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The Explore Award accredited by British Canoeing gives you ownership of your paddling journey and enables you to become independent on the water, go on self-guided paddling adventures and know how to control and manage your craft to stay safe on the water. Working with one of our coaches you will learn to make confident choices and decisions, recognising your ability to independently paddle your chosen craft in a sheltered water environment.
If you’ve already completed our Paddle Start Award or Paddle Discover Award, want to develop your skills before moving on to Personal Performance Awards, or want to build your paddling confidence, the Explore Award is for you.
Coaching is provided by our expert team and we provide all the equipment needed for the session; canoes/kayaks/stand up paddle boards, paddles, buoyancy aids, wetsuits, cags and helmets. Alternatively you may bring your own equipment if you wish.
How to book
Please see our online store for dates and locations currently on sale. If we're not currently advertising dates for this course please email us to be put onto the waiting list for the next available course dates.
Course Content (what will you learn)
This course will continue to develop the skills introduced during our Paddle Discover Award and will cover:
- Clothing and equipment - personal and group
- Venue choice - including access, egress, use of maps
- Reading weather forecast and how this affects your choices
- Efficient and independent choice of strokes to move your boat including forwards, backwards and manoeuvring (sideways, turning etc...)
- Awareness of hazards
- Environmental impact and decisions
- Perform basic rescues, manage a scenario and emergency procedures
We run this course as a full day session from 9am to 5.30pm.
This course is suitable for:
Prerequisites to attend
While there are no formal pre-requisites required to attend this course, most attendees will have already completed our Paddle Start and Paddle Discover Awards.
By the end of this course in order to achieve certification participants must be able to independently paddle their chosen craft and make consciously competent decisions throughout all elements of the course. If you have not already attended the Paddle Start and Paddle Discover Awards, we would recommend you book a private guided full day session or two half day sessions with our coaches in advance to enable you to have focused practice prior to attending this course.
This course can take place on any flat, sheltered water environment including canals, lakes, rivers, or reservoirs, subject to appropriate permission.
Through our affiliation with British Canoeing and our partnership with the Canal and River Trust we have access to over 3000km of canals throughout England and Wales including the famous Leeds to Liverpool canal stretching 204km across the North of England. This access not only gives us the opportunity to journey along some of these magnificent waterways but also provides opportunities for courses in beautiful sheltered areas.
Most of the large bodies of open water in England are concentrated in the Lake District National Park. These magnificent bodies of water, including the longest and deepest lakes in England, Lake Windermere at 17km long and Wastwater at 74m deep, can be accessed by the public at many locations, however, through our partnership with the Youth Hostel Association we have preferential access to some of the best locations in the lakes. You could even combine any of our courses with a stay at one of 150 YHA hostels spread across England and Wales.