SKABC Trip Classification

< 3 hrs/day
< 6 N. miles
Sheltered spots
Easy landings
< 3-5 hrs/day
< 6-10 N. miles
Some shelter
Easy landings
< 5-6 hrs/day
< 10-15 N. miles
Infrequent shelter
Sporadic landing spots
6+ hrs/day
15+ N. miles
Few or no shelter
few landings
Minimal paddling skills
Protected inland waters
Moderate wind effects
Weak to moderate currents
easy to moderate landings
1A 1B 1C 1D
Basic skills: able to brace
Protected inland waters
Moderate wind effects
Weak to moderate current
Easy to moderate landings
2A 2B 2C 2D
Good paddling, sea skills
Skilled self/group rescue
Open coast, exposed water, crossings & swells
Moderate to strong wind & current
Surf & difficult landings
3A 3B 3C 3D
Advanced skills (roll)
Long open crossings
Strong individual paddler
Exposed coast
Turbulent water, chop
Strong wind effects, current, large swells
Surf & difficult landings
4A 4B 4C 4D
  • This Trip Classification is a starting point and a guideline only. Many factors are in play
    when determining your suitability for a trip.
  • When selecting a trip, read the classification and determine whether you have the skills and strength to successfully and comfortably complete it. Considerations would include the presence or absence of currents, difficulty of the landings and launches, length of crossings, ruggedness of the coastline, general expected water conditions, etc.
  • Winds or currents can dramatically alter our progress, either in favour, or against us. We can fairly accurately predict the currents by using tide and current tables, but the presence of wind can easily increase the strenuousness of a “B” rated trip to a “C” or a “D”, or even make progress almost impossible.
  • Weather and water conditions on any particular day can make a trip more difficult and strenuous than rated!
  • Check with Trip Leaders if you have any doubt of the trip rating. Trip Leaders have the discretion to deny participation if they are unsure of a paddler’s skills or readiness for trips.
  • Wet suits or dry suits may be required by Trip Leaders on any trip.

You are responsible for your own safety on all trips: Make sure you have the skill level, the physical strength and endurance and the right equipment. Do not go out in conditions you are uncomfortable with. Kayaking conditions are variable and contain unpredictable elements that make any attempt to grade a trip inexact.