What time should I arrive on Wednesday evening?

We plan to be on the water at 7:00 pm at which time equipment is locked away. We recommend you arrive at 6:30 pm to give yourself time to change,select equipment etc.

( don’t forget to bring a change of Clothes just in case you get wet)

Club facilities what kit do you provide?

We have Open Canoes & Kayaks buoyancy aids, spray deck and paddles.

What is BCU One Star?

Outline of the syllabus

(For the full text, see the PDF file on the BCU web site.)
1 Personal Paddling Skills
1.1 Lift, carry and launch
1.2 Forward paddling
1.3 Steering and controlling
1.4 Return to the bank and get out
2 Rescue Skills
2.1 Capsize and be rescued or swim to shore
2.2 Emptying boats
3 Safety, Leadership and Group Skills
3.1 Personal Risk Management
3.2 Awareness of others
4 Theory
4.1 Equipment
4.2 Safety
4.3 First Aid and Hypothermia
4.4 Access
4.5 Environment
4.6 General

What is BCU 2 STAR?


The BCU Two Star is an improvement award that helps paddlers develop fundamental paddlesport skills on flat water. The emphasis is on gaining a breadth of experience, creating the desired movement of the boat and developing an understanding into how the paddle, boat and water interact.

Useful Information

Please refer to the British Canoeing 2 Star Training and Assessment Notes and the British Canoeing Star Award Guidance Notes for further information.

Technical Syllabus
Part A – Personal Paddling Skills

  1. A.1  Lifting, carrying and launching
  2. A.2  Efficient forward paddling
  3. A.3  Steering
  4. A.4  Manoeuvring in a confined space
  5. A.5  Moving sideways
  6. A.6  Preventing a capsize
  7. A.7  Turning
  8. A.8  Returning to the bank and getting out
  9. A.9  Securing

Part B – Rescue Skills

  1. B.1  Capsize, swim and self-rescue
  2. B.2  Rescue a capsized paddler

Part C – Safety, Leadership & Group Skills

  1. C.1  Personal risk management
  2. C.2  Awareness of others
  3. C.3  An assessed accompanied sheltered water journey

Part D – Theory

  1. D.1  Equipment
  2. D.2  Safety
  3. D.3  Wellbeing, health and first aid
  4. D.4  Access
  5. D.5  Environment
  6. D.6  Planning

2 Star Training Notes Technical Syllabus

Although the assessment will take place on a stretch of sheltered water, if the area the paddler generally operates from involves some moving water (e.g. a river like the Thames) or open water, then this can be discussed or experimented with during training. The coach can help the paddler to understand how to use this environment to their best advantage with the skills listed below. The paddler should also be trained in what to do when meeting or passing other craft on a river or canal; the coach should train them for the situations they will generally meet and not just for the assessment.

This award is obtained by demonstrating performance in both a kayak and a canoe. Any style of kayak or canoe is permissible, e.g. open cockpit, sit-on-top, v-shaped hull or flat bottomed etc. (Each person in a doubles crew must perform each task from both the bow and stern). During training paddlers should be introduced to canoe and kayak, in as many different formats as possible e.g. racing kayak, freestyle kayak, sit-on-top, open cockpit, cruising canoe, white water canoe etc. All the skills below should be practised in a range of boats if at all possible.

At assessment paddlers are required to show all skills in both canoe and kayak.

Part A – Personal Paddling Skills A.1 Lifting, carrying and launching

Paddlers should be introduced to safe moving and handling techniques; avoiding twisting when lifting, keeping the load close to the body and the importance of working together.

Paddlers should:


• •

Understand how and why a footrest, backrest and/or seat should be properly adjusted. Experience getting into a craft from a variety of shore/banks.

Efficient forward paddling

The aim is for this to be performed over a distance of approximately 250m. Paddlers should be helped to understand the importance of a good upright posture, utilising body rotation from the seat/hips upwards. The coach should create an awareness of how to paddle effectively using the major muscles of the body, rather than just the arms, which will generate much more powerful strokes. An efficient forward paddling stroke should create a smooth passage of the boat through the water. When in a canoe paddlers should be helped to understand and use the appropriate trim.

