Level 1 Skills

General Aims

The Level 1 Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Perform fundamental Paddling Skills.


Participants must successfully demonstrate the following:

  1. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
  2. An ability to Enter and Exit correctly.
  3. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.
  4. An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  5. Capsize Drill


  1. 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.
  2. All strokes must be demonstrated on both sides.
  3. The Level 1 Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Canoeing Ireland skills awards.
  4. No age restriction applies to this award

                Assessment Guidelines

The Level 1 Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Instructor.


Safety Rules of Canoeing


Entry and Exit

Entry and exit with or without the use of a paddle is acceptable.

Forward and Reverse Paddling

Veering is allowed for, but a participant must be able to maintain reasonable directional stability for at least 25 metres.


A participant should demonstrate an ability to stop when moving forward and in reverse.

Forward and Reverse Sweep Stroke

There should be an efficient use of the paddle in turning.

Capsize Drill

The capsize and exit should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank.