Kids taking part in a paddlesmart lesson.
Photo credit: Priscilla Haskin

Waterfront Kayak Skills

Discipline: Sea Kayaking Stream: Skills Development

The Waterfront Kayak Skills course is designed to provide knowledge and skills necessary for those paddling in a "beachfront" or summer-camp type environment.

This course is designed to teach skill development and safety primarily through the use of games and fun activities.


Waterfront Kayak Skills introduces the beginner to kayaking in calm waters in a designated waterfront area. The skills and knowledge gained at this level form the foundation necessary for confident and safe travel within small and calm environments.

Students who complete the Waterfront Kayak program are considered to be beginners, capable of performing the basic strokes to manoeuvre a kayak for short distances.

Find a School  Search for a Sea Kayak Course  Find a Sea Kayak Instructor

Course Overview

Typical Course Length

A minimum of five hours.

Course Water Class

This course runs in Class-0 conditions which are described as:

Non-challenging protected waters with limited wind effect, little or no current, easy landings, and ready access to land-based assistance. Wind and sea state is calm to rippled (<15km/h or 8 knots).

Learn more about our water classification system.

Course Topics

Re-entry Skills
  • Wet exit
  • Retrieving an empty kayak
  • Paddle in place
  • Assisted re-entry
Paddling Skills
  • Lifting and carrying a kayak
  • Launching and landing a kayak
  • Forward and reverse strokes
  • Stopping
  • Forward and reverse sweep strokes
  • Draw stroke
Knowledge
  • Kayak outfitting, gear and clothing
  • Journeying and seamanship
Course Prerequisites
  • None