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Students learning advanced canoe poling techniques on the Miramichi River, NB with Tim Humes.
Location: Miramichi River, New Brunswick. Photo Credit Tim Humes

Advanced Canoe Poling

Discipline: Canoeing Program: Canoe Poling Stream: Skills Development

Advanced Canoe Poling represents the highest skill level within the Paddle Canada discipline and provides the candidate with the opportunity to improve his/her moving water skills under more challenging conditions.

The advanced level places emphasis upon exhibiting a high degree of precision, efficiency and control of the canoe.

At the end of the course, students should be able to ascend/descend class 2-2+ rapids when conditions allow. 

The overall aim is to expand knowledge and skill, so participants should be able to have greater control and precision in more challenging moving water conditions.  Activities focus on safety and comfortable poling in Moving Water up to Class 2+.

While there is a great deal to learn at this level, activity should concentrate on progress, skill development and finesse.

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Course Overview

Typical Course Length

8 to 14 hours of instruction.

Course Topics

Safety and Rescue
  • Review of safety procedures as required
  • Pinned boat recovery (e.g. z drags, etc.)
  • Pole pins & recovery
  • Dumping avoidance: balance, canoe tilt, use of pry’s, pole placement to proper side of current, etc.
  • Pole storage and access to extra poles
  • Expanded first aid kits
  • Review and honing of poling stroke skills
  • Pole placement to proper side of current
  • Proper snubbing to prevent injury
  • Adequate number of poles
  • Stroke blending
  • Honing skills in water class level 2+
  • Lining & tracking
  • Use of current differentials
  • Individual and group responsibilities
Course Prerequisites
  • Certification
    • Intermediate Canoe Poling or prior experience with permission of the Instructor.