UPDATED! Lakewater

Lakewater


The RCABC Lakewater Program introduces and develops fundamental canoeing skills and is the foundation for river paddling, tripping and all other types of canoeing. The program includes courses which range from learning basic and advanced skills to leader and instructor level training. If your goal is any of the following:

  • going on your first canoe camping trip
  • leading kids and youth in outdoor pursuits
  • canoe instruction or guiding
  • to build the skills to go on a wilderness whitewater expedition....


then the RCABC Lakewater Program is the place to start.

 



UPDATE!  We've recently updated the program to include Lakewater Instructor Level 1, a more accessible level of instructor certification, and the Lakewater Leader Certificate, which is an update of RCABC's old Camp Leader Certificate. See details below.

 
RCABC LAKEWATER CERTIFICATION


 

RCABC LAKEWATER LEVEL 1 - BASIC TANDEM

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

This is the most commonly taught RCABC canoe course. It serves as not only a basic introduction to canoeing, but also introduces skills, manoeuvres and knowledge that people with some canoeing background can often benefit from. See the skills list below. Tandem means two people controlling the canoe. This course serves a wide range of interest groups:

  • Youth in schools or other organizations such as Scouts, Cadets, or community programs.
  • Fishermen
  • Families
  • People interested in canoe tripping (overnight trips)
  • Those interested in advancing to river canoeing
  • Team building


PREREQUISITES - None

DURATION - This course is typically a full day but can be broken into several short sessions. Sometimes the theory or rescue portions are taught as an evening session, at the instructor's discretion.

COURSE CONDUCTOR - Lakewater Instructor Level 1 or 2

CONTENT 
Outline of RCABC Lakewater Level 1 Course

  • Forward, stopping and reverse
  • Basic turns while paddling forward
  • Spins and Sideslip manoeuvres
  • Capsizes and Rescues
  • Canoeing Safety guidelines and equipment
  • Paddles, PFDs and other gear
  • Storing and waterproofing gear
  • Paddling positions and boat trim
  • Handling waves and wind
  • Launching and landing

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RCABC LAKEWATER LEVEL 2 – BASIC SOLO

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

Many feel that learning to solo (one person in the canoe) is vital to understanding how to use the paddle and how a canoe responds. Sitting in the center of the canoe, the strokes were learned in Tandem Level 1 are modified to enable you to control the canoe by yourself, even in windy and rough conditions. This can be an advantage for:

  • People in leadership roles that may need to solo at times (instructors, camp leaders, club trip leaders)
  • Fishermen, bird watchers and photographers
  • People wanting to paddle independently or get more exercise when they canoe
  • Anyone going on a trip with odd numbers of people

 

PREREQUISITE – RCABC Lakewater Level 1 or equivalent. Solo can be taught without the Level 1 prerequisite in some circumstances. Contact your local instructor.

DURATION – This course is typically a full day but can be structured to be taught over several days.

COURSE CONDUCTOR - Lakewater Instructor Level 1 or 2

CONTENT
Outline of RCABC Lakewater Level 2 Course

  • Solo paddling positions and trim
  • Solo spins and sideslips
  • The Pivot Point and extending your strokes for better control
  • Solo rescues
  • Developing effective reverse paddling
  • Introduction to environmental ethics and access concerns

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LAKEWATER LEADER

WHO IS THIS CERTIFICATE FOR?

This is a recommended minimum level of certification for camp staff, teachers or anyone in a leadership role, particularly with youth. Lakewater Leaders are givin basic training to manage groups in a very sheltered, safe environment, close to emergency medical services. This is not an instructor certificate. If you are looking to teach canoeing skills, RCABC recommends the Lakewater Instructor Level 1 or 2 certificate. The Lakewater Leader certificate combines:

  • Level 1 Lakewater - Basic Tandem
  • Level 2 Lakewater - Basic Solo
  • Basic on water leadership


DURATION - It can be taught over 2 days but additional time to develop paddling and leadership skills is ideal if students are starting with no experience.

COURSE CONDUCTOR - Lakewater Instructor Level 2

 

CONTENT - The certificate demonstrates that a canoeist has been exposed to:

  • controling a canoe either tandem or solo 
  • perform basic rescues
  • equipping canoes and paddlers with safety gear
  • understand safety and risk management concerns
  • exposure to youth teaching and management concepts
  • all other topics covered in Lakewater Level 1 and 2

 

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RCABC LAKEWATER LEVEL 3 – ADVANCED TANDEM

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
Advanced tandem canoeing requires teamwork and skill that can only come through practice and good communication. Once these are refined, tandem canoeists can move the canoe in any direction quickly and efficiently. This certificate is the fundamental stepping stone for the Expedition Guide certificate. Completing the RCABC Tandem Circuit is the ultimate goal of Level 3. Watch this video and see the diagram of the circuit here. These advanced skills are highly recommended for:

  • People in canoe leadership roles
  • Preparing for the Lakewater Instructor Level 1 or 2
  • Preparing for river canoeing or improving your river canoeing skills
  • Improving rescue ability
  • Canoeists going out in rough lake and ocean conditions
  • Developing advanced teamwork and communication with your paddling partners.
  • People interested in the Canoe Tripping Leader or Expedition Guide certifcates


PREREQUISITE - RCABC Lakewater Level 2 or equivalent. It is sometimes taught as part of a Lakewater Level 1 and 3 combination course, with no Basic Solo Level 2 (recommended).

