paddling canada instructors

Level I Tandem River Canoeing Skills Course

  • Equivalent to Paddle Canada’s Moving Water Canoe Skills Introduction Tandem course
  • Equivalent to part of the RCABC’s Basic Tandem Moving Water Canoeing course 


Tuition $310 per person + GST


Who takes this course?

Don’t let the word ‘introduction’’ mislead you. Even seasoned whitewater paddlers with many river-miles behind them will benefit greatly from this course.  In this course you will learn the same technical skills required for gentle water as for difficult, turbulent rapids.  This foundation is built by honing precision and technique in a simple class 1 or 2 section of a river.  



Course Overview 

This course will open up a lot of tripping possibilities for you!  Course theory covers types of river canoes, proper whitewater outfitting, dressing for the river, safety topics, and interpreting river levels and rapid classifications.  On the water, we will focus on practicing basic strokes and manoeuvers (front ferries, c-turns, s-turns), learning how to carve a canoe, identifying common features and hazards on the river and how to avoid them, practicing basic self-rescue skills, throwbag rescues, rescuing canoes, and much more.

Strokes: stern draw, stern pry, forward, backward, hip draw, cross-bow draw, low brace, high brace, river J, bow cut

Manoeuvers (in class 1 or easy class 2 river sections): entering and exiting a canoe, frontcanoeing courses bc ferry, eddy turns (C-turns and S-turns), back ferry, side-slip, spin, portaging, lining, landing in current, intro to backferrying and surfing.

Safety Skills: shoreline rescues with throwbag, T- or Parallel rescues, self-rescue, capsized canoe rescue, swimming across eddy-lines.. 

Theory: types of canoes (design and construction), outfitting paddlers and canoes, international river classification system, interpreting river discharge rates, environmental considerations, canoe heritage.


At the end of this canoeing course students will be able to use the fundamental river-paddling strokes and manoeuvers to safely navigate class 1 river sections, recognize and avoid hazards, and know how to choose a section of river that matches the ability of their family or paddling group.



Lakewater II course or equivalent experience 

This Level 1 River Course is not for those new to canoeing – it is a packed, 2+ day course that builds upon solid lake-canoeing skills and knowledge and introduces you to technical paddling skills and knowledge needed to safely paddle up to class 1 on easy rivers. This course is suitable for paddlers who already have very proficient lake canoeing skills in both the bow and stern positions and may already have some experience paddling on very easy rivers.


This Level 1 course PLUS several subsequent days of river canoeing experience is required as a prerequisite for taking the Level 2 (Intermediate river course), or with instructor consent.



















Prior to attending this course, EACH participant:

      • has attended a Lakewater II course and/or has proficient lake canoeing skills in both bow and stern positions.
      • is able to paddle a canoe in a straight line without switching paddling sides in the stern (both paddlers).
      • knows the following strokes: hip draw, stern draw, stern pry, hip pry, forward, backward, J, sweep.
      • has practiced a canoe-over-canoe rescue (t-rescue). 
      • knows how to spin, sideslip, and turn a canoe.
      • has paddled on a lake in moderate wind under control.
      • has average or better swimming skills.
      • is 16 years of age or older

Those who are unfamiliar with both bow and stern paddling, are very new to canoeing or just wish to brush up on a few things before heading on to a river can take a Lakewater II course


Level I River Skills Course – 

  • April 23 & 24, 2022 + Friday April 22 evening theory session
  • June 11 & 12, 2022 + Friday June 10 evening theory session
  • Sept 10 &11, 2022 + Friday Sept 9 evening theory session