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BC (4*) Canoe Leader (Training)

Our 4 day BC Canoe Leader training course will give you the skills needed to safely lead and paddle in up to force 4 winds, and on grade 2 white water.


The British Canoeing Canoe Leader Training is the ideal point for learning great skills, and techniques, to elevate your boating to the standard you should be at when leading - making sure you are able to paddle autonomously and without any psychological hang ups. We then layer in the leadership skills so you can pass on your great knowledge to others and ensure they have a great time on the water as well.

The Canoe Leader Award will cover you for leading 4 solo boats, or 3 tandem boats in up to Force 4 winds, and on grade 2 white water. With your coach holding an Advanced Coaching qualification in both of these areas we can ensure we have loads of information to give you, so you perform in both the open water and white water environments.

With the level of information which needs to be imparted in these courses, and the responsibility you will take on when you pass your assessment in the future, we run our courses over 4 days, to offer you the greatest amount of information for your money!

The course will naturally change, depending on the candidates, and the environment, but here is a rough break down for our 4 day course.

Day 1 - Personal paddling skills on the river

We will spend this first day working on your personal paddling skills on moving water, focusing on driving your boat to make eddy attainments, crossing the flow, and reading rapids. We look at the efficiency of forward paddling strokes, manoeuvring our canoes around, and how to use river features to our advantage.

We will use this day to lay down a great paddling framework with solid foundations to allow us to layer our leadership skills over the top.

Day 2 - Down river leadership skills

On this day we will look at leadership techniques and skills, and come up with a leadership model which we will work with at applying on a range of rapids throughout the day.

Throughout this day you’re able to keep practising the skills covered on day 1, with us able to tweak and adapt them as appropriate throughout the day.

We will also look at working with ropes and rescues on this day, to reinforce your WWSR knowledge. Plus add in some canoe-specific points.

Day 3 - Open Water Skills

In this day we will look at how to make your boat perform in force 4 winds, how to paddle upwind, down wind and across the wind with an emphasis on setting your boat up to achieve the outcome, and not having to do loads of “fancy and intricate” paddle strokes to get to where you need to be.

There are a lot of fancy strokes, which we will look at on this day, including Indian Strokes, Canadian Strokes, Knife-J and bow jams.

We look at building platforms, towing, and sailing - these are all great methods for managing groups on the water if conditions are not entirely suitable for them, or just if you fancy sailing a canoe (It’s great fun!).

We will also look at rescues and leadership in open water.

Day 4 - Top Up Day

This day is the day for adding in any additional skills which people would benefit from spending additional time on. The plan for this day is kept purposefully vague so it can be adapted to make sure we cover the right things for the group and the environment.

We typically find that we run a series of workshops on moving water on this day, covering lining and tracking, poling, and tandem. We also have spent time working further on mechanical advantage, and rescuing canoes.

Available dates:

  • 25-28 November (North Wales)
  • 28-31 January (North Wales)

If none of the above dates suit, please get in touch and we will see what we can organise to make things work for you.