Paddle Academy

About the SunSmart Paddle Academy:

The SunSmart Paddle Academy caters for schools, senior groups, corporate team building, social groups and individual sessions.

Groups are able to learn basic paddling skills in a Fun and Safe aquatic environment. The program is available all year round with summer courses based on flat-water paddling or ocean, and winter on flat-water or white-water.

Paddle WA supplies all equipment required including Kayaks, Paddles, Life Jackets, spray decks, and qualified instructors. This equipment along with instructors can be transferred to a number of locations:

  • Matilda Bay, Crawley
  • Coode St, South Perth
  • AP Hinds Reserve, Bayswater
  • Bells Rapids, (white-water courses)
  • Johnston St Boat Ramp, Mosman Park
  • Riverton Dr North & Fifth Ave, Rossmoyne
  • Ocean Reef Marina, Ocean Reef
  • Champion Lakes, Armadale

Plus, many other locations

The SunSmart Paddle Academy ranges from 3-6 weeks, consists of correct stroke techniques, capsize drills/rescues, safety procedures on the water and how to embark and disembark the craft. Building skills and confidence on the water is a primary focus of the SunSmart Paddle Academy through on-water exercises and games that relate to all canoeing disciplines.

The SunSmart Paddle Academy teaches the following skills:

  • Present the craft and equipment for inspection
  • Swim 50 metres in canoeing clothes – shirt, shorts and sandshoes as a minimum, and with a Life Jackets, and swim under a canoe to surface on the other side.
  • Show a full understanding of basic safety requirements for paddlers and their craft, and appreciation of the use of Life Jackets.
  • Launch the craft, embark and paddle away from the launching point. Be able to Demonstrate:
  • Paddling forwards, backward and emergency stops,
  • Turning the canoe,
  • The use of the paddle as a means of support in the water,
  • Coming alongside another craft, and also a clear approach to the launching point,
  • Disembark, then re-embark, paddle to deep water, capsize and swim ashore with the canoe.
  • Empty the craft take it from the water and place it properly on the bank.

Classes will be given the opportunity to gain skills in kayaks and canoes. We provide the opportunity and support, for interested participants to access higher awards and to join their local canoe/ kayak club.



“We have enjoyed 15+ years working with Paddle WA instructors and our students have learned so much. Paddle WA instructors are great at combining the theoretical and practical components of Kayaking and allowing students to learn and develop at their own pace. We look forward to using them for our College’s Outdoor Education Programs for years to come.”
Oliver Beath | All Saints’ College

“We’ve been very happy to have our Kingsway Christian College Emergency Services Cadet Unit participate in the PWA Paddle Academy over the last four years. The cadets have enjoyed the challenge of learning and consolidating kayak skills in a safe environment in and around Ocean Reef Marina. The PWA staff have been excellent in providing the assistance and training needed for the program to run. Many of the cadets have wanted to sign up each year to do the program again, testament in itself to the quality and enjoyment factor they experience. I highly recommend the program.”
Allan Ribbons | Kingsway ESC Unit Kayaking Program Leader

“Irene McCormack Catholic College have used Paddle Academy now for ten years. We find paddling helps students learn resilience, cooperation, teamwork and technical paddling skills, in a safe but challenging environment. Paddle Academy successfully facilitate this process for us, and I would recommend them to any school looking in developing a paddle program.”
Neil Bright | Head of Physical and Outdoor Education at Irene McCormack Catholic College

“Organising a Paddle session for 20 girls was so easy as the staff was accommodating to our specific needs. The staff on the day were patient and understanding and allowed the girls to have such an amazing time that they all wanted to go a buy their own kayak and didn’t want to stop!” 
Sophie | ‘Find Your Fit’ coordinator at Girls Without Limits

“As part of our Outdoor Education Program at Irene McCormack Catholic College, we use Paddle WA for our Kayaking Course. The instructors at Paddle WA are experienced, knowledgeable and wonderful instructors to our students. Their understanding and delivery of technique and skills allow our students to acquire, develop and progress their paddling skills in the lead up to their Exmouth Expedition. The students thoroughly enjoyed their lessons.”
Amber Sunderland | Outdoor Education teacher at Irene McCormack Catholic College

“We have been using Paddle WA for our Year 9 Outdoor Education Program for the last five years and have found them very accommodating to cater for the individual needs within our program. All instructors have been professional in their duty of care and delivery of specific skills in the course.”
Matthew Richmond | Health and Physical Education teacher at St Stephens School

Pinjarra Connect would like to extend its thanks to Paddle WA for running its Paddle Academy workshop in Pinjarra on the Murray River. The event was such a success and a credit to the organisation. We look forward to collaborating more in the future and activating the Murray River.
Jennifer Russell | Events Officer at the Shire of Murray

Paddle Power

The Paddlesport award scheme for our young paddlers. 
This cool and colourful approach to learning to paddle aims to:   

  • Create a safe environment for learning to take place in the beautiful WA backyard
  • Encourage more young people to come into and stay in the sport
  • Passport style learning that creates tangible goals for the paddlers
  • Provide progression and reward achievement in a wide range of topics
  • Show them all aspects of the sport – both competitive and adventurous
  • Provide signposts into Clubs where their skills and development can be nurtured
  • Provide a flexible structure for delivery according to venue/situation
  • The scheme comprises 5 Awards to support a young paddler’s introduction and progress in Paddlesports.

The Paddlepower Awards

Paddlepower Start

An entry level award suitable for taster sessions or as part of a series of sessions.

Paddlepower Passport
Four progressive levels based on 24 topics which can be grouped into Safety Awareness, Paddling Skills, Varied Experiences, and Supporting Knowledge.

Paddlepower Discover

This follows on from Passport with a further 4 levels to take the young paddler to the next level of Paddlesport skills and knowledge.

Paddlepower Explore
Three different levels take the paddler on an extensive journey exploring the great variety of Paddlesports, with topics focused on participation in events and journeys in the competitive and non-competitive disciplines.

Paddlepower Excel
Three levels to test the paddler on all elements of paddlesport including being responsible for self and others, participation in journeys, coaching sessions, training, events/competitions in a variety of disciplines, background knowledge of the sport; access, rules, environmental, nutrition and goal setting.

© The British Canoe Union – This Australian version has been modified by Canoeing Victoria with permission from The British Canoe Union and support from the Victorian Government.


The cost of each Sunsmart Paddle Academy and Paddle Power booking is determined by location and number of students.
The price includes:

  • Insurance – covered under the Paddle Australia Insurance Scheme
  • Boat Hire
  • Equipment Hire – Paddles, Life jackets, Spray Decks, Helmets
  • Instruction (ACAS Instructors)
  • Administration Fee

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact (Development Officer) at Paddle WA on (08) 9285 8501 or at 


Complete the Booking Process form and Chris will contact you.

Booking Process

Request a Booking Form from Christopher at or complete the Booking Process below and our Development Officer’s will get in contact with you with a quote and associated Booking document.