Weekend River Canoeing Courses

Overview – Elements Adventure Company’s weekend river canoeing courses in BC are for all levels of paddler.  Each course includes two full days on the water – finding the ease of working with currents, refreshing strokes, and connecting with the natural beauty that rivers have to offer.


Course Locations – Our courses are staged from Vernon BC, with paddling on the Lower or Middle Shuswap Rivers, near Ashton Creek BC and Cherryville BC, respectively.  Both rivers give us options to play in class 1-3 whitewater, and are each a 45 minute drive from Vernon BC.  We will meet each morning at approximately 8:00am and return by 5:30pm.  From time-to-time, we may also head to the Similkameen, Nicola, or Adams River for more advanced courses.


canoe courses by certified paddle canada instructor

The following canoe courses are designed for the beginner to the seasoned river paddler, and are taught by instructors certified through Paddle Canada or the Recreational Canoe Association of BC, or both!


NEW in 2021! Moving Water Pre-Course

Tuition $130 per person

Who takes this course? – The Moving Water Pre-Course is the fast-track for people wanting to get out on a river course.  $15 of your course tuition may be put towards the Introductory Moving Water Course tuition.  Rentals are not included.

Course Overview:  This pre-course is held on a lake near Vernon, BC, and is intended to build a foundation of skills for river-paddling strokes, boat-control, turning manoeuvres, and rescue practice, and develop basic knowledge of canoes, gear, and outfitting required for the river environment.  It is mandatory before taking an Introduction to Moving Water Canoeing Course (or equivalent experience).

At the end of this canoeing course, you will also:

  • be ready to translate the skills and manoeuvres to moving water
  • have good boat control paddling both bow and stern
  • feel confident getting in and out of the canoe in deep water
  • rescuing other canoes on flat water

Prerequisites – Some time spent in canoes and/or around water is an asset.  Minimum age is 15, or with instructor consent.

2021 Moving Water Pre-Course Dates

  • April 11
  • May 23
  • upon request



Introduction to Moving Water Canoeing

Tuition $295 per person

canoeing courses bc

Who takes this course?

The Introduction to Moving Water course is for paddlers who already have very proficient lake canoeing skills, and are looking to progress from the lake to the river environment.  Those who are very new to canoeing will need to take a Moving Water Pre-Course (on flat water) or gain similar experience.   This course welcomes paddlers who want to learn basic river skills and safety, or want some extra practice before heading out on their own expedition (such as the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit, which includes ‘the Chute’).

Course Overview – Course theory covers info about river canoes, proper whitewater outfitting, dressing for the river, safety topics, and interpreting river levels.  On the water, we will focus on learning basic strokes and maneuvers, identifying common features and hazards on the river, and practicing basic rescue skills.

At the end of this canoeing course, you will also:

  • be able to use the fundamental river-paddling strokes and maneuvers to navigate across currents, and,
  • know how to choose a section of river that matches the abilities of your family or paddling group.

This is course is an action-packed weekend.  With SO much to learn at this level, we require a good background in lake or easy river paddling experience before taking this course. Don’t let the term ‘introductory’ mislead you. Due to the dynamic nature of rivers, this course is not for complete beginner paddlers.

Prerequisites – Moving-water Pre-course and/or proficient lake canoeing skills are required.  Minimum age is 16, or with instructor consent.

2021 Introductory Course Dates

  • April 24 & 25 (including evening theory session on April 23)
  • June 12 & 13 (including evening theory session on June 11)
  • Sept 11 & 12 (including evening theory session on Sept 10)


Intermediate Moving Water Canoe

Tuition $295 per person

river canoeing lessons in bc

Join our River Canoe Clinics to get more proficient in your paddling.

Who takes this course? – The Intermediate Moving Water course is for those who have taken a beginner course and want to build their confidence in larger waves, practice their rescue skills, and be able to lead a small group on an easy river.

Course Overview – Now you know the basics, let’s learn how to make the difficult seem easy.  We’ll explore more about the river’s habits, hazards, and features, and how we can use them to our advantage. Begin to blend paddle strokes, perfect that elusive back ferry, find a good surf wave, and practice more complex rescue skills.

