Lesson Update

Hey Folks,
Just a quick reminder that there will NOT be lessons on Tuesday evening this week due to Easter Break here in Saskatoon. The last night of lessons will be on Tuesday, April 25th.
Drop-in paddling will be available BOTH weeks with Kylie A Zirk who will be available for some helpful tips having just returned from three months of training and racing in Europe!! Come welcome her home and hopefully learn something new:)

Open Pool Sessions!!

Hey Folks,

Starting next week we will be hosting Open Paddling Sessions at the YMCA from 6-7pm on Wednesdays.
These sessions are available to work on your skills and meet new people in the club.
I will be available for some instruction and help if needed.
Feel free to bring a friend!
Cost is as follows:
– Individual drop-in – $10
– Family drop-in – $20 (family of 4 + $5/each additional person)
– Individual Full Set (6 nights) – $50
– Family Full Set (6 nights) – $75 (family of 4 + $10/each additional person)
Hope to see you all there!!!

Family Into to Kayak Session #2

Hey Folks,
Our next Family Into to Kayak Session will start March 7th. This program is geared toward anyone wanting to learn to kayak in a warm, safe environment AND anyone wanting to work on their skills to prepare for the coming paddling season!!
Sessions run Tuesday evenings from 6:00-7:00pm at the YMCA pool in Saskatoon.
Cost for 7 sessions is $75/family. Yes, you read that right:)
Contact us at saskwhitewater@gmail.com to register!!

2017 Season Starting up!!

Looking for that perfect Christmas gift for your family?
Why not join the Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club in the warmth of YMCA swimming pool in Saskatoon for our upcoming Family Kayak Sessions!!
For $75 per family, you will receive instruction from highly qualified instructors, use of club equipment, and 7 one hour sessions of kayaking in the warmth and safety of the pool. All you need is a swim suit!!
Whether you are interested in being comfortable in your kayak at the lake, want to adventure into the world of whitewater rivers, or would like to explore your competitive side in one of our competitive programs we will provide you with the pathway best suited to your needs.
Sessions will be held starting January 10th at the YMCA swimming pool in downtown Saskatoon on Tuesday evenings from 6-7pm.
To register please email Sharon or Brendan at saskwhitewater@gmail.com

Winter Pool Sessions

Hey Folks,

SWKC winter pool session starts tonight at the YMCA Saskatoon!!! Sessions run now through March on Tuesdays from 6:15-7:30pm. 8 sessions runs you $75/family or feel free to drop in and paddle with us for $10/person/night.

Instructors will be on hand to help you learn the basics, perfect your roll, or help you improve on your current paddling skills!!

To register contact us at saskwhitewater@gmail.com and come join us for a fun reprieve from the cold!!!

New Fall Pool Sessions!!

Hey folks!!
Time for fall pool session #1!!
We are looking at pool sessions a couple nights per week to start with this fall.

Sessions will start October 28th at the YMCA.

Wednesday will be an Open Club Night from 6:00-7:30pm. This session is open to club members and anyone interested in learning to paddle. We will have instructors on hand to help out those wishing to learn or improve their skills!!

Thursday will be a slalom session from 5:00-6:00pm. This is for anyone interested in expanding their skills, looking for a great way to get exercise, or wanting to just go fast in a fun and exciting sport!

Session #1 Oct 28/29 through Dec 2/3 (session = 6 wks)
$50 per family/session (either Wed OR Thurs)
$80 per family for both (Wed AND Thurs)
$10 per person daily drop-in fee

Let us know ASAP if you are interested in either or both of these sessions!!

Brendan Curson
Head Coach & Program Director
Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club

Kylie Zirk off to Represent Canada

Our very talented team member Kylie Zirk boarded her flight last night to join the rest of Team Canada in Australia to compete at the Junior/U23 World Championships. Kylie will be competing in both the K1 junior women and the C1 junior women competitions as the first woman to make the junior team in two separate categories.

Live results for the competition April 23-27 will be available at http://canoeliveresults.com/

Other information regarding the event can be found at http://penrith2014.worldchampionships.events.slalom.canoeicf.com/

Make sure to check out Kylie’s athlete Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kyliezirkwhitewater

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Year Recap!!!!

One word to describe this year…SUCCESSFUL!!!!! Another word to describe this year…BUSY!!!!!!!

The year started off as usual with competitive and family pool sessions throughout the winter. Thanks to one of our parents, Parker Zirk, the competitive group finally had a full gate setup in the swimming pool which made a huge difference in their training. Our family paddle nights were well attended and everyone had a blast learning and perfecting new skills. One of our youngest members, Emmett (3yrs), learned to wet exit and roll in the double with his dad while 10yr old Justin became a rolling machine!!!!!

Club member Ben Lapointe started competing at a higher level in Canoe Polo competing at various competitions with the UofS Canoe Polo Team as well as being invited to participate in National Team Development camps throughout the winter. Kylie Zirk and Maksym Kryworuchko also did additional training with the UofS Polo Team as crosstraining for the slalom season.

In May, Kylie Zirk, Maksym Kryworuchko, and Jakob Kryworuchko attended Slalom National Team Selections with their coach Brendan Curson and team mom Jen Kryworuchko. They hopped in a van in Saskatoon on Friday morning and arrived in Minden, ON Saturday afternoon!!! Midway through a week of training the rains came and water levels jumped increasing the flow rate from 23cms (regular race flow) to 35 cms (World Cup level) and finally peaking at 40cms which made it the highest water level a race had ever been held at in Minden. The site is very difficult at regular flow so at twice the regular flow the course became monstrous and fast. The race went off without a hitch, though for many of the younger paddlers it was more about survival than racing!! At the end of the weekend, Kylie Zirk had qualified for a spot on the National Junior Team in K1 junior women and Maksym Kryworuchko had to settle for a 5th place finish in the highly competitive K1 junior men.

Throughout June we watched with the rest of Canada at the horror that overcame Alberta. We were glued to our computer screens watching the flow rate guages explode one after the other as many of our favorite paddling spots were engulffed in flood.

By the time the July long weekend rolled around we were unsure if we would be able to hold our yearly family paddling weekend at our regular spot in central Alberta. With the weekend fast approching we watched as the floodwaters slowly receded and with great joy we headed out to catch the last remnents of high water playspots!! It was a great weekend with lots of surfing, scouting new river channels, and birthday celebrations!!!

In July, Kylie Zirk travelled to Liptovsky, Slovakia to compete in the ICF Junior/U23 World Slalom Championships as a member of the Canadian Team. Kylie spent three weeks in Europe training with the best junior age slalom athletes in the world and learned a tremendous amount. Kylie showed her true potential with one of the best runs of the weekend for Canada leaving her in 40th after first runs. Kylie finished off the race in 50th place out of 86 competitors and considering she was the youngest competitor in the competition she proved she is a force to be reckoned with in years to come.

Closer to home, the Kryworuchko family took off to Kananaskis for the month of July to prepare for the National Championships and 2014 Junior/U23 National Team selections. The course at Kananaskis was destroyed by the June floods and had to be completely rebuilt. Between sessions the Kryworuchko family worked with the Alberta athletes to completely rebuild the course in time for National Championships.

July also saw Ben Lapointe travel to Welland, ON to take part in the National Canoe Polo Championships.

At the end of July all our athletes travelled to Kananaskis for National Championships and Junior/U23 National Team Selections. The event was well run and well attended with athletes from France, Australia, USA, and Canada. This was also the first Nationals with participation from 7 different provinces/territories including BC, YK, AB, SK, MB, ON, and QC. OUr athletes competed extremely well with medal performances from Kylie Zirk in K1W Jr and C1W Jr as well as from Ben Lapointe in C2M Jr. Other notable performances came from Maksym Kryworuchko who earned himself a 4th in K1M Jr in an extremely competitive class. Justin Beckstrand and Jakob Kryworuchko also had extremely positive performances. By the end of the weekend Kylie Zirk had earned a spot on the National Junior Team in both K1W and C1W to compete at World Championships in April 2014 in Australia and Maksym Kryworuchko had earned a spot as the first alternate in K1M.

With the summer finally coming in August our athletes once again travelled back to Kananaskis for Alberta provincial championships. This is always a really fun event with activities and events for the whole family. with tremendous performances from all our athletes almost everyone hit the podium at least once!!

Once again, congrats to all our paddlers on a tremendous year and Many thanks to all the parents and families who make our dreams a reality!!!!

New session dates!!!


Session 1:  Oct 13 – Dec 1

Session 2:  Dec 8 – Feb 9 (no class Dec 29 or Jan 5)

Session 3: Mar 2 – May 4 (no class Mar 30 or Apr 6)

(each session consists of 8 classes for $110/participant)


Session 1: Oct 13 – Jan 12 (no class Dec 29 or Jan 5)

Session 2: Jan 19 – May 4 (no class Feb 16, Feb 23, Mar 30, Apr 6)

(each session consists of 12 classes for $200/family)

Stay Safe Out There

Stay Safe Out There

Thoughts from Brendan Curson, Head Coach and Program Director, Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club

As a coach we do everything we can to prepare our athletes and paddlers to reach their goals. We encourage our athletes to strive for their best and sometimes even give a gentle nudge when required to push them through that comfort zone in order to expand their tool bag of skills. As coaches we also drill into our athletes the importance of safety and ensure they are prepared for any situation they encounter.  Our goal as coaches is to make our athletes shine in the spotlight and quietly sit on the side of the river watching them as they reach for greatness. Just like a family, our athletes eventually leave the protection of the nest and reach out into new and more exciting directions. At this point all we can do is sit back, encourage, and allow them to find their own way.

This weekend, our small community lost one of our shining stars. Peter Thompson was one of those one-in-a-million individuals who had the ability to make your world seem just a little brighter. Not only was Peter a tremendous paddler, skier, and outdoor enthusiast, he was also one of the most enthusiastic and caring people you could meet. At the young age of 19 Peter had compiled an incredible list of accomplishments and was only just beginning to find his path in this world.

When I first found out about Peter’s passing on Friday, I was hit with shock and sadness. Now that I have had an opportunity to digest the sad news I am now frustrated and angered by the loss of someone who had not yet reached their full potential in life. As a coach, I can’t help but ask all the usual questions:

  • What was the situation?
  • Were the boys being safe?
  • Were they putting themselves or the camera first?
  • Could this have been avoided?

The unfortunate part is that I already know the answer to these questions because coaches like myself and others had spent endless amounts of time helping prepare Peter and paddlers just like him to have the skills to be able to succeed in the paddling realm.

