Grade 2 Certification Kayaking Assessment

Obtaining the Grade 2 Certification is compulsory for participating in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast multi sport race. It is important to learn the appropriate skills required to handle the numerous Grade 2 rapids on the Waimakariri River.

In order to navigate the course safely and successfully, certain skills are necessary to complete the 70km kayaking section.

During the assessement we will assess your skills in your race kayak and help you with understanding the hazards and safety procedures required to have a successful race run on the big day.

Photo from Day 2 of the Kathmandu Coast to Coast 2018 held in the South Island, New Zealand. Taken: Saturday, 10 February 2018. Photo: Mike Walen / Copyright: © Coast to Coast.

This is a skills assessment not a training course. Should you feel you need coaching to attain the criteria prior to sitting the certificate, then contact us regarding our coaching options.

Contact us for further information and course dates:

*photos supplied by @Coast to Coast*



Grade 2 Certification Information

This is a two day kayaking course aimed at achieving the certification required for multi sport events. Eg: Coast to Coast. 

It is run as an assessment rather than a training and to attain the certificate you need to be at the assessment level for the two day course weekend.

Should you feel you need coaching to attain the criteria listed below prior to sitting the certificate, then contact us regarding our coaching days.

Grade 2 Certification Assessment Criteria

  • Identifies and responds appropriately to Grade 2 river features. Eddy lines, wave trains, holes, buffer waves, currents and boils.Identifies and demonstrates paddling safe and efficient lines.
  • Demonstrates efficient and effective forward paddling.
  • Demonstrates efficient and effective forward and reverse sweep strokes. Remains balanced.
  • Demonstrates effective low brace. Can right self from tipping point. Can use appropriately while paddling in rapid.
  • Demonstrates breaking in and out of eddies. Can hold desired line. Remains balanced.
  • Demonstrates ferry gliding. Can hold desired line. Remains balanced.Grade 2 River
  • Understands correct use of personal kayaking and safety equipment. Can identify appropriate and inappropriate equipment. Including kayak, PFD, helmet, thermals, paddle, spray deck.
  • Recognises and understands hazards associated with kayaking, including broaching, strainer and foot entrapment. The appropriate actions required to avoid or deal with these hazards are described and/or demonstrated.
  • Demonstrates self-rescue with kayak and gear. Candidate capsizes, stays calm, gathers equipment and efficiently moves to bank. Empties boat and paddling again within efficient timeframe.
  • Demonstrates safe rapid float position (on back, feet first, feet up etc.).
  • Demonstrates assertive white water swimming across wave train and eddy line.
  • Demonstrates being rescued with aid of another craft (kayaker and/or jet boat).
  • Receives a throw bag as a swimmer in Grade 2. Correct holding of rope and body.
  • Can describe and identify, prevention, symptoms and treatment of hypothermia.

Contact is via or call us 0800 926 925 if you need to talk with us prior to booking.

*photos supplied by @Coast to Coast*


The 2 days will break into 4 parts. 

Day 1 AM Intro/ gear/ briefing/ Flatwater, skills/technique/self-rescues/flat water paddle mission (probably around 8-12km). Lunch break (in Wanaka town)

Day 1 PM Upper Clutha, Outlet to Luggate Bridge. Intro to moving water. Hazard awareness and prevention.

Day 2 AM Upper Clutha, Outlet to Luggate Bridge. Lunch Break

Day 2 PM Albert Town bridge to the ‘Nook’. If necessary, there will be pool time available for the evening of Day 1 that you can go and brush up on any skills before the 2nd day.



The course is over a two day assesment: $750 per person.


October 26th & 27th
November 3rd & 4th
November 17th & 18th
December 1st & 2nd
December 8th & 9th
January 12 & 13th
January 19th 20th
February 23rd & 24th
March 23rd & 24th

Minimum of 2pax to run each course & a maximum of 4.

As a friendly reminder *this is an assessment course not a training course*




What you will need to bring or rent is:
Split paddle
Spray jacket
Wetsuit (for self-rescue skills)

Personal items you will need to bring:
Warm change of clothing for post paddling.
Swimwear and paddling clothing.
Food and water for the duration of the day
Personal medical supplies
Foot wear that can get wet (not jandals)


December 2018 – Jo

I was in need of a grade two kayak certificate, having little experience playing around in fast moving water I also required tuition. I first got in contact with Andrea via email, she sorted me out with training days and the assessment day ( despite my ever changing requests ), with amazing efficiency and ease. At the beach front on the training and assessment days I always always greeted by a friendly, enthusiastic and helpful team. Then of course there was Tyler………. A totally awesome, enthusiastic and professional individual who was was a fountain of knowledge about fast flowing water, and teaching me how to run it whilst staying in my kayak ( most of the time ). The experience and love of what he does is obvious.
I would definitely use Paddle Wanaka again in the future, I can’t fault them.