It was during the fall of 2002 at Klokkergården on Rødøy (Red Island) that a few of Norway’s most experienced sea kayak guides gathered for a series of meetings to discuss the lack of an educational and certifying system for sea kayak guides in Norway. These meetings brought forth with clarity the lack of educational and certifying body for sea kayak guides in Norway as well as the immediate need for the establishment of such a body ; out of these meeting on Rødøy emerged Norway’s Sea Kayak Guide and Instructor Association. NHKGIF was founded and incorporated later in November of 2002.
Norway’s Sea Kayak Guide and Instructor Association (NHKGIF) has been continually developing during the past ten years keeping pace with the ever growing popularity of sea kayaking and especially commercial sea kayaking trips as well as the increasing demands placed on professional sea kayak guides.
In 2015 NHKGIF became an accredited member of the International Ferdation of Sea Kayak Guides & Instructors Associations; as such now certifies guides under the IFSKGIA standards. A IFSKGIA guides certification has become the certification with the highest and toughest standards attainable for sea kayak guides. To become a IFSKGIA certified guide requires a serious investment of training, course work, and a long guide apprenthiceship but without these strict guidelines very few guides would voluntarily put themselves through adequate and tough enough guide training.
Having a international standard for sea kayak guides is very important because all those who paddle with a guide will notice the immense difference from highly qualified IFSKGIA guides to those who have little to no qualifications.