Basic canoe training is mandatory for all new members so skill levels can be assessed and participation in the different trips offered can be determined.  (If you have moving water training i.e. from Paddle Canada, and/or are ORCKA certified, please let us know on your registration form.)

  • Safety for all our members is of the utmost importance to us as a club and is a big part of our training. With the basic training skills our trip leaders and any potential canoe partners can be assured that you have the required knowledge and ability for the types of trips you wish to participate in.  Basic training allows you to participate in flat water trips.  Intermediate Training allows for full participation in all canoe trips.  It is important that you understand your limitations and paddle within your ability.
  • Fees for training are reasonable, but are non-refundable due to the commitment required, limited spaces available, and the instruction provided by our paid, certified instructor and experienced volunteers.
  • River training for both the Basic and Intermediate sessions are two days each with rain dates. Please keep those dates free and ensure that you are able to participate on all posted dates to get the full benefit of the training.
  • All training sessions are designed to enhance your canoeing experience with the Old Salts while ensuring your safety!
  • Current members are also encouraged to continue taking training sessions regularly to keep their canoeing skills sharp and to improve their river reading abilities. There is always something new to learn no matter how many times you take a training session!
  • Training is not just for learning and reviewing skills, but is also a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people and start the canoe season under the guidance of a qualified instructor and experienced volunteer members!

Please note, training dates are subject to change due to weather and/or river conditions which is why rain dates are necessary.  Please plan accordingly!

(April) Orientation/Dry Land Training for New Members

When: TBD
Where: Albert McCormick Community Centre, Waterloo
Time:   1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Cost:  Free

  Training includes, but is not limited to:

  • Who we are as a club, rules and regulations, how we operate
  • Equipment needed
  • Getting in and out of a canoe properly
  • River signals
  • Paddle strokes and their purpose
  • Canoe safety
  • Communication

**inside instruction

(April) Pool Training for New Members (1 Day)

When:  TBD
Where:  Forest Heights Pool, Kitchener
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Cost:  $20.00

 Training includes but is not limited to:

  • Swimming with canoe clothes and a PFD
  • Practicing canoe entry from deck
  • Canoe stability
  • Capsizing
  • Self-rescue (swimming a canoe to shore and righting an over-turned canoe)
  • Towing a canoe
  • Canoe-over-canoe rescue (T-Rescue)
  • Shore rescue using a throw bag

** pool training – bring a towel, canoeing clothes, water shoes, PFD, and a change of clothes


(April) Pond Training (Canoe stroke learning/review/practice)

When: TBD
Where:  Victoria St. Pond, Kitchener
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Cost:  $2.00 per session (to help transport canoes to location)

Training includes but is not limited to:

  • Canoe entry from shore
  • Whistle & paddle signals
  • Teaching & practice of strokes in bow & stern
  • Working together with canoe partner
  • Communication

**on the water – bring PFD, dry sack with complete change of clothes, snacks, water; dress for the weather!

(May) Refresher Course (1 day) with Certified Instructor 

When:  TBD
Where: Grand River – Glen Morris  to Birley Gates
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Cost:   $40.00

Training includes but is not limited to:

  • Canoe safety refresh
  • Whitewater bow & stern paddle strokes review
  • Properly navigating and “reading the river”
  • Review of canoe maneuvers & concepts in moving water
  • Leadership/rescue/risk management skills

** on the river – bring PFD, dry sack with complete change of clothes, lunch, snacks, water;

*Dress for the weather!

(May) Basic Training Course (2 days) with Certified Instructor 

When: Basic  Day 1:  TBD
Basic Day 2:  TBD
Where:  Day 1 – Nith River, New Hamburg
Day 2 – Grand River –  Moyer’s  Landing to River Bluffs Park
Time:  Day 1 – 9:30 am – 3:30 p.m.
Day 2 – 9:00 am– 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $65.00 (total for both days)

Training includes but is not limited to:

  • Outdoor training on flat water (day 1) and a slight current (day 2)
  • Review of dry land, pool, and pond training
  • Review and practice paddle strokes in bow and stern for flat water and moving water
  • Water and canoe safety
  • Introduction to river maneuvers

** On the river – bring PFD, whistle, dry sack with complete change of clothes, lunch, snacks, water
**Dress for the weather!

(May) Intermediate Training (2 day course) with Certified Instructor 

When:  Intermediate Day 1:  TBD
Intermediate Day 2:  TBD
Where: Day 1: Grand River -Petro Can to Glen Morris
Day 2: Grand River – Glen Morris to Birley Gates
Time: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Cost: $70.00 (total for the two day course)

Training includes, but is not limited to:

  • Water and canoe safety/risk management/river hazards
  • Perfecting of paddle strokes for both bow and stern in faster flowing water & stronger currents
  • “reading the river”
  • Maneuvers on the river particularly in faster flowing water ie launching & landing canoe, ferries – front and back, C-turns, S-turns, navigating river bends
  • Understanding concepts on the river – ie River left & right, MITH, eddy lines – entry & exit, waves, standing waves

**On the river – bring PFD, whistle, dry sack with complete change of clothes, lunch, snacks, water
**Dress for the weather!

Questions? Contact us here.