Whitewater Training

2023 Whitewater Training Program

Beginner Courses

The tandem beginner training program is designed to bring paddlers with some flatwater paddling experience up to the level required for admission to the Whitewater List and participation in club trips. The course consists of one half-day in town segment to practise basic skills to move the boat, to learn about particular whitewater gear requirements and to plan the logistics for the weekend segment of the course. This half day will be followed by a full weekend at Palmers Rapids.

The solo beginners course is generally taken by paddlers with some tandem whitewater experience, but the club permits those who wish to begin with whitewater solo to do so. Paddlers who wish to start in a solo boat need to be aware that the learning curve is much steeper as there are additional skills for solo boating that must be learned at the same time.

Both solo and tandem beginners will be offered twice: 2-4 June and 9-11 June.  There is an all-day in-town preparatory session for all beginners Saturday 27 May.

All club courses are taught to Paddle Canada standards and all club whitewater instructors are certified by Paddle Canada. The tandem beginner course, however, is “Paddle Canada Introductory Skills +” as the standard for admission to the Whitewater List requires Introductory skills, but on Class II rather than Class I water. About 99% of those who take the club beginner course pass the Paddle Canada Introductory Skills level, and over 90% make the Whitewater List. Post-course coaching sessions are offered to allow those who did not make the Whitewater List to improve their skills.

First year beginners can get out most weekends from June to October to have fun on local rivers. Beginner suitable rivers include the Lower Madawaska, the Ottawa Middle Channel, the Petite Nation, the Petawawa, the Dumoine, the Coulonge and the Noire.

Intermediate Courses

The club will offer two intermediate skills courses this year: Paddle Canada Intermediate Tandem and Paddle Canada Intermediate Solo.

Paddle Canada Intermediate Tandem will review basic skills and then quickly move to more complex ones like back ferrying, jet ferrying, using holes, surfing and attainments. The use of river features and linking moves will be worked on during the course. Mastering intermediate tandem skills will make participants into confident river trippers.

Paddle Canada Intermediate Solo builds on the Introduction course by teaching familiar moves such as pealing out and eddying in in bigger water. It also introduces boofing, surfing, jet ferries and refining strokes and making linking moves. At least one season solo paddling is a prerequisite for this course.

In-town Practice

There will be flatwater stroke improvement sessions every Tuesday evening meeting at 5:00 PM at the boathouse.  These sessions are aimed at anyone wanting to improve the quality of their strokes and develop an effective and efficient paddling style.  Flatwater strokes inprovement will be a course, with sign-up on PlayRA at a cost of $20 for all five sessions.  Boat rental, if required, extra.  FW practice is open to all on the WW List and to anyone registered in a beginner WW course this year.

Moving water practice will take place at the Pumphouse.  This is open all on the WW List.  There is no course registration, but there is a $5 per session use fee paid into the Ottawa River Runners honesty box at the site.  Dates TBD.

Instructor Course

The club will host a Paddle Canada Moving Water Introduction Tandem Instructor course this year.  There will be two dry land sessions the evenings of  May 3 and May 15 to outline the course, give individual theory assignments and then to deliver and review the completed assignments.  These sessions will be followed by a weekend practical on-water course where participants will both observe instructor demos and deliver and critique their own lessons and instruction.

Sign-up on PlayRA.  Estimated cost is $300 for members, $500 for non-members.

More information on individual courses is available by clicking on the hyperlinks below.  The Beginner Handbook is also attached below and provides additonal information for the Intro courses.

Registration for 2023 is open for all Introduction and Intermediate courses.  Others to follow shortly.

Registration will be on the RA Centre website using PlayRA at using bar codes in the attached course descriptions below.

Note that you must have current memberhip THE DATE OF THE COURSE to get the member price.  If you are not offered the member price on check-out, exit and renew your membership.

Questions regarding the program can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..