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Gentleman paddling a canoe solo.
Photo credit: Gabes Images

Style Canoeing Program

The Style Canoeing program follows in the footsteps of Omer Stringer, Bill Mason, Becky Mason, and others paddling in a classic Canadian form also called solo canoeing. This is a quiet water solo paddling style where the canoe is moved across the water in free flowing graceful motions and routines.

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Style Canoeing uses a traditional tandem canoe paddled on one side, with occasional cross strokes. The canoe is heeled to the paddling side with the gunwale near the water surface. The canoeist is quiet, sitting still almost invisible and the focus is on the movement of the canoe.

There are several subsets of style canoeing including Canoe Dance or Ballet that include longer routines done to music as well as American Freestyle which is a closely related discipline that typically uses smaller canoes, many dramatic static strokes, and more body movement. An introduction to the basics of this more recent style technique is included as part of this program.

Students will gain an intimate feel of the connection between body, water, and canoe and by the end of the program they will be able to take the canoe through a series of precisely controlled quiet water routines as a single paddler or as part of a group.

Students will finish each course with a good understanding of the effect of hull shape, edging, body position, and strokes. Advancement from one level to the next will mean extending basic manoeuvres into routines with tighter corridors along with mastering new skills and new manoeuvres.

Although the Style program can be entered with Introduction to Solo Skills, the actual paddling skill requirements are quite high. We recommend that students have paddling skills and boat control at the Intermediate Lake Solo level before starting these levels.

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