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A man in a whitewater kayak about to surf in a whitewater hole.
Location: Roseway River, Nova Scotia. Photo credit: Karl Vollmer

Intermediate River Kayak Skills

Discipline: River Kayaking Stream: Skills Development

The Intermediate River Kayak Skills course is designed to teach participants to paddle on Class II Rivers. Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles of moving water and kayaking safety.

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to confidently navigate Class II rapids on rivers that contain a mix of Class I/II rapids in a group setting.

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Course Overview

Typical Course Length

16 hours of instruction or approximately 2 days.

Course Water Class

This course runs in Class-2 conditions which are described as:

Moderately exposed coastline with frequent easy-landing opportunities and short crossings. Moderate potential wind effects (22-35 km/h or 12–19 knots), surf of less than 1 meter and a combined sea state of less than 1 metre, gentle to moderate non- turbulent currents (< 6 km/h or < 3 knots), and light surf beaches. Short delays in access to land-based assistance should be expected.

Learn more about our water classification system.

Course Topics

Safety Skills
  • Review all rescue skills introduced at Beginner River Skills level in Class II water.
  • Rolling in class II current.
Paddling Skills
  • Eddy s-turn
  • Jet ferry
  • Front surf
  • Side surf
  • Static draw
  • Sculling
Theory and Knowledge
  • Review all theory items from the Beginner River Kayaking Skills level.
  • Using the river to the paddlers advantage.
Course Prerequisites
  • Skills Certification
    • Beginner River Kayaking Skills course or equivalent skills with the permission of the course director.
  • Paddling Experience
    • Participants must be able to perform a controlled and calm wet exit in current.
  • First Aid
    • Students are encouraged to take a Basic First Aid course and a Swift Water Rescue course.
  • Paddling Equipment
    • The kayak must have sufficient buoyancy, float bag / bulkhead, to float after a wet exit.
    • A helmet approved for use in moving water.