Introduction To White Water Safety

The Introduction to White Water Safety course is designed to support paddlers to become effective group members on grade 2 water. This one day course is suitable for anyone starting out on their white water paddling journey, wanting to explore the role of an effective group member and learn simple strategies and safe skills that can provide the tools to solve common paddling issues. Topics covered include Clothing and equipment, the White Water environment, preparing for the river trip, Swimming techniques and many more. Paddlers will rescue from their preferred craft, which can include kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards.

The Program

The Introduction to White Water Safety is a 6-hour programme that consists of 9 modules. This can be delivered in a day or as a series of modules and is available to all ages.

Motivations and decisions:

    • Ours and others’ motivations
    • Collaborative support
    • Selection of river to match motivations

Clothing and equipment:

    • Craft overview, safety considerations, and features
    • Clothing and equipment worn
    • Additional safety equipment

The White Water environment:

    • Understanding water features
    • Recognising water features
    • Hazards on the river

Preparing for the river trip:

    • Appropriate clothing and craft for the river trip
    • Safety protocols
    • River brief

Swimming techniques:

    • Defensive swimming
    • Aggressive swimming
    • Changing direction

Choosing how to help a swimmer:

    • Supporting the swimmer
    • Wading
    • Reaching
    • Receiving a throwline

What to do when we swim:

    • Stay safe
    • Roll up, push/move away
    • Nudge
    • Attaching a line

Kit retrieval:

    • Paddle retrieval
    • Assisting others

Reflections and Skills Checklist:

    • Reflections from the course
    • Reflections on own learning and areas for development
    • Skills checklist


Participants need to either hold the relevant British Canoeing Awarding Body Personal Performance Award or equivalent ability in/on their preferred craft due to the paddling environment and the boat/board control required to complete the course.

Recommended Equipment to bring

The following is a list of recommended equipment, if you do not have specific equipment please do not go out and buy, this course is a great chance to learn about equipment and try it out before purchasing your own:

  • Mobile phone in a waterproof case (fully charged)
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Saw for canoeists
  • Sling or tape, with or without a karabiner
  • Small first aid kit
  • Group shelter
  • Spare clothing
  • Food and drink

Paddlesport Touring Leader

What Is the Paddle Sport Touring Leader?

The Paddle Sport Touring Leader will allow you to lead trips and journeys on moderate inland waters for a range of mixed craft! You can work independently or be deployed by an organisation to do these trips.

The new award has an optional training course which is available through Rock The Boat Activities. This is designed to support you in your development in leadership and group skills, personal skills, rescue skills and theory all in the moderate inland environment. We will work with you to identify clear action points to support your progress towards a successful assessment.  This training course can vary between 2 – 5 days,  the longer course giving you more time to practice and develop your skills. 


To become a paddle sport touring leader you will need to attend an assessment. The assessment takes place over a typical paddling day, depending on the logistics relating to accessing the suitable environments you and your assessor might agree on a longer assessment. The assessment  will involve you displaying all the appropriate personal skills, leadership and group skills, rescue skills  as well as underpinning background knowledge. 

We will help guide you through the prior planning for the assessment, discussing logistics with you and ensuring their are participants to lead on the day.  We believe in a relaxed, enjoyable stress free assessment, with you at the heart of the process!


You will need these:

  • Safeguarding Training (dated within last 3years).
  • First Aid (dated within last 3 years and appropriate to this award)
  • Full National Association Membership
  • You need to be at least 16 years of age to register

To become a Paddlesport Touring leader there is no requirement to have a formal personal performance award or safety award  however you need to be able to independently paddle on open water, rivers up to and including short stretches of Grade 2.

Private Coached Sessions

At Rock The Boat Activities we are able to offer a diverse range of personal coaching sessions, from one off sessions, to annual and biannual plans working with all aspects of your paddling on and off of the water. Whatever your paddling goals we are here to help

Our aim is to tailor the private session to your specific needs, you will receive feedback and a modern style of coaching with a fun structured layout to develop your skills.

Bespoke Options

We offer our coaching in a variety of different disciplines such as:

Freestyle Kayaking, Canoeing, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Here are areas we can help develop you in:
Confidence Building
Physical Training and Fitness / Fitness for Paddlesport
Decision Making
BC Awards – whether you are going for a leadership or coaching award or wanting to achieve a personal performance award with us
Coach Mentoring
Long Term Paddler Development Programmes


We have specific locations in our calendar below however we pride ourselves in being a mobile activity company so choice of location can also be down to you but prices may vary.


