PADDLING TRIP, WATER AND SKILL RATINGS

Trip Ratings

Difficult 12 miles or more Long carries (1/2 mile +) Class II water and above
Moderate 6 - 12 miles
(most day trips)
Short carries (under ½ mile) Class I water - moving
Easy Under 6 miles
(most evening paddles)
No carries Flat water
All trip ratings are approximations. Conditions may vary considerable with differences in weather and water level. Please contact the trip leader for additional information.

Trip Type Codes

FW Flat water
MW Moving water
OW Open water
WW White water - see classifications below
PTFL Paddle Tour of the Finger Lakes

Skill Level

Novice First time paddlers or those who have recently been introduced to the paddling sports.
Paddler tends to go wherever the boat wants to go.
Beginner Paddler can perform basic strokes to maneuver a boat in a straight line and avoid obstructions. Kayakers should be able to perform wet exits. Beginner whitewater paddlers should be able to negotiate Class 2 rapids.
Paddler can generally make the boat go where he or she want it to go.
Intermediate Paddler is proficient in all basic and some advanced strokes. Paddler is able to safely maneuver in moderate wind and waves, and can perform self-rescue. Intermediate whitewater paddlers can negotiate Class 3 rapids.
Paddler persuades the boat it wants to go where he or she wants it to go.
Advanced Paddler has solid paddling techniques and is able to perform self and assisted rescues. Paddler is comfortable in large bodies of water, wind and waves. Advanced whitewater paddlers able to paddle in class 5 rapids.
Paddler and boat go places together.
Master Paddler and boat are one.
Commentary by Steve

White Water Classification

Flat Smooth or slow moving water.
Class I Fast moving water with riffles and small waves with few obstructions.
Class II Straightforward rapids with wide clear channels. Some maneuvering may be required to miss rocks or obstructions. Medium sized waves less than 3 feet in open water.
Class III Rapids with moderate irregular waves that may swamp an open canoe. Large waves and strainers may be present but easily avoided. Strong eddies and currents may be found. Open water with waves greater than 3 feet.
Class IV Powerful but predictable rapids containing large unavoidable waves, and holes or constricted passages. Open water with large waves, strong winds and/or surf, fog and difficult landings.
Class V Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids, which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large unavoidable waves or steep congested chutes with complex and demanding routes.