Paddle Canada Level 1 Sea Kayak Skills


This two-day course introduces participants to the sport of sea kayaking, with a focus on the skills and knowledge required to undertake day trips in Class I waters with one or more paddling partners of a similar skill level. You’ll learn a variety of kayak re-entry techniques, paddle strokes and theory topics including route planning, navigation, equipment selection, group communication and decision making. Part of the course involves planning and executing a half-day sea kayak journey in our local area. Successful students will receive official Paddle Canada Level 1 Sea Kayak Skills certification.

Times, Dates & Location

  • Course duration is 16 hours (usually completed over two days, but can be broken up over multiple days if requested by a private group of 2-6 persons).
  • 2022 Dates:
    • July 2-3 (open enrolment)
    • August 19 (evening), 20 & 21 (open enrolment)
    • September 2 (evening), 3 & 4 (open enrolment)
    • Private groups: Please contact us to discuss dates that work for you.
  • All courses take place in the Nanaimo-Oceanside area. Exact location(s) will be determined closer to the course date.

Class Size & Fees

  • 2 students minimum; 6 students maximum.
  • $450/person for 2 participants (private group).
  • $325/person for 3-6 participants (private group), or for open enrolment courses.
  • Prices include GST.


We recommend Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills or equivalent, including:

  • Minimum 5 kayak excursions of 2-3 hours;
  • Ability to execute a controlled wet exit;
  • Ability to perform an assisted rescue.

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss your experience.

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
  • Pulling draw stroke
  • Sculling draw stroke
  • Low brace
  • Stern Rudder
  • Edge Control
  • Launching & Landing
  • Lifting & Carrying a Kayak
  • Vehicle Boat Tie Down

Re-Entry Skills:

  • Assisted Re-entry
    • T Rescue
    • Parallel Park and Pump Rescue
  • Unassisted Re-entry
    • Paddle Float Rescue
    • Scramble Rescue
  • Contact Tow


  • Equipment & Equipment Care
  • Communication
  • Route Planning & Basic Navigation Techniques
  • Weather
  • Sea State
  • Risk Assessment & Mitigation
  • Cold Issues & Sun Safety
  • Impact of Kayakers on the Environment
  • History & Heritage
  • 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

This course takes place outdoors and includes time on the beach and time on (and in) the water each day. Please arrive prepared to stay warm and dry for the weather of the day.

Please bring the following items with you to your course each day:

  • Clothes for immersion (you will get wet)!
    • We recommend a wetsuit or drysuit, as we will be in the water for several hours and will paddle on the ocean at least one day. Contact us to arrange a rental.
    • Synthetic, quick-dry fabrics over a swim suit work well if we are on a lake for one day. Please do not wear cotton, which becomes cold and heavy when wet and does not dry well.
    • Secure water shoes or old running shoes make great footwear. No flip flops, crocs or strappy sandals.
  • Dry, warm 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!

Registration & More Information

To register, please e-mail us at

Please reach out at any time with questions or concerns.