Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills


This course is an excellent starting point for people wishing to enter the world of kayaking. We’ll focus on foundational kayaking skills and knowledge, empowering you to embark on short paddling excursions with friends in calm and sheltered waters. Successful students will receive official Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills certification.

Times, Dates & Location

  • Course duration is 8 hours (completed in one day, but can be broken up over multiple days if requested by a private group of 2 to 6 persons).
  • 2022 Dates:
    • July 24 (open enrolment)
    • September 10 or 11, TBD (open enrolment)
    • Private groups: Please contact us to discuss a date that works best for you.
  • All courses take place in the Nanaimo-Oceanside area. Common locations include Westwood Lake and Spider Lake.

Class Size & Fees

  • 2 students minimum; 6 students maximum.
  • $225/person for 2 participants (private group).
  • $175/person for 3-6 participants (private group), or for open enrolment courses.
  • Prices include GST.


  • No previous paddling experience is required.
  • Participants must sign our waiver 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 contact us to arrange rentals:

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

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.

Registration & More Information

To register, please e-mail us at

Please reach out at any time with questions or concerns.