Youth Kayak Festival Coming April 17-19

Do you have a son or daughter interested in learning a thrilling new outdoor sport? Whitewater kayaking might be for them – and the upcoming Cowichan River Youth Kayak Festival could be the perfect introduction.

Cowichan River Youth Kayak Festival

Photo Courtesy of Canoe Kayak BC

The 3rd Annual Cowichan River Youth Kayak Festival takes place on April 17-19 (Friday to Sunday) on the Cowichan River, just west of Duncan. At this three day event, participants will safely learn the skills of whitewater kayaking. There’s something for all kayaking abilities, from beginner to expert. On Friday night, at the pool, youth will learn how to get into and wet exit from their kayaks. They will learn how to do hip flicks, T rescues, self rescues (rolls), and hand rolls (for the more advanced). Saturday and Sunday will consist of lake and river paddling. There will be class one (flat water kayaking), class two (moving water kayaking), and class three (whitewater kayaking) trips. Participants will also learn safety, basic strokes, pealing out, ferrying, eddying out, river reading, and terminology.

The event is coordinated by Dan Norman, who runs the Brentwood College outdoor rec. program. Dan was a solo canoeist on the National Whitewater Slalom Team. He has organized countless slalom races in his career (including the Cowichan River Slalom Race), and has been teaching whitewater kayaking and canoeing for decades.

COST: Entry fees for this 3 day event cover Canoe Kayak BC membership, insurance, camping, instruction, kayaks, and equipment. Cost is $100 for CKBC members and $110 for non-members.

REGISTRATION: To register, visit, or contact Dan Norman at or (250)743-9860.  For info from a Nanaimo helper contact Sean Plecas at or (250)714-1132.

by Sean Plecas