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Advanced White Water Kayak Skills



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What our clients say...

"Well delivered course well equipped. Very high standard, good range of different kit available. Instructors tailored specific facets of activities to individual needs."

"Very professional – Brilliantly run, good communications, right level."

"Excellent instruction helped me progress and improve rapid running."

"The course was really well run. Everything I needed to know regarding course info was covered via email. I have been with the company before and was really happy with the structure."

"Excellent course, great instructors, fun and informative, learnt a huge amount."

"Tailored to the participants, friendly, encouraging, relaxed.  Ian is very good at reading people and delivering to their needs."

"Really good two days, lots of learning points to very different rivers."

"Perfectly suited to needs, received all necessary information. Excellent coaching and personable approach tailored to specific needs."

"Thanks again for a top weekend. It was thoroughly enjoyable and given me lots to take away and work on."

"Excellent delivery and content. Noticeable improvement in my ability to paddle white water."

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Swale Days

The river Swale is an iconic section of advanced white water near Keld in Yorkshire. It is made up of 7 drops and rapids that give some great opportunities to fall off stuff with style. 

White water kayaking on the Swale

To paddle it well you need the following:

  • The correct water level.
  • The ability to read rapids and predict where the key moves are.
  • An array of well timed driving strokes to help you keep the bow up when you need to.
  • Precise boat control to keep the boat online as the river pushes you around.
  • Core strength that allows you to hold strong active posture to manage the impact on landing.
  • Great decision making skills that help you decide whether to go for the move and the courage to leave it for another day.
  • Enough positive previous experience to allow certainty of the outcome creating confidence.
  • Appropriately sized equipment that maximises your performance.
  • Rescue skills to solve problems when it doesn’t quite work.
  • A bomb proof roll would be very useful but not essential.

Over 4 days of training we will prepare you as well as can be done to paddle the river Swale. On any of the days that the river is at the right level we will paddle it in a manner that is appropriate for you.

White water kayaking on the Swale

The river Swale goes up and down very quickly. We cannot guarantee getting it at the right level on one of our delivery days. Ideally it goes on day 3 or 4.

We cannot completely change your paddling to give you the necessary skills.

We can:

  • Help read water levels to predict which river to use. This includes access to our detailed history of river level readings.
  • Make sure that your kayak and paddle are the most appropriate design and size for you.
  • Give you the tools to make improvements in between sessions and develop your paddling over the long term.
  • Help you develop a personal training plan to carry out between sessions.
  • Help you analyse your own paddling and give yourself feedback.
  • Open new moves and set interesting challenges on the Lake District classics to keep those rivers interesting.
  • Help you read the river in more detail.
  • Make line choices for you and demonstrate them as necessary.
  • Manage the safety set up to cut down on consequence.
  • Enable good decisions based on:

    • real understanding of the techniques required to run a rapid.
    • your own personal  ability to carry out those techniques.
    • risk assessment and management of the consequences.


When not on the Swale we will:

  • boof off Low Force developing stroke timing and improving posture on landing
  • develop angled boof on the Lower Kent.
  • encourage good boat control on the lower section of the river Leven.
  • run the ledge drops of the river Clough.
  • develop river reading on the Sprint.
  • develop your paddling as far as possible and an individualised way.

At the end of each day you and your coach will work on your individual action plan. This will provide a regularly updated record of your improvement.

Course Dates

Swale Days
Dates to be arranged.

Course fee: £350 per person

Additional Info

Ability level:
In order to get the most from this course we suggest that you:

  • Paddle a reasonable sized river boat
  • Have a roll that has a fair to good chance of working in whitewater. It does not need to be reliable
  • Paddle in the grade 3 and 4 environment often enough to be a comfortable when a move has a bit of consequence
  • Be keen to fall off drops with a bit of style

Wild River recommends that all customers take out personal insurance for the activity.

We can tailor a course to your specific needs.

If you cannot find the course you want or the date you need then please contact us and we will try to meet your needs.

Kayaking Swale
Kayaking Swale
Kayaking Swale
Wild River Course Dates



Paddlesport courses in the Lake District