01690 720214

Intromediate White Water Kayak

Course Overview

A five day course on grade II and III white water designed for kayakers who have some white water experience but lack the confidence to move on to the intermediate course. Whether you have limited experience on moving water, you've had a knock in confidence due to a 'big swim', or you've simply been 'out of your boat' for a few years, this course is an ideal confidence booster. Initially you'll spend time consolidating your existing paddling skills before developing your balance and moving on to more advanced techniques. You will also enjoy a more in-depth insight into river reading, rescue and further develop your roll. The course should help you become more comfortable and relaxed on the water so you'll enjoy your paddling more than you ever thought possible.

Experience Required

Some white water experience, able to perform a flat 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 a confidence booster. If you've been out of your boat for a while, or fancy having your confidence increased this course has a combination of coaching and river miles that will do just that. You should have the basics and be able to paddle a kayak round a controlled course including ferries, break in and out on Grade 1-2 water. You must be able to roll on flat water. You should also be reasonably fit.

Course Content

The week starts with consolidation of your existing skills, making use of our heated training pool and local venues.  After an induction session, students may use the training pool without staff supervision for extra practice during any spare time.  Later we will travel to locations around North Wales for coaching and training on white water.  

The following is a list of the canoeing techniques we aim to cover:

  • Revision of the foundation skills

  • Rolling Coaching

  • Trip preparation, coaching and planning

  • Kayak equipment and clothing

White Water

  • Ferries and crosses

  • Eddying in and out

  • Surfing waves

  • White water safety and rescue procedures

  • White water grading

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

Great Course


I attended this course to experience White Water Kayaking for the first time. (I had a decent amount of previous Sea Kayaking experience behind me, so therefore had decent balance and paddling skills). This course was spot on for me, the skills progression from day to day gave me the confidence to tackle grade 2 rivers (such as the Upper & lower Tryweryn). Although I'd never 'rolled' before, I managed my first 'hand rolls' using hand pads during the rolling clinics. This course is suitable for those with decent paddling skills, a good level of fitness, and reasonable balance. The ability to roll is obviously an advantage, but I managed ok without it (I need to work on it!)

Really excellent course

James Bruton

Learned loads and had a lot of fun. It's good that there's flexibility and scope to tackle more challenging stuff depending on whether you feel comfortable with it or not. There was great camaraderie among the attendees and the instructors made it very enjoyable while imparting a lot of whitewater knowhow. Would definitely recommend this course and hoping to get on another one soon.

Brilliant week - real progress made, skills developed.

Steve P

PYB deliver again. This was my third course as I begin my paddling adventure and it was the best yet. The real highlight is the instruction from Andy. His natural enthusiasm for paddling is clear and never fades throughout the week. Andy provides clear coaching and skills/drills that are tailored to the group and individual alike. He also recognizes the needs of the individual and importantly how they are feeling at any point through the week as energy levels and confidence vary. This personal attention creates an environment for learning, provides confidence to push on and best of all a really great time on the river.

Thanks Andy for a great week, thanks PYB for another great course.

A very enjoyable week

Wayne Kilborn

Although I started kayaking quite a few years ago, I am not a member of a kayaking club and I don't go paddling on a regular basis, and when I do, it's nearly always just a short flat water trip. Therefore I regularly come to PYB to get my "fix" of paddling on white water, under the watchful eye of the PYB instructors. Well done Jon (Spike) and Chris for your expert guidance and instruction, and for making it an exciting and very enjoyable week.

Just a perfect day...or two!!

Bob Gibbs

Under the enthusiastic guidance of Chris and 'Sid', I had a few 'perfect days' enjoying some sporty white water in N Wales (albeit it was a bit dry!). Excellent instruction combined with safe practice and play spots made this a great few days to build confidence, improve skills and extend kayak knowledge.
Accommodation, food and hospitality were excellent - important considerations when you are paddling on cold rivers for a few hours.

Special thanks to Chris Evans for his endless cheerfulness on the coldest of days!
Would happily recommend this course to anyone wishing to extend and/or consolidate their kayaking skills.

Thanks to all.
PS Please spell 'intermediate' correctly (it is not 'intromediate'!)

A Great Week !

