Level 2 Canoe Skills

General Aims

The Level 2 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to

  1. Canoe safely and competently on water of Grade I difficulty as a member of a group being led.
  2. Assist in basic rescues.


  1. To obtain the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills.
  2. The participant should be capable of carrying out all the strokes in either double and solo canoe (where the stroke is relevant).
  3. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
  4. An ability to enter and exit a canoe correctly.
  5. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle and Stop.
  6. An ability to turn the canoe through 360 degrees in both directions using a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  7. Simple Draw Stroke and Pry.
  8. Brace.
  9. Trim
  10. Capsize Drill.
  11.  An ability to assist in an assisted X Rescue.
  12.  Knots: a figure of eight and a round turn with two half hitches.


  1. The Level 2 Canoe Skills Assessment must take place outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty).No part of an assessment may be taken in a swimming pool.
  2. During an assessment all techniques/skills must be performed to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in rescues - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of required rescues and have some role to play in the completion of the rescues.
  4. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the canoe to the bank, sweep and Pry should ideally be carried out as a manoeuvre to move the canoe sideways to avoid an obstacle. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the canoe.
  5. The Level 2 Canoe Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Irish Canoe Union skills awards.

                Assessment Guidelines

Notes for Level 2 Canoe Skills Awards

                Safety Rules of Canoeing

Enter and Exit

Using paddles across the Gunnels for balance. For entering, stepping into the centre line, rear canoeist entering first should be demonstrated.

Forward Paddle

A Goon Stroke is sufficient for the solo & Double canoeing, some straying off course is permissible, but a straight line of at least 50 metres is required. Small use of Stern Rudder and Sweep permissible in both solo and double.

Reverse Paddle

Veering is permissible.


Should occur in a straight line within four strokes.


Sweep strokes in Doubles should be demonstrated from Bow to Hip and Stern to Hip and a full sweep stroke in solo, both forward and reverse sweeps should be demonstrate on each side.

Simple Draw Stroke and Pry

The canoe should move sideways in a reasonably straight line. Roles to be reversed if demonstrated in double. Combination of Draw and Pry to be used in doubles.


Horizontal loom extended beyond the gunnel.

Pry Turn

Under movement the canoe should be turned sharply using pry at the back of the canoe, and sweep at the front.

Capsize Drill

After capsizing, the canoe should be held and towed 10 metres to the bank where it should be emptied correctly.

X Rescue

To be carried out on a half full upright canoe.


A figure of eight and a round turn with two half hitches.