I also can’t help wondering if we as coaches played a part in Peter’s death. We understand that if we don’t teach our athletes the proper skills to succeed that they will seek them elsewhere and not necessarily from the best sources. Probably the most influential and positive source of skill development for Peter was World Class Kayaking School. This program is just that, world class. They have provided opportunities to youth to succeed in every part of their lives for many years and are leaders in developing well rounded and tremendously successful paddlers. But just as I encourage my athletes to reach for their goals, World Class encourage their paddlers to push their limits in order to build their tool bag of skills. In providing Peter with the opportunity to hone his skills on rivers and creeks and encouraging him to always search for something more, did we in some way contribute to him leaving us too early?

The other part of this that I can’t help question is how technology has played into the multiple paddling deaths our small community has endured this past year. Today every athlete in every sport has a video camera and a computer. As coaches, we spend a lot of time watching unbelievable video of our athletes performing tremendous feats of athleticism. Not only do these videos provide amazing entertainment but they show what is possible in the world of sport. At what point though does it all go too far? I have watched some pretty scary footage over the past year of paddlers pushing their limits to what I would consider the extreme in order to capture the best video available. Not only are these videos viewed by thousands online, but they are praised and even awarded for progressing the sport. I can’t help but wonder what the balance of positive and negative influence this technology has on the youth who are also deciding what’s possible.

When it comes down to it, there are always more questions than answers and we do our best to move forward in a positive direction. I will personally miss my friend Peter and choose to be comforted by what he was able to contribute to this world in the short time he was with us. For all the paddlers out there, young and old, I encourage you to BE SAFE out there. Always put yourself first and always listen to the little voice in your head. Remember that you, and only you, know your limits and know when you are capable of pushing those limits or staying within them.

(Peter Thompson instructing at the SWKC Whitewater Camp)

Nationals Results

Here are the Full results from National Championships in Valleyfield, QC:

Sprint DR
Classic DR
Age Group Slalom Saturday
Sunday Slalom
Team Runs

Whitewater National Championships

WOW!!!! Super proud of the Saskatchewan/SWKC athletes competing today at National Championships in Valleyfield, QC!!!!

Kylie Zirk – 13yrs old, 1st Nationals, K1W & C1W Cadet – Silver (2nd) in Downriver Classic, Silver (2nd) in Downriver Sprint, Silver (2nd) in K1W Slalom, and GOLD (1st) in C1W slalom!!! BLING BLING!!!

Jakob Kryworuchko – 11yrs old, 1st Nationals, K1M Cadet – 8th in Slalom (1st in Cub Cadet but not Cub Cadet class this year so racing against 14yr olds)(also raced Downriver Sprint but do not have a result yet)

Maksym Kryworuchko – 15yrs old, 1st Nationals, K1M Junior – 8th in Downriver Classic, 11th in Downriver Sprint, and 8th in Slalom. First year Junior so racing against 18yr olds.

Ben Lapointe – 15yrs old, 3rd Nationals, K1M & C1M Junior – 14th in Downriver Classic, 12th in Downriver Sprint, 12th in K1M Slalom, and 9th in C1M Slalom. First year Junior so racing against 18yr olds. Unfortunately, Ben’s Junior National Team C2 partner Sam Fletcher injured his shoulder and was unable to paddle C2 with Ben.

Congrats to all the other competitors and many thanks to all the parents, volunteers, and coaches that make our sport so awesome!!!

Summer Kayak Camps

2012 Registration Package, click here:

SWKC 2012 Summer Kayak Camp Registration Package

Ages and Dates:
  • July 9-12: AM – ages 6-10; PM – ages 11-15
  • July 16-19: AM – ages 11-15; PM – ages 6-10
  • August 13-16: AM – ages 6-10; PM – ages 11-15
  • August 20-23: AM – ages 11-15; PM – ages 6-10

A Typical Camp Day:

  • 9:00 /1:00 – Meet at designated location
  • 9:00-9:30 /1:00-1:30 – Fun Warm Up
  • 9:30-10:00 /1:30-2:00 – Unload equipment, get dressed, safety talk
  • 10:00-10:45 / 2:00-2:45 – Kayaking
  • 10:45-11:00 / 2:45-3:00 – Snack break
  • 11:00-11:45 / 3:00-3:45 – Kayaking
  • 11:45-noon / 3:45-4:00 – Pack up equipment

Camp Locations:

  • Day #1 – Briarwood Lake
  • Day #2 – Victoria Boathouse (South Saskatchewan River)
  • Day #3 – Saskatoon Weir for talk, then Circle Drive Bridge (South Saskatchewan River)
  • Day #4 – Valley Road (South Saskatchewan River)

What each Participant needs to bring:              

  • Healthy snack in a ziploc bag
  • Swim Suit
  • Towel
  • Sun screen
  • Bug spray
  • Hat
  • Dry Clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses

Equipment Provided:

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • PFD
  • Spray Skirt
  • Helmet

Junior Team Trials News!!!!

May 28, 2911

Saskatoon Athlete Named to Junior National Whitewater Slalom Team

Ben Lapointe of Saskatoon has been named to the Canoe Kayak Canada Junior National Whitewater Slalom Team and will represent Canada at the upcoming Junior World Championships to be held this July in Wisconsin.  Lapointe and partner Sam Fletcher of British Columbia will compete in C2 (tandem canoe) events at the championships.

