Discover Award (Paddle UK)

Discover Award (Paddle UK)

The Paddle Discover Award from Paddle UK, formerly known as British Canoeing, is designed for those new to paddlesport who want to start their journey on the water with confidence. This award provides a solid foundation, focusing on creating a fun, safe, and informative introduction to paddling. It emphasises developing a variety of paddling techniques, understanding safety protocols, and fostering a love for the sport in a supportive environment.

The award syllabus provides participants with an introduction to paddling. The syllabus is divided into three main sections: Getting Ready, At the Venue, and On the Water.

Getting Ready

This section focuses on preparation before getting on the water”

  1. Clothing and Equipment:
    • Understanding the importance of wearing suitable clothing for paddlesport, considering weather conditions, water temperature, and personal comfort.
    • Selecting appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as buoyancy aids, helmets, and suitable footwear.
    • Knowing the different types of paddling crafts (canoes, kayaks, SUPs) and selecting the right one for the activity.
  2. Environmental Awareness:
    • Learning to read weather forecasts and understanding their impact on paddling conditions.
    • Recognizing potential hazards in the paddling environment, including currents, tides, and obstacles.
    • Understanding the importance of sun protection and hydration.
  3. Safety Preparations:
    • Performing pre-paddle safety checks on equipment and personal gear.
    • Familiarizing with basic safety signals and communication methods on the water.
    • Preparing a basic emergency kit and knowing how to use it.

At the Venue

This section covers the essential skills needed to get started at the paddling venue, from handling the craft to launching and landing safely.

  1. Carrying and Launching:
    • Learning the correct techniques for lifting, carrying, and transporting the paddling craft.
    • Understanding the importance of team coordination when carrying and launching larger crafts.
    • Launching and landing the craft safely from various types of access points (e.g., slipways, banks, beaches).
  2. Getting In and Out:
    • Practicing stable and safe methods for getting in and out of the craft from different positions (e.g., docks, shorelines).
    • Ensuring the craft remains stable during entry and exit to prevent capsizing.
  3. Basic Paddling Techniques:
    • Mastering the basic forward paddling stroke to move the craft efficiently.
    • Learning the backward paddling stroke to reverse the craft.
    • Practicing sweep strokes for turning the craft in both directions.
    • Using draw strokes to move the craft sideways.

On the Water

This section focuses on developing practical paddling skills and safety awareness while on the water, enhancing participants’ confidence and control.

  1. Craft Control and Maneuvering:
    • Combining different paddling strokes to control the craft’s direction and speed effectively.
    • Practicing edging and leaning techniques to improve stability and maneuverability.
    • Learning to maintain a straight course and make controlled turns.
  2. Environmental Interaction:
    • Using environmental features (e.g., wind, current) to aid paddling and manoeuvring.
    • Understanding the impact of human activities on the aquatic environment and practicing Leave No Trace principles.
    • Navigating around natural and man-made obstacles safely.
  3. Building Confidence and Enjoyment:
    • Encouraging exploration and play to build confidence on the water.
    • Participating in group activities and games to enhance skills and foster a sense of community.
    • Reflecting on the paddling experience to identify areas of improvement and set goals for future paddling adventures.

By the end of the Paddle Discover Award course, participants will have a well-rounded understanding of paddling basics, safety protocols, and environmental awareness.

Certification FAQs

If you have any further questions about the qualifications we would be happy to help, just ask in the live chat below. 

The Paddle Discover Award is suitable for anyone new to paddlesport or those with limited experience. It is designed for beginners of all ages who want to learn the basics of paddling in a safe and enjoyable environment.

No prior experience is necessary. The Paddle Discover Award is an entry-level course that covers all the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to get started with paddling.

The course can be conducted using on including canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs). The choice of craft depends on the venue and the preference of the participants and instructor.

Participants should wear clothing suitable for water activities, such as quick-drying materials, thermal layers, and waterproof jackets. Footwear should be sturdy and provide good grip, like water shoes or old trainers. It’s also important to bring sun protection (hat, sunscreen) and a change of clothes.

The course typically lasts between 4 to 6 hours, which can be conducted in a single day or spread over two sessions. The exact duration may vary depending on the provider and the pace of learning.

While being able to swim is beneficial, it is not a strict requirement. Participants should, however, be comfortable with being in and around water. Buoyancy aids will be provided and must be worn at all times during the course.

Participants will learn basic paddling techniques, safety protocols, how to handle and launch the craft, and how to perform simple rescues. The course also covers environmental awareness and navigation skills.

The assessment is informal and continuous, conducted by the instructor throughout the course. There are no formal exams or tests. Participants are assessed on their ability to demonstrate basic paddling skills and their understanding of safety protocols.

After completing the Paddle Discover Award, participants will have the confidence and skills to paddle on sheltered waters safely. They can progress to more advanced paddling courses, join local paddling clubs, and participate in guided paddling activities.

Paddle Discover Award is a trademark of the British Canoeing. Adventuro is independent and is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by British Canoeing.

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