Become a Paddle Canada Certified Canoe Instructor

Paddle Canada Tandem Lake Canoe Instructor


Course Description:

An instructor-level course for those wanting to teach novice paddlers flatwater canoeing skills.


Instruction, boat and equipment rental, beach camping as well as PC certification.


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

This Paddle Canada certified Basic Tandem Canoe 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 tandem canoe instructor. 

Main Course Content:

  1. Strong on water review of Paddle Canada basic paddling skills to ensure technical understanding and demonstration quality.
  2. Applying the Paddle Canada IDEAS and other teaching approaches to on/off water tandem canoe skills and theory teaching in appropriate conditions
  3. Plenty of practice teaching of course skills and theory (with feedback).

Course Pre-requisites:

  • Participants must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Paddle Canada Intermediate canoe skills or equivalent.
  • Certification in First Aid with CPR (14 hours) with CPR

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 and certify Paddle Canada Basic and Introduction Lake Canoe courses and conduct Waterfront Canoe Activities. You may also assist on an Intermediate Lake Instructor or an Intermediate skills course.

Course Content

Paddling Skills

Launch and Remove Canoe (shore and/or dock)
Paddling Concepts (basic strokes, hand placement, power face of blade, etc.)
Stroke Terminology: catch, power phase, recovery
Switching Sides
Body Position (reach with the shaft hand)
Balance and Trim


Forward and Reverse Sweeps
Bow Draw
Braces (with loose hips)
J Stroke


Forward Straight Line Paddling (25 metres)
Pivot Turns
Improved Paddling in Cadence
Switching Positions in the Canoe
Left  and right turns Under Power


Warm Up to Reduce Paddling Injuries
Deep Water Exits (no diving) from Canoe
Swim a Swamped Canoe to Shore
Empty a Swamped Canoe at Shore / Dock
Canoe over Canoe (rescuer) (victim if time allows)
Shore Based Throw Bag Rescue
Canoe Tows
Day Trip Planning
Canoe Tour


Water/Wind/Waves/Weather (Concerns and hazards)
Hypothermia and Hyperthermia
Personal Preparation (clothing, water, snacks, meds, etc.)
Safe Canoe Procedures


Canoe, Paddles, PFDs, Throw Bags, and bailers (Basic knowledge)
Personal Equipment for Day Paddling (waterproofing)
Expanded Canoe(s) Lifts and Carries: Overhead, Suitcase Style, Solo and Multiple
Canoe Transport on Car: Loading and Unloading, Racks, Ropes and/or Straps
Navigating Shoreline
Choosing Safe Paddling Environments


Paddling in a Group (lead and sweep)
Course Limitations & Additional Courses
Canoeing Resources
Local Paddling Clubs or Groups
Paddling Etiquette (on and off the water)
Leave No Trace (in relationship to day paddling)
Canoe and Indigenous Peoples

A pre-course package with pre-course assignments will be sent following registration and an Instructor’s manual is provided prior to course commencement.

Candidates wishing certification with Paddle Canada will be required to register (and pay a Candidate Instructor fee) with Paddle Canada in advance of the course. 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.