Jules Horton

From arrival at Plas y Brenin on the Sunday night through to leaving the following Friday afternoon, I can only say the staff, reception, cooks, cleaners, instructors and all were brilliant.
Friendly, helpful and full of tips and ideas to think about.
It turned out there were just four on my course with one instuctor (Ben) assigned to us all week. This ratio was spot on, allowing some great coaching tailored to the individual rather than generic to the group.
We spent a couple of days on the Dee (the only reasonably local river in condition) before the rain gods smiled, bringing the Conwy up.. Bryn Bras falls here we come!
Back to the Dee again for further hilarity on the Serpents Tail and playing in the wave at Mile End Mill. All the while subject to Ben's sharp eyed observations and tips for improving.
I must say his way suited the group well, he kind of had a 'thought for the day' for each person and didnt overload my already taxed brain!
Last day was spent surfing waves on Anglesey which was great fun.
The decisions reached on where to go and what to do were all made as a group, flexible and democratic..
Overall, A great week, great place and great people.
I will be back in the Spring for the full intermediate course and some sea kayaking... Can't wait!

Fantastic week with a great coach


Plenty of river miles (the Dee and the Treweryn) with varying degrees of difficulty leading up to a couple of grade four runs at the end of the week. Chris was spot on - a great coach who was also excellent company on the trips. No dramas just calm (but gently challenging) instruction. I would definitely recommend this course and PYB (the food was absolutely fantastic).


Moya Neale

Having not 'been out of my boat for a while or had a nasty knock', I wasn't sure whether to go for the Intromediate or Intermediate course. I am SO glad I went for the former, which was perfect for skills and confidence building, even though I'd spent more time on white water than the rest of the group (who all did depressingly well!).
We spent the first day on the Dee at Llangollen, fairly straightforward practice on breaking in/out/hopping, ferry glides etc, but of course still plenty of tips on how to do it better. There was enough water to go down the Llugwy direct from the centre on Tuesday with more practice on slightly faster water at the start. We looked at and ran a couple of rapids - was good to have leaders showing confidence in us -portaged the Grade 4 and Impossible ones. Wednesday was the upper Tryweryn with yet more practice on even faster water - we were getting more confident, some of us even a bit better at getting eddies (not me!). Thursday was the lower Tryweryn, a chance to put everything into practice and cope with fairly continuous faster water and Friday back to the Dee above Llangollen. Catching eddies we would have missed earlier in the week, looking at the upcoming waves with anticipation rather than fear!
So it was a great mix of practice and river trips, with relevant tips for each individual and a great sense of support. As well as fun! There were times in the middle of the week I wondered why I was there, but by the end, I knew it had been worth it.
A few of us used the rolling pool a couple of nights, and one coached pool session with excellent tips. Some of the group went to the climbing wall a few times.
And sharing a room was actually great - a chance to meet someone the night before, share concerns, walk into breakfast with. The rooms are great, the food fantastic, the showers wonderful. I'd taken extra kit, but the drying rooms are good. And a wetsuit, rash vest, and cag was enough to keep me warm (almost too warm one day).

Excellent coaching, relaxed atmosphere

Martynn Randall

A week of white water kayaking, where the course content is tailored to the needs/aspirations of the students.
Good quality instruction from someone who can 'walk the walk', not just talk, delivered in an informative, non-patronising manner with a pinch or two of humour.
The accommodation and food isn't 5*, but it's a whole lot better than getting changed in a carpark, and eating pasties!
Thoroughly enjoyed it - many thanks!

Great Course

Chris Elsworth

Wasn't sure whether I would be out of my depth as came with very little white water kayak experience. Instructors were brilliant - thanks Dan and Adam! Took us through the basics on the Dee and then three days on the Tryweryn, with a few evenings honing up pool rolling. A wonderful mixture of learning and lots of laughter in beautiful environment. We all improved beyond our initial goals. Must pay tribute to the quality of instructors: they really coached each person according to their specific needs - always with a sense of humour! Have got so much more confidence to tackle those rivers I've always wanted to. Plas y Brenin is a magic location - such a good vibe with folk involved in all sorts of courses. Will be back.

An Excellent Revision of Core Skills and More Advanced Paddling

Jon Wickham

I went on this course with two star skills from a few years ago and a few recent paddles on grade 3 rivers with more experienced friends. I needed to consolidate and improve my existing skills and this is exactly what I got. The Instructor (Chris Evans) was an excellent teacher, building up our skills each day so we could take on more challenging sections of white water. Lots of time was spent perfecting basic skills in gradually more challenging environments, enabling us to go on to improve in the future. Lack of rain limited where we could paddle, but every day we did something new and never felt like we were stagnating.

As ever the Plas y Brenin accommodation, food, organisation and atmosphere was excellent. This was my fourth course with the Brenin, and I will definitely go back to do more.