For further details about choosing the right location and session for you please contact us

Canoe Paddle Tours

Looking for an adventure but don’t wanna travel hundreds of miles to find it, then why not try our  Canoe Paddle Tours package. This mini adventure could be exactly the thing for you, Bookable as a half day journey.

Due to the current Government and National governing body restrictions group sizes are 5 participants maximum.

Whats included

  • Canoe
  • Paddle
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Experienced tour guide

What to bring

  • Suitable clothing appropriate for the time of year, we will give more details on the booking confirmation email.
  • Towel & change of clothes
  • Closed toe footwear

Other information

For more information or can’t find a date that suits you then please contact us on


Other options for getting out on the Water take a look at our Discover Courses, or drop us a message and we’ll be more then happy to talk through the best option for you.

Paddlesport Leader

If you’re looking to become a Paddlesport Leader, the optional Paddlesport Leader training is available to support you in your development of the required skills. On this practical course, you will explore leadership skills and the associated personal skills and safety and rescue skills. You will be supported in identifying an appropriate action plan to support your progress towards a successful assessment. Courses typically range from two to five day programmes, with longer courses giving you more time to practice and develop your skills.

There are no prerequisites to the Paddlesport Leader training so just book on and progress your skills!

Recommended Equipment to Bring

Personal paddling equipment is encouraged

If you need any equipment then please get in touch prior to the course. Email

To become a Paddlesport Leader, you will need to complete a one day, mainly practical assessment. The will include displaying participant focused leadership skills, personal paddling skills and rescue skills, as well as underpinning background knowledge, understanding and experience.


  • Valid 1 day First Aid training
  • Full Home Nation Association Membership
  • Aged 16 or over at the time of assessment

Foundation Safety and Rescue Training

When on the water accidents can happen and it’s best to be prepared and have the skills to help if required. The FSRT is designed for all paddlers, coaches and volunteers working around the water. It can be completed as a bank-based or boat-based course.

This course will teach simple and safe skills as a foundation to further safety training in British Canoeing.

On completion of this course you will have skills to ensure your safety and the safety of others, as well as rescue skills to help yourself, or others in difficulty.

To participate on this course you must:

  • Be able to swim in normal paddling clothes
  • Hold the 2 star award or have equivalent ability, except for bank-based participants
  • There is no longer an age restriction on this course
  • As an AALA licensed provider we can deliver this course to under 18’s


  • 2 Star (if a boat-based participant)
  • Be able to swim in normal paddling clothes

Recommended Equipment to bring

The following is a list of recommended equipment:

  • Towline OR tow system
  • Throwline
  • Webbing (sewn or unsewn sling) and large karabiner
  • Whistle
  • Knife

White Water Safety

This 2-day course is aimed at those paddling as peers and covers a range of topics that include emergency planning & procedures, chase boating, equipment rescues and scenarios and much more. This course is designed to support paddlers to be independent participants on grade 2(3) white water rivers. Paddlers can access the course with their preferred craft which can include kayaks, rafts, canoes and stand-up paddleboards.

Please note, this course replaced the White Water Safety and Rescue course (WWSR) on the 1st November 2023, however both the WWS and WWSR are recognised as pre requisites for the relevant qualifications e.g White Water Leader, Raft Guide Grade 2 etc

The White-Water Safety course is a 2-day programme that consists of 9 modules:

  • Understanding motivations to participate
  • Selection of river to match motivations
  •  Practical matters
  •  Pre checks
  •  Collaborative support and vision
  •  Settling in
  • River running strategies
  •  Equipment considerations
  • What additional equipment do we take
  •  Locating your position
  • Calling for assistance
  •  Walking out
  •  Reflections on your own learning and areas for development
  • Chase Boating
  • Paddle Rescues
  • Boat Rescues
  • Reuniting
  •  Swimming
  •  Rescue a swimmer from a craft
  •  Rescue a swimmer using a throwline
  •  Rescue a swimmer from a stopper
  • Wading
  •  Swimming
  •  Quick release buoyancy harness
  •  Support from the bank
  • Extracting methods
  •  Setting the scene
  • Scenarios
  •  Reflections on own learning and areas for development

