The Paddle Canada National River Kayaking Program

The River Kayak Program includes nationally recognized certifications in four skill levels and four instructor levels, earned through course participation. In all courses, paddlers are taught the Leave No Trace principles of environmental awareness and protection.

A new whitewater kayaker would begin instruction at the Introduction to Kayaking Level, concentrating on kayak fundamentals before moving on to a mastery of the skills required for safe and enjoyable whitewater experiences.

In 2010, Paddle Canada partnered with Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC), to merge instructor training programs. Upon completion of the program, participants earn dual certification as a Paddle Canada River Kayak Instructor and as a CKC Kayak Whitewater Instructor/Coach. In 2012, this program became the premier certification required by all Whitewater Kayak instructors in Canada.

Download / View Larger Blended Program Chart

Skill Development Stream

Basic Kayak (Sea Kayak Basic Kayak)
Beginner River Kayak Skills
Intermediate River Kayak Skills
Advanced River Kayak Skills

Instructor Development Stream

Beginner River Kayak Instructor / CKC Kayak Whitewater Instructor 2
Intermediate River Kayak Instructor / CKC Kayak Whitewater Instructor 2
Advanced River Kayak Instructor / CKC Kayak Whitewater Instructor 3

Find a program through your local provincial association and affiliated club

http://canoekayak.ca/provincial-associations/

Age Requirement

There are no age restrictions for any skills course (except at the discretion of the course director). For all instructor courses, the minimum requirement is 16 years of age.

Please forward any questions, comments or concerns about Paddle Canada’s National River Kayak Programs to the River Kayak Program Development Committee.

Basic Kayak (Sea Kayak Basic Kayak)

Aim

Basic Kayak introduces the novice to paddling a kayak in calm sheltered water. Rescue techniques at this level incorporate the use of a paddling partner and it is essential for all Basic Kayak certified paddlers to travel on the water with others who have been trained in the techniques of assisted rescues.

Prerequisites

None.

Course Length

Eight (8) hours minimum

 

Beginner River Kayak Skills

Aim

The Beginner River Kayak Skills (Introduction to Kayaking) course is designed to introduce the novice or relatively inexperienced kayaker to paddling. The emphasis is on mastering the fundamentals of kayaking, along with a strong grounding in water safety and safe kayaking practices. Participants may paddle either a river kayak or sea kayak for this course.

Prerequisites

None.

Course Length

Eight (8) Hours

 

Intermediate River Kayak Skills

Aim

The Intermediate River Kayak Skills (Level 1) course is designed to introduce participants to the thrill of paddling whitewater. Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles of moving water and kayaking safety.

Prerequisites

Beginner River Kayak Skills

Basic First Aid Course is strongly recommended.

Course Length

Eight (8) Hours

 

Advanced River Kayak Skills

Aim

The Advanced River Kayak Skills (Level 2) course represents the highest skill level and provides candidates with the opportunity to improve their whitewater skills on more challenging (Class III-IV) whitewater.

Kayakers taking this course should have considerable paddling experience beyond the Intermediate River Kayak Skills course.

Prerequisites

Intermediate River Kayak Skills

River Rescue Course is strongly recommended

Course Length

Eight (8) hours

PC Basic Kayak Instructor / CKC Pool & Lake Kayak Instructor 1

PC Beginner Kayak Instructor / CKC River Kayak Leader / Instructor 2

PC Intermediate Kayak Instructor / CKC River Kayak Leader / Instructor 2

PC Advanced River Kayak Instructor / CKC Kayak Whitewater Kayak Leader / Instructor 3

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