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Kayak Pathway

All pathways are designed to to let you take control of your development. You should where possible track your own progress and make requests to the coaching team on Slack to deliver the sessions you would like to complete.

Our kayak pathway is designed for beginners and intermediates. If you have never sat in a kayak before then start at the beginning. If you have had some formal coaching or lessons and a little experience then look at the sessions below and identify where you need to start. If in doubt, please speak to one of our coaches.

Stage 1

By the end of stage 1 you will have earned your British Canoeing Start Award. This stage is for those new to kayaking, expect a fun and enjoyable practical session, introducing you to kayaking.

Session: K1 - Beginners

Expect to learn the basics about the equipment you are using and how to get in a boat, paddling in a straight line and turn. By the end of the session you will be able to move forward, reverse, stop and turn. You will have been introduced to some of the environmental issues encountered in the paddling environment and also have an awarness of other users on our waterways.

Stage 2

By the end of stage 2 you will have earned your British Canoeing Discover Award. You will take your next steps towards becoming an independent paddler, for a fun and safe time on the water. Developing an understanding of the factors which affect your paddling; developing your decision making and practical skills, giving you confidence on the water.

Session: K2.1 - Equipment

You'll explore different types of equipment including bouyancy aids, paddles, boats and their setup, and helmets. You will use / experiment with the range of kit available to club members and how these are stored empowering you to safely take and return kit in the correct storage areas. We'll also introduce you to the effect of the weather and discuss different locations you might paddle in.

Session: K2.2 - Getting away from the lake

How to transition what you have leaned from the laketaking these to the a different waterway where you will experince differing conditions, such as wind, weather and waves. You will learn skills that will enable you to practice and improve or your own or as part of a peer group.

Session: K2.3 - Dynamic paddling

Now that you have the basics mastered, let us show you a more efficient method to be more dynamic in your paddling getting the best from your boat whilst protecting your body. You will be introduced to terms like connectivity, posture, trim and edge. 

Session: K2.4 - River trip

This session is about putting it all together. You will be involved in planning a river trip, selecting and transporting everything you need considering things like river licenses, weather, parking arrangements etc. Whilst on the water you will paddle with autonomy within a peer group but at all times supported by your coach.

Stage 3

By the end of stage 3 you will have earned your British Canoeing Explore Award. Your Explore Award gives you ownership; allowing you to choose where you move next in the world of paddlesport.

Session: K3.1 - Spray decks and self-rescues

This session is required before you can do any of the other sessions. Capsize drill with a spray deck on.

Session: K3.2 - Personal paddling skills and rescues

The outcome from this session will be to have the capability to combine the basis strokes developed during the discover award into live situations. You will develop skills which will maintain balance and help prevent a capsize. This element will progress to how to perform rescues.

Session: K3.3 - Planning a trip (and going on it)

Under supervision, plan a trip of 2 hours duration on a stretch of sheltered water and going on it. This to include booking required kit, collection and return to store, risk assessment and what people will need to know in advance of the trip.

Session: K3.3 - Complete the British Canoeing Paddle Safe Award

What's Next?

Personal awards

FSRT - Foundation Safety Rescue Training

Extend your safety and rescue skills with the British Canoeing FSRT.

PPA - Personal Performance Award

With a little practice under your belt, you should now be aiming to complete your British Canoeing PPA.

Progress into specific disciplines

Now that you have mastered a solid understanding of kayak and a strong baseline of skills, you can progress into some of the specific disciplines:

Become a leader

Why not consider the British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader award. This will enable you to look after other people on the water and lead them on a trip in sheltered water environments.

Become an instructor or coach

Perhaps you would like to pay forward what you have learned and teach others. The British Canoeing Paddlesport Instuctor award will allow you to teach small groups in a very sheltered water environment.

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