Adventure Training Consultants – Denmark, Western Australia and Beyond

White Water Instructor Courses

White Water Instructor Training

This is an instructor development course for those who have a wish to instruct others on moving water up to grade two and guide others on moving water up to grade three.

The course will focus on strategies and techniques required to instruct and develop paddling skills in others, as well as knowledge and techniques required to safely guide others in moving whitewater river environments.

Participants on this course should be qualified as a flatwater instructor or have equivalent experience and knowledge. Participants should also have personal WW experience (Canoe or Kayak) and be confidently paddling on grade 3 whitewater, it is expected that participants have the PA Whitewater skills award or equivalent experience and ability.

Course outline

This training course covers a number of important concepts required to provide quality instruction for WW paddling, development and consolidation of the skills and techniques covered during the course along with further experience should give you a solid base to confidently attend an assessment course. Concepts covered as below,

  • Skills – reviewing and refining technical skills  and a full range of strokes to ensure they provide a good visual demonstration for use in teaching novices, the aim being to develop the ability to “role model” all skills on grade 2 water demonstrating strokes that are technically correct and safe. Including the use of compound strokes, effective use of water features, rolling (for kayaks) with a range of techniques etc.
  • Guiding strategy – introducing and practising various different guiding strategies for ensuring group safety whilst negotiating rapids and river hazards, gaining an understanding of the pro’s and con’s and developing judgement to choose appropriate techniques for the context.
  • Instructional strategy – introducing and practising different instructional strategies used to break down complex kayaking skills and techniques  and help novices develop through a gradual build up process, looking at effective explanation / demonstration, analysis of performance and different forms of feedback, instructor positioning for group control / safety and effective coaching.
  • Safety and rescue – reviewing and practising a number of different WW safety and rescue techniques that are appropriate for use whilst guiding or instructing, including boat to boat rescues, equipment recovery, swimmer recovery, unconscious casualty rescues etc. The aim being to develop a range of strategies to control, pre-empt or solve problems.
  • Paddling knowledge – a review and broadening of overall paddling knowledge, equipment, modern stroke kinetics, paddling history and etiquette, paddling specific first aid and injury prevention, further resources of information.
  • Planning and management – introduction to planning instructional and guiding sessions including appropriate documented safety management systems and session progressions.

Good instruction and guiding comes from experience and judgement, the training course is designed to broaden knowledge and understanding and expose you to a number of different principles and thought processes, we deliberately avoid being prescriptive and instead seek to equip you with a “tool box” of techniques that allows you to find the appropriate approach for the context and situation.

At the end of the course there will be a de-brief with the lead instructor to ensure you have a clear understanding as to  how you should proceed toward assessment (recommended further experience / instructional time) and to allow you to ask any questions or provide feedback to us.

Duration – 3 days

Location – South coast area – Denmark, Frankland river

Max number of participants – 4

Ratio – 1 instructor to 4 participants

Equipment requirements – You will need to bring appropriate personal WW equipment (boat, PFD, helmet etc.) plus any group safety equipment you normally carry

Cost – $750

Dates – WW kayak instructor training-28th to 30th of August, WW Canoe instructor training-7th to 9th of September


White Water Instructor Assessment

This is an instructor assessment course for those who have a wish to instruct others on moving water up to grade two and guide others on moving water up to grade three.

During this course you will be assessed against the criteria as laid out in the Paddle Australia Award Scheme for Whitewater Instructor Award (Kayak or Canoe).

Participants on this course should have:

  • PA Flatwater instructor award (or equivalent knowledge and skills)
  • PA Whitewater skills award (or equivalent knowledge and skills)
  • PA Whitewater rescue 2 award (or equivalent knowledge and skills)
  • A verifiable log showing over the previous two year – 15 days of paddling on grade 2 WW,  5 river trips on grade 3 water using at least 2 different venues, working in an instructional capacity on at least three occasions (these are minimum requirements, successful assessment candidates normally have experience far in excess of this)

If you have not progressed through a WW instructor training course with us and intend to come straight to assessment we suggest that you discuss with us your previous experience and knowledge to ensure that you are in a good position to have a successful outcome during assessment.

Course outline

During the two days of the assessment your abilities will be assessed against the criteria as laid out in the PA whitewater instructor assessment, this will be done in a holistic manner and will take into account overall abilities and judgement displayed throughout the two days, the assessment will involve, on water sessions, bank based sessions and delivering an instructional session in context with “model clients”.

A summary of elements you will be assessed on are:

  • Skill component – Use of and ability to “role model” skills on grade two water (and apply effectively on grade 3), basic strokes, ferry glides, compound strokes, use of body position and water features, reading WW following lines,  negotiating hazards, roll using a range of techniques (for kayaks).
  • Knowledge component – PA, Land management and other water user knowledge, history, equipment and developments, stroke kinetics, teaching / coaching techniques, paddling specific first aid and injury prevention, river features and sources of information.
  • Experience component – As listed above ( minimum requirement, successful candidates normally have experience far in excess of that listed).
  • Communication component – Establishing a useful relationship with your participants and effective safe communications on and off the water, provide instruction and coaching using a range of techniques appropriate to the context, provide useful progression for participants, provide clear guidance on rapids with appropriate terminology, impart knowledge effectively.
  • Planning  / implementing – plan and conduct WW course including all required safety management systems and participant logistics / coaching progressions, demonstrate quality effective coaching of WW kayaking, ensure all documented and practical safety management systems are adhered to.

(further information on assessment criteria and assessment tasks will be outlined pre-assessment)

In addition to the practical assessment over the two days you will also need to complete and submit the required assessment projects.

A summary of these are:

  • Prepare a WW training course for a group of four teenage learners who have basic flatwater skills but have not paddled WW before.  The programme should be made up of six sequential sessions that work toward an overall goal, each session should include – Aim, Venue, Planning for venue use, Equipment requirements, safety management considerations, practical activities, theory activities, alternate “plan B”
  • A log book with at the least the minimum logged requirements as detailed previously

Duration – 2 days

Location – South coast area – Denmark / Albany region (alternate Dwellingup)

Max number of participants – 4

Ratio – 1 instructor to 4 participants

Equipment requirements – All equipment required during the instruction and guiding of WW paddling activities

Cost – $600 (participants are responsible for their own registration cost with Paddle Australia)

Dates – WW Kayak Instructor assessment – 8th, 9th of August, WW Canoe Instructor assessment – 20th, 21st August

Successful completion and performance of all assessment tasks will result in being assessed as competent against the criteria for whitewater instructor as laid out by PA, to receive the qualification this will require to be registered with PA.

Participants are responsible for the cost of registration of their qualification with Paddle Australia, the cost of registration is separate from the cost of  attending the assessment course and is variable depending on how many qualifications you have registered with PA.