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Kids paddling a canoe as part of a waterfront canoe course.
Photo credit: Priscilla Haskin

Waterfront Canoe Skills

Discipline: Canoeing Program: Lake Canoe Stream: Skills Development

The Waterfront Canoe Program provides knowledge and skills necessary for calm water paddling in a designated "waterfront or beachfront" area.

The course focuses on basic skill development, safety and an understanding of limitations primarily through paddling games and group activities.

The items chosen for inclusion in this program are of importance to individuals being introduced to canoeing through canoeing games in a summer camp or canoe club setting, within a sheltered environment.

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Course Overview

Typical Course Length

1-5 hours of instruction. Can be broken up into mini sessions.

Course Topics

Safety and Rescue
  • Transport Canada regulations
  • Designated paddling area
  • Cold and heat related concerns
  • Environmental hazards
  • Emergency procedures for the camp/club
  • Rescue procedures: canoe over canoe
  • Buddy system
  • Warm-ups to reduce paddling injuries
  • Lifejacket selection
  • Carrying a canoe
  • How to sit or kneel
General Paddling Skills
  • How to enter and exit a canoe
  • Coordinating switching sides and places
  • Forward and reverse strokes
  • Check (stop)
  • Draw and Pry
  • J-stroke or rudder
  • Forward sweep
  • Low brace
  • Drop skeg
  • Forward paddling
  • Pivoting
  • Turns under power
  • Stopping
  • How to hold a paddle
  • Balance: 3-point contact
  • Paddling positions
  • Basic canoe and paddle parts
  • Paddling with the group
  • Course limitations
  • Additional courses
  • Paddlesmart
  • Canoeing resources & local paddling clubs
Course Prerequisites
  • None