Lapointe’s selection was based on results at the Junior National Whitewater Slalom Team Trials held this past weekend in Kananaskis, Alberta.  He is the first Saskatchewan athlete ever to be named to a national whitewater slalom team.  The 15 year old is a member of the Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club, which was founded 3 years ago and is coached by Brendan Curson of Saskatoon.

Two other club members, Kylie Zirk and Maksym Kryworuchko also competed at the Junior National Team Trials.  Zirk’s results in C1 (single canoe) events would have qualified her for the team but she is unable to compete at the world championships because she is too young.  Earlier in the year Zirk also qualified for the Under 21 National Canoe Polo Team but is unable to compete at the world championships for the same reason.  Kryworuchko faced a tough field in the K1 (single kayak) event but had excellent results which bodes well for future team selection.

This was the first time competing at national teams for the 3 athletes.  They are all eligible for the junior national team again in 2013.

The Canoe Kayak Canada release can be found at the following link: http://canoekayak.ca/english/newsentry/view/361

Photos are available through Canoe Kayak Canada.  The contact information is included in the above release.

– 30 –

For local information please contact:

Jan Hanson

Executive Director

Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan




Demo Days!!!

Hey Folks,

Sounds like the weather might be half decent this weekend just in time for a couple demo days hosted by our local paddling shops. Whether you are looking for a new kayak or canoe or just want an excuse to go paddling this weekend check out these two demo days:
1) Saturday – Classic Outdoors will be at Erindale Pond from 12-5.
2) Sunday – Think Outside will be at the Victoria Boathouse from 12-5.
Come out and support our local paddling shops!!!

2012 SWKC Canada Day Family Whitewater Camp

 2012 SWKC Canada Day Family Whitewater Camp

The Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club would like to invite you, your family, and friends to participate in our 4th annual Canada Day Family Whitewater Weekend. Over the past four years this tremendous event has grown into what is now the only truly family centered and instructed whitewater camp in the west.

Based at the Curson Homestead west of Innisfail, Alberta, participants will have the opportunity to paddle on some of central Alberta’s finest whitewater rivers. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced paddling groups allow participants to choose the level at which they are comfortable and top certified instructors work with you to reach your paddling goals.


Curson Homestead – 25kms west of Innisfail, AB


Friday, June 29 through Monday, July 2

Instructor to Student Ratio

SWKC strives to maintain a 5:1 ratio so participants have the best possible learning experience


Individual – $125.00

Family – $125 for the first person; $100 for each additional person

Please RSVP by June 15, 2012 to Jen Kryworuchko at saskwhitewater@gmail.com


All ages welcome

Ability Categories


Has completed an introductory kayak course; No or limited whitewater experience OR uncomfortable on whitewater; No or limited rolling ability


Some experience on whitewater; Can roll 60% of the time; Willing to push yourself to the next step


Competent on Class II/III Whitewater; Solid roll; Willing to push yourself to excel

What you need

All participants are responsible for their own equipment – see equipment list


Participants must provide their own food

Group Meals:

Day 2 – Group BBQ at Glennifer Lake South boat launch recreation area

Day 3 – Peter’s Drive-In, Calgary


SWKC Club members will be staying at the Curson Homestead if they choose. There is limited room for additional tenting.

Local Camping includes:

  • Red Lodge Provincial Park
  • Glennifer Lake Camp Ground/Group Camp
  • Innisfail Camp Ground
  • James River Camp Ground



Day 1

10:00     Little Red Deer River – Site 17 to Green Cottonwood Bridge

14:00     Little Red Deer River – Kelly’s Campground to Little Red Deer Road Bridge

Day 2

10:00     Red Deer River – Dickson Dam to Thompson Ranch

14:00     Red Deer River – Dickson Dam to Thompson Ranch

Day 3

10:00     Kananaskis River – Canoe Meadows to Rafter’s Six

14:00     Kananaskis River – Canoe Meadows to Rafter’s Six

Day 4

10:00     Red Deer River – Mad Mile – Double Ledge to Cartier Creek

14:00     Red Deer River – Mad Mile – Double Ledge to Coal Camp Ledge


Day 1

10:00     Little Red Deer River – Site 17 to Green Cottonwood Bridge

14:00     Red Deer River – Dickson Dam to Thompson Ranch

Day 2

10:00     North Saskatchewan River – Green Bridge to Briarlies

14:00     North Saskatchewan River – Green Bridge to Briarlies

Day 3

10:00     Kananaskis River – Canoe Meadows to Rafter’s Six

14:00     Kananaskis River – Widowmaker to Canoe Meadows

Day 4

10:00     Red Deer River – Mad Mile – Double Ledge to Coal Camp Ledge

14:00     Red Deer River – TBD


Day 1

10:00     Red Deer River – Mad Mile – Double Ledge to Coal Camp Ledge

14:00     Red Deer River – S-Bend

Day 2

10:00     North Saskatchewan River – Green Bridge to Briarlies

14:00     North Saskatchewan River – Briarlies

Day 3

10:00     Kananaskis River – Widowmaker to Canoe Meadows

14:00     Kananaksis River – Widowmaker to Canoe Meadows

Day 4

10:00     Red Deer River – TBD

14:00     Red Deer River – TBD

Equipment List

Whitewater kayak appropriate to your learning level – if you require help choosing a kayak please ask





Wetsuit OR warm layered paddling clothing (neoprene shorts/pants + rash guard)

Rash guard

Paddling shoes

Paddling jacket and/or Drytop

Throwbag (advanced group)

Spring Introductory Sessions!!!!

Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club will be offering a new set of introductory kayak lessons for families and individual participants!!!! Whether you want to take on the world of whitewater or just want to learn to be safe in a kayak at your cabin, this will be a fun opportunity to get into kayaking in a warm safe environment.

Course runs Tuesday evenings from 7:30-8:45pm at the Saskatoon YMCA

Cost for the course is $60

To register please contact Jen or Barry at saskwhitewater@gmail.com then visit the Programs section of our website to print out a copy of our registration form.

Upcoming Spring Introductory Programs

Introduction to Kayaking – Spring has sprung in Saskatoon and it’s time to get ready for the summer lakes and rivers!!! Starting in April, SWKC will be hosting a new Introductory Kayak Course Tuesday nights from 7:30-8:45. This course is a great opportunity for your family members to learn the basics of kayaking and prepare you to take that step into whitewater or give you the skills to be safe on the lake.

Course details and registration to come!!!! Stay tuned!!!!

SWKC Canada Day Whitewater Camp – Canada Day weekend will once again play host to the SWKC Whitewater Camp. This year we will have instruction available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced paddlers!!!

Course details to come!!! Stay tuned!!!

Texas Winter Training Camp


The Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club recently had the opportunity to travel to San Marcos,Texas with athletes from Alberta and the USA to take part in a warm-weather training camp. With National Junior Team Selections looming on the horizon and dreams of attending Junior World Championships this was a perfect opportunity to spend some much needed time on whitewater. In all, 12 athletes and 2 coaches made the 3400 km trek to take advantage of the Texas heat and warm water including SWKC athletes Kylie Zirk and Maksym Kryworuchko, and coach Brendan Curson.

Though the drive there and back was long, the river and weather in San Marcos was worth the trip. The San Marcos River is spring fed and therefore is a beautiful 74 degrees year round. Due to the warm temperature, the river is host to hundreds of protected plants and is the perfect sanctuary for turtles and fish of all kinds. The whitewater site is a man-made facility built off an existing weir in the middle of town. Not only is it the perfect spot to practice kayaking, on hot days it is also a local hangout and filled with people swimming in and above the rapids.


Over the 8 days spent paddling in San Marcos, the kids worked on learning and refining new whitewater and slalom racing skills. Most of this time was spent at the whitewater park focusing on technical skills though various dryland workouts were added throughout to week to help build a larger repertoire of exercises they can continue at home. Coaches Brendan Curson (SK) and Mike Holroyd (AB) also organized two race simulations for the kids with local paddlers to give the athletes an opportunity to measure themselves against eachother and other paddlers their age.


When not paddling, the team spent time lounging in the sun and shopping at a local outlet mall. Much time was also spent chasing turtles and taking video and pictures. Each day, a pair of athletes were also responsible for shopping, cooking all the meals, and keeping the house clean. Being a highly competitive group, the daily routine was also made into a competition where meals and cleanliness were judged every night and awarded accordingly. This competition provided some great entertainment and fabulous meals.

One of the highlights of the trip was spending an afternoon paddling downstream from the course to where the river feeds an irrigation canal and drops over a waterfall!! The team stretched the trip over a full afternoon stopping to play at a small ledge, chasing turtles, and finally spending hours doing laps of the waterfall. athletes and coaches alike had a blast running the falls forwards, backwards, and even without paddles!!

The trip proved to be a tremendous success. Every athlete came home knowing they had gained new skills and feeling much more confident about themselves leading into the final training stretch before National Junior Team Selections.

If you are interested in learning to kayak or joining our great competitive program please visit the SWKC website www.saskwhitewater.wordpress.com and check out our upcoming programs and events.

Upcoming Community Kayak Instructor Courses!!!!!!!

Registration Forms – Community Kayak Instructor Program Course Information

The Whitewater Division of Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan has 3 Community Kayak Instructor Courses planned for March.  The deadline for registration is March 12th, 2012. 

This is an exciting new course that is ideal for teachers, lifeguards, high school and university students, youth coordinators, cultural leaders, and any one else interested in instructing people interested in learning basic kayak through a fun and safe progression of skills.  The program can be taught in a school or at a lakefront.  The attached information give you an overview of the course content, as well as information about dates, fees and how to register.

Please feel free to pass along this information to anyone who you feel would be interested.

If you have any questions about the course please feel to contact me or Brendan Curson who is the learning facilitator for the course.  Brendan’s contact information can be found in the attached information.  If you would like to know about any of the other coaching courses our organization offers please contact me. 



Jan Hanson

Executive Director

Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan



Great article on Safety from Jackson Kayak

The Subtleties of Safety

Paddling fires us up, especially when rain is coming. I get amped looking at the five day forecast. As a storm rolls east towards the Appalachians the excitement builds. Two days before a big storm, I will start rearranging my schedule, trying to free up time. One day before a big rainfall and I am on fire, the boat is loaded and gear is prepped! When the first raindrops start to fall, I always smile uncontrollably. Watching the shades of Green, yellow and red on the radar as the storm builds is beautiful to me. Much like an art buff would stare at a painting; I will stare at the colors on the radar. I know; I am sick. As the storm pounds, the rainfall gauges start rising. A few hours later and the river gauges rise! While non-paddlers are staying indoors and complaining about the awful rain, I will be stoked, trying to not hydroplane while driving to a put in!

With all of the great emotions swirling around in our heads as we plan and execute a paddling trip it is easy to cut a few corners when it comes to safety. We are all guilty of it. You left your airbags in your other kayak or lost your rope on the last trip and have not gotten the new one in the mail yet. There are a million reasons, good and bad why we are not as prepared as we could be for a paddling trip. But when we start to get amped for whitewater, everything looks promising and the glass is usually half full.

Accidents on the river seem to come in two forms. Pure accidents that nothing could have prevented or a few little mistakes that added up to a bad day or worst.

Personally, my crashes have always been due to making a few small mistakes. Maybe I did not wait for my buddies to set safety or I did not scout a familiar rapid and look for new wood. When the rivers are rising and the blood is pumping, it is easy to cut a corner on safety.

Our sport, as amazing as it is, is certainly not worth dying over. We have got to be as careful as we can out there. The little mistakes can snow ball and create an epic bad day. So, to help me and my buddies be safe I came up with the following list to remind us how subtle being safe can be.

I am sure many of you can improve upon my list so please add what you like and pass it on to newer boaters. This winter is possibly going to be the best creeking we have had in the southeast and as storms bring us record days of paddling we have to be more careful than ever! Charge hard knowing you did not cut corners on safety!

Kayak: 1. Be sure to choose the right boat for the run. Paddling a playboat on a steep creek may be more excitement than you bargained for. 2. Make sure your outfitting is properly adjusted: hip pads, back brace, thigh pads and bulkhead. 3. If your kayak has them, make sure the screws and bolts are tightened. Leaky boats and lose hardware can distract you.

Gear: 4. Wear a properly fitting rescue pfd and know how to use it. 5. Sport a good helmet that fits correctly. Full faces are way less expensive than a dentist! 6. A skirt implosion can ruin a day; does your skirt properly fit? Implosion bars are nice. 7. We all need good river shoes. 8. Having airbags in your boat is showing respect for your buddies. 9. Bring a breakdown paddle or spare hand paddles as a backup. 10. Got to have a throw rope and an easily accessible blunt tipped river knife. 11. Got a whistle on your pfd lapel? Are you wearing an easily viewable watch? 12. Carry a first aid kit, space blanket, head lamp, lighter and fire starter (cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly). A fire can really warm up a chilled boater. 13. Bring extra food and water. 14. Pin kits are simple (2 locking biners, 2 prusseks and webbing) 15. Attach your safety gear inside your kayak (ropes, spare paddles, first aid kits, etc.) 16. Unfortunately, cell phones have service around rivers now, carry one. 17. Are you dressed for the potential rescue or just for paddling? Drysuits make paddling safer. A drytop and shorts in the winter time or in cold water in the summer, outside of the southeast, is asking for trouble. 18. Do you have a map or knowledge on how to hike out? 19. Take a small boat repair kit (small drybag containing duct tape, vinyl mastic, hand towel and lighter).

Skills: 20. Do you have the paddling skills for the chosen river? 21. Are you physically fit enough for the trip? 22. Can you swim well with your paddle? Can you accurately throw a paddle? Practice. 23. Take WFA, CPR and Swiftwater Rescue Courses. 24. Practice freestyle swimming. It’s good exercise and may shorten a swim. Do you know how to swim in the river, where to swim, where not to? (We’re not talking whitewater swim position here!)

Throw Rope: 25. Make sure you know how to use a rope and practice throwing it. 26. Stuff it properly so it throws well. 27. Wet it before a throw. The water adds weight and produces a better throw. 28. Position yourself strategically before a throw. 29. Practice throwing it multiple times in a row. Make sure you can properly pull it back and throw again quickly if you miss. 30. Always take a rope with you when scouting. 31. Keep your rope in an easily accessible spot in your boat. 32. Don’t leave a stuck throw rope in the river. It can become a hazard. Cut out as much as possible.

Are you prepared? 33. Have you tested your new gear for comfort before hitting the river? Tight drysuit neck gaskets are going to distract you. 34. Plan a prior scouting mission before putting on a new run. Many rivers offer commercial rafting. A raft trip can help you learn lines and get a feel for if you are ready for the run. If it is a creek, try to hike it with no water before paddling. 35. Be aware of the access issues pertaining to the river. Know where to park, follow the rules. 36. Research and memorized the run: consequences, rapids and levels? American Whitewater, the internet and guidebooks are great resources. The more you know the safer you’ll be! 37. Try to get a good night sleep before a big day of boating. 38. Are you providing something to the team? (Logistics, skills, motivation, big shuttle rig). Got to bring something to the party!

Time to paddle: 39. Try to paddle with paddlers you know well. 40. Is the number of paddlers in your group optimal for the run? 3-4 is usually best. 41. Get an early start and do not put on too late. 42. Meet your buddies on time. Waiting on late paddling partners can stress people and rush a trip. 43. Make sure the river level is appropriate for the paddlers. 44. Check the weather forecast to make sure the level will not increase too high. 45. Empathize with your teammate’s weaknesses and strengths. Know their medical histories. 46. If the run is new to you, is there someone in the group who has the skill, knowledge and desire to show you down?

On the River: 47. Always be aware of where your paddling buddies are while on the river. 48. Taking safety breaks may not produce the safest trip. A lot of folks can paddle fine while using drugs, but they might be slower to help you out in an emergency. 49. Try to be considerate and do not rush your buddies or needlessly slow the trip. 50. There is no shame, be willing to portage or hike out of a run if you do not feel it. 51. Follow the golden rule: On the water you are responsible for everyone upstream of you! Stay close and eddy before going too far downstream to aid in a rescue. A good leader will spend more time looking upstream than downstream! Make sure your buddies are clear of the dangers before going downstream!

When deciding to paddle or portage a rapid: 52. When scouting, it is a good idea to recognize the dangers of a rapid before you start looking for your possible lines. 53. Be patient and wait for your team to set proper safety. 54. If you hear your inner voice trying to talk yourself into running a tough rapid by thinking one of the following: “I have made it in the past, it will work out!” or “My buddy made it and I am just as good as he is.” or “I want to paddle the whole run with no portages.” or the famous “This is a once in a lifetime chance, I better do it!”, it may be time to portage. 55. Before committing can you visualize paddling the rapid successfully five times?

Remember, as the great Mr. Ammons stated, “The measure of ones skill is not what you can do at your best, but how good you are at your worst.”

Accidents often occur due to a few small mistakes that snowball into a bad day. Safety is in the details. This list has kept me charging hard for 20 years, I hope it will help paddlers make good decisions. Please add any additions and share with newbies. Thanks and be safe!

Jeff West

Jackson Kayak TV


Finally, you can look forward to a new Video Magazine, Jackson style, called JKTV.    Nick and James Mcbeath schemed over how to do it, and Nick took the reigns.    Immediately, Nick recruited Dane to be part of the filming and production team and the two of them took off on the project.     You’ll find multiple segments, that include:

Trip Report, Gear Review, Tech Tips, “Indiana James”, Shot of the month, Team Spotlight, Local News, and more…

In this “Episode 1″ you’ll find:

Costa de Oro: Veracruz

Go Pro Hero 2 review

How to Back loop by Emily

Product manager and Fishing/Whitewater team member:  Damon Bungard

Indiana James and the “Oranga”

Stephen Wright makes the local news, tonight

Look for this playing at a laptop near you, EACH MONTH!, that is right 1 per month!   Awesome!



SWKC Canada Day Family Whitewater Weekend

Hey Folks,
Canada Day Weekend is fast approaching and the Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club is excited to once again be hosting their Family Whitewater Weekend!!!!
This year we will be travelling to the Curson Ranch west of Innisfail, AB to spend the weekend paddling some of Central Alberta’s best whitewater spots.
This family weekend is open to all paddlers no matter the age or style of boat you choose to paddle:) There will be WHITEWATER KAYAK instruction available for those who wish to partake for a fee (TBA) or feel free to utilize our fabulous location to go paddle some local lakes and rivers on your own.
Due to the fact that our club members here in Saskatoon have had limited access to whitewater this spring due to flooded conditions, we will be starting off easy and working our way up.
Instructed group schedule looks like this:
Friday, July 1
– AM – Innisfail – Little Red Deer River – Site 17 to Rge Rd 24
– PM – Innisfail – Red Deer River – Dickson Dam to Take Out Farm
Saturday, July 2
– AM – Rocky Mountain House – North Saskatchewan River – Train Bridge to The Briarlies
– PM – Rocky Mountain House – North Saskatchewan River – Option TBD
Sunday, July 3
– AM – Sundre – Red Deer River – Double Ledge to Coal Camp Ledge
– PM – Sundre – Red Deer River – Option TBD
Monday, July 4
– AM – Kananaskis – Kananaskis River – Widow Maker to Race Course
– PM – Kananaskis – Kananaskis River – Option TBD
Tuesday, July 5
– Kananaskis River or Red Deer River (Sundre) – Slalom Day
Once again, it is not a requirement to take part in the instructed group, if you want to join us for the weekend and paddle on your own please don’t let us hold you back. We will be located within 30 minutes of some of Alberta’s best whitewater rivers so don’t hesitate to join us for this tremendous family fun oriented weekend!!!
Other Notables:
– The Curson Ranch is located 25 kms west of Innisfail just South of the Cottonwood Rd on Rge Rd 25. There is a fully functioning house with kitchen and a large yard with pleanty of tenting space. If you have a trailer then you may want to book a spot at Red Lodge Provincial Park just down the road from us.
– For those of you who are staying at the Curson Ranch food will be POT LUCK. We will all be pitching in for purchasing food and I encourage you to show off your culinary skills!! As we have the house, cooking supplies are optional but you do have access to our kitchen. If you want to cook on your own please feel free to do so. If you are local and just want to join us during the day please supply your own food.
– Unless you are a member of our club and have already confirmed equipment with me you must provide your own equipment. I do have some extra gear in case of emergency.
– We will try to car-pool as much as possible so everyone can get to where they want to go.
– FIRES ARE TO BE LIMITED TO THE FIRE PIT AND KEPT SMALL. We are in the middle of a forest and the whole community os effected by fires. Please don’t burn down my house.
– This is a family event and there will be kids present so please limit any use of alcohol to a reasonable amount. I also have wonderful neighbours who don’t need to hear a drunken party. If you choose to bring drugs anywhere near my house I will choose to call the police. We are a family club and are always willing to share our fun family experiences with others but please respect the our club values.
– Safety on the river is our biggest concern so if you go paddling in your own group please practise safe boating
Please let me know if you plan to attend. Also please let me know if you want to take part in the instructed group so I can plan for numbers.
Pleas pass this information along to anyone you feel would be interested.
Hope to see you there!!!
Brendan Curson
SWKC Program Director

