Rough water and tidal paddling with Gordon Brown


Paddling in rough water, caused by wind, swell or tidal currents, is great way to develop your paddling skills.During this course, you will learn the following:

Developing efficiency and effectiveness; Strokes to use in rough water; Turning techniques into skills; What makes the water rough; Different types of rough water and how to read what is happening.


“I did the rough water course this past week with Gordon Brown. What an absolute pleasure to spend time on the water learning from an expert. We had 3 experienced paddlers as learners with collective experience of about 30 years of paddling and all of us took away MULTIPLE tricks, tips and improvements from this course. I am continually blown away by the caliber of the people we have teaching kayaking here in Victoria and by how lucky we are to learn from some of the best in the world. I am looking forward to finding the time to do some of the other courses that Gordon offers as I continue to unlearn bad habits picked up over the years and replace them with much more efficient options”.

Four of us did a two-day rough water kayak course with Gordon. The first weekend we went out of Oak Bay Marina and I couldn’t believe how much I learned just heading out to Trial Island where we learned how to deal with strong currents, then back along the shore to the Marina. After 6 or 7 hours, we had all learned a lot, even though we’d been paddling for decades. The second day we left from Whiffin Spit in Sooke. There were standing waves, wicked winds, and rolling surf to play and learn in. The whole time, Gordon paced us expertly, giving us time to practice each skill in the best conditions to learn, before moving onto the next skill. I would highly recommend getting your paddling skills tuned up with Gordon!


There are a few prerequisites for this course. You should be comfortable paddling in small waves and have a working brace as well as basic manoeuvring skills, you should also have completed a wet exit in cold water. The ability to rescue and be rescued would be a benefit. Having a wetsuit or drysuit will allow you to spend more time in the learning zone.

Waiver/Medical Forms

Please review the following form prior to your program. Please sign/initial the form in the presence of your instructor/guide, who will act as your witness.

Ocean River Sports Waiver (PDF)


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We're located in Downtown Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saturna Island.
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