It aims to teach simple and practical safety skills that can be applied appropriately to a moderate whitewater environment. Using a range of simulated scenarios this training course teaches safe paddling strategies and a variety of different rescue skills


Due to the paddling environment and the boat control required to participate in this training course, candidates should be:

  • Confident in their ability to paddle on grade 2 water
  • Confident swimming in normal paddling clothing suitable for a moving water environment
  • There is no age restriction to the WWS course. Where providers choose to allow participants under the age of 18 to attend the course, appropriate safeguarding measures must be implemented and due attention paid to the enhanced legal responsibilities and potential risks. The safety and welfare of those under the age of 18 is paramount.

A First Aid certificate is not a prerequisite. However, holding a First Aid certificate is strongly recommended for all paddlers.

Recommended Equipment to bring

The following is a list of recommended equipment:

  • Towline OR tow system
  • Throwline
  • Webbing Sling
  • large carabiner x3
  • Whistle
  • Knife

Discover Stand Up Paddle Boarding

If you’re looking to discover the wonderful world of Stand Up Paddle Boarding then this is for you. This course will teach you a step by step process from correctly fitting equipment, setting up your Board.

Once you’ve hit the water with one of our professional coaches they’ll run through essential fundamental techniques to manoeuvring your craft.

What's Included

  • Professional Coaching
  • Stand Up Paddle Board
  • Paddle
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Helmet

What to bring

  • Suitable clothing appropriate for the time of year, we will give more details on the booking confirmation email.
  • Towel & change of clothes
  • Closed toe footwear

Core Coach Training

The Coach Awards are designed for people whose core function is to coach paddlers who want to gain/improve paddlesport skills within the discipline chosen. This will include coaching beginners new to the sport, or paddlers looking to develop their skills in the given discipline/environment. The coach is able to plan, deliver and review progressive sessions safely, effectively and independently.

There are 18 options available covering all of our main disciplines and environments.

The Core training is the initial 2 days of the coach award journey. 2 days of getting to grips with the coaching ideas and principals to help build your coaching toolbox on your journey to becoming a coach.

There is flexibility for the training to be offered to mixed (all disciplines) or single discipline groups (e.g. a group of slalom coaches). It may be run back-to-back with Discipline Specific Training or separate from it.

Coaches can repeat the course to support their on-going learning and it can be accessed as stand-alone training for continued professional development. The training will have no expiry.

The only prerequisite is full Home Nation Association Membership.

Whats included

  • High quality delivery team who will support you through the course
  • Access to a range of boats – feel free to bring your own though
  • Warm, comfortable, clean and modern waterside facilities
  • Classroom facilities

What to bring with you

  • Your British Canoeing  membership card
  • Paddlesport clothing suitable for your chosen discipline
  • Your own paddle and craft if you have one (we have boats and equipment)
  • Packed lunch
  • Note pad and pen


  • Full Home Nation Association Membership
  • You will also need a base level of knowledge about the discipline(s) you wish to coach; this provides the content of WHAT you will be coaching.
  • Whilst the British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor eLearning covers the expected prior knowledge of the HOW to coach content.
  • Your course provider can provide further guidance.


There is no need to register for this course with British Canoeing however membership is required.

Paddlesport Instructor

If you’re looking to become a Paddlesport Instructor, this two day combined training and assessment course will support you to run games and activities to support learning and inspire adventure and exploration for new paddlers in stable craft. On this practical course, you will learn skills such as kitting up a group and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities and how to use mini journeys to support learning. This qualification is open to everyone!

The main aim of an entry level qualification is to show your passion for paddlesport and start to inspire the next generation of paddlers with taster sessions and beginner level courses.

Rock the Boat Activities offers this course over two days, run by an enthusiastic British Canoeing coach educator.

Visit the British Canoeing website for more information:

British Canoeing – Paddlesport Instructor


This course requires a minimum of 6 participants to run


  • Foundation Safety and Rescue training
  • Aged 14 or over
  • Home Nation Coach Registration (CR) Form
  • National Association membership

Recommended Equipment to bring

Personal paddling equipment for sheltered water environment.

If you need any equipment then please get in touch prior to the course. Email