River 101

  • Course Price

    $ 175

  • Duration

    9 hours

    Over 1.5 days

  • Course Dates

    2019 Dates coming soon!
    Or call and book your own River 101 course for you and your friends!

    * Combine these dates with our Whiewater 101 course for a full weekend of River fun and learning!

  • Location

River 101 - Fundamental River SUP Paddling & Safety Skills

"Develop an understanding of how to “read” moving water and use the features of the river environment to get you safely and efficiently to where you want to be. ”
River SUP fundamentals include advanced flatwater skills such as acceleration techniques, running turns, off-side stroke, bracing and moving around on your board as well as specialized skills such as eddy turns, ferries, and running small standing waves.
This course gives you a full day, plus a half on the water! That’s the time you need to get fully acquainted with this new set of skills, along with enough paddling time to develop some comfort on the water and an understanding of how to “read” moving water, and use the features of the river environment, to get you safely and efficiently to where you want to be. A key aspect of any river course is safety, awareness and self-rescue skills. We address these throughout all aspects of our River 1 course.

Is this the course for you?

If you are a fairly solid flatwater paddler and have completed one of our Core Skills programs or equivalent then you are ready to get out on the river with your SUP board!

Our River 1 course takes more time than some other courses out there. Why? Because the River is a new environment and it takes time to learn and practice everything you need to know to become a competent river paddler! If you want to really learn how to river paddle - start here with us!

We are pleased to offer some of our River 101 courses in partnership with Undercurrents in Calgary in conjunction with our River Play courses on the same weekend!

More Detail...

  • Prerequisites: Intented for paddlers with previous experience who have taken one of our Core SUP Skills programs or equivalent training and have logged enough paddle time that you feel comfortable on the water.
  • Includes: a combined 9 hours (over two days) of dryland and on-water SUP instruction from certified and experienced Paddle Canada instructors.
  • 4: 1 Student to Instructor ratio: giving you the best in personalized instruction and feedback
  • All technical paddling gear: – please see our Gear and Clothing tab.

Please note that the course does not include personal clothing or gear, food, or travel – please see our Gear and Clothing tab.

Course Cancellation: It is rare that we cancel a session due to weather considerations however we will do so if, in our judgement, the conditions are dangerous or are likely to present a poor learning environment.

Course Agenda and Curriculum

  • Day 1 (half day): Flatwater Crossover Skills - Acceleration techniques, dynamic turning strokes, moving around on your board, pivots and bracing
  • Day 2 - Morning: river equipment and safety gear, river features and hydraulics, safety talk and self rescue, group organization, basic ferries and eddy turns
  • Day 2 - Afternoon: River run! We complete a vehicle shuttle during lunch break and put together a river run through Canmore on the Bow where we work hard on more advanced ferries and eddy turns, reading the river and route finding and selection.
  • Lots and lots of practice, feedback and fun throughout!

Attention: Although we do our best to work through all course content, please note that logistics, location, timing, itinerary or anything else, may be adjusted by your instructor to ensure group safety, comfort and success, over the duration of the course.

  • Location & Logistics


    We will meet Friday evening at the Rundle Forebay in Canmore at the gravel pullout directly across from the entrance to the Nordic Center. See Map.

    Course start time: TBA. Please arrive about 15 minutes early, so that you are unloaded, changed, and ready to begin at the start time. Arriving late will cut into your instructional time, and that of others on the course.

    Please note that there are no washrooms, or change facilities at the site. The nearest washrooms are across the road at the Nordic center.

    We suggest that you bring high energy snacks and drink with you. On cool days we especially recommend bringing a thermos with a hot drink.


    We will meet Saturday morning at the Power Plant canal in Canmore below the Reservoir off of Rundle Plant Lane. See Map.

  • Gear & Clothing

    We provide the technical paddling gear that you will need appropriate to the course as part of your course costs:

    • Brand name paddleboards by Badfish, Boardworks, Red Paddle
    • Adjustable paddle, leash, lifejacket, signal whistle, throwbag.
    • You are welcome to bring and learn on your own paddling gear if you have it. (Please note course fees remain the same.)

    You will need to bring your own personal gear and clothing for the session:

    • Cold water immersion clothing for early season and cool conditions: as a minimum we recommend a shorty style neoprene wetsuit or one-piece neoprene paddle top. See our Gear and Clothing Primer for more information!
    • For warmer season/conditions: quick-dry or warm-when-wet outdoor athletic gear. Think paddle tops, rashguards, breathable hiking layers, merino wool, boardshorts ,athletic swimwear.
    • Insulating layers, weatherproof shell layers
    • Towel and warm, dry change of clothes (just in case!)
    • Secure protective footwear such as water shoes, paddle shoes, neoprene paddle/surf booties or sport sandals.
    • Headwear: sun hat, toque (warm hat), sunglasses with straps
    • Any personal first aid, medications, sunscreen etc
    • Waterproof and floatable camera
    • High energy snacks, drinking water.

Course Locations

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