Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills

Course Basics:
– $190/person, GST included
– gear rental available
– one full day (8 hours)
– held in freshwater
– tons of fun!


This 8-hour course provides an excellent introduction to the foundational skills of flatwater kayaking, with a focus on the skills and knowledge required to enjoy short paddling excursions in calm, sheltered waters with peers of similar ability. Successful students will receive official Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills certification.

Times, Dates & Location

  • This course is 8 hours in duration and is usually completed in one day, on a Saturday or Sunday.
  • 2023 Dates:
    May 6
    June 4
    July 15
    August 12
    September 9
  • Most courses take place at Westwood Lake Park in Nanaimo, BC.
  • Private groups: Please contact us to discuss a date that works best for you.

Class Size & Fees

  • 2 students minimum; 6 students maximum.
  • $190/person.
  • $30 to rent a sea kayak and equipment for they day.
  • Prices include GST.


  • No previous paddling experience is required.
  • Participants must sign our waiver and complete a medical form in advance of attending the course.


Paddling Skills:

  • Forward stroke
  • Reverse stroke
  • Stopping
  • Forward sweep stroke
  • Reverse sweep stroke
  • Pivot turn
  • Draw stroke
  • Low brace
  • Edging
  • Launching & Landing
  • Emptying a Kayak
  • Lifting & Carrying a Kayak

Re-Entry Skills:

  • Wet Exit
  • Assisted Re-entry


  • Parts of a Kayak
  • Kayak Outfitting
  • Paddling & Safety Equipment
  • Collision Regulations
  • Injury prevention
  • Sun & Cold Safety
  • Navigation
  • Risk Assessment & Mitigation
  • Impact of Kayakers on the Environment
  • Kayaking Community & Resources

Equipment & Preparation

The following kayak equipment is required to complete this course. Bring your own, or rent from us. If you are bringing your own kayak, we will contact you to confirm that it meets the course requirements.

  • Sea-worthy kayak with front and rear bulkheads and full perimeter lines.
  • ULC-certified PFD (lifejacket) with a whistle attached
  • Kayak paddle
  • Manual bilge pump
  • Throwbag with 15 metres of bouyant heaving line
  • Spray skirt

The course takes place outdoors and includes time on the beach and time on the water. Please arrive prepared to stay warm and dry for the weather of the day.

Please bring the following items with you to your course:

  • Clothes for immersion
    • Synthetic, quick-dry fabrics over a swim suit are best on warm days. Do not wear cotton, which becomes cold and heavy when wet and does not dry well.
    • A wetsuit is recommended on cool days, or if you tend to get cold quickly. Contact us to arrange a rental.
    • Secure water shoes or old running shoes make great footwear. No flip flops, crocs or strappy sandals.
  • Dry clothes for on the beach and after the course.
    • Dress in layers and bring rain gear if required.
  • Towel
  • Lunch, snacks and water
  • Sunglasses, hat and sunscreen
  • Notebook and pen (or electronic means of note-taking)
  • Camp chair or lawn chair

Don’t forget your smile and a willingness to challenge yourself, learn lots and have fun!
I look forward to working with you!

Please reach out at any time with questions or concerns.


To register, please e-mail us at or complete the form below and we will contact you to complete your registration.

Register for Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills!

Regarding Crosscurrents Kayak’s Waiver and Course Policies:

Waiver (opens in new window)

Course Policies (opens in new window)

After your submit this form, we will be in touch by email to complete your registration.
We can’t wait to see you on the water!

Questions about this course?

Please reach out to us at at any time!