PaddleSafe Basic Skills

This Course targets beginner paddlers.

The Course will focus on the minimum basics in the following areas to:

  • Paddle Safe
  • Prepare a craft and equipment for trip (hatches and other equipment set or stowed ready for launch, spare equipment stored and waterproofed).
  • Swim 50 metres in canoeing clothes (shirt, shorts and sandshoes as a minimum, and with a life jacket, and swim under the craft to surface on the other side)
  • Show a full understanding of the basic safety requirements for paddlers and their craft, and appreciation of the use of life jackets.
  • Launch the craft, embark and paddle away from the launching point

The Instructor will focus on:

  • Correct posture and basic injury prevention
  • Paddling forwards, backwards, and emergency stops
  • Turning the craft
  • The use of the paddle as a means of support on the water
  • Coming alongside another craft, and also a clear approach to the launching point
  • Disembarking, re-embarking, paddling to deep water, capsizing and assisting with a deepwater and self rescue
  • The minimum safety recommendations for paddling in the local waterways and environment that might be encountered
  • Explaining where further safety recommendations and resources can be found, and possible pathways to improving personal paddling goals

Duration: Minimum 3 hours and conducted on and off the water in a range of craft

Resources and Guidelines

AC “Paddle Your Own” Online booklet

PaddleSafe DVD

Refer to Resources under the Learn to Paddle TAB.

The Basic Skills Award is purely an introduction and participant award that can be delivered and assessed by a current Paddle Australia Instructor, Guide, Lifeguard or Coach. Assessment is to be carried out on flat, sheltered water.

A formal assessment is required to attain the Paddle Australia award. The assessment can be conducted in single or double kayaks (may be sit-on-top) or canoes, or ocean skis, and is specific to the craft in which it was taken. The candidate’s performance throughout the assessment must be satisfactory and confident. If using a double craft the candidates should be tested in both the bow and stern positions.