British Canoeing Explore Award

The Explore Award is an improvement course to help kayakers enhance their fundamental paddling skills with the aim to equip paddlers with the confidence and knowledge to undertake independent adventures safely on rivers.

During the course we'll look at differences between watercraft, review core paddling strokes, practice skills to prevent us from capsizing and use self-rescue techniques. Also in this award we will explore taking ownership of decisions and making confident choices based on the places you paddle, wind and weather.

Each course is tailored to the needs of individuals, with lots of time for discussion and time to practise and develop confidence in all the taught skills.

Next steps beyond this course are our Paddlesport Safety & Rescue Course and our Whitewater kayaking and Surf kayaking courses



All year round



Group Size



Minimum age: 18 Max weight: 18 stone (115kg).


To teach the key kayaking techniques, control and theory and to be assessed for the British Canoeing Explore Award.

Who is it for?

Anyone wishing to become an independent qualified kayaker, and the next step on from our Discover Award.


You must have some kayaking experience to attend this course. We would recommend being a the level of the Discover Award, or having taken part in a number of our guided River Trips.

Course Syllabus

Please follow this link to download the syllabus from the British Canoeing website.


Attendance of this course will not necessarily get you up to the required standard to pass as everyone progresses at a different pace. If you are successful, certificate fees are included in the course cost. Those unsuccessful will be given an action plan to gain the required experience to pass the award.


In the event of poor sea conditions the course will take place on the shelter water within Brighton Marina.


During the course we will cover

  • Safety awareness
  • Equipment selection
  • Access & Environment
  • Launching and recovering
  • River access
  • Recovery stroke
  • Kayak, boat, body, blade theory
  • Capsize drills
  • A range of rescue techniques
  • Watercraft selection

Depending on the conditions, we will aim to use 2 out of the 4 venues, in Sussex or Kent


Equipment supplied

All kayaking and safety equipment is supplied including:

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • Buoyancy aid

Equipment needed

For all kayaking courses you must have extra warm clothes and waterproofs, we will provide you with a full kit list upon booking.

  • Full change of clothes to go kayaking in, including footwear, and underwear.
  • Clothing should be suitable for the time of year*
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers (to wear on the water)
  • Extra jumper
  • Warm hat / sun hat
  • Gloves
  • Towel
  • Snacks / water
  • Medication / Tablets / Inhaler etc.

The above list is just a guide and appropriate clothing for the time of year should be worn. We highly recommend you have a dry bag for all your kit on the water and to put your wet clothing in at the end of the day.

*Clothing should comprise of several layers to trap the warmth. Please do not wear denim as it restricts movement, is cold when wet and is slow to dry. You must wear footwear whilst kayaking (old trainers, plimsolls) please don’t wear sandals. Wetsuits are not required as they only work when they are wet; if you wish to bring a wetsuit we still recommend you have a warm top.

Equipment shop

Take a look at our online shop for any equipment you might want for your outdoor adventures. We stock a variety of equipment and can give expert advice if you have any queries. Choose to collect your order on a course (free of charge) and your instructor will have it ready and waiting for you when you arrive.