Lee Valley White Water Centre - Canoeing and Kayaking | Paddlesport Development | Lee Valley White Water Centre

Paddlesport Development Programme

Whilst we have reopened for some of our activities and public paddling, we’re unfortunately unable to resume our Paddlesport development courses.

We have our bespoke kayaking tuition available to book. Please keep an eye on this page for updates on when we can resume our courses.

Suitable for all levels, see relevant courses.

Whether you want a fun and supportive introduction to kayaking, progress how you are currently paddling white water, or your first experience on the Legacy Course, we have you covered!

Our Paddlesport Development Programme is comprised of 3 different courses designed to take you from a complete beginner, all the way to styling your lines on the Legacy Course.

We offer this programme in two formats. You can choose to take the course over four, 1.5 hour weekly sessions* that start periodically throughout the year or as an intensive day course at a weekend which follows the same topics as the four week programme but covered over 1 day.

*Junior and Olympic level courses are for one hour over four weeks

 

What's included?

  • Coaching; Friendly, professional, and approachable coaches, that are up to date with the most modern and effective paddling and coaching techniques in white water kayaking. All coaches will provide you with honest and individual feedback to get you paddling in the most stylish, efficient, and enjoyable way.
  • All equipment: A kayak, spray deck, paddle, wetsuit, wetsuit boots, helmet, and buoyancy aid
  • Lee Valley White Water Centre membership

What's not included?

  • Personal third party liability insurance
  • Food and beverages
Please note: If you do not meet the minimum experience required for the course you wish to attend, the coach reserves the right to refuse your participation. In which case we will do our best to move you to a more appropriate course if possible. If there is no suitable course available, we will transfer you to a course at a later date. If you are unsure of the appropriate course for you then please see the Experience Required section for each course. If you are still unsure then contact the centre to discuss the best option for you.

Flat Water Kayaking 

If you’ve previously had a go and want to learn more or you’re starting from scratch and want a challenge, our Flat Water Kayaking course is great for teaching the basic skills of paddling, allowing you to progress and enjoy yourself on the water in no time. Based on our lake, we will look at everything from setting up the kayak, to what to do when you capsize plus a whole range of skills to get you in control and paddling with ease.

Environment

Lake

Experience Required

  • General session: Aged 16+
  • Junior session: Aged 8 - 16 Parental Consent Form required
  • Limited or no previous kayaking experience
  • A reasonable level of general fitness (will allow for greater progression and enjoyment)
  • Confident being in water (there is no requirement to be able to swim, although it is recommended)

We will look at:

  • Fundamentals:
    • Connectivity (setting up the kayak to optimise control)
    • Posture (using your posture in different ways to control the kayak)
    • Power Transfer (using the appropriate muscle groups, and technique to move the kayak)
    • Feel (understanding how to best use your body with the paddle to affect the kayak in a positive way)
  • Paddling forwards, sideways, stopping, and paddling backwards
  • Using a spray deck and basic self-rescue
  • Basic peer rescue

What to Expect

  • Ratio of 1 coach with up to 8 people
  • Modern professional coaching and individual feedback
  • Excellent facilities including changing rooms,  lockers for personal items, and Terrace Bar and Café

What Next

If you would like more development from one of our coaches you could book onto one of the following:

Please discuss the options with your coach to determine what is most suitable for you

During this course, the coach may deem it appropriate to pass you off on the lake (see Lake Assessment for details). Please discus with your coach a suitable option for further development. It should be noted that the Lake Assessment must be passed before attending the Introduction to White Water Kayaking Course

Sessions dates and times

Introduction to White Water Kayaking 

Want to experience the exciting world of white water kayaking? We will continue to develop, and transfer all of the skills you have already learnt, and apply them on white water. We will look at a whole host of skills to get you well on your journey as a white water kayaker.

Environment

Legacy Course

Experience Required

  • General session: Aged 16+
  • Junior session: Aged 8 - 16 Parental Consent Form required
  • Competent paddling a kayak on the flat water including paddling forwards, carving and turning the kayak on an edge, and have an understanding of how trim effects performance
  • Must have paddled previously with a spray deck and know how to exit boat with deck
  • A reasonable level of general fitness (will allow for greater progression and enjoyment)
  • Confident being in water and be able to swim (there is no requirement to be able to swim, although it is highly recommended)

If you do not have good control on flat water then the Flat Water Kayaking Course may be more suitable for you.

We will look at:

  • Entering and exiting the flow
  • Adapting posture to optimise control of the kayak
  • Positioning the kayak on the white water
  • Understanding river features and choosing lines on white water
  • Swimming and self-rescue in white water

What to Expect

  • Ratio of 1 coach with to up to 6 people
  • Modern professional coaching and individual feedback
  • Excellent facilities including changing rooms, lockers for personal items, and Terrace Bar and Café

What Next

If you would like more development from one of our coaches you could book onto one of the following:

White Water Kayaking 

Want to progress your white water kayaking, and paddle with more style and confidence? Following on from our Introduction to White Water Kayaking Course, we will continue to develop all of your white water skills to help build your confidence and develop your decision-making and line choice to get you paddling the Legacy Course purposely. We will look how you can maximize the use of white water, helping you become a more effective and efficient paddler, all whilst having fun.

Environment

Legacy Course

Experience Required

  • General session: Aged 16+
  • Junior session: Aged 8 - 16 Parental Consent Form required
  • Lee Valley Lake Assessment
  • Attended the Introduction to White Water Kayaking Course at Lee Valley White Water Centre or similar course at a different centre. Evidence of similar course must be shown before booking.
  • Be competently paddling on the flat water, including paddling forwards, carving and turning the kayak on an edge.
  • Breaking in and out of moving / white water, paddling down river, and understand the effect trim has on the performance of the kayak
  • Know how to use a spray deck
  • A reasonable level of general fitness (will allow for greater progression and enjoyment)
  • Confident being in water and be able to swim (there is no requirement to be able to swim, although it is highly recommended)
  • Having a reliable white water roll will maximise your learning and enjoyment but is not essential

If you have limited white water kayaking experience then the Introduction to White Water Kayaking Course may be more suitable for you.

We will look at:

  • Use of river features to aid your position and line choice
  • Maximising the use of your posture to control the kayak
  • Optimising the use of the paddle
  • Strategies for confidence, anxiety, and arousal control

What to Expect

  • Ratio of 1 coach with up to 6 people
  • Modern professional coaching and individual feedback
  • Excellent facilities including changing rooms, lockers for personal items, and Terrace Bar and Café

What Next

If you would like more development from one of our coaches you could book onto one of the following:

You may also be at the level to do the Legacy Skills Competency Assessment. Please discuss the options with your coach to determine what is most suitable for you