Solo Canoeing Beginners

Discover the freedom of solo canoeing with our beginners course designed to equip you with the essential skills. Whether you’re navigating calm waters or challenging rapids, this course will lay the groundwork for your solo paddling adventures.

Learn the fundamentals of solo canoeing, including paddle techniques, equipment adaptations, safety measures, and strategies for overcoming environmental challenges. Gain the confidence to control your canoe independently and navigate any obstacle with ease.

Through flatwater practice, you’ll refine your paddle skills, laying the foundation for tackling more complex maneuvers in rapids. Mastering flatwater is the key to confidently navigating whitewater, making it an essential step in your journey as a solo paddler.

Join us and unlock the exhilarating world of solo canoeing. With dedication and practice, you’ll soon pirouette your canoe around any obstacle, ready to embrace the excitement of whitewater adventures.

For the Bold and Adventurous

Flatwater canoeing is far from tame—it’s a thrilling pursuit that demands precision and skill. While the term “flatwater” may suggest calmness, in reality, it encompasses a dynamic environment filled with powerful currents, rocky riffles, and various hazards.

Far from being a sport for the faint-hearted, flatwater canoeing requires courage and finesse. It’s about mastering the art of precision paddling amidst ever-changing conditions. And what better way to tackle it than in a solo canoe?

Join us for our solo canoeing course and unlock the confidence to navigate flatwater with skill and grace. Whether it’s maneuvering through challenging currents or tackling unexpected obstacles, this course will equip you with the tools and techniques needed to thrive in the dynamic world of flatwater canoeing.

Don’t let the term “flatwater” deceive you—this is an adventure waiting to be embraced by the bold and daring. Sign up now and discover the thrill of solo canoeing.

What to expect?

Solo canoeing beginners:

  • Gear overview different solo canoes
  • Paddle talk, otter- or beavertail? Or something else all together?
  • Carrying a canoe solo and getting it safely in the water
  • Basic solo canoe maneuvering: paddling forward, backwards, turning around, stopping, launching and landing
  • Basic solo strokes: forward stroke, j-stroke, c-stroke, reverse, stopping, draw and pry strokes, sweep strokes, post and wedge
  • Leaning your solo canoe
  • Sitting or kneeling
  • Trimming your solo canoe


€ 85 per person

Course dates

February 4
May 5
August 4
November 10

The fine print

Minimum age to participate is 12 years with an adult or 16 years without. We reserve the right to cancel any program with less than 24 hours notice due to changing weather conditions such as strong winds or thunderstorms. Please check your email for cancellation notices before arriving. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but your safety and well-being is our top priority.

Course prerequisites

For this course some basic canoeing experience is a plus. If you’re a novice paddler it might be advisable to take our Introduction to canoeing course first.

What's included?

  • Paddle
  • Lifejacket
  • Canoe

What to bring?

  • Water/sports drink.
  • Active clothing you don’t mind getting wet.
  • Secure footwear you don’t mind getting wet.
  • Extra layers in case it cools off during the day.
  • A change of clothes and shoes.
  • Sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses with floater string.
  • Snacks.
  • Bagged lunch.
  • A rain jacket/pants

Course location

Solo canoeing beginners courses take place from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in Mol (Belgium). We have a choice of open water and several beautiful canals to enjoy. The exact location is selected depending on weather conditions and will be sent to you a week prior to the course.


The Open Canoeing Skills A Diploma is intended for people who have mastered the basic strokes and paddling techniques. The emphasis is on achieving the desired movement of the canoe and developing an understanding of cause and effect, rather than focusing on strictly defined strokes. The holder of this certificate is able to safely paddle a short canoe trip on sheltered, quiet or slightly moving waterways in moderate weather conditions. Candidates can take the test while paddling solo or in tandem and must be able to demonstrate that she or he has sufficient swimming skills. To take the exam the candidate must have paddled a canoe trip of at least 6 km.

Upon successful completion of the tandem canoeing beginners course it is possible to take an exam. Your instructor will advise you at the end of the day whether it is useful to participate in this exam. It takes approximately two hours and consists of practice and theory. Upon successful completion the participant receives an official certificate from the Royal Dutch Watersports Association. This demonstrates that you have mastered the skills below.

Skills practical – paddling technique

  • Transport the canoe over land to the water
  • Properly lift the canoe into the water
  • Set correct trim
  • Get in, for tandems in the correct order
  • Select an appropriate seating position
  • Demonstrate an efficient forward stroke
  • Backward and stop
  • Correct execution of draw and pry strokes (including cross strokes)
  • Correct execution of stern rudder, rudder stroke and J stroke (for solo: bow rudder, C stroke)
  • Correct execution of sweep strokes, forward and backward
  • Changing the paddling side
  • Mooring and disembarking
  • Prevent tipping over with the low brace (stationary and dynamic)
  • Acting upon capsize
  • The paddle strokes in tandem are coordinated (visible taking into account each other in the paddle rhythm)
  • There is a good balance while paddling (regularity and in tandem cadence)

Skills practical – safety

  • Self-rescue after a capsize: Swim to shore with boat and paddle, bail the boat correctly and climb back into the boat without assistance
  • Assisted rescue after a capsize: the canoe and crew are towed to shore by another canoe.
  • Assisted rescue after a capsize: another canoe helps to bail the boat and assists the paddlers to climb into the boat

Skills theory

  • Paddle terms for techniques
  • Types of open canoes
  • Name parts of the canoe
  • Function of buoyancy
  • Types of paddles
  • Paddle lengths and their effect
  • Difference between PFD and life jacket
  • The effects of wind and waves
  • Elementary knowledge of currents
  • Cleaning, drying and storing gear
  • The outfitting of an open canoe
  • Correct use of a PFD
  • Clothing appropriate to the conditions
  • Recognize and take appropriate action in case of hypothermia
  • Correct group behavior during trips with a trip leader
  • Regulations