Moving Water Canoe Skills Introduction - Tandem - June 7-9, 2024


Moving Water Canoe Skills Introduction Tandem $300

Repeat participants discount fee of $250

Paddle Canada Sanctioned Course, June 7-9, 2024

Athabasca River near Fort Assiniboine, AB

Outfitted canoes and gear available to rent for $25 per day

Camping available and there is an option to paddle Friday evening depending on your arrival time.

This is an awesome course for people looking to become proficient and safe at canoeing down rivers.  The location is beautiful, the river is perfect, and you will learn a ton of super useful skills.

This 2 day course is for participants who want to make the transition from paddling on lakes to paddling on introductory class I rivers.  Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles of moving water, boat control, and safety. 

We will introduce the canoeist to many of the fundamental skills, knowledge, and manoeuvres of canoeing whitewater. The nature of class I rapids provide a friendly and safe environment to teach and learn the fundamentals of canoeing Moving Water before venturing into larger whitewater situations.


Lake Intermediate Tandem or permission of Instructor based on proof of prior learning of equivalent skill and knowledge.

Course Length:

2 or more days

Class Ratio:

1 Instructor:8 Participants


River or rapids (class I) as well as flatwater (lake, pond, etc.). 


Class I rapids (current, ripples, and small waves) with little wind.

Program Overview:


  • Anatomy of a River
  • International River Classification
  • River Hazards (including hypothermia, foot entrapment, strainers)
  • Rescue Procedures (paddle/feet/canoe/partner/rescuer)
  • Weather Considerations
  • Proper Clothing


  • River Signals
  • Swimmer's Position
  • Self Rescue
  • Shore Rescue (throw bag)
  • Canoe Rescues (canoe over canoe and towing)


  • Body Position, Balance, and J-Lean
  • Communication (between bow and stern paddlers)
  • Complementary Strokes (bow and stern)
  • Portaging
  • Lining and Tracking
  • River Reading, Scouting, and Route Options
  • River Paddling Concepts (MITH or equivalent)


  • Forward and Reverse
  • Draws and Prys (in water recovery)
  • Low Brace (for stability, if available, use of outfitting, etc)
  • Righting Pry (for stability, if available, use of outfitting, etc)
  • High Brace (for river running: running sideslip and eddy turns)
  • River J (forward stroke with non-powerface pry at hip)
  • Reverse Corrections Strokes (draw, sweep, J)
  • Bow Draw / Crossbow Draw
  • Review and Refine Introduction to Canoeing Strokes (as required)


  • Flatwater Warm-up and Review Session (include pivots and figure 8)
  • Launching and Landings in Flatwater (eddy pool)
  • Forward Paddling
  • Eddy Turns and Peel Outs
  • Running Side Slip
  • Forward and Back Ferries
  • Navigating River Bends
  • "S" Turn

ATTAINMENTS (basic, class I)

  • Varying Your Speed (slower/faster than current)
  • On The Water Scouting (standing in the canoe)

*for skill development, survival, defensive, or recovery.


  • River Paddling Equipment (basic)
  • River Canoe Features, Materials, and Construction
  • Outfitting a Canoe (purpose of)
  • River Run (2-4 hours, if feasible)
  • River Day Trip Planning
  • Group Formation & Communication
  • Understanding Limitations
  • Environmental and Ethical Considerations
  • River Day Trip Map Interpretation
  • Whitewater Canoeing Resources
  • Bill Mason's influence on whitewater canoeing
  • Regional history of recreational whitewater canoeing


Activities focus on individual safety and becoming more comfortable paddling in current.  While there is a great deal to learn at this level, the activities should concentrate on personal progress and an awareness of the need for future learning.  Paddlers should leave the course encouraged to continue their learning and aware of their individual limitations.


To speak with Dale about the course, please call 780-305-6921