Developing kayaking skills

On this page:

Free clinics and practice sessions

Paddle Canada Skills

VHF Radio Certification

Skill development – the cornerstone for kayaking happiness

Building competency and developing good paddling skills are an important part of enjoying the kayaking experience. With practice and proper training, our members are able to paddle safely in some of the world’s best paddling wilderness, right on our doorstep!

PIKA actively promotes the development of its members’ skills by hosting professional Paddle Canada instructors who offer certified courses at a club discount, providing one day free clinics and holding practice sessions in pools, lakes and the ocean.

Free clinics and practice sessions

Attend a free clinic or practice session to learn a new skill or to hone your current practice.

For 2020, the following clinics and practices are offered to PIKA members:

  • Kayak Repair and Deck Lines Clinic, March 28 Cancelled
  • Towing Clinic at Blackie Spit, April 19 Cancelled
  • Practice Session at Cultus Lake, April 26 Cancelled
  • Directional Control Clinic at Hayward Lake, May 3 Cancelled
  • Introduction to Rolling at Sasamat Lake, June 13
  • Splashfest at Hicks Lake, August 9

See the trips calendar for details about how to sign up.

Practicing an assisted rescue at Hayward Lake

Paddle Canada Skills

What is Paddle Canada?

Paddle Canada (PC) is a national paddling association which sets national standards for instruction and certification for recreational paddling. Paddle Canada certifications are nationally accredited and internationally recognized.

PIKA is not directly affiliated with Paddle Canada. However, a number of our members are PC certified instructors.

All official PC courses are conducted according to Paddle Canada guidelines and are covered by Paddle Canada insurance policies.  PIKA assumes no liability for Paddle Canada courses. Therefore students are required to register and sign waivers separately for each Paddle Canada course.

Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills

This course is a great introduction to the sport for those with limited or no previous kayak experience. This 1-day course covers the basics needed to get started sea kayaking and teaches you the skills you need to participate in PIKA class 1 trips. Emphasis is on practical paddle skills with 6 hours on the water. Course includes assisted re-entries.

Since this is Paddle Canada course, PIKA membership is not required. Invite your friends. Participants must sign Paddle Canada waivers.

Location: Deer Lake, Burnaby BC

Date: Saturday May 2, 2020 Cancelled

Fee: $75.00 payable to the instructor

Instructors: John Bakker and John Drent

Registration: jtrdrent@telus.net by April 29,2020.

If you need to rent a kayak, a limited number are available, so sign up early.

Paddle Canada Level 1 Skills

Building on Basic Kayak Skills, this 2-day course is conducted in rougher water. There is a strong focus on re-entry techniques, with students practicing both assisted and solo re-entries, as well as the skills required to safely plan and execute a day trip. This course teaches you the skills you need to participate in PIKA class 2 trips.

Since this is Paddle Canada course, PIKA membership is not required. Invite your friends. Participants must sign Paddle Canada waivers.

Prerequisites

  • Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Skills certification or equivalent skill and knowledge at the discretion of the instructor, including the ability to execute a controlled wet exit and assisted re-entry.
  • Five kayaking excursions (2 to 3 hours each) in any conditions.

Location: Barnet Marine Park and Crescent Beach

Date: Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24, 2020 Cancelled

Fee: $150.00 payable to the instructor

Instructor: Doug Childress and John Drent

Registration: jtrdrent@telus.net by May 20, 2020.

If you need to rent a kayak, a limited number are available, so sign up early.

Wetsuit or drysuit required.

Paddle Canada Moving Water for Sea Kayakers Clinic

This is a Paddle Canada-recognized clinic. Paddlers should have strong Paddle Canada Level 1 Skills or equivalent experience and be very comfortable with their strokes and balance.

This clinic is a good preparation for the Paddle Canada Level 2 Skills course or as a review for PC 2 graduates. We teach and practice “reading” currents and manoeuvring in moving water. This section of the Vedder River is relatively tame, but we’ll have instructors ready to assist if needed. Get ready for a fun day on the river.

Pretty much any kayak will do but it is easier to develop skills in shorter boats. We have a few plastic boats to rent at $40.00 for the day. Bring your own paddle and contact instructor well in advance.

Group size is limited to maximum of 8 paddlers, so sign up early. Each participant must sign a Paddle Canada waiver.

Location: Keith Wilson Bridge in Chilliwack, BC, at 9:30am

Date: Saturday June 6, 2020

Fee: $5.00 payable to the instructor

Instructors: Doug Childress, John Drent and Pat Jones

Registration: jtrdrent@telus.net by June 2, 2020.

Wetsuit or drysuit and helmet required.

Paddle Canada Stroke, Rescue and Situational Clinic

This is a Paddle Canada-recognized clinic. Participants will be entered into the Paddle Canada database upon completion. There is a $5.00/participation fee paid to Paddle Canada which covers the insurance and admin fees. Each participant must sign a Paddle Canada waiver.

The clinic covers advanced re-entry skills, strokes and situations you could encounter during group paddles, where efficient and speedy action is required.

Launch from Whytecliff Park. We will paddle a relatively short distance while practicing as we paddle. Expect to get wet. Wetsuit or drysuit required. Bring wheels. Lunch and a hot beverage are recommended.

Arrive early as parking is limited. On the water at 10:00am. Duration: 6 hours.

Location: Whytecliff, West Vancouver BC

Date: Sunday June 7, 2020

Fee: $5.00 payable to the instructor

Instructors: Doug Childress and others

Registration: doug_childress@hotmail.com by June 4, 2020.


Other recommended sources for Paddle Canada training

BC Kayak Centre – Mike Gilbert

Blue Dog Kayaking– Dave Nichols

West Beach Paddle – David Dreves

VHF Radio Certification Courses

With successful completion of either of these 1-day courses, you receive your Radio Operators Certification (ROC) which is good for life. It is the law to have a ROC in order to operate a VHF radio. Course includes the manual, material, exam and processing fee for the licence.

Location: Richmond, BC

Dates: Saturday, March 7 and Saturday, March 28, 2020
(choose one of these 1-day courses)

Fee: $145.00 payable to the instructor

Instructor: Mike Gilbert

Registration: mgilbert1600@gmail.com

For other dates and locations for this course, see Canadian Power and Sail Squadron.