Color Codes

Who is a Green Paddler
(Beginner / Novice Paddler)
Has taken the evening “intro to sea-kayaking” course of equivalent skills
Display of basic boat handling skills (forward, backward, balance, stopping, turning around)
Able to maintain a stable speed for 1 hour of continuous paddling
Display of basic harbour awareness
Limited rescue skills
Who is a Blue Paddler
(Intermediate Paddler)
Proficient and reliable rescue skills (tandem and solo)
Able to tow another canoe or kayak with paddlers for 1 km
Able to sustain 2 hours of constant paddling
Greater harbour awareness and safety awareness
Displays proficient boat handing skills (forward, backward, balance, stopping, edging, pivoting)
For kayaks the ability to roll successfully 50% of attempts
Has approximately 400 km logged paddling (equivalent to approximately 50 social night paddles)
Who is a Black Paddler
(Advanced Paddler)
Able to perform a variety of reliable rescues in various sea states
Able to tow another canoe or kayak with paddlers for 5 km
The ability to roll successfully 95% of attempts
The ability to roll on both sides and in various sea states
Able to sustain constant paddling indefinitely
Greater harbour awareness and safety awareness
Demonstrates leadership on the water
Has approximately 1000 km logged paddling
NOTE: The above descriptions for paddling ability is meant only as a reference. Special circumstances can apply and is at the discretion of the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre.

Daily Weather conditions table

Paddling Condition Code
Average Wind Speed
Sea (Lake) State (It’s a combination result from wind speed and direction, body of water (size of fetch), current, and eligible boat traffic)
0 to 20km/hr
Calm to rippling water (reflected waves from tour boats O.K.)
Average wave height < 1/3 meter No white cap waves visible in the inner harbour Water temperature >12°C
20km/hr to 35km/hr
Average wave height < 1 meter Visible white cap waves in the inner harbour Water temperature > 8°C
As defined by Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre
The Habourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre uses a colour code system to match individuals paddling skills to current weather conditions. This is done in an effort to create greater awareness of the limitations in individuals and/or groups paddling abilities. In summary we wish to further our efforts in making sure all who leave our docks do so with the knowledge and skills required for that current days paddling conditions i.e. a green ability paddler does not attempt to paddle on a blue paddling day.
A weather condition upgrade (going from a green paddling day to a blue or black paddling day) is at the discretion of the manager on duty.
A weather condition downgrade (e.g. blue paddling conditions to green paddling conditions) will only take place after the weather has stabilized into the description above for no less than 2 hours. This is due to weather volatility.

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