01690 720214

Complete Three Star (Training and Assessment) Canoe

Course Overview

The Three Star award is a big deal these days and although the training can be complete in two days, our coaches feel this can be too intense for many paddlers.This five day programme allows you to complete the three star training within a more digestable 4 days so you'll really get to grips with those skills before your assessment on the final day.
The award is discipline specific and is the pre-requisite for BCU Level 2 certificate in coaching paddlesport.

Experience Required

Two Star skills, though the award itself is not a requirement.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.


You should be a keen paddler with two star skills (please bring proof with you if you have the 2 star award but it is not essential). Previous experience of moving water is advantageous but not essential. Please bring your logbook with you.

Course Content

Over the first four days we will be using local lake and river venues to cover the three star syllabus. Our high staff to student ratio ensures that you receive individual attention throughout the course. The course will cover:

Personal Paddling Skills

  • Lifting, carrying and launching/landing

  • Efficient forward paddling

  • Efficient reverse paddling

  • Turns whilst on the move

  • Moving sideways, both static and on the move

  • Supporting, both static and on the move

  • Entering, crossing and exiting a simple flow

  • Poling

  • Sailing

  • Securing

  • Painter use (launching, shallows, securing to a jetty etc.

Rescue Skills

  • Capsize, swim and self-rescue

  • Deep-water rescue

  • Towing and use of towing aid

Safety, Leadership & Group Skills

  • Personal risk management

  • Awareness of others

  • Paddle a section of open water in wind conditions of Beaufort Force 3 as part of a led group


  • Equipment (including paddle selection and injury prevention)

  • Safety

  • Weather

  • Wellbeing, health and first aid

  • Access

  • Environment

  • Planning

  • Group awareness

  • General knowledge

  • Navigation

  • Etiquette

The assessment

During the final day you will do your 3 star assessment. We will cover as many aspects of the 3* syllabus as time and conditions allow. The assessment will include open water with winds not above Beaufort Force 3 and grade 1 moving water. Below are the links for the 3* syllabus and assessor notes, which will outline the skills you will be developing and then assessed in.

BCU 3* syllabus

BCU 3* assessor notes

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 equipment

  • Footwear to cope with bank and boat

  • Swimming costume/trunks

  • Warm clothes for 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 sunscreen

  • Midge repellant

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Notebook and pen

  • BCU logbook/paperwork

  • Dry bag

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

  • Safety and rescue kit (you would normally carry)

  • Cheque book for any BCU fees due

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)

  • All safety and rescue kit

For safety and rescue courses only a dry suit will be provided if required

Customer Reviews For This Course

Amazingly fun


Really enjoyed the week, highlight of my year

This course is really amazing and very well led and instructed !!!

Christopher James prior

I have to say this was a really good course that well well set out from start to finish chris our instructor was very kind considerate and well knowledges in paddling . I attended a white water sea and surf course her nearly 12 years ago whic he led and it was just amazing !! The standard of leadership and instructional shill had exceeded my expectations of the course and help up the good name pyb has for its courses. Chris is an inspiration to us all and should be commended for his efforts ! His ability to break it down and cater for everyone's needs and different styles of leaning especially a dyslexic like my self , makes him as great a coach as he is ! I will be attending more paddling courses in the future especially if chris is leading it !! Thanks plas y brenin for yet another great course and fun week. Hope to see you soon in October/November for level 2 coach training .

Yours sincerely

Christopher James Prior

Superb Experience

Graham Smith

Before I write my review, I think it relevant to mention that I have spent a significant amount of my employed life working in the adventure travel industry as an expedition leader.
The centre: PYB is in a stunning location, with all amenities on site and of a high standard. I liked all of the photographs about the place. The meals were great and there was always more than enough food. The room was neat and tidy.
The Coaches: Dave Luke led us for 2 days - He was charming, charismatic and showed his lifetime of experience. He explained things in a straight forward way, which made it easy to understand the subtle improvements he was looking for.
Chris Evans led us for the final 3 days - Once again his experience, and his own natural fluid paddling style were used to demonstrate how we could make things easier for ourselves.
I would rate both coaches as exceptional.
Other staff: All of the staff who produced the meals, served beer, and ensured we had a good time were polite, happy, and very helpful. I would like to highlight one person - Josie the Irish lass. She was exceptional - Always smiling, happy to serve behind the bar, happy to help me do some rolling in the pool in the evening, and happy to help other staff when they were busy.
Overall Impression: I was sad to leave, and I am already trying to find a way to get back to PYB as soon as possible.

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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