General Aims

The Level 1 Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  • Perform fundamental Paddling Skills.
  • For paddlers U-18 it is recommended that these paddlers be supervised by a person over the age of 18 who has suitable experience.

Attendance Requirements

There is no formal assessment for the Level 1 Skills Award, however, a participant must be able to demonstrate the required skills in the presence of a registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor before being given the award.

  • All strokes must be demonstrated on both sides.

  • The Level 1 Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Canoeing Ireland skills awards.
  • No age restriction applies to this award


To obtain the Level 1 Kayak Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills:

  • Forward Paddle
  • Reverse Paddle
  • Emergency Stop
  • An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  • Entry and exit of the kayak
  • Capsize drill.

An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.

Course Documents