Kayak Lessons

Paddle Canada Certified Kayak Courses

PC 40th Anniv LogoThese courses follow the Paddle Canada nationally certified program. Offering highly regarded comprehensive courses in sea kayaking, they are great for those that want to delve into the fun activity of kayaking. Coldspring Paddling currently offers two types of PC 'skills' courses, the Basic Kayak Skills and Level 1 Kayak Skills (L1). The 8-hour Basic course is great for those that have never kayaked before and want to learn to do it safely and efficiently. The 16-hour L1 course is the next step up and is suitable for those that have already taken the Basic course, or those that have some paddling experience (including practicing rescues/recoveries) and want to learn to do things safely and correctly. It's also a logical next step for those that have taken the IK course and are looking to progress their skills. 

Overview of Paddle Canada Skills Courses

  • Basic Kayak: (8 hrs). Introduces the novice to paddling in enclosed sheltered waters and calm conditions. Skills covered include a controlled wet exit, forward & turning strokes, assisted re-entry.
  • Level-1: Day paddling skills in sheltered waters (16 hrs). Provides the theory and skills for a daylong sea kayaking trip in sheltered waters and light winds. Includes: controlled wet exit, efficient forward & turning strokes, edging, introduction to bracing, unassisted re-entry, and Eskimo rescue.
  • Level-2: Overnight touring and intermediate boat handling (4 days). Provides the theory and skills for proficient kayaking at sea in moderate open sea conditions, including overnight camping. Includes: touring, risk assessment, efficient bracing, sculling for support, combined strokes, sustained paddling, introduction to rolling, kayak tripping with overnight camping, moderate winds and sea conditions.
  • Level-3: Seamanship and leadership in multi-day touring (4 days ). Provides the opportunity to develop leadership, risk-assessment, decision-making, judgment, group management, and general seamanship in the context of a multi-day journey.
  • Level-4: Extended touring along an exposed coast (5 days ). Provides the theory and skills for leadership in kayaking at sea in advanced conditions, open ocean, during extended periods. Includes overnight camping, rolling at sea, strong wind, ocean swell, surf landings, and strong current.


Students that have completed a Coldspring Paddling Introductory Clinic or the Basic Kayak certified course might be ready to enter directly into the Level 1 skills course if they are feeling fairly comfortable with the skills presented in those courses. Those that have a fair bit of kayaking experience, but perhaps no formal training, may also be ready to enter at Level 1.


Paddle Canada Kayak Lesson Poster


An 8 hour course to introduce the novice paddler to kayaking following the Paddle Canada nationally-certified course. No prerequisites. Those that successfully complete the 8 hour course will receive a certificate of completion.

In the Basic Kayak Skills course we will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to begin kayaking and set the foundation for many years of efficient, healthy, and safe paddling.  We conduct a portion of some of our courses in the pool at Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre so that you can learn in a comfortable environment.  The remaining portions of the course are conducted at a nearby lake where you get to practice what was learned in the pool and pick up a few new paddling skills as well.


Recovery skillsPaddling skillsKnowledge
Wet Exit
Retrieving a swamped kayak
Assisted Rescue
Lifting and carrying a kayak.
Forward and reverse paddling.
Forward and reverse sweep strokes.
Draw stroke
Low brace
Boat design
Boat outfitting
Safety Equipment
Injury prevention
Equipment care
Kayaking resources

pc logoThe Paddle Canada Level 1 Skills course is ideal for those that have already taken the PC Basic Kayak Skills (formerly Introduction to Kayaking) course and want to advance their skills, or that have some time in a kayak and want to learn to do things properly and take their paddling to a new level. This is a great course with enough time to really work on a few of our skills and introduce participants to a wider world of kayaking. It's also a lot of fun! This course runs a minimum of 16 hours and so will be spread over two days or more depending on the course you sign up for.

Just some of the material we cover:

Recovery SkillsPaddling skillsKnowledge
  • Unassisted re-entry
  • Assisted re-entry
  • Bow rescue
  • Towing
  • Communication/signals
  • Forward stroke
  • Low brace
  • Sweep
  • Draw
  • Stern rudder
  • Edge contro (edging)
  • Equipment
  • Journeying & seamanship
  • Safety
  • Kayaking resources

What our Students are Saying about Us

"You were very informative and I would recommend your class to
anyone considering taking up kayaking."

- Marvin Doepker, Saskatoon

What our Students are Saying about Us

"I wanted to stop and tell you that you are among
the best instructors I've ever had."
- Pool Student

What our Students are Saying about Us

- Donelda Gowan-Moody, Saskatoon

"Thank you very much for the paddling instruction.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Our son says that kayaking is AWESOME!"