01690 720214

Performance White Water Kayaking

Course Overview

Intermediate or advanced white water paddlers will find this two-day personal improvement programme a perfect way to hone their paddling skills . High staff to student ratios combined with top level coaching give maximum opportunity for improvement.

Experience Required

competent grade II paddler with some experience of grade III and a reliable moving water roll.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who is it for?
This course is for kayakers who want to improve their white water skills and progress on to harder rivers.  The minimum standard of paddling required is:

  • Confident on Grade II - break in and out, cross the current, find a route

  • Some experience of Grade III

  • Be paddling fit

  • Have a reasonable moving water roll

Course Content
The weekend starts with consolidation of your existing skills, allowing us to observe and discuss with you your specific needs.  We may use our heated indoor training pool, and will travel to locations around North Wales for coaching and training on white water skills.   Areas covered may include:

  • Breaking in and out, ferry-gliding, avoiding stoppers

  • Boat positioning skills, accuracy and timing

  • Wave surfing techniques

  • Eskimo rolling in white water

  • Reading and using white water, planning your route down a rapid

  • Scouting, river running and leadership

  • White water safety and rescue techniques appropriate at this level

  • Trip planning and preparation

Useful Books

Kayak by William Nealy
Whitewater Kayaking by Ray Rowe
White Water Safety and Rescue by Franco Ferrero
Guide Book �.. The Welsh Rivers by Chris Sladden

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Kayak or canoe hire
    Secure boat storage (if you choose to bring your own boat)
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Personal paddling clothing

  • Footwear to cope with bank and boat

  • Swimming costume/trunks

  • Warm clothes for when you get off the water

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Towel

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Bouyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • High factor sun screen

  • Midge repellant

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Notebook and pen

  • Dry bag

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

  • Throwline

  • Noseclip/ear plugs if you use them

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores free of charge so you don't need to rush out and buy them.

  • Wetsuit

  • Paddling cag

  • Buoyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Dry bag

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

Our equipment stores stock wetsuits socks, noseclips and ear plugs which you can purchase if you find you need them during your course

Customer Reviews For This Course

Tailor made performance coaching

Ian Lambert

I enrolled on the Performance White Water Kayak course as an introduction to modern white water kayaking techniques and equipment (plastic boats!) after many years absence.

The course was excellent, everything I was looking for and totally flexible to different ability levels/aspirations.

Expert and perceptive coaching from Chris Evans maintaining the right balance of critique, motivation and fun. This combined with clear competence and guidance on safety, river and community behaviour.

Plas y Brenin is a superb venue in any event and able to manage variations in rainfall / water levels without compromise to the course.

Highly recommended.

An absolutely wonderful weekend all round.

Chris Bellamy

I have driven past Plas Y Brenin for years on my way to Llanberis, and always assumed that it would be like any other Outdoor Centre. I could not have been more wrong, it was a truly wonderful weekend from start to finish. Every bit of bit was super - instruction, food, accommodation, facilities, location. Thanks you so much!

Brilliant fun, great coaching, fantastic water

Gordon Kediie

Heading to PYB for the Performance White Water weekend turned out to be money well spent! Putting myself at the intermediate level and with Ian and Claire also on the course of a similar level the group dynamics worked really well which was a big relief. Back this up with our coaches ability (Chris Evans) to bring the best out of us and always highlight our positives the course was exceptional at pushing my paddling form cautious grade 3 paddler to loving anything Chris could through at us! The water was running high and increasing as the storm was just beginning to batter the mainland (Oct 26&27) and for this reason and to check out abilities Chris took us on the Llugway where we went through power transfer, vertical paddle strokes and boofing. Once this was mastered, well almost we set off to Js bridge the slot and my highlight running Cobdens(?) fall, never believed that 2 hours ago I would be running that one, even if the line was unconventional. After more paddling we headed back to PYB where the tea and cakes fill a hole before dinner. In the meantime the debrief with video feedback was great, truly worth seeing ones self paddle and having a good instructor pick out the positives and of course one or two areas to work on. The next day although tired and with the water even higher we headed for the Galslyn which was a short blast where we practiced an unexpected mid stream rescue, where the whole group took tips away. After a dry lunch in the warmth of PYB we headed for the Nant Grwyryd; which I must say a Mountain stream in spate was miles away from my cautious grade 3 and a real hoot, making ones brain constantly think and run on adrenaline all the way to Garth farm falls! Who would of thought that for a couple of hundred pounds some good company, warm food and great coaching that one could learn so much in a short weekend? I can't wait until next time, Cheers Chris.