DURATION – This course is typically a full day.

COURSE CONDUCTOR - Lakewater Instructor Level 2

CONTENT
Outline of RCABC Lakewater Level 3 Course

  • RCABC Tandem Circuit Diagram
  • Video of RCABC Tandem Circuit (Note that there are different strokes and methods of completing the Tandem Circuit)
  • The advanced tandem skills are introduced and then practiced in the context of the RCABC Tandem Circuit. The circuit is a 15m x 2m set of 4 buoys that demands control from both paddlers. The circuit includes several manoeuvres including:
  • Running Sideslips (parallel shift) and regular sideslip
  • Reverse turns (sharp) and straight line paddling
  • Forward turns (sharp) and straight line paddling
  • The challenge is not only in performing these manoeuvres as a team, but also linking the manoeuvres together smoothly and efficiently. Other content includes
  • Bracing (strokes that prevent capsizes)
  • Advanced tandem rescues.
  • Knots, canoe repair, handling wind and waves.

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RCABC LAKEWATER LEVEL 4 – ADVANCED SOLO

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

The RCABC Advanced Solo course takes solo paddling to the next level by introducing precise manoeuvreing and linking moves together smoothly and efficiently in the RCABC solo circuit. See the solo circuit diagram here. Here is a video of the solo circuit (several variations in strokes are acceptable). These skills are valuable for:

  • Anyone seeking more efficient paddling in all lake, river, rescue and teaching situations.
  • Outdoor Leaders who need to be strong solo canoeists
  • People particularly interested in the art of solo canoeing
  • People wanting to become an RCABC Lakewater Instructor Level 2.


PREREQUISITE – RCABC Lakewater Level 3 or equivalent

DURATION – This course is typically a full day or more.

COURSE CONDUCTOR - Lakewater Instructor Level 2

CONTENT
Outline of the RCABC Lakewater Level 4 Course
RCABC Solo Circuit Diagram
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit in a standard tripping canoe - left paddle side
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit in a standard tripping canoe - right paddle side
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit in a very manoeuvreable tripping canoe
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit test run by a good instructor candidate

**Note that there are many variations in the way the circuit can be paddled and these videos represent a few of the many variations.

The advanced solo skills are introduced and then combined in a continuous sequence in the RCABC Solo Circuit. This circuit requires precision and thoughtful paddle technique without switching paddling sides. The circuit is performed on the same set of 15m x 2m buoys as the tandem circuit and includes:

  • 15m sideslip
  • Forward paddling and stopping
  • Inside and outside figure 8 between the 2m buoys
  • Starting in reverse from a standstill, straight line reverse and a sharp turn in reverse
  • Linking difficult manoeuvres

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RCABC LAKEWATER INSTRUCTOR LEVEL 1

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
The RCABC Lakewater Instructor Level 1 certificate enables you to teach and certify RCABC Lakewater Levels 1 and 2, basic tandem and basic solo.  Lakewater Instructor certification is intended for:.

  • School, youth organization, church and outdoor program instructors or leaders
  • College or University outdoor program students
  • Private instructors with their own business
  • Canoeists interested in pushing their skills to a higher level
  • A stepping stone for people interested in becoming moving water, tripping, etc instructors (LWI Level 2 is needed)
  • Club leaders


The material in Levels 1 and 2 must therefore be familiar and performed at a high enough level that it can be modeled and taught successfully to students.

PREREQUISITE – RCABC Lakewater Level 1 and 2

DURATION – 3-5 days, depending on group size and previous experience

RECERTIFICATION - A one day clinic every 3 years by a Lakewater Instructor Trainer or Master Instructor. See Upcoming Courses Page, Find an Instructor or Contact the Instructor Coordinator or Executive.

CONTENT
RCABC Tandem Circuit Video (For instructor exam the stern paddler calls the bow paddler's strokes)
**Note that there are many variations in the way the circuits can be paddled and these videos represent only a few of the many variations.
RCABC Tandem Circuit Diagram

The Lakewater Instructor course is based on advancing a candidate to the point of being able to teach Lakewater Levels 1-2, so there is a heavy emphasis on that content.  The content of the Lakewater Level 3 and some of Level 4 is also covered to advance the skills of the instructor candidate. Teaching and leadership content is an important part of the course:

  • Teaching methods and group management
  • Leadership and group safety
  • Canoe design and construction


Passing instructor certification requires grading and testing. The focus of the testing is on the following skills and topics:

  • RCABC Advanced Tandem Circuit (At a high proficiency level with the candidate in the stern calling the bow paddler's strokes)
  • Teaching strokes, theory and manoeuvres
  • Written theory exam
  • A variety of Solo and Tandem rescues

 

