Kayak and Canoe Summer Courses 2021

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Kayak & Canoe Summer Courses 2021

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Adventure Dolphin offers a number of different water based evening courses in canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding; helping you to work towards the nationally recognised British Canoeing paddle awards.

Detailed information regarding these awards can be found by visiting the British Canoeing website.

Please note: A prerequisite for all courses is that participants must be aged 10 years and above.  It is preferable that all participants can swim. We aim to improve water confidence as part of our programme, but ask that you inform your coach if you have concerns.

“The Paddle Awards

The key skills required to develop your paddling will not have changed. The Paddle Awards will be aimed at those who are new to paddling and will aim towards enjoyment, safety and the development of fundamental skills. We expect that there will be approximate equivalence to the old star awards as follows.

As a participant you will:

  • Be taught by an experienced, qualified coach
  • Have the use of the Dolphin Centre’s facilities during your sessions (use of changing rooms and showers)
  • Have the use of centre equipment
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Temporary Club Membership (valid for two sessions)

Anyone who participants on a course is given Temporary Club Membership. This entitles you to join our informal Sunday mornings or Tuesday evening club sessions.  If you do not wish to become a member after the two week period but want to attend sessions, you will be charged as a visitor thereafter for a maximum of five visits.

Summer Evening Courses
Our Summer Evening Courses run on a Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Subject to the latest COVID-19 guidelines as set by the government and our governing bodies we are hoping to run the following courses.

Course Dates:
All courses run in six week blocks

1st – 5th June Go Paddling Week – more details to follow

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June – July
Wednesdays 9th June – 14th July
Thursdays 10th June – 15th July

July – September
Wednesdays 21st July – 1st September
Thursdays 22nd July – 2nd September

Course Times:
Each course runs from 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Course Prices:
Adult Non-member: £75
Adult member: £60
Student Non-member: £70
Student member: £55

Course: Beginners
Suitable for beginners who have decided to follow a single paddle-sport discipline.
Enables the paddler to develop decision making and fundamental skills.
Separate courses are offered in canoe and kayak which are tailored to meet the needs of the group. Beginner groups are usually split into juniors and adults.

Book Beginners, Canoe Course Book Beginners, Kayak Course

Course: Improvers
The Improvers courses enables you to refine and build on existing skills, as you gain additional experience on the water and develop your level of competency.  

Separate courses are offered in canoe and kayak which are tailored to meet the needs of the group, as many participants are keen to develop their paddling skills in the discipline of their choice. 

Book Improvers, Canoe Course Book Improvers, Kayak Course

Course: Intermediates
For paddlers with previous experience, who might have been preparing for the previous “three star awards” we are running Intermediate courses in general purpose kayaks, Sea Kayaks and Open Canoes.

The intermediate courses will lead you to the discipline specific Personal Performance Awards. The key skills for these awards can be learnt in the sheltered water environment at Pangbourne.

The aim of the intermediate Sea Kayak course is to give paddlers an introduction to sea kayaks and sufficient training that they would be ready to start Coastal Paddler (old 3*) training on the sea. If this course is full or you are currently working towards improver level, please email separately Course Coordinators and if there is enough interest another course may be provided.

Book Intermediate, Canoe Course Book Intermediate, Kayak Course Book Intermediate, Sea Kayak Course

So what is the difference between a canoe and a kayak?
Here’s a quick guide to help you spot the difference. 


  • In a canoe, the paddler:
    • Uses a single blade paddle
    • Adopts a kneeling (one knee/ both knees) or sitting position
    • Can move around the boat freely
  • The boat is:
    • Generally “open” to the elements
    • Feels reasonably stable 


  • In a kayak, the paddler:
    • Uses a two bladed paddle
    • Is seated in a cockpit and may wear a spray deck to cover the cockpit to keep the water out!
  • This boat is:
    • Usually made of plastic and comes in different shapes and sizes as there are several types of kayaks such as: white water, sea, racing, polo and sit on tops

Canoeing and kayaking are often confused, as the word “canoeing” is used as a generic term for all types of paddling.  But one feature that makes canoes and kayaks differ from other paddle sports is the fact that the paddler faces the direction of travel and uses a paddle, rather than oars, as in rowing.