Tandem Canoeing Beginners

Ready to take your canoeing skills to the next level? Our tandem canoeing beginners course is crafted for canoeists who have grasped basic paddling techniques and are ready for further development.

If you’ve already gained some experience on open water in a canoe and are eager to progress, this course is perfect for you. We provide personalized coaching tailored to your individual needs, enabling you to refine your current skills and acquire new ones.

Embark on this journey with us as we guide you through the intricacies of tandem canoeing. Whether you’re seeking to enhance your technique, build confidence, or simply enjoy the thrill of paddling, our course promises to enrich your experience on the water. Join us and unlock the potential of tandem canoeing.

Building Your Paddling Skills

Join us as we embark on a journey to develop a solid foundation of tandem techniques tailored for open water and river environments. Throughout the course, we’ll cover essential aspects such as equipment selection, assessing conditions, journeying skills, safety protocols, and rescue techniques.

Our focus will be on honing your understanding of efficiently utilizing your body, boat, paddle, and the water to maneuver your canoe precisely where you intend to go. Through refining your strokes and techniques and enhancing your open water skills, you’ll gain confidence and proficiency on the water.

We’ll assess and refine your paddling skills in various situations, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience. Join us as we dive into the intricacies of tandem canoeing and unlock your full potential on the water.

What to expect?

Tandem canoeing beginners:

  • Canoe techniques for use in open water
  • Equipment
  • Open water safety
  • Rescues
  • Refined tandem maneuvering including forward paddling, backwards, pivots and circles.
  • Introduction of new strokes such as J-stroke, cross draw and pry, sculling draw and pry.
  • Fluently integrating a variety of strokes while paddling
  • Assessing the weather and water conditions
  • Carrying a canoe solo


€ 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

This tandem canoeing beginners course is open to anyone with some canoeing experience and who wants to further develop her or his skills. Having participated in our introduction to canoeing course is a plus.

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

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