A Top Weekend with Top Coaches

Simon Allen

As the third of the Norfolk Four, I can only echo what Pete and Tom have already said below - come on this course and you'll leave a better paddler, without a doubt. This was our second time on the course, but it certainly won't be our last.
The main strength of the course is that it's completely syllabus-free. This means that the coaches can tailor its content to suit your needs really well, so the benefits are easily seen. Our first day, spent on a 16 cumec Upper Tryweryn, was brilliant, we spent loads of time perfecting the skills we already had, and we were soon styling it down a surprisingly quiet river. The second day, on the Llugwy from PYB to Forestry, was excellent too; as well as furtheringtechnical skills we covered a bit of river-reading and leading, and even had a crack at Cobdens at a nice medium level, which was really great. It would have been even greater if we'd run the main line and not the 'canoeing line' - the chicken chute!
All in all the weekend was fantastic. Pete Catterall and Chris Evans were hilarious - they got stuck in with the coaching and the banter in equal measure, the centre itself is great, the food is delicious, the rooms peaceful (apart from the snoring. And the midnight trumpet...) Sign up - you won't regret it!

Excellent Weekend again

Pete Sykes

Another fantastic weekend with Pete C and Chris E. We paddled the Upper Tryweryn on 16 cumecs and after a night of rain the Llugwy from the centre down. The week was physically quite tough but I gained loads from the coaching and I found that my paddling was improving greatly as the weekend went on.
The evening lecture by Pete was really good and gave us lots of Swiss Ball exercises and drills to do when back home........... on the flat.
This was the second time our Norfolk gang had been on this course and we will definitely will be returning next year for a pre season tune up. I really cant say enough good things about this course.
I would say though to get the most from the course it is best that you can at least paddle to the grades recommended as you will gain so much more from the course if you can concentrate on the techniques and skills being taught rather than just hanging on by the skin of your teeth. Our gang gained loads from being on rivers we had paddled before and really working them hard. Highlights were running the Upper Tryweryn with nearly double the amount of water in it im used to and finally getting the courage up to run Cobdens Falls (even if it was the chicken chute. Top tip - dont spend to long in the Brenin Bar on Friday night as the course hits the ground running.
Text book boating weekend again. Thanks to Pete, Chris and all the centre staff.

Complete the weekend and become better paddler than you are now. FACT!

Tom Ralph

This is my second year on this excellent course. First with Dino then Pete; both guys were just the best to paddle with. Confidence and technique were concentrated on all weekend. The tuition is bespoke to what you want and need. I have come away a better and happier paddler.
Well done chaps. Well done PYB. See you next year.

A Fantastic course

Olly Quinton

As the boys have already said above, this is a brilliant course to attend if you are a solid G2/3 paddler looking to improve on your paddling skills, timing, tactics, river reading and confidence. Our instructors for the weekend, Pete Catterall and Chris Evans were fantasic in providing top quality coaching, and were happy to adapt the course to suit the individuals needs/aims. They are also a great laugh! It's the second time I've been on the course, and each time I've come away having learned something new whilst brushing up on some of the basics, but always I've come away smiling from such a great weekend! As for the centre, the rooms are warm and comfortable, the food is brilliant (as is the bar!) and you can hire the latest kit from the stores if you've forgotten anything. Overall, I can't rate it highly enough and I'll certainly be back next year.

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

Other Courses you should consider?

Intermediate White Water Kayaking

Also consider this

Also consider this

Rolling Clinic

Also consider this

Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Contact our team on 01690 720214 or email - they will be happy to help you find something perfect.

Adventure Sports
Coaching Conference

Adventure Sports Coaching ConferenceOur inaugural Adventure Sports Coaching Conference will seek to explore the role of coach developers in adventure sports performance.


Christmas and New YearOn behalf of all the team at Plas y Brenin, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a H....


Scottish Winter Courses 2018Starting January 2018, our Scottish Winter courses are timed to make the most of the incredible wint....


Winter WarmersAs the nights begin to draw in and the temperature starts to drop, Plas y Brenin are pleased to offe....


Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....


BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....

What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here

Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.

Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Adventure Map

Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.