Whitewater Canoe Courses
Choose your location or ours
Boreal River offers whitewater canoe courses for groups of 10 or more. You’ll get:
- Full days of professional instruction
- Free camping (depending on location)
- Top of the line equipment (but if you have boats and other gear, we can use yours’ too.)
- Group safety equipment including first aid kits & rescue gear
- An incredible course!
The course will:
- Teach you how to read rapids
- Teach you how to pick safe lines
- Give you experience running rapids
- Enable you to use waves to get around efficiently
Our courses are taught by Paddle Canada certified instructors with years of whitewater experience as paddlers and guides. We have our favourite teaching locations, but if they don’t meet the needs of your group, our instructors can bring the course as close to you as possible.
The benefit to a private course is that we work around your schedule and your location. The course can be tailored to suit the needs and desired outcomes of your group.
Whitewater canoe topics covered
- Whitewater maneuvers
- Running rapids
- Setting safety
- Assessing risk
- Rescue techniques
- Advanced whitewater skills for bigger water (upon request)
- Tripping skills for heavily-loaded boats (upon request)
Ask us if there’s something you’d be interested in learning that isn’t listed
Recognized canoe certification
Our instructors can certify your group members through a variety of training providers including:
- Paddle Canada
- Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association, ORCKA
- Fédération québécoise du canot et du kayak, FQCK
- American Canoe Association
You can discuss which level you are aiming for with your instructor and achieve Paddle Canada Moving Water Tandem Skills Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.
With certification, you will receive a laminated wallet card and entry into the Paddle Canada database.
What to bring
Since the group training is customized, what to bring depends on what your group wants. These are typical items and equipment rentals are available. Rental fees will vary based on the size and interests of your group.
Please bring appropriate clothing and equipment to be comfortable in and around the water for prolonged periods. You’ll receive a ‘student information package’ with a complete list specific to your course.
For the river
- Whitewater tandem canoe – Bring a fully outfitted canoe with thigh straps, kneepads, and airbags. If you aren’t sure about the appropriateness of your canoe, please contact us. Rental available
- Whitewater canoe paddle(s) – You can rent paddles from us. We have a range of sizes in fibreglass whitewater paddles in models such as the Werner Luna. You can bring a spare paddle but we will provide several for the group as well.
- Whitewater Helmet – bring one or rent one
- Personal flotation device (PFD) – You need a whitewater-appropriate PFD. It needs to be in good condition and fit properly. Rentals are available.
- Wetsuit or drysuit – This is necessary for courses before mid-June or past September 1st. You can rent a full length wetsuit (fleece-lined with full arms and legs) or an ‘overall style’ wetsuit (farmer jane/john style).
- Paddling jacket or drytop – This is a windproof and splash proof layer that will help keep you warm on cool or windy days. For this course you can rent a paddling jacket from us.
- River shoes – The ideal river shoe has full toe covering and is supportive but also lightweight and draining with a grippy sole. This could be a model made specifically for the river or a lightweight running shoe. Neoprene shoes can work if they have enough support and traction. Neoprene socks or booties are not adequate.
- Base layers, insulation, and socks – Make sure to have several layers of socks, pants, and tops made of wool, fleece, polyester, or another synthetic material to wear in addition to your wetsuit or drysuit, or to be worn on their own on sunny days and in warm water.
- Surf shorts
- Lunch, snacks and water bottle or thermos – Keeping yourself fueled and hydrated is one of the keys to staying warm and happy. High-calorie snacks like chocolate bars and cereal bars are great to keep in your PFD.
- Sunscreen, lip protection, bug repellent
- Small drybag or container to carry food and extra layers
- River rescue equipment and throw bag (optional) – Bring any rescue equipment that you’d like to try out on the course.
- Neoprene gloves (optional)
- Sunglasses or prescription glasses with strap (optional)
For on land
- Comfortable clothing
- Comfortable shoes
- Sun hat, visor, or baseball cap
- Rain gear to wear on land before and after the river
- Gear bag or container to store your river equipment for transport
For those camping on site
You will have use of a ‘camp kitchen’ with drinking water, barbeque, stove, tables, and common sheltered areas. Please bring biodegradable soaps and hygiene products. Note that the Upper Gatineau River course site does not have showers or bathrooms, however there is an outhouse.
- Meals, cooler, dishes, and cooking equipment. (Upper Gatineau River: Closest supermarket is 20 minutes away. Magnetawan River: Bring groceries as the small grocery stores in the area are usually not open after or before our course hours.)
- Tent, sleeping bag, mattress, pillow
- Extra clothing
- Towel / camp towel
- Headlamp / flashlight
- Personal hygiene products and medications
Equipment rentals are available.