© British Canoeing/Coaching/PA/2 Star Training Notes V3-1/May15 Page 1 of 4

A.3 Steering

Paddlers should experience steering solutions including stern sweeps, rudders and J-strokes. The emphasis should be on learning the effect the paddle has, and on a fluent application depending on the situation. From a good running speed the paddler should be aiming to keep the boat straight through a narrow gap by use of a trailing paddle or rudder. The gap should be about twice the width of the boat and one boat’s width in length. If the paddler’s boat has a rudder fitted then this should be used as well.

A.4 Manoeuvring in a confined space

Paddlers should work towards manoeuvring and positioning the boat in a controlled and accurate manner. The aim is an ability to control direction. Good technique is still important but accuracy should now become an important element. Paddlers should experience a variety of situations that require accurate manoeuvring.

A.5 Moving sideways

Paddlers should develop an understanding of the need for:


• • •

Good body rotation towards the paddle side.
An effective upright paddle.
Experimenting with variety of strokes whilst understanding the requirement for an effective draw stroke.
Powerful and balanced strokes using the core muscles and correct posture, and ensuring little yawing from side to side.

Preventing a capsize

Paddlers should be encouraged to experiment with:

  • Where the balance point for their craft actually is.
  • Low brace for recovery.
  • High recovery.
  • Sculling for support.The coach should introduce the importance of the use of the body i.e. hip or knee pressure, in getting the boat back to a balanced position, and the role of the core muscles in creating a strong brace.

A.7 Turning

Paddlers should be encouraged to experiment with variety of strokes and degrees of edge to achieve a turn. The boat should turn efficiently whilst under momentum.

Kayak paddlers need to be familiar with sweeps (forward and reverse), stern/bow rudders and braces.

© British Canoeing/Coaching/PA/2 Star Training Notes V3-1/May15 Page 2 of 4

Canoe paddlers need to be familiar with draws and 1⁄4 sweeps, 1⁄4 sweeps and J-strokes for doubles, and outside pivots and C-strokes for solo.

Paddlers should be trained to:


• •

Understand the effects of trim in both a kayak & canoe.
Develop strategies for slowing down or speeding up a turn, i.e. slow wide turns and fast short turns of varying degrees.
Understand the concept of looking for ‘future water’.

Returning to the bank and getting out

Paddlers should practice getting out on a variety of bank/shore types.

A.9 Securing

Training should look at basic knots with ropes and effective use of straps, particularly when tying boats to a roof rack.

Part B – Safety & Rescue

Coaches should note that a swimming pool is an ideal controlled environment for training these aspects.

Training should look at and discuss care and concern for the individual paddler and for other paddlers as well as equipment.

B.1 Capsize, swim and self-rescue

Paddlers should be trained to perform a controlled capsize with no signs of panic. They should be able to rescue themselves by either swimming ashore with all their equipment and emptying it, or by climbing back in and bailing, dependant on style of boat.

B.2 Rescue a capsized paddler

The coach must highlight good lifting and handling techniques. Training should cover different ways to affect a deep water rescue, and how a paddler in the water can be useful in the rescue. Paddlers should become comfortable with at least 1 method of deep water rescue.

© British Canoeing/Coaching/PA/2 Star Training Notes V3-1/May15 Page 3 of 4

Part C – Safety, Leadership & Group Skills

  1. C.1  Personal risk management
  2. C.2  Awareness of others

C.3. An assessed accompanied sheltered water journey

In all the above the coach should cover aspects of:

  • Basic journey planning.
  • Use of basic weather information.
  • Basic map work.
  • How to keep a group together.Part D – TheoryThe coach should develop the paddler’s theoretical understanding in-line with the level of the award (see Assessor’s Notes).
    1. D.1  Equipment
    2. D.2  Safety
    3. D.3  Wellbeing, health and first aid
    4. D.4  Access
    5. D.5  Environment
    6. D.6  Planning

© British Canoeing/Coaching/PA/2 Star Training Notes V3-1/May15

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