Intromediate - excellent course

Craig Burkinshaw

I did the intro course last year but had little experience before that. The Intromediate moved on a little bit from that and was perfect for me. As ever the instruction was absolutely fantastic - the instruction quality is one of the main reasons I really like PYB.

Great Week


Doing this course in July meant that the river levels were low and we were restricted to running the Dee and the dam released Tryweryn however as these were both new to me it did not matter. The coaching was the best I have ever received. Chris was a quality coach and knew everything there was to know. We did a lot of breaking in and out practice till and learnt a lot about reading rivers and safety. All the equipment and boats are top quality. Best bit personally was running the most of the upper Tryweryn. The only criticism is that I would have liked to have spent even longer on the water. Overall a fantastic week full of learning and fun with plenty of adrenaline at parts.

very impressed

Martin Green

I was very impressed with the quality of the instructors.I would gladly come back for further instruction with them. I have basically got out of the course what I wanted plus a bit more. I wanted to find how bad I was after a 3 year lay-off. With their halp I have found that I'm not too bad.

My comment about the course is that it is preceivd as a stepping stone to paddling alpine rivers. In my case at 57, with my first grandson and living in Kent this is unlikely. I'm stuck with three concrete ditches or long drives to any other white-water. So I would have liked a course which looked at river running in playboats or at least playing while river running.

Brilliant Fun

Tom Allen

Excellent course, we got to do lots of different grade 2 and 3 rapids. Very friendly instructors.

Very enjoyable, gave me the confidence to push my boundaries

Daniel Millwood

I really enjoyed the course. As it was in July, river levels were low so we were limited to paddling stretches of the Dee and the Tryweryn but these gave us plenty of opportunities to try out our skills and the warmer water meant it was easier to stay warm after the odd swim.

We had two coaches, which was great as the group could be split into two different levels of ability, allowing everyone to try out skills at a suitable level for themselves.

I felt very confident with the coaches. They are the best coaches I have worked with on the different courses I have been on.

Thanks, Daniel


This course was just what I needed to improve my confidence on white water. The instructors were very good and encouraged me to try new things that I would not have contemplated before. My main aims were to boost my confidence and become more independent on rivers and I achieved both of these. I would highly recommend this course as you can get a lot out of it.

I was also able to spend quite a lot of time perfecting my role in the pool at the centre which was very helpful. I was also able to try out a different boat on the rivers even though I went with my own boat; this proved to be excellent.



Excellent course, recommend it. My 7th visit to Plas y Brenin, so they must be doing something right. Instructors were excellent: Rosemary (really cool helmet - please don't replace it!), Ann, Helen and Chris (another cool helmet!) - all top flight. And of course great paddling every day, I genuinely found myself looking forward to getting my gear on, none of the nerves I usually get. And of course a great bunch of fellow paddlers. And then there's the food ... the cake ... the beer ...

The Perfect week

Tony Davies

This weeks course was meant to reintroduce me to white water paddling after breaking my shoulder a few years ago. I wanted to :

  • Get a critical analysis of any white water roll I still retained
  • Roll up in an unplanned capsize on white water
  • Have a good weeks "holiday"
  • Paddle the Trweryn

    In actual fact I achieved much more than that. The most important feature of the whole week was the brilliant company of both the group and the amazing instructors. Spike, Ben Ben and the very stylish paddler- Ann all gave superb timely input that I genuinely feel a new confidence for any grade three river and my last drop on the Friday was a grade four- loved it,thanks to Spike's pointers in getting the right line.

    The progression of the week was just right with a combination of the basics ie ferrygliding but the minute you looked ok Spike threw in another factor to aim for and I realized by day two that I was feeling quite comfortable on white water I would not have before. The best trip for me though was to paddle up the canal from Mile End Mill and then paddle all the way to end up on the Llangollen town rapids I used to look at those rapids as a child when visiting and they looked huge then. . I felt nervous but ran the rapids no problems and was greeted with a huge grin from Claire who had rolled up in the rapid - even though she was in a barge....

    Finally we ran the lower Trweryn- another fantastic trip - one that I will do again soon.

    You might have gathered by now that I would definately say to anyone considering this course - do it.

    I also learnt a new favourite word AUTOBOOF

    Cheers -Tony

    George Wallsgrove

    I had an amazing week, Everything about the course was really good - the facilities, food (although I couldn't physically eat the amount I got given!) but most of all our Instructor. Ben was just fantastic and made the course what it was.

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

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

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