Developing kayaking skills

Skill development – the foundation of kayak safety

Developing good paddling skills and competent seamanship are essential to safely enjoying the sea kayak experience. With training and practice, our members are able to confidently paddle some of the world’s best coastal locations right here close to home!

PIKA actively promotes the development of paddle skills and seamanship by hosting certified instructors who offer Paddle Canada courses at significant discounts, as well as informal instruction through day clinics,  and annual re-entry practice sessions.

Annual re-entry practice is the minimum requirement for members to participate in any PIKA trip. See our Paddler Guidelines. However, members must also demonstrate paddling skills appropriate to any particular trip.  See our trip classifications.

We encourage members to participate in our courses and clinics in order to develop these skills.

About Paddle Canada

Paddle Canada 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 Paddle Canada certified instructors.

All official Paddle Canada 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. See our trips calendar for course dates and contact information.

Spring 2021 Update

As the concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 and the directives coming from the Provincial Health Officer are easing up, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to go ahead with 1-day clinics for re-entries, towing, strokes, Greenland paddling, rolling, and currents for sea kayakers, as well as a few Paddle Canada Skills courses.  These clinics and courses will be listed in the trips calendar as they become available.

For members who have recently joined the club, we offer Essential Kayak Skills on May 15. This is a 1-day Paddle Canada certified course that covers all the basic skills you need to get started kayaking with PIKA.

For members looking for more practice and training specific to ocean travel, we offer Level-1 Sea Kayak Skills. This is a 2-day Paddle Canada certified course with more emphasis on navigation and route planning,  weather, tides, currents etc. as well as paddling in rougher water.

2 sessions of the Level-1 Sea Kayak Skills course are offered as follows:

  • April 25, May 1
  • June 26, 27

Level-2 Sea Kayak Skills is offered from August 6 to August 13.

For more information and to register your interest in these or any other courses or clinics , please contact our Safety and Training Coordinator:  safety@pikakayak.com

Other sources for Paddle Canada training

BC Kayak Centre – Mike Gilbert

Blue Dog Kayaking – Dave Nichols

Deep Cove Kayak

SKILS – Jean-Francois (JF) Marleau

West Beach Paddle – David Dreves