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Ocean Risk Management Program (ORMP)


Discounts Available for Groups & NonProfits

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Group Discounts

4-5 ppl 5% | 6-11 ppl 10% | 12-19 ppl 15% | 20+ ppl 20%

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  • Details
  • Course Information
  • Santa Barbara Waterfront
Location:Santa Barbara Waterfront
Main Activity:Surf Zone Management
Duration:2 Days
Skill Level:No Experience Necessary
Included:Tuition & Course Materials
Discounts Available for Groups & NonProfits
 Book Now

Learn, review, and sharpen open ocean guiding skills with this Channel Islands Outfitters exclusive program. This is a specific guide training program for Sit-on-top guides who lead groups in open-ocean and flat-water conditions. Risk is an inherent part of the activities that kayak guides partake in and this course specifically discusses ways in which to reduce risk, but also assess the parameters behind “acceptable risk”.

    This program is broken down into discussions and skills practice and covers these 4 major topics in detail:
  • Risk Management
  • Sit-On-Top Ocean Kayak Guiding
  • Stand-Up Paddleboard Guiding/Instruction
  • Emergency Management

Risk Management

This is the core concept behind the ORMP and there will be several class discussions regarding risk management and the practical application and pursuit while leading groups on the ocean.

Sit-On-Top Ocean Kayak Guide Training

Sit-on-top kayaking requires a different skill set than “traditional” sea kayaking does. CIO instructors have 10 years + of sit-on-top guiding experience that is specific to the waters off the coast of Southern California.

    Some of the skills taught, practiced, and assessed include:
  • Pre-trip planning
  • Communications and Signals
  • Leading groups through navigable water-ways
  • Rescues and Assists
  • Launching and Landing

Stand-Up Paddleboard Guiding/Instruction

As SUPing grows in popularity the demand for qualified guides/instructors is growing, yet the parameters for managing risk using SUP boards has not been fully examined or taught properly. CIO’s ORMP is a one-of-a-kind SUP training that is designed specifically for Southern California open-ocean conditions. The topics covered in this portion of the program are very similar to the Sit-on-top ocean kayak guiding training, but also include additional considerations for SUP.

  • Group size considerations
  • SUP specific rescues and assists

Emergency Management

Even the most active and thoughtful preventative programs sometimes find themselves managing an emergency situation. The actions taken during an emergency are critical and must be practiced for a guide to feel comfortable with this skill set. This is a significant portion of our second day.

    Each participant will be placed in a scenario that will test the following skills:
  • Preventative Practices
  • Emergency Response
  • Group Management
  • Emergency Follow-up
Schedule: This program takes place over two days. Day 1 will include a 2-hour discussion, 1-hour physical fitness assessment, and 3-4 hours of ocean skills. Day 2 will take place almost entirely on the water.

Planning: Due to the amount of time spent on and in the ocean, it is highly recommended that participants bring a 3/4 wetsuit (2/3 wetsuits are provided) and plenty of warm clothing.

Successful Completion: Participants that successfully complete the ORMP will be issued a program completion certificate. CIO guides must complete the ORMP every 2 years (a shorter 1-day version recertification is available). If you are interested in working for CIO as a guide you must complete this ORMP before you will be considered for employment and further training.

Financial Support: CIO will reimburse all guides who complete the ORMP and the Assistant Guide evaluation in FULL for the ORMP.

Fitness Test: Participants must all complete a mandatory physical fitness test that includes running and swimming in full gear. Participants that cannot complete this test will not be able to continue and will receive a full refund.

This course will take place at the Paddle Sports Center in the Santa Barbara Harbor or Goleta Beach. Please check you confirmation for specific start/end times and locations.

Our Commitment to YOU!

We LOVE what we do! It is our mission to save the oceans and natural places by fostering an understanding of them through education, adventures, and outdoor experiences.

Would you trust a skinny chef? Channel Islands Outfitters is a guide owned and operated company. We have one of the MOST comprehensive training programs in the world for Sit-On-Top kayak guiding into sea caves. CIO guides have over 150 years of combined experiences at the Channel Islands.

Neon was fancy like 30 years ago! Our gear is NEW, comfy, and specific to kayaking. We use NRS and Kokatat gear and our wetsuits are cleaned after every use. Want others to send a “shoulda gone with them glance” your way… join a World-Class CIO Adventure.

Smallest Group Sizes and Choices The islands are not an amusement park attraction, they are a unique and fragile wilderness environment. In consideration of our precious resources and your enjoyment, we keep our group sizes small so that we can minimize our impact and accommodate EVERYONE’s expectation level. We also believe that the type of kayak you choose is a risk management decision, not a financial decision. Our guides will advise you on current conditions when you arrive at the island, and then you can decide whether you want a single or double kayak.

We Have Your Back! Easy to understand cancellation policies, travel insurance, and friendly staff… CIO is a “Yes” company. Find out for yourself!

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It is our mission to save the oceans and natural places by fostering an understanding of them through education, adventures and outdoor experiences.
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