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Two ladies canoeing in the rain.
Photo credit: Gabes Images

Introduction to Tandem Lake Canoeing

Discipline: Canoeing Program: Lake Canoe Stream: Skills Development

The Introduction to Lake Canoeing course introduces beginner tandem paddlers how to paddle with a partner in calm sheltered waters.

Participants will be introduced to the basic paddling strokes and land and water rescues techniques. At the end of the course participants will have the confidence and basic skills to venture out on short paddling adventures.

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Course Overview

Typical Course Length

6 hours of instruction

Course Topics

Safety and Rescue
  • Carrying a canoe
  • Basic environment hazards like water, wind, waves, weather
  • When to get off the water
  • Being prepared for hypothermia and hyperthermia
  • Personal preparation (clothing, water, snacks, medication, etc.)
  • Transport Canada regulations and requirements
  • Safe canoe procedures (lead/sweep and on water leadership)
  • Canoe over canoe rescues
  • Towing a canoe
  • Throw bag practice
General Paddling Skills
  • Getting in and out of a canoe at a dock or easy shoreline
  • Paddling in cadence
  • Rafting up
  • Forward
  • Reverse
  • Check (stop)
  • Draw
  • Pry
  • J-Stroke or rudder
  • Forward and Reverse sweep (stern only)
  • Low brace
  • Drop Skeg
  • Forward paddling
  • Wide turns (rectangular course)
  • Pivots
  • Left and right turns
  • Docking (basic)
  • Reverse paddling
  • Momentum and initiation
  • Trimming a canoe
  • Basic canoe and paddle parts
  • Paddle and canoe care
  • Knots for canoe tie down (bowline and truckers hitch)
  • Equipment for a half day tour
  • Paddling within your ability
  • PaddleSmart
  • Leave No Trace principles
Course Prerequisites
  • None