Paddle Canada Level-1 Sea Kayak Instructor


Course Description:

Become a certified instructor of novice sea kayak skills.


Certified Paddle Canada Instruction @1:6 student/instructor ratio.
Course materials and manual.
Group lodge meal the first night.
Beach camping before, during and after the course.


Reduced rate on accommodation at Rock Island Lodge B&B pre/post trip. Use Code: COURSEGUEST
Meal Plan: $134
Boat and equipment rental: $80


Candidates wishing to be certified as Paddle Canada Instructors will have to register with Paddle Canada (and pay them a fee) in advance of the course.

This Paddle Canada certified Level 1 Sea Kayak Instructor course is an intensive 4-day program designed to provide you with a strong foundation of paddling skills and teaching techniques/practice required to be an effective sea kayak instructor.

This course is run concurrently with our Paddle Canada Basic Kayaking Instructor course. However it runs a day longer and is significantly more comprehensive.

Main Course Content

  1. Strong on water review of Paddle Canada level 1 paddling skills to ensure technical understanding and demonstration quality.
  2. Applying the Paddle Canada IDEAS and other teaching approaches to on/off water sea kayak skills and theory teaching as well in leading a group day trip in level 1 sea-state conditions.
  3. Plenty of practice teaching of course skills and theory (with feedback).

Course Pre-requisites

  • Participants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Paddle Canada Sea Kayaking Level 2 Skills certification.
  • Current certification in First Aid with CPR (8 hours) with CPR
  • Paddling Experience: 30 days in level 1 conditions (including overnights).

If you do not have Paddle Canada Level -2 skills certification, then with course director approval, equivalent skills may be sufficient.

If you do not have current standard first aid certification, you may take the course with the understanding that Paddle Canada certification if desired will be conditional upon completing the first aid course pre-requisite within one year.

As a successful candidate you’ll be certified to run Paddle Canada Introduction to Kayaking and Level-1 Skills courses; to assist a Level 2 Instructor on a Level 2 skills course; and assist an Introduction to Kayaking, Instructor Trainer on an Introduction to Kayaking, Instructor course.

Course Content

Rescue skills

  • Wet Exit
  • Retrieving a swamped kayak
  • Assisted Rescue
  • Rafting
  • Bow rescue
  • Towing
  • Unassisted re-entry
  • “Hand of God”

Paddling skills

  • Lifting and carrying a kayak.      
  • Forward and reverse paddling.
  • Draw stroke 2 options
  • Stopping


  • Boat design
  • Boat for proper fit
  • Clothing & PFD
  • Safety Equipment
  • Canadian Coast Guard requirements.
  • Rescue Equipment
  • Injury prevention
  • Equipment care
  • Kayaking resources
  • Paddles
  • Sea kayak, paddle & spray skirt designs.
  • Bailing devices

Day-long Outing

  • Describe charts or maps and identify safe routes and locations for Level 1 paddling
  • Navigation using time, distance, speed and direction (compass)
  • Effects of fetch, wind direction, speed and time on sea state
  • Lists of food, water and shelter for a day and potential overnight stranding
  • Prepare a float/emergency response plan
  • Obtain marine weather forecast and estimate the effect on paddling
  • Use of hands, paddles, whistles, flares, radios, and other means of signalling
  • Peer to peer group communications i.e. veto, thumbs, level of comfort, etc
  • On water boat positions for group communication and safety
  • Hypothermia prevention and treatment
  • Lemon theory and “what if” exercise risk management
  • How tides and currents affect paddling


  • Identify 3 potential negative impacts of kayakers on the local natural environment and appropriate mitigation strategies.
  • Describe 2 common local plane or animal species seen by kayakers and their characteristics.

Teaching & Learning

The Instructor candidate will have a good understanding of:

  • How one learns.
  • Conditions that encourage & promote learning.
  • Skill, knowledge and attitude areas of learning.
  • Goals and objectives.
  • Lesson planning and organization.
  • Class management.
  • Group dynamics.
  • Evaluation techniques.
  • Instructor behaviour and attitudes.
  • How to plan and organize a Kayaking course.
  • Paddling activities and games.
  • Teaching strategies.

Course Administration

The Instructor Candidate will demonstrate knowledge of the following topics:

  • Paddle Canada policies, programs, accreditation and re-certification.
  • Organization and management of a course.
  • Other germane institutions and programs available in Canada.
  • Overview of resources available in Canada.
  • Legal and liability issues affecting the instructor.
  • Safety procedures, hazard recognition, waterfront regulations and safety equipment.
  • Equipment choice, teaching sites and areas, and scheduling.
  • Development of appropriate teaching progression.
  • Kayaking activities, games and events.
  • Staffing and staff management.

The course is based from Naturally Superior Adventures/Rock Island Lodge with theory sessions provided from the comfort of the lodge. Course accommodations are comfy tent sites on our beach or alternatively, rooms are available (at an additional cost) at Rock Island Lodge. Fully equipped sea kayaks, paddling tops and wetsuits are available to rent.

A detailed Instructor’s manual is provided prior to course commencement.

The course fee also provides for Paddle Canada certification. If certification is not important to you, great. Rest assured, you’ll be getting top notch instruction from qualified instructors who love sharing their passion for paddling with you.

Please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions.