This course teaches the skills that competent flat-water solo paddlers and paddlers who are used to paddling rapids tandem, need in order to manoeuver safely in easy to intermediate level rapids solo. During the course you'll learn eddy turns, S turns and front ferries, as well as back ferries and surfing. Participants will practice canoe-over-canoe and throw bag rescues. At the end of this course, you'll be able to recognize and avoid hazards in Class I and II water. You'll be opening up a whole realm of new solo tripping possibilities. You'll also be stepping into the new world of playboating.

We spend the weekend camping out, usually on Barker Island just upstream from our base in Missinipe. It is a 2 hour paddle and one short portage to our Barker Island base camp. Churchill River Canoe Outfitters supplies all the food and eating utensils and emergency equipment. Our qualified instructors are competent and fun loving.

The course begins on Thursday evening at 6:00 with a supper and some evening instruction at our Paddlers Hostel in Missinipe. The course fees include this night in our Hostel. Then Friday morning the group paddles out to Barker Island where a camp is set up for the weekend. The group returns by 4:00 PM on Sunday. If accommodations are needed after the course contact Churchill River Canoe Outfitters.

Is this course right for me?

Don't let the term "Intro" fool you! Commonly people who have been paddling whitewater for years think that their skills are too advanced for this course. Not true at all. This course introduces technical skills required for challenging ferries and S-turns in difficult rapids, and these skills are usually learned by simply shooting Class II or even Class III rapids. Experienced recreational paddlers, even those with many years of canoe tripping under their belts, will benefit greatly from this course, and it is a prerequisite for taking the Intermediate course. It is not advised to try to skip into the upper levels. Take this short course, then practise, practise, practise and you should be ready in a season or two for your Intermediate course.

Pre-requisite Skills

Since this is only a very short school it is important to come with the required skills in order to allow the school to run smoothly. These are the prerequisites:

You are a good swimmer and are not afraid of water; you can paddle a strait line from the solo position of the canoe without switching sides; you have your Intermediate Lake Certification, or proof of equivalent certification.

If you do not have the Pre-requisite skill, please consider taking the Pre Course offered on July 8. Cost is $130

Testing Terms

Safety Knowledge: canoe rescues, throw bag rescues - including throw bag self-rescues, swimming a rapid.

Demonstrate: (in class I to II rapids solo): entering and exiting a canoe, landing in moving water, surfing, off side paddling, S-turns, back ferrying, front ferrying, eddy turns, paddling a pre planned course down a rapid, side slipping, portaging, lining, tracking and wading.

Other: canoe and environmental ethics, river running theory, reading white water, knowledge of river classification, outfitting a canoe, canoe design and construction.

Other Information

You will bring your own equipment (tent and sleeping bag and other personal gear). Churchill River Canoe Outfitters will supply all group gear, food, canoe and rescue equipment.


These prices are in Canadian dollars and are subject to GST.

July 9-11, 2021 

If you have a group interested in such a course, contact us. We can run a private course for you.