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Custom Paddling Workshops

Private Canoe Lessons
Set up your own time for a private lesson with our instructors. They are ready to teach you either whitewater or flatwater skills, in a canoe or a kayak! Beginners and Intermediate paddlers welcome. There is no maximum group size.

Flatwater Course
PaddleFoot flatwater courses are designed for the beginner to intermediate level canoeist. Course material assumes little knowledge of canoeing, and starts with fundamentals. Skills are taught in tandem canoes, and partners will switch from bow to stern throughout the day to learn both positions. Paddlers looking for basic flatwater skills to feel comfortable paddling around the cottage to those pursuing a longer canoe trip on lakes will find this course appealing.


Introductory White Water Course
Moving water courses assume some level of flatwater canoeing experience and swimming ability. The emphasis here is on moving water fundamentals, including a little theory, and lots of practical work in rapids. This includes, but is not limited to: power stroke, back-paddling, pry and draw strokes, tilts and angles in rapids, peel outs, eddying, and reading rapids. A more complete list of skills is listed below.

Our instructors are skilled paddlers and patient teachers. They take you through the steps in a logical progression so you continue to use and build upon new skills. This is a non-certification course.

For all courses we cover basic safety. Most items are listed in the logical sequence for learning, as many skills combine different elements of the course (for instance, an “S” turn is an awful lot like a peel out coupled with an eddy out.) Two full days on the water is usually sufficient to cover all the material in either discipline.


See the Curriculum below for a list of skills that can be covered. If you are interested in specific topics let us know and PaddleFoot will put together a lesson just for you!

Course Curriculums

Moving Water
Principles of water motion– the theory of how your canoe, paddle, and body, combine to make the canoe do what you want. Entering and exiting your canoe– Treat your equipment well, and stay dry!
Safe landings in current– need to pull out in current? Learn how to avoid the being swept away by the water.  Eddying – you’ve heard the phrase a hundred times, now learn what it means! A way to take a breather in water moving upstream. 
Peel outs– all rested up? This move takes you back into the current.  S turns– combine the last two skills to move slowly, and safely through a set of rapids.
Ferrying front and back– how to paddle across a river without moving downstream. Front surfing– learn how to ride a wave.
Safety Skills: Swimming in Rapids, Canoe over canoe rescue, Use of throw bags, River Communications, How to retrieve your swamped canoe, Portaging.
Flat Water
Principles of canoe motion– the theory of how your canoe, paddle, and body, combine to make the canoe do what you want. Canoe put-in and take-out– Treat your equipment well, and stay dry! 
Balance in the canoe– what makes a canoe unstable and how to control it Changing positions– switching from bow to stern without landing. 
Power stroke and J-stroke– how to paddle all day without aching shoulders. Moving in a straight line– avoiding zigzag. Moving the canoe sideways- it works just like it sounds. 
Turning the canoe– you’ll need this skill to get back to shore.   Stopping– take some time to smell the water lilies.
Landing your canoe– how to approach the shore and land without damage to your canoe.  Going backwards– a canoe can take you into very narrow passages. Now you can get out again. 
Dealing with the wind– sometimes the greatest challenge is brought by wind. Learn how to paddle safely, and efficiently, and even how to avoid wind! Safety Skills – Canoe over Canoe rescue How to retrieve a swamped canoe Reentry into your canoe from the water.

Sample Menu from PaddleFoot Lodge