This introduction to canoeing and kayaking on moving water (whitewater) is the pinnacle of paddlesport, allowing participants to have fun, improve technique and prepare for faster-flowing rivers around Britain and further afield.

12th March 2022
Suitable for ages 12+ Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult 21 years and over. Participants should be confident paddling flat water with the basic ability to manoeuvre a canoe or kayak. This course is entry-level for tandem or solo canoeing or kayaking on moving water.
3-hour course
  • Craft
  • Equipment
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Dry Bag (if needed)
  • Instructor
What you will need to bring

Bring comfortable clothing such as gym wear, shorts, a t-shirt or wetsuit, along with a pair of water shoes, or old trainers. Bring a towel and a change of clothes. No special equipment or clothing is required. 

Lesson Details

We invite you to a fun-packed and skills-based introduction to whitewater on our ' Ride the Rapids' course. Ideal for complete beginners to those who have some experience but want to start finessing their skills.
The term whitewater is used when a river's gradient increases enough to disturb its laminar flow and create turbulence. The river has an aerated and unstable current producing frothy (white) water. This exciting course teaches you how to read and paddle canoes or kayaks in this water.
The course is coached by our team of expert instructors sharing knowledge and skills to tackle whitewater (moving water) at our purpose-built venue in Bedford**. The controlled venue allows a brilliant location to practice safely and learn autonomous skills under our watchful instructors. We can also help you progress your qualifications and also run the British Canoeing Discover Award. We have a range of paddlesport courses, If you need a bespoke course such as a group introduction to bigger moving water or expedition training then please contact us.

Session Objectives

  • Introduction to equipment
  • Introduction to types of moving water
  • Safety and self-rescue briefing
  • Effective forward paddling and driving the canoe forward
  • Trim and edge control
  • Breaking in
  • Breaking out
  • Ferrying (ferry gliding)
  • Tandem and solo paddling skills
  • Other useful hints and tips

Session Notes

  • If for any reason, dates may need to change at Canoe Trail's discretion. This will be notified in advance.
  • The day is based at our Bedford Training Facility or another suitable location which will be agreed upon in advance.


Second time I've done this course and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting a taste of paddling on moving water or just looking to improve. Our instructor Rich took us through the basic techniques for manoeuvring on white water and then we got a few hours on the water to practice. The group size was small so we were able to get plenty of individual coaching and advice and it's all done in a very safe venue so suitable for all abilities including beginners. Really friendly and helpful staff who will go out of their way to make sure you have a good time.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ John