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BC Paddle Discover Award

kayak - Up to 8 people


The British Canoeing accredited Discover Award allows you to develop your decision making and practical skills for a fun and safe time on the water, taking you on the next steps towards becoming a proficient and independent paddler. Learn how to choose and effectively use equipment, whilst developing an understanding of the factors which affect your paddling; giving you the confidence to progress to making your own choices with the Explore Award.

Certification fee – There is a certification fee payable in advance if desired of £6 for both non-British canoeing members and British canoeing members. This will need to be paid as an additional extra at time of booking. Upon successful completion of the course, the course director will then submit the results to British Canoeing. Certificates will then be emailed directly to you from British Canoeing.

What to bring

Please ensure you are appropriately attired for the day and that you are dressed for immersion. We will be afloat for most of the day so please make sure you have food, a hot drink and a change of clothes or extra layers in a dry bag with you. If you require any kit, please get in touch to make the necessary arrangements. We will be providing all the necessary boats and safety equipment however please feel free to bring along your own.


This course is suitable to anyone of any age who wants to develop their skills on the water. You don’t need any previous experience to take your Discover Award, just the desire for fun and learning! You can take the award from any craft, from kayaks, canoes or SUPs.


Award Content

1. Getting Ready

Before getting to the water you must choose suitable kit and equipment and have the correct knowledge to use it. Key points you may consider are:

What will I wear?

What are the clothing options available to me? How might my chosen activity affect which clothing I choose? Am I confident in the use of my chosen personal safety equipment?

What will I use?

What are the different equipment options available and why might I choose one over the other? How do I use my equipment? What do I do if there is a problem with it?

Have a think about what additional equipment might be useful to have access to on the bank.

2. At the Venue

When heading to the water you should have an understanding of your chosen location and how you will access it. Key factors to consider include the type of water, the weather and features of the location you choose.

You can take each of these factors into consideration and ask yourself some questions to ensure the correct decisions are made.

Factor: Type of water

I may need to know: Am I on moving or still water? What are the current water levels? What difference will this make to my session? Where can I go and are there restricted areas? Why might those limits be in place?

Factor: Weather

What I might observe: What is the weather forecast for the time I am on the water? How might the wind speed and direction affect me?

Factor: Accessing the water

I may need to know: Where are the best access points to the water and what makes them suitable? How I can minimise damage to the bank when getting on? What are the best techniques to lift and carry my chosen craft? Are any aids available to help me get it on and off the water?

3. On the Water

When on the water you should be in control and aware of your surroundings and other users. Key skills to achieve control include staying relaxed and understanding how to move your craft.

Consideration: Other users

I may need to know: Who, or what else, will be on the water? What is the etiquette around fellow water users? How can I minimise disturbance to wildlife?

Skill: Controlling the direction of your craft

I may need to know: Which strokes I can use to move forward and steer my craft? How can I stop my craft and return to my start point? How can my positioning in or on my craft affect its performance?

Consideration: Safety and rescue

I may need to consider: How would I safely get myself or others back to shore or into the craft?

4. After the Session

Every time on the water is an opportunity for learning and improving. You can create a positive impact on your future experiences by performing a good post-activity assessment.

Watching what others do: It might be useful to spend some time watching any others on the water. What skills are they using? Are they doing things differently to you? Why might that be?

Consider your experience: What have you learnt today? What went well? What could you have done differently? How did your choice of equipment affect the experience? What skills would you like to focus on next time? Is there a specific paddlesport activity or discipline you would like to explore?

5. Future Development

Each day you spend on the water further expands your skills and knowledge, creating a more enjoyable experience on the water. With no two experiences on the water ever the same, you never stop learning.

Continually evaluating the choices you make creates a natural evolution of decision making ability. When you reach a certain point in this, it may be worth considering if you want to specialise in a particular activity or discipline, developing further skills using either the Paddle Explore award or Discipline specific award pathways.


Full refund if cancelled 21 days prior to the commencement date

If cancelling a booking more than 21 days prior to the activity commencement date, alternative dates, course credit or a refund can be offered. For some cancellations an administration fee may be charged. Cancellations within 21 days are charged at the full rate and non-refundable.

Cancellation of any booking must be made in writing. For cancellations with less than 48 hours’ notice, please contact the venue direct by telephone. Please familiarise yourself with our full booking Terms and Conditions by clicking here.

If the conditions on the day aren’t ideal but the activity is still taking place, refunds & rescheduling will only be provided under special circumstances. We look forward to seeing you at your sessions. If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with a member of the team.

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Where we'll meet

£100 per person

Sat, 5th Sep
09:00 - 16:00 · 8 spaces left
Sun, 1st Nov
09:00 - 16:00 · 8 spaces left


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