British Canoeing Paddlesports Instructor

2 days

Age 14+

This practical 2 day course is designed for those whose main focus is delivering paddlesport taster/starter sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water environments. The qualification is not discipline specific and is suitable for instructors who work with paddlers from any of the competitive and non-competitive paddlesport disciplines.

The qualification will support the instructor with practical skills such as kitting up a group and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities, games and activities to support learning and how to use mini journeys to support learning, inspire adventure and exploration. This will be enhanced with support on how these sessions can be delivered in a way that is enjoyable, safe and rewarding.

The syllabus is based on the knowledge, understanding and skills that the instructor needs to ensure the participants in their care are appropriately provided for. This includes:

Practical skills (training focus):
  • the ability to effectively prepare a group for an activity (e.g. kitting up and getting afloat);
  • a repertoire of activities to engage the group (e.g. games, tasks and journeys);
  • a range of motivating activities and games that support learning;
  • a range of strategies for utilising mini journeys to inspire adventure and exploration;
  • how to help participants learn some basic skills;
  • top tips and quick fixes for common challenges to accelerate learning when required;
  • selection of suitable equipment for participants;
  • how to maintain participants’ safety;
  • understanding of deployment matters.


Prior to attending the Paddlesport Instructor course you are expected to have developed personal paddling and rescue competence in your preferred craft. Candidates choose to paddle one type of craft for the personal paddling and rescue skills assessment; kayak, open canoe, sit on top, or stand up paddleboard. These skills are assessed during the course (but not trained).

The candidate entry requirements are as follows:

Equipment and Kit Information

Paddlesports Instructor - Equipment Information

Paddlesports has been voted the fastest growing water-sport in the UK for the 4th year running and we are proud at sportscotland Cumbrae to be at the heart of these developments. The centre is in a perfect location for Sea Kayaking, Open Water Canoeing and Stand Up Paddle Boarding and we have a wide range of modern boats and boards from some of the UK’s leading manufactures including P&H, Peak UK & Werner Paddles.

Getting wet is unavoidable so we will make sure you have the correct gear. Peak UK wet-suit, wet-suit boots, buoyancy aid, spray deck and cag top is available for your use and can be dried overnight ready for the next day’s action. You are ofcourse welcome to use any of your own equipment, just run this past your coaching team.

In addition we would request you bring garments such as swim wear, woolly hat and warm socks – even in July! Hot showers are available in the changing areas and accommodation areas so bring a spare towel.

As this is an instructor course you may also want to bring pens, note pad and suitable wet notes. The centre has wet lecture facilities, including AV equipment, white board, flip charts and pens.

Daily Schedule



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