International Sea Kayak Guide Association

Welcome to ISKGA

An international sea kayaking Guide association which represents the commercial sea kayak guide.

We are professional, dedicated and enthusiastic about sea kayaking and guiding others on the ocean. We recognise the need to have a fair, uncomplicated and inclusive system within which guides and coaches can operate effectively and with purpose.

We are an inclusive community of like-minded individuals banded together through a common purpose; guiding others on the ocean.

The Coastal and Advanced Guide is a professional award for people wanting to make a career in the industry. It is internationally recognized as the benchmark of a professional sea kayak guide, employers can employ with confidence, knowing that each individual has received thorough training and assessment, over a period of time and is current and active in ALL aspects of guiding

* Currency

* Ability

* Knowledge

* Experience

An ISKGA guide must demonstrate C.A.K.E at all times.

ISKGA is not aimed at the “Club” paddler; other organisations fulfil this role in a more effective manner. However we do actively encourage club members & individuals who might be involved in “National Home Nation Awards” to use the ISKGA process as a means of underpinning existing awards/standards and developing their personal knowledge, skill & experience base further.

To this end, ISKGA is in the process of developing a comprehensive range of CPD modules for its members and is in discussion with other recognised bodies to share parity in CPD delivery and recognition. These modules will be available to anyone with a passion for sea kayaking.

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New ISKGA Chairman UK

Nicholas Arding shall be stepping forward into the post of Chairman for ISKGA UK

Nick shall also be heading up the newly developed steering committee to help develop the overall system further as ISKGA moves ahead into 2017.
Further members of this steering committee include Myles Farnbank from Wilderness Scotland, Howard Jeffs from HJN Coaching, Jeff Allen of ISKGA & Sea Kayaking Cornwall Ltd and Lee Pooley from British Canoeing

ISKGA was founded in 2012 and then registered as a Limited Company on the 27th August 2013. But formation as a limited company was only a temporary measure to see the organisation through its preliminary expansion period. The directors of ISKGA are united in their vision of the organisation developing into a community-orientated organisation and Nick shall be spear heading this approach.

There have been some great developments in the world of sea kayak guiding over the last few years and with recent guide developments with British Canoeing, we felt that a unified approach with the collective aspirations of the greater sea kayaking community needed to be developed so that knowledge and experiences are shared openly and without reservation.

A little bit about Nick Arding:

Nick spent 23 years serving as an officer in the Royal Marines, and after a short lived career as a science teacher (something he describes as having been far harder than ‘commando training’!) now works as a performance coach and life coach, mainly helping people figure out news ways of thinking.

As a Royal Marines officer, Nick served all around the world. He specialized in amphibious operations, never once thinking that he would go on to spend so much time in the ‘littoral zone’ sitting in an 18 foot sea kayak rather than a 100 tonne landing craft!

In 2003 Nick was selected to lead the Royal Navy Everest North Ridge expedition, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the mountain’s first ascent. As well as putting two team members onto the summit, his team also rescued two injured climbers from a commercial expedition. As a result of the rescue, six members of the team (including Nick) were awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal. In 2005 Nick was made an OBE as a result of his work on this project.

In 2007 Nick’s wife crushed her legs during a farming accident and so they bought a couple of sea kayaks to ‘pass the time’!
Passing the time turned into an obsession for Nick who now also works as a sea kayak coach and guide.

Nick recently completed his Advanced Guide Observation in Anglesey, North Wales and became the first guide candidate to pass with a grade of 'Distinction'.

All of the team at ISKGA welcome Nick on board and are keen to support him in this role as chairman.

For further information you can contact Nick directly by email:

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Photos from International Sea Kayak Guide Association's post (2 photos) ...

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Some thought regarding floatation and sea survival options ...

A short video on a few issues surrounding buoyancy aids: Several years ago I was approached by David Whiddon a sea survival trainer at the R.N.L.I to help do some research and development into a sea survival module for the sea kayaking community and to also attend a lecture by Proffessor Mike Tipton (Co author of the essentials of sea survival). The lecture highlighted advancements in the deeper understanding and further developments in life jackets and Buoyancy Aids (PFD's). Over the course of the next few months I attended courses in sea survival and worked with A sea survival trainer from the RNLI on devolping the above mentioned course. One aspect which shined out very effectively in the sea survival pool was the inadequacies of a buoyancy aid over a sustained period of time in the water. Even when the BA is fitted correctly and straps are tightened securely, the action of 'bobbing' up and down will eventually loosen the straps and the BA will no longer perform effectively, in roughwater may even be inadvertantly removed. Another point which was brought home to me, was the inadequate amount of buoyancy there is within most BA's and we started to look at other options in ways of creating more buoyancy without creating a vest which would be so bulky that you could not paddle effectively. The Kokatat SeaO2 vest (which is not CE approved or sold within the UK) proved to be the most effective and I have started to use this vest on most of my expeditions. I like minimal buoyancy when I am paddling so that I have maximum mobility but would like to have maximum buoyancy if I found myself to be in a sea survival situation. Another option I came up with was to use the Kokatat Orbit vest in conjunction with a 'Ships Pilot Life Jacket' which can be carried seperately in a day hatch or worn around the waist, then adorned if the need for greater buoyancy was required. This video isn't to try and get everyone to run out and change their BA to a life jacket, more to just open up paddlers awareness into the advantages and disadvantages of both options, highlighting some other options and to create further discussions on peoples ideas surrounding floatation.

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