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9/17/2015 2:49 pm  #1

Paddling Skills

Does anyone have any recommendations for courses/resources to improve paddling skills. I'm familiar with ORCKA but those courses seem quite intensive (all I see are multi-day courses in Algonquin for $700+). 

I'd call myself an intermediate paddler and I'm capable at all of the basic strokes but I'd like to improve technique and perhaps learn a bit about solo paddling. I was paddling solo in Algonquin a few weeks ago but I primarily used a double bladed kayak paddle just so I could keep up with the tandem canoe in my group. I know I have room to grow with my tandem skills as well. I'd be more interested in single day courses based on finances.

I'm in Guelph and I'd rather avoid travelling too far but am willing to go for a drive if it's worthwhile. 


9/17/2015 3:04 pm  #2

Re: Paddling Skills


I am certified in canoeing and kayaking to teach by ORCKA and SUP by Paddle Canada so I'll put that bias out there. I would suggest you look on ORCKA or PC websites and find an instructor in your area.

There are lots of instructors who are fantastic in Ontario with both organizations who are happy to teach 1 day clinics. There are a few organizations in southern Ontario who do run 1 and 2 day courses. I would recommend you look for someone trained in something like Canadian Style. Even if you are not interested in the style, a person with that background will meet the criteria you outlined probably pretty well (for the record I am both whitewater and Canadian Style trained - I would draw more on my CS side in training a client like you).



9/17/2015 8:13 pm  #3

Re: Paddling Skills

O golly we have lots of instructors (ACA certified) in the Buffalo NY area. Do you require Canadian certification? The courses are shorter and tailored to you.  Not to take away fromChristine but maybe closer to you.


9/18/2015 5:59 am  #4

Re: Paddling Skills

No worries Kayak. My suggesion was actually that she look online to find someone near her. I was originally certified with the ACA so I am familiar with them as well.

What I can say is that any instructor with any cert can run a tailor made course of any length. I know there are lots of instructors in Southern Ontario. I am pretty sure you could find someone in Guelph. I also would suggest that you don't need a certification (necessarily) - an instructor can set up a 'coaching' session so you can work on exactly what you want to work on - or you could look at taking a course - the 700$ courses you see online are one company that runs a course in combination with a trip. Most ORCKA flatwater courses are 1-2 days. You could for example take a level 4 Basic course which is solo paddling. What it comes down to is money vs focus. A 1 on 1 course will be more expensive but more tailored.


9/18/2015 8:00 am  #5

Re: Paddling Skills

Thanks for the ideas ChristineCanoes and Kayamedic! I'll have to explore the ORCKA site more closely and I'll definitely check out Buffalo. I'm less concerned with certification and more interested in just improving my own skills. 


     Thread Starter

9/18/2015 9:03 am  #6

Re: Paddling Skills


You could also contact the head offices of ORCKA or PC. Bonnie (ORCKA) or the PC office could probably suggest someone local.

Last edited by ChristineCanoes (9/18/2015 9:05 am)


9/25/2015 9:00 pm  #7

Re: Paddling Skills

In Toronto, I recall that the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre offered paddling instruction, private classes, solo, etc.  I never did it, but I stored my canoe there and remember these being offered. Worth checking out.  3 hour private lesson $185 plus tax for one person.


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