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Canoe & Kayak Skills

Paddling Courses in the Lake District

If you want more than a quick taster session, then our full day in depth kayak and canoe courses are just the thing. We will help you to develop your skills to enable you to enjoy which ever aspects of paddle sport interest you. You can split between using both canoes and kayaks, or concentrate your efforts on just mastering one. We can also run training and assessments for the latest canoe and kayaking paddlesport awards from British Canoeing too.

All our Kayak or canoe skills courses are based on developing your paddling ability and will be tailor made to suit your requirements. We can provide all the equipment and wetsuits required

BC (British Canoeing) is the governing body for canoeing and kayaking and as such issue the nationally recognised qualifications in these disciplines. The awards range is Start, Discover and Explorer.

All of our coaches are passionate about giving you the course you need - not just 'ticking the boxes' to pass, but actually tailoring the course to how YOU will be paddling in the future. So whether you are a kayaker, a canoeist, white water battler or touring the Scottish Lochs, we will be able to improve your personal paddling technique, leadership ability and rescue / safety skills.

British Canoeing Awards available:

Start Canoe and Kayak

Discover Canoe and Kayak

Explorer Canoe and Kayak


Any dates on demand, just let us know your requirements.

What is it?


Who teaches us?

You will be taken out by an experienced canoe and / or kayak coach (as appropriate) who will not only hold the relevant qualification, but perhaps even more importantly will have a wealth of different paddling experiences, and will ensure your safety and teaching chances are maximized in what can be a very challenging environment.

What do we cover?

​As we run all our Lake District kayaking and canoeing days to order, we will adjust what we cover to your existing level of experience, and what you want to progress onto. Below is a rough idea of what we will aim to cover for different levels of experience.

For absolute BEGINNERS;

Our beginners skills courses will last between 6 - 7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the size of the group. These courses are ideal for anyone who has had limited (or no!) contact with paddlesport but really wants to master the basics, not just have a fun splash about. This is a very practical day spent on flat water (aka a lake!), with the entirety of the time spent out on the water learning and using the new techniques. Over the duration of the course you can expect to cover:

  • Canoe and Kayak equipment
  • Basic paddling skills forwards and backwards
  • Simple steering and using ruddering strokes
  • Going on a journey
  • Moving the boat sideways
  • Try a different type of craft
  • Safe exits and taking a swim

The British Canoe Union new Paddlesport Awards will be available for those who meet the standard.


For those with some previous experience,

We will spend some time refreshing the skills above, and then apply them in a more challenging environment. This will really help you to sharpen and trust your basic skills, and give you the experience and confidence to push yourself a little bit on to further adventures. We will also introduce some new skills;

  • Better forward paddling
  • Going on trips
  • Access to water ways in Britain
  • Edging your boat and increasing your range of strokes
  • Wet exits and rescues
  • Preventing a capsize / recovery strokes
  • Strokes on the move
  • Rescues

White Water Introduction Course

This course is for boaters with some experience of most of the main kayak or canoeing strokes on flat or slow moving water. The course will offer a quick recap on flat water and then onto the river;

  • Breaking in and out
  • Surfing small waves
  • River Reading / Guidebooks
  • Rescues

Making it longer

If you want to really get your paddling skills up to speed, maybe consider a second day of training in the beautiful Lake District. This extra day allows the consolidation of the skills learnt on the first day, and enables you to really perfect them under the guidance of an experienced kayaking and canoeing instructor. As with all of our skills courses the 2 day course will be tailored to suit your aims, so whether you're an absolute beginner or have a sturdy foundation already, you'll be sure to leave this course bursting with new confidence, and ready for the next challenge!

Please note: As the new British Canoeing Paddlesport proficiency Awards are discipline specific they can be taken with a particular craft or activity in mind.

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Typical Itinerary


9.30am

Meet up at carpark and introductions.


9.45am

Issue any kit and get to the water.


10.00am

Start paddling, warm up.


10.30am

Introduce / refine the required skills.


11.00am

Peer practice, self checking, getting feedback from your instructor.


12.00pm

Putting it all in context.


1.00pm

Lunch.


1.30pm

Journey, using the new / reinforced skills as required.


4.30pm

Back to shore and home.


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