas where varied conditions and limited periods of exposed coast may be encountered.

Should have or be working towards the Coastguard Boating Education – Day Skippers qualification and Maritime VHF Operators Certificate.

We also encourage keeping a personal logbook starting with 20 days of personal experience sea kayaking with a minimum of 5 x multiday trips plus working towards additional time observing others and assisting in teaching sea kayaking skills. 

Recommended additional training for leading and teaching others in a sea kayak 

  • OENZ Facilitation and Leadership Course (this is an optional separate 5-day module)
  • OENZ Weather Course

See our Senior Instructor Training for more details on the  Level 2 Sea Kayak


Instructor Training Location

This course will be held between Christchurch, Lyttelton Harbour and Akaroa Harbour.


Instructor Training Accommodation

**All your accommodation is included in this sea kayak instructor training **


Living Springs Cabins

sea kayking accomidation
Accommodation Living Springs

Our course is based at Living Springs where participants will be in shared cabin accommodation.  Access to a full kitchen and bathroom block exclusive to the cabin stays. And optional extras such as the indoor swimming pool and extensive grounds overlooking Lyttelton harbour.


Living Springs is a 25-minute drive from Christchurch that sits above Lyttelton Harbour.



Gear & Equipment

Just bring along your normal sea kayaking kit, some food. We will send you a detailed gear list once your booking has been processed.

If you’re not sure you have everything you need for the course, no need to stress, we have all the gear and equipment available for you to hire. Just add a note to your booking or give us a call to organize your gear rental in advance.

We will also supply all of the group and client equipment needed for the model client days.



Food is not provided on this course. We recommend packing plenty of snacks and lunch that does not require cooking. The accommodation has a full kitchen & fridge that you are welcome to use. Alternatively, the local pub & cafe in Governors Bay serves meals and refreshments.



Free Transport

Outdoor education New Zealand sea kayaking courses
OENZ 4×4


We collect you from your accommodation on day 1 and then provide daily transport to and from the ocean and accommodation for the rest of the week.



Meeting locations (catch a ride with us)

If you have your own car but want a lift we’re happy to meet you at one of the following locations:

Princess Margaret Hospital Car park

Otoromiro Hotel (Governors Bay)


Travelling From out of town?

OENZ Van for sea kayaking courses
OENZ 12 seat Van

We recommend that you arrive in Christchurch the day before your course. We have a few hotel & hostel suggestions on our FAQ’s page. Please avoid booking accommodation north or east of the city centre.  At the end of the course, we are more than happy to drop you back at your accommodation or directly to the airport.  The earliest time we can have you back at the airport is 6 pm.



What’s Included in this Sea Kayak Instructor Training ?


L1 Sea Kayak Instructor

Rolling a sea kayak training
Instructor module

Weather Forecast

  • Applying weather forecasting to decision making.




Navigation and Location Awareness

  • Understand and can interpret symbols on marine charts and  topographical maps
  • Can use a compass for resections and following bearings
  • Estimating time and distance




Understanding and demonstrate the following skills:

  • Paddle strokes – forward, reverse, touring, power
  • Draw strokes
  • Sweep strokes forward and reverse
  • Stern rudder
  • Railing & edging
  • Brace/support strokes
  • Rescues – assisted and self
  • Ability to launch and land in surf
  • Ability to maneuver efficiently around obstacles
  • Efficient self rescues




Leadership/Instructional skills:

  • Deliver effective teaching workshops on skills
  • Demonstrate and deliver 3 different rescue techniques to a group
  • Plan and prepare 2 x single-day educational and safe sea kayak experiences for model clients
  • Lead and manage a group for 2 non-consecutive days in sea kayaking
  • Apply effective safety management applicable to group, equipment and environmental conditions.






Sea Kayak Instructor Training Timetable

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Instructor Specific Skills Day Instructor Specific Skills Day Facilitation & Planning Model Client Experience Reflection & Planning Model Client Experience End of course – wrap up and final results.



How many people will be on my instructor training?

We believe that small groups are better for this type of training. So we have a maximum client to instructor ratio of just four clients to one instructor. If there are six clients you will have one instructor and one assistant instructor, eight clients means there will be two instructors and you’ll operate in two smaller groups.


Does this Sea Kayak Training have minimum numbers?

Yes, the minimum number for the course to proceed at the advertised price is two clients. We won’t cancel your course if we don’t meet the minimum numbers though, instead, we will offer you the following options:

people sitting in boats sea kayak training
Sea kayak training


a.) A shorter private course with 1-1 tuition – e.g. with one person we can cover the course content much faster, so far fewer days are needed.

b.) You will be offered to continue with the course as planned and cover the extra cost.

c.) We can transfer you to another date when the course is running again.

Note: In the unlikely event that the course length is shortened due to insufficient numbers. We will provide accommodation for you at living springs for the full duration of your original booking. ie. any extra time following the course being shortened.


Course downloads


Gear List

Course Outline








PHONE: +64 3 329 9076                                EMAIL: [email protected]

Field Based Course Highlights

*Minimum people needed to run a course

Course booking form

Participant Details

Participant details

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Course cost

Course Cost: $ NZD

You can choose to complete your booking using Credit/Debit Card (via Paypal - PayPal account is not required), or by using your Paypal account. If you would like to make payment by Internet Banking or request an invoice please contact us in advance.


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