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Level II Tandem River Canoeing Skills Course

  • Equivalent to Paddle Canada’s Moving Water Canoe Skills Intermediate Tandem Course
  • Equivalent to the RCABC’s full Basic Tandem Moving Water Canoeing Course


Tuition $310 per person + GST

Who takes this course? 

A Level II (Intermediate) skill level is required to attend trips such as the 4 Rivers in 4 Days trip. (Clearwater River, Sept 2020 pictured)

This Intermediate level course is for those who want to:

  • progress into paddling confidently in class 2 or higher sections of rivers
  • unlock the power of the river and their canoe in order to make canoeing easier
  • practice maneuvers and hone skills in more difficult rapids and faster current
  • take on more of a leadership role within their paddling group
  • build confidence in larger waves and stronger eddies
  • learn more complex rescue skills.


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, gain a deeper feel for the river and timing of maneuvers and strokes, perfect that elusive back ferry, find a good surf wave, and practice more complex rescue skills. 

Strokes: righting pry, reverse J, reverse sweep, underwater recovery, bow draw, blending of strokes.

Manoeuvers (in class 2 or easy class 3): arcing turns, front ferry, back ferry, eddy turns (C-turns, S-turns), executing a chosen line through a rapid, running side slips, front surfing, intro to side surfing and jet-ferrying.

Safety skills: self and companion rescue in class 2, parallel rescues, painter tows, swimming with a canoe, unpinning methods, throwbag rescues and re-throws. 

Theory: risk and consequence, different ways to run rapids, communication between partners and among a paddling group, considerations of lead and sweep positions, ‘reading the river’, building familiarity with the international river classification system, canoe history.


By the end of this course you will:

  • know how to turn a canoe without making paddle strokes – or Jedi mind control!
  • be able to navigate class 2 water confidently with your paddle partner
  • be able to scout a river section and recognize when your group ought to portage (vs. run) a rapid.
  • know how to spot river features and how to use them to your advantage.
  • understand how rivers shape the landscape.


Level I Tandem River Canoeing Skills Course (or equivalent). As this is a packed weekend course, it is important that attendees are prepared with the required skills so everyone can get the most out of the weekend.  It is not advised to skip taking a Level 1 River course.

Prior to taking the Level II Skills Course EACH participant:

      • has attended a Level 1 tandem river canoeing course (or equivalent), AND has spent several subsequent days of paddling in class 1 or 2 sections of rivers.
      • knows how to execute an eddy turn – including C-turns and S-turns on easy rivers in both bow and stern positions.
      • can carve a canoe using the MITH acronym (momentum, initiation, tilt, hold)
      • knows how to tilt a canoe and when to do it
      • has practiced self-rescue procedures and practiced throwing a throwbag from shore – or attended a Level 1 River Rescue course for canoeists.
      • is 16 years of age or older.
      • has average or better swimming skills.


Note: This Level 2 course PLUS several subsequent days of river canoeing experience in class 2+ rivers is required as a prerequisite for taking the Level 3 (Advanced whitewater course), or with instructor consent.


Level II (Intermediate) Courses – See our events calendar in May, June & September for dates!