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Man solo canoeing on calm water.
Photo credit: Gabes Images

Introduction to Style Canoeing

Discipline: Canoeing Program: Style Canoe Stream: Skills Development

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 "Omering", Canadian Style, or Classic Solo Canoeing.

Students will be introduced to the basic concepts and core skills, forward control, weight turns, pivots and basic reverse skills in precisely controlled manoeuvres. Manoeuvres are to be completed on one paddling side, however it is encouraged to attempt these skills on both sides.

Students will finish each course with a good understanding of the effect of hull shape, edging, body position, and strokes.

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Course Overview

Typical Course Length

8 hours of instruction and expect 16 hours of personal practice time.

Course Topics

Safety and Rescue
  • Swim 15m towing canoe and empty in shallow water
  • Attempted Solo re-entry of canoe from deep water
  • Canoe over Canoe or parallel rescue, supported re-entry from deep water
  • Self-rescue techniques – Capistrano flip, shake out, swim/tow shallow water empty
  • Use of throw bag and associated rescue of others
General Paddling Skills
  • Balance/heel/tilt
  • Launch and removal (shore/dock)
Paddling Strokes
  • J Stroke and the Canadian Stroke
  • Rolling J (Silent stroke) and the Reverse J
  • C stroke
  • Draw and Push away
  • Sculling (draw/push) in both directions
  • Forward Stroke
  • Box stroke (pivots)
  • Reverse stroke and compound back stroke
  • Running pry, jam (turns)
  • Running draw (turns)
  • Sweep (forward/reverse) for both turns and pivots
  • Pivots
  • Forward and Reverse straight line
  • Forward straight line glide of 5-10 seconds
  • Forward and reverse controlled stops
  • Side displacement
  • Inside and outside circles
  • Controlled turns in both directions
  • Forward weight turns in both directions
  • Introduction to reverse weight turns
  • Basic synchronized paddling skills with another canoe
  • What is ‘Style’ Canoeing – off-shoots, related disciplines, and subsets
  • Boat types/shapes as they apply to style paddling
  • Influence of Omer Stringer & others (Bill Mason, Becky Mason, etc.) on Canadian Style canoeing
  • Canoe dynamics and mechanics
Course Prerequisites
  • Lake Canoe Skills Introduction Solo or prior experience at the discretion of the Course Director
  • Individuals coming into this course must be comfortable with basic solo paddling skills.