Canoe Instructor Course
Are You Prepared?

NOTE: This page covers the basic skill requirements expected for Intro Lake Tandem instructor and Intro Lake Solo instructor. Both certifications are included as my personal feeling is even a tandem instructor must have good solo skills. This information is only for assessment and is not considered part of a course.

Paddle Canada has set high standards for their instructors. This means that obtaining instructor certification can be a difficult task and may take some time to complete through both courses and mentorship. More information on the necessary critera for instructor levels, skills, and apprentice/mentorship requirements can be found on the Paddle Canada website under Programs/Canoeing.

Although the instructor course focuses on teaching methods and detection/correction skills participants must be able to complete and demonstrate all skills and maneuvers at a level higher than the requirements of the courses they will be teaching. Consider the following items prior to attempting to get your instructor certification.

  1. Have you completed at least the Intermediate Lake Tandem and Solo skills courses or can you comfortably complete the equivalent skills. If you can not easily complete the earlier skills you will not succeed as an instructor. As an introductory instructor you should be paddling at a level equivalent to the Paddle Canada Intermediate tandem and solo levels.
  2. Can you paddle for a long period of time without a break? Typically you will need to be able to sit and paddle, or practice, for stretches of several hours without a break. This does not mean just forward paddling but sideways, backward, circles, pivots, etc... As an instructor you will need to be able to demonstrate all of the skills and maneuvers at a level higher than your students.

The following list includes the maneuvers and skills I would expect an instructor candidate to be able to complete prior to attempting to obtain their certification. You should be able to complete these skills at an Intro or Intermediate Lake skill level (both Tandem and Solo) on both your 'on' and 'off-side'. This list does not cover all of the skills necessary but if these can not be completed within a 30 minute assessment you may not be prepared. During the assessment appropriate body position, stroke choice, boat control, and communication must be displayed. Knowledge of strokes, what they do, and how they work may also be reviewed.

Maneuvers (from stern, bow, and solo)
TaskStern Bow Solo
Straight line forward and backward ~50m    
Well controlled Stopping (forward and backward)   
Pivot both directions (1m)   
Side displacement both directions ~5m   
Side slip (running) both directions ~1-2m   
Inside circle ~10m radius   
Outside circle ~10m radius   
Inside turn (continue) ~90 degrees   
Outside turn (continue) ~90 degrees   
Inside landing ~1m from mark   
Outside landing ~1m from mark   

Rescue skills
Canoe over canoe and/or Parallel - rescue a swamped canoe,
reenter canoe from deep water
Throw bag - thow, hit, and tow victim 10m away 

Other (just observe)
Understanding of Edging
   momentum, initiation, tilt, hold
Appropriate treatment of equipment  
Safe paddling awarness  
Equipment selection knowledge
  Small Vessel regulations
  appropriate size (PFD/Paddle)

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Last modified: Tue Mar 26 21:23:30 2013