The Club has several experienced kayakers and a Coast to Coast Approved Grade 2 assessor who are happy to help members who are new to kayaking or who want to improve their skills.  We run weekly training sessions and occasional flat-water Skills-and-Drills sessions for all abilities.  We are also trialling a Grade 2 program in Spring 2018 for Club Members to attain their grade 2 certificate for Kathmandu Coast to Coast and will be running two programs in 2019.


Keep an eye on the Club’s Events page and Facebook page for upcoming Skills-and-Drills sessions which focus on flat-water technique and training drills and often feature guest coaches.  These sessions are designed to help Club Members take their kayaking to the next level for racing with improved speed and efficiency and are based at either of the two rowing clubs on the Oreti River, usually on a Sunday.


For free hire to members the Club has 2 x AR Duo (double) kayaks and 1 x Enigma (single) kayak, plus a small collection of paddles, helmets, buoyancy vests, spray skirts, etc.  These need to be booked in advance and are for short-term use only. 



Our Grade 2 Programs allow beginner to intermediate kayakers to learn and practice the skills necessary to kayak safely and confidently in moving water on rivers up to Grade 2.  Each program runs over a 2 to 3-month period.  We can also assess you for your Grade 2 Coast to Coast certificate. 

Each program includes a minimum of the following:

  • 2 x flat-water sessions based at the Rowing Club, developing basic paddling skills, balance, confidence and knowledge of equipment and general logistics of multisport kayaking
  • 1 x pool session, developing confidence exiting the kayak underwater, learning to balance the kayak on its edges and stability/recovery brace-strokes, progressing towards learning to roll back up.
  • Two x day-trips to the Waiau River
  • One x 2-day camp at either Te Anau, Beaumont or Wanaka, depending on river conditions and the group’s needs.  On this 2-day intensive camp we put the finishing touches on your grade 2 skills, run plenty of rapids getting lots of practice with choosing lines and do the assessments for the grade 2 cert
  • After successfully passing the assessment, participants must also log and submit to the assessor at least 5 suitable Grade 2 river trips in the same kayak they intend to use in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast to attain the Grade 2 Certificate.  These can be with or without a guide/instructor.

Participants will also need to be training and practicing on flat-water 2 or 3 times per week in addition to the club/program sessions to gain a sufficient level of confidence and competence to pass the assessment and, just as importantly for those doing the Kathmandu Coast to Coast, to begin building the endurance and comfort in their kayak to complete the challenging 67 km section of the Waimakariri River.

2021 programs will have a maximum number of 8 participants per program.  All flat-water sessions and river-trips are done in Multisport kayaks.  You need to have your own kayak and other equipment but as a club we will help you where possible, until you have your own equipment. The cost for the whole programme is $250 per person. However, participants are to cover their own costs of transport, accommodation, food, pool entry, etc.  Club Members who hold current Grade 2 certification are welcome to join on these trips for practice or experience.

Autumn Program: March – May 2021.  This is the best time to do your Grade 2 Program, allowing yourself plenty of time to practice and train and get ready for the following summer of racing.

Spring Program: August – October 2021.  As soon as the weather shows signs of warming again we’re back on the water for another program for those who missed the Autumn Program or decided to enter the Coast to Coast over winter.

To secure a spot in one of our programs please contact:

Rikki Griffin or 0276669982.

If you miss both programs, then there are other options.  Have a look on the Kathmandu Coast to Coast website for a list of approved Grade 2 assessors.  You can still join our weekly training sessions and Skills-and-Drills sessions to develop your basic kayak skills. If your skills are already up to speed and you just need to do an assessment to get the cert, get in touch with Rikki as there might be an opportunity to get that done.

CLICK HERE for a list of minimum gear you must bring on all Grade 2 River Trips.

CLICK HERE for the full Grade 2 Multisport Kayak Program

CLICK HERE to view the Club’s Grade 2 River Trip Hazard Identification and Management Plan


CLICK HERE for a list of the gear you’ll need for Multisport Kayaking.

CLICK HERE to view notes on good forward paddling technique.

CLICK HERE to view Arawa Canoe Club’s Kayak Comparison sheet which is very helpful if you’re considering buying a kayak.  It’s getting a little dated but still includes most kayaks that you’ll find second-hand.

Thanks to Brendan ONeill for allowing us to share the below resources:

CLICK HERE for Brendan's useful Paddling Drills sheet.

CLICK HERE for Brendan’s Visualisation Drills sheet.