Canoe Leader [Open Water] Training

Canoe Leader [Open Water] Training

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British Canoeing – Leadership Awards:

British Canoeing – Canoe Leader Training – Open Water 

Would you like the confidence to lead a group of friends or peers on an open canoe adventure?

Canoe Leader Open Water:

  • British Canoeing Canoe Open Water Leader qualification is appropriate for leading others on journeys in large areas of open water that exceed the sheltered water definition, where the paddlers are no more than 500 metres off shore and in wind strengths that do not exceed Beaufort force 4. 

The foundation of good leadership in paddlesports is personal skill, as it allows you to focus all your attention on the group. Once a leader is comfortable in the environment they can easily help and lead others. On our training courses we will help you improve your personal paddling to let you move around the river or lake thoughtlessly. As you do this you will have plenty of time to think about the group and plan what they should do. This will allow you to match the technical skill of your group to the difficulty of the river or lake and then make a safe decision as how to lead them. 

Rest assured that at the end of a Mountain Water Expeditions training course your personal paddling and technical understanding will have improved significantly. 

We will give you demonstrations of best leading practice and allow you to try them with the support of an extremely experienced coach at your side.  We will give you as much freedom to make decisions as you want while always being there to help if necessary.


We feel that two days are needed to allow enough time to cover the Canoe Leader syllabus for each discipline (Open Water or White Water) and adequately prepare students for the full range of activities involved in the moderate water environment in canoe.  However, for those people who feel that they already have a significant amount of the knowledge in the syllabus we run a small number of one day courses for each discipline area. It is not possible to cover all the syllabus in any depth in a day so we would suggest that this is appropriate for students who already hold other outdoor leadership qualifications and perhaps more specifically another Leadership Award. 

Skills looked at during Canoe Leader Training:

  • What equipment to carry (Personally and as a Canoe Leader)
  • Logistics for river and lake journeys
  • Matching venues and journeys to the skill level of the group
  • Strategies for leading in moderate water and when to use them
  • Communication skills beyond signals and briefing
  • Group management and how to use trim adjustments to make life easier and improve group control
  • Effective use of the variety of forward strokes to move efficiently
  • Improvised sailing and the problems that can occur
  • Rescues of solo, tandem and rafted canoes

Training Prerequisites 

British Canoeing Canoe Award standard is the appropriate level of performance for paddlers to begin working towards the British Canoeing Canoe Leader. It is not, however, necessary for the paddler to hold the British Canoeing Canoe Award. 


This course is non-residential.

Meeting Place

T.B.C normally somewhere within North Wales

Course Date(s) – Canoe Leader Open Water

DatesCourse/ActivityLocationPriceBook Now
Canoe Leader Training Open WaterNorth Wales TBCMWE-CTA-ENQUIRE

What we include

The price of the course includes; 

  • Coaching and guiding from experienced and helpful coaches
  • A single point of contact at Mountain Water Expeditions to provide you with consistent support throughout your experience.
  • Pre course information pack with lots of helpful advice, kit lists etc 
  • Opportunity to try out a selection of Freebird paddles
  • Canoe pole (if needed)

What we do not include

  • Transport to and from the starting point
  • Personal kit and accident insurance
  • Items of personal canoeing kit for example waterproof clothing, drysuits, wetsuit boots etc
  • Food or drink
  • Canoe 


Alan Pinnington.

For further information or to book a place on this British Canoeing Canoe Leader Training courses please email