Adventure Dolphin offers a number of different water based evening courses in canoeing and kayaking; helping you to work towards the nationally recognised British Canoeing Star Award qualifications.

We use British Canoeing’s Star Awards as an assessment tool which enables our coaches to deliver courses that are designed to develop your skills and recognise your achievements.

Detailed information regarding each of these awards can be found by visiting the British Canoeing website (link to site). Our courses run over two six week periods and a final seven week period to accommodate the summer holidays.

Please note: A prerequisite for all courses is that participants must be aged 8 years and above.  It is preferable that all participants can swim. We aim to improve water confidence as part of our program, but ask that you inform your coach if you have concerns.

Courses and Assessments
Courses are described as “Working towards” as progress is dependent upon the individual and whether they need more time to practice for the assessment.

We use the term “working towards” to guide participants in selecting the course appropriate to their ability. Although, we use the British Star Awards as a syllabus guide, there is no requirement to take any tests. Paddlers are free to join courses according to their experience and we encourage individuals to complete their star Award assessment when ready to progress to the next level.

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

Temporary Club Membership (valid for five 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 five weeks period but want to attend sessions, you will be charged as a visitor thereafter for a maximum of five visits. 

Our Courses
Our Summer Evening Courses run on a Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Jump to course description

Course Dates:
All courses run in six week blocks

April – June
Wednesdays 25th April – 6th June
Thursdays 26th April – 7th June
( missing half term week (29th/30th/31st May for Go Canoeing week,  plus BBQ)

June – July
Wednesdays 13th June – 18th July
Thursdays 14th June – 19th July

July – September
Wednesdays 25th July – 5th September
Thursdays 26th July – 6th September

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

Course Prices:
Adult Non-member: £65
Adult member: £60
Student Non-member: £55
Student member: £50

Course: Paddle-Sport Fun
Ideal for people of all ages; families and individuals alike, this course will introduce you to canoes and kayaks through a range of fun activities.  It’s the perfect way to take the water and to help you to determine whether you prefer to canoe or kayak.

Book A Paddle-Sport Fun Course

Course: One Star Training
Suitable for beginners who have decided to follow a single paddle-sport discipline or those who have completed a Paddle-Sport Fun course. This programme covers the skills required for the British Canoeing One Star Award.

Separate courses are offered in canoeing and kayaking, and paddlers that reach a sufficient level of competency by the end of the course will be offered an assessment on the last evening.

Book a Kayak One Star Training Course
Book a Canoe One Star Training Course

Course: Two Star Training
The Two Star Award 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.

Two Star assessments are held throughout the year and your coach will advise you as to whether they think you have obtained sufficient skills and experience to be assessed. This award requires the participant to achieve the standard paddling in both canoe and kayak.  It is therefore recommended that you undertake courses in both disciplines and take advantage of Adventure Dolphin’s club sessions which give you the opportunity to practice your skills.

Paddlers who have attained two star standard in one discipline are welcome to move onto a three star training course, without being required to take the two star test.

Book a Kayak Two Star Training Course
Book a Canoe Two Star Training Course

Course: Three Star Training
The British Canoeing Three Star Award is more discipline specific. However, the key skills are generic to all disciplines and can be acquired away from a specialist environment. So whether you’re interested in white water, or want to become a sea kayaker, enter marathon races or tour the Thames; this course can help you to progress, with more emphasis on safety and self-reliance as you obtain the skills to explore further afield.

To achieve this award, you will require experience in specified environments which can be achieved by participating in Adventure Dolphin’s trips.  Click here  to see the event diary.  Please note: Full membership is required to participate in trips.

Book a Kayak Three Star Training Course
Book a Canoe Three Star Training 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.