Skill Level Descriptions


  • A beginner can paddle in both bow and stern on flat water
  • Familiar with basic strokes paddler can handle class II moving water.
  • Reads moving water for obstructions with confidence
  • The novice canoe paddler can handle basic strokes in both positions of the tandem canoe.
  • Paddler is becoming comfortable in both the bow or stern or solo positions of the canoe.
  • Paddler has the ability to read the water for obstructions and best routes through evenly flowing water.
  • Paddler is competent enough to tackle Class II moving water and breezy winds on lakes that create small water caps.


  • Negotiates Class II or III moving water with rapids that may require linked maneuvers to avoid obstacles
  • capable of making eddy out moves in rapids
  • can paddle class III in a tandem canoe
  • Paddles solo in class II white water.
  • The intermediate canoe paddler is comfortable making advanced strokes in linked sections of whitewater requiring some maneuvers to avoid obstacles and obstructions.
  • Paddler can make effective eddy turns and advanced strokes from all possible positions in a canoe.
  • The intermediate paddler is comfortable in class III in tandem and Class II in solo canoes


  • The advanced paddler can equip a canoe for heavy whitewater
  • Can handle most river conditions, can perform rescue maneuvers and remount the craft in heavy water.
  • Advanced paddlers can perform "must make" maneuvers around obstructions in heavy white water. 
  • The advanced canoe paddler can handle Class IV rapids in any position in a canoe.  
  • Paddle can read the water and is capable of handling the craft in heavy white water.  
  • The paddler knows how to properly equip the craft for the conditions and it capable of instructing and leading groups on paddleable water and wilderness conditions