Location: Rotary Sunshine Park, NL. Photo credit: Hazen Scarth

Basic Kayak Skills - Course

Kayak Basic Skills is the starting point for individuals seeking to learn the art of Kayaking. There is a strong emphasis on water safety, equipment use/care, Kayaking fundamentals and skill development. The candidate will learn the theory and skills necessary for paddling close to shore on a pond or a calm ocean environment (Wind calm < 8 knots with a sea state calm to rippled).

No previous Kayaking experience necessary but good swimming ability/confidence is highly recommended.

Late May – early June is the one time of year that Paddle Newfoundland and Labrador offers a Paddle Canada sanctioned Skills School to the general public and to Paddle NL members.

All courses are taught by Paddle Canada certified instructors. The age requirement is 14 years or older for the Basic Kayak Skills course. Applicants under 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Participants will receive a Paddle Canada Certification after a successful completion of the course, recognized anywhere in Canada.

Course Overview

Typical Course Length

8 hours of instruction (1 day)

Course Water Class

This course runs in Class-0 conditions which are described as:
Non-challenging protected waters with limited wind effect, little or no current, easy landings, and ready access to land-based assistance. Wind and sea state is calm to rippled (<15km/h or 8 knots).

Course Topics

Re-entry Skills

  • Wet exit
  • Assisted re-entries

Paddling Skills

  • Lifting and carrying a kayak
  • Launching and landing
  • Emptying the kayak
  • Forward and reverse strokes
  • Stopping
  • Forward and reverse sweep strokes
  • Pivots
  • Draw stroke
  • Low brace
  • Edging


  • Kayak part names and outfitting
  • Paddling and safety equipment
  • Injury prevention
  • Sun sense
  • Transport Canada collision regulations
  • Navigation
  • Risk assessment and mitigation
  • Impact of kayakers on the environment

Course Prerequisites

  • None

Course Price: $ 125. (Total)

Course Location: Mews Center - Pool Session/ Rotary Sunshine Park - Lectures and Onwater

To complete this course you will have to attend all three session:

  • Session 1 – Pool Session, TBA
  • Session 2 – Rotary Sunshine Park, TBA
  • Session 3 – Rotary Sunshine Park, TBA

Items included at no charge for the duration of the course: A kayak, paddle and a life jacket. You will be required to wear a wetsuit (farmer john’s neoprene) or drysuit for the on pond portion of the course. If you have one or could borrow one from a friend that would be great. If not The Outfitter’s will be supplying use with a limited number of sizes that might not fit you prefect, but will be okay and it will be at no charge to you.

If you have any questions about the Basic Kayaking course not covered on this page email us at web@paddlenl.ca.