By the end of this weekend course you will also:

  • know how to turn a canoe without making paddle strokes – or Jedi mind control!
  • be able to navigate class 2 (or higher) water confidently with your paddle partner
  • be able to recognize when your group ought to portage (vs. run) a rapid.

Prerequisites – Introductory course or equivalent experience.  Minimum age is 16, or with consent of instructor.

Intermediate Course Dates

  • April 24 & 25
  • May 15 & 16
  • Sept 11 & 12


Advanced Moving Water Canoe

Tuition $310 per person

whitewater canoeing courses in bc okanagan

One of our Whitewater Canoeing Courses held near the Okanagan Valley.

Did you know you could “carve” a turn in a canoe?  Ever wonder how some people can make that move in one or two paddle strokes, and you need to work your butt off to make it happen?  Our advanced whitewater courses will unlock the river’s secrets and your boat’s technology to soar effortlessly across currents and into that hard-to-catch eddy pool.

These 2-day weekend courses in BC are an exciting way to increase your confidence in grade 3 whitewater or if you intend to lead others on extended river canoeing trips.

Prerequisites – Intermediate course and subsequent practice and experience. Equivalent recent white water experience may be considered.  Minimum age is 18, or with consent of instructor.

2021 Advanced Course Dates


Be sure to turn your player to 1080 HD to experience the crystal clear waters of the Shuswap River!

Solo Whitewater Canoe – Beginner to Advanced

solo whitewater canoeing course okanagan bc

The solo whitewater canoeing courses are the perfect match for intermediate paddlers looking for customized instruction.

Tuition $310 per person
Whether you’ve never tried a short whitewater playboat, or you’re a seasoned paddler looking to improve confidence and efficiency, we’ll design a solo canoeing course that’s perfect for you!  Learning how to paddle a solo whitewater canoe will change your paddling style and competence forever.  Catch eddies you never even saw before, surf waves with ease, and be the master of your own fate as you glide across river currents.  Intermediate moving- water tandem canoeing skills required.

2021 Solo Course Dates

  • May 15 & 16 (including evening theory session May 14 for beginner solo paddlers)
  • contact us to book a private course


River Rescue – Canoeing Specific

Knowing how to swim a rapid is as important as knowing how to paddle one.

Tuition $310 per person

Finally!  A river rescue course series designed for canoeists!  These invaluable courses will have you out of the canoe as much as in it, throwing ropes, swimming rapids, re-entering canoes, and playing with different ways to set safety for difficult rapids.  Even if you’ve learned some of these techniques before, the practice is priceless.   These courses are a must-have series for anyone planning their own river trip.


2021 Rescue Course Dates

  • Level 1 – April 17 & 18 (including evening theory session April 16)
  • Level 2 – May 1 & 2 (including evening theory session April 30)
  • Contact us to book a private course


Weekend Cost Per Person For All River Canoe Courses

The cost for a weekend canoeing course starts at $295 + tax per person.  Bring your own canoe and paddling gear, or see below for rental rates.

DISCOUNTS: 10% for groups of 3-5; 15% for 6 or more. No individual payments please.

REGISTRATION only valid if accompanied by a deposit of $60/weekend (non-refundable or transferable within 14 days of course date). Balance due 14 days prior to course start. No refunds within 14 days of course start.

View our Cancellation Policy here.

Book Canoeing Course Online

Equipment Rentals

We offer high-quality, fully-outfitted whitewater canoes for rent.  Participants are responsible for the full cost of repair or replacement of any damaged or lost boats or equipment.  Normal wear is expected.

Prices are for 2-days, per person. All prices are subject to GST.

   CANOE    Canoe Paddle $10
   Tandem (pp) $30    Helmet $15
    Solo $45    PFD (Lifevest) $15
   Wetsuit $20
   Small Dry Bag FREE
   Large Dry-bag $20

Prices are for 2-days, per person. All prices are subject to GST.


See Paddle Canada’s Canoe Skill Levels here if you are interested in skill level certification.


Need a great place to stay while attending a course, or in advance of an expedition? Please see our list of local accommodations here.