To see more information on becoming a Lakewater Instructor, become an "Individual Paddler Member"  or an "Instructor Member" of RCABC to gain access to the Instructor Manual, or purchase a printed copy of the manual.
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RCABC LAKEWATER INSTRUCTOR LEVEL 2

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
The RCABC Lakewater Instructor lLevel 2 certificate enables you to teach and certify RCABC Lakewater Levels 1-4, which includes teaching the solo and tandem circuits. Level 2 instructors have shown that they have learned advanced skills and have the ability to link together a demanding series of skills and manoeuvres that require focus and practice. RCABC has taught this course to thousands of canoeists in BC! The material in Levels 1-4 must therefore be familiar and performed at a high enough level that it can be modeled and taught successfully to students. Lakewater Instructor certification is sought by a wide variety of people and is our most popular instructor certification. It is also the stepping stone to becoming an instructor in other disciplines such as Moving Water, Tripping, etc.

  • School, youth organization, church and outdoor program instructors or leaders
  • College or University outdoor program students
  • Flat water guides or private instruction business
  • Canoeists interested in pushing their skills to a higher level
  • People interested in becoming moving water, tripping, etc instructors
  • Club leaders


PREREQUISITE – RCABC Lakewater Level 1-4


DURATION – 5 days, but may vary depending on group size and previous experience. Note there is a one day "challenge" exam for instructors with previous experience.

RECERTIFICATION - A one day clinic every 3 years by a Lakewater Instructor Trainer or Master Instructor. See Upcoming Courses PageFind an Instructor or Contact the Instructor Coordinator or Executive.

CONTENT
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit in a standard tripping canoe - left paddle side
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit in a standard tripping canoe - right paddle side
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit in a very manoeuvreable tripping canoe
Video of RCABC Solo Circuit test run by a good instructor candidate
RCABC Tandem Circuit Video (For instructor exam the stern paddler calls the bow paddler's strokes)
**Note that there are many variations in the way the circuits can be paddled and these videos represent only a few of the many variations.
RCABC Solo Circuit Diagram
RCABC Tandem Circuit Diagram


The Lakewater Instructor course is based on advancing a candidate to the point of being able to teach Lakewater Levels 1-4, so the content is largely based on the four paddler level courses. Some new content is also introduced:

  • Teaching methods and group management
  • Leadership and group safety
  • River hazards, and classification
  • Canoe design and construction


Passing instructor certification requires grading and testing. The focus of the testing is on the following skills and topics:

  • RCABC Advanced Tandem Circuit (At a high proficiency level with the candidate in the stern calling the bow paddler's strokes)
  • RCABC Advanced Solo Circuit (Both paddle sides with a time limit)
  • Teaching strokes, theory and manoeuvres
  • Written theory exam
  • A variety of Solo and Tandem rescues

To see more information on becoming a Lakewater Instructor, become a "Individual Paddler Member" of RCABC to gain access to the Instructor Manual, or purchase a copy of the manual using the form in the Members menu.

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RCABC LAKEWATER INSTRUCTOR TRAINER

WHO IS THIS CERTIFICATE FOR?
The RCABC Lakewater Instructor Trainer Certificate enables you to teach and certify or recertify people as Lakewater Instructors, Level 1 or 2. People that have this certification are typically:

  • College, University, Community Group or Outdoor Program instructors or program directors
  • Regional Instructors who are passionate about promoting canoeing in their area
  • Experienced private Instructors or guides

 

PREREQUISITE - The process generally requires 3 co-teaches with a Master Instructor or Lakewater Instructor Trainer, and to attend an Instructor Trainer clinic.

DURATION – Variable

CONTENT
The content is based on co-teaching the recommended 3 Lakewater Instructor courses. In addition the clinic covers:

  • Grading candidates on their paddling circuits
  • Sharing teaching ideas
  • Fine tuning skills
  • Discussing course content to standardize how RCABC Lakewater Instructor courses are delivered in BC.

An important aspect of the clinic process is networking with other RCABC instructors.

The Lakewater Instructor Trainer certificate was created for those that don't want to become a Master Instructor, which includes extensive river canoeing experience and certification.

For more information, contact the Instructor Coordinator of RCABC or see section IV-32.1.3 of your RCABC Instructor Manual.
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CLINICS (PARTIAL COURSES)

WHO ARE CLINICS FOR?

RCABC allows instructors to run partial courses called 'clinics' which are based on an RCABC certificate course. Clinics are intended to add the flexibility for RCABC instructors to teach partial canoeing courses, without the need to fulfil the complete requirements of a certificate course.

Here are a few possible examples of clinics:

  • a rescue session for lake canoeists
  • a short introduction to canoeing for kids
  • a solo canoe surfing clinic

INSTRUCTORS OF CLINICS

All of the standard membership, certification, safety and risk management policies that apply to a certification course also apply to a ‘Clinic’, including the following:

  • Prerequisites and ratios of the course on which the clinic is based must be observed.
  • Clinics must be primarily instructional and not trip or guiding based.
  • Waivers must indicate the type of clinic clearly

RCABC encourages instructors and students to take a full certification course when possible. Clinics are not intended to replace the thorough training of a certificate course.

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