BCU 4-star events in Massachusetts/RI

There are some upcoming 4-star trainings and assessments in the Boston/RI area, by Peter Casson.

Through Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures (http://www.ospreyseakayak.com)

4-star training – Sept 24 (http://www.ospreyseakayak.com/instruction/bcu.cfm)

4-star assessment – Oct 1 (not posted yet, but Peter says it is scheduled)

Through Charles River Canoe & Kayak (http://ski-paddle.com/paddle_school/bcu.html)

4-star training – Oct 8

4-star assement – Oct 9

(despite the appearance of a package, these can be taken separately, according to Peter; also I seriously doubt that it is $250/day; that’s probably a typo, and is the price for both)


must you attend THEIR training?
Thanks for the post. Must you attend THEIR training to be assessed?


– Last Updated: Sep-17-05 9:26 PM EST –

From my experience, training and assessments are seperate. I have never heard of any instance where you had to take training and assessment from the same place, as a matter of fact it would more likely be the opposite. Instructors would rather you assess from someone other than those that gave you the training. It keeps the BCU system and everyone equal and to the same standards. So, i'm sure that if you just wanted to assess that would be fine. Contact them directy.

BCU training?
Or, was the question whether you had to attend ~BCU~ training in order to take a BCU assessment? The answer for levels 4 and under is no you don’t.

For example, I first learned most of the 4-star curriculum in other, non BCU training, some by BCU-trained paddlers and some not. Nevertheless, BCU 4-star training is good stuff, and it also gives you more precise perspective what they are looking for in assessments. But can you take and pass 4-star without ever taking official BCU 4-star training? Absolutely. It’s a very practical, “get the job done efficiently” curriculum and the equivalent is taught well in many places in the kayaking world.

That’s also theoretically true in 3-star training, but less likely in practice. The 3-star curriculum is fairly precise execution of basic strokes and manuevers in isolation. Assessors are looking for a lot of nuance to show you can not only execute the strokes but also have good theoretical understanding of body/boat/blade mechanics. That kind of material is hard to get right on your own; it really helps to be shown the strokes and manuevers by someone versed in the BCU system, and to get feedback from them on your own execution. But again, I don’t beleive there is any formal requirement to take BCU training before a 3-star assessment.

5-star is a diffferent matter, however. I believe (somebody correct me if wrong) you do actually have to participate in the official training to even be allowde to take the assessment.


On this side of the pond
David is correct as far as I understand that only 5 star requires you take specific 5 star training before you are allowed to assess.

Though there isn’t actually any official 3 or 4 star training - “we all do it” was the word I got from Tom Bergh.

In actual practice, most BCU centers in the USA prefer to take 3 star training before 4 star, and require 4 star certification before taking 5 star training.

5 star is sort of like a doctorate. Most, I know, who have taken 5 star training have not assessed. Just survivng 5 star training is an accomplishment to be respected.

BCU sequence
Actually, the BCU 5-star does explicitly require the 4-star award, or a waiver. And the 4-star award requires the 3-star, or at least testing on a cross-section of 3-star skills during the 4-star assessment.

I know some folks who took the latter route to 4-star, but were later asked to go back and pass a formal 3-star assessment.

You can see all the syllabi at http://bcuna.com/Pages/Main-Pages/Literature.shtml