Introduction to canoeing

There’s nothing better than being able to paddle a canoe but what’s so special about it? We invite you to find out with this introduction to canoeing course.

Whether you’re starting a new outdoor activity, hobby, or needing to refresh your paddling skills from the years past, this course has been designed to satisfy all. We focus on the basic functional skills needed to get you safely started and continue your skill development.

Getting comfortable

As a budding canoeist, you are now ready to practice some of the basic functional skills and understand the importance of communication with your paddling partner but what now?

During the follow up of this introduction to canoeing course we will show you how to develop more technically proficient strokes and maneuvers in the canoe which will build both your confidence and skills. This will set you on your course to take your paddling skills to the next level. Check out our Tandem canoeing beginners or Solo canoeing beginners courses.

What to expect?

Tandem canoeing introduction:

  • Gear overview different canoes, which paddle to choose
  • Carrying a tandem canoe and getting it safely in the water
  • Entering a canoe
  • Basic tandem canoe maneuvering: paddling forward, backwards, turning around, stopping, launching and landing
  • Basic strokes: forward stroke, rudder stroke, reverse, stopping, draw and pry strokes, sweep strokes
  • Canoe balance and stability
  • Introduction to tandem safety and rescues
  • Paddler communication and roles of the bow (front) and stern (back) paddler


€ 85 per person

Course dates

Januari 7
April 7
Juli 7
October 6

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

None, besides an interest and curiosity in learning how to safely paddle the watercraft that developed Canada.

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 (optional)

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 Introduction to Open Canoeing Certificate is intended as an encouragement for novice paddlers with no prior experience with canoeing and is awarded after our introduction to canoeing course. The emphasis is on developing a good boat feeling, comfortably handling the paddle and balancing the canoe. The aim is propelling the canoe and keeping it in the desired direction using the most basic strokes. The holder of this certificate is able to safely paddle a short open 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.

Upon successful completion of an exam the participant receives an official certificate from the Royal Dutch Watersports Association. This demonstrates that you have mastered the skills below.

Skills practical

  • Transport the canoe over land to the water
  • Properly lift the canoe into the water
  • Boarding
  • Move forward using rudder stroke to correct course
  • Stopping the canoe
  • Paddling backwards
  • Keeping the canoe on course by means of the stern rudder
  • Rotate in a small circle or on the spot
  • Mooring
  • Get out and properly lift the canoe out of the water

Skills theorie

  • Paddle lengths
  • Paddle terms
  • Name parts of the paddle and canoe
  • Safety aspects
  • Assessing the weather
  • Regulations