Think Outside Adventure Company

Hey Folks,
Take a moment this weekend to check out Saskatoon’s newest paddling shop, Think Outside Adventure Company. This is a tremendous little shop located across 19th street from the Farmer’s Market focusing on everything outdoors and offer sales, rentals, tours, and lessons in various outdoor activities. Corey Fisher and his pleasant, knowledgable staff will be happy to assist you in finding whatever you need.
Think Outside is located at 331 Ave A South next to Escape Sports which makes this a great little spot to get all your shopping done. They can be reached at 306-933-9553 or you can follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ThinkAdventure

SWKC Canada Day Whitewater Weekend

Hey Folks,
The Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club is hosting another great Canada Day Whitewater Paddling weekend from July 1-3. Here are the details:
– Based at the Curson household west of Innisfail, AB. Lots of camping room available and no cooking equipment or utensils needed:)
– Friday on the North Saskatchewan River west of Rocky Mountain House
– Saturday on the Red Deer River west of Sundre
– Sunday on the Kananaskis River in Kananaskis Country
– Family fun oriented weekend
– Potluck meals with all participating families or provide your own.
– Price TBA – Instruction fee based on numbers of participation and numbers of instructors. 
We would like to invite the Saskatchewan paddlers who would like to attend a fun family oriented whitewater paddling event. If you are interested please contact Brendan Curson at brendancurson@yahoo.ca and Ron Lapointe at ronlapointe@hotmail.com
Please pass along this information to those you feel may be interested.
Hope you can join us!!!
Brendan Curson
SWKC Program Director

SWKC Summer Kayaking Planning Meeting

Hey Folks,
We will be hosting a Summer Kayaking Planning Meeting to go over club events and options for the summer. The meeting will be:
Sunday, May 15 – 4:00pm at Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre
The meeting will be followed by our club drop-in night from 5:00-6:30
Come out and see what we are up to this summer!!
See you there!!

May/June Programs

Hey Folks,

Here is the schedule for May and June:


Advanced/Comp Group:

  • Saturday – 10-12 – Harry Bailey
  • Tuesday/Thursday – 6:30-8:00pm – Locations TBA
  • $100 unless you have already paid


  • Intro courses will begin again in the Fall


  • Sunday evenings from 5:00-6:30pm
  • Limited Instruction available
  • $10 per session for an individual
  • $20 per session for a family
  • $30 for the Month for an individual
  • $50 for the Month for a family


Advanced/Comp Group:

  • Tuesday/Thursday – 6:30-8:00pm – on the river
  • Some day trips to Coteau Power Plant Rapids (Lake Deifenbaker)
  • Price TBD 

April/May Registration Night – Sunday, March 27

Hey Folks,
Saskatoon Whitewater Kayak Club will be hosting a registration night on Sunday March 27 from 5:00-6:30pm at the Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre. This is your chance to register for April and May paddling courses through SWKC.
There will also be a drop-in paddling night for anyone who would like to hang out and paddle.
Courses include:
 Youth and Family Intro Course:
Sunday Evenings from 5:00-6:30 – Introduction to Kayaking – $100.00
April 3,10,17, and May 1 (exculudes April 24 – Easter Sunday) 
Youth Competitive Program:
Saturday mornings from 10:00-12:00. Slalom and Kayak Polo – $200.00
April 9,6,23,30
May 7,14,21,28
See you there!!!
Brendan Curson
SWKC Program Director

2011 Churchill River Whitewater Festival

Hey Folks,

Mark your calendar for July 1-3, 2011 and come on out to Saskatchewan for the Churchill River Whitewater Festival. This fabulous event is an annual tradition in Saskatchewan and whether you paddle canoe, kayak, beginner or expert there is something for everyone.

Warm, big whitewater is the main draw of the Churchill River but the real fun happens Canada Day weekend! This year the whitewater festival will include freestyle, slalom, river running, and of course fabulous off-water festivities. 

As always, the Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipi, SK will host the festival which will be based at Barker Island on the Churchill River. Events are taking place at Surf City and Mosquito Rapids but if adventure is what you are looking for the rest of the Churchill is your playground. Whitewater isn’t all we have though as the Churchill is home to some of the most beautiful, family-friendly paddling in all of Canada so if you want to tour around in a canoe or touring kayak just bring your fishing pole and enjoy the sun and scenery.

To register for this year’s festival contact Ric Driediger at ric.crco@sasktel.net. You can also check out photos from past festivals and the Churchill river at http://www.churchillrivercanoe.com/gallery.htm.

Updated Website!!!

The SWKC website has finally been updated!!! Check out our new Programs section for 2011 programming as well as new updates in Who’s Who and Contacts for provincial whitewater information.

Also congrats to our Program Director Brendan Curson for being named the new Whitewater representitive for Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan as well as Saskatchewan’s representitve to Canoe Kayak Canada.

Come back soon for future updates especially in our events section as things start to pick up.