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Beginner Paddling at FGPC

Dragonboaters on beautiful blue water

It’s always a perfect time be a beginner paddler at Fairway Gorge Paddling Club.

Our seasons run from April to the end of September, and from the beginning of October to the end of March, but many of our programs are designed to allow beginners to “jump in the boat” at any point in the year.

We offer programs in outrigger canoe and dragon boat that are perfect for beginners.

Outrigger Canoe

For outrigger canoe we offer the following programs:

  • Beginner OC1: This is a 4 session course with a maximum of 4 registrants that provides basic training in the single-seat outrigger and gives the paddler the skills necessary to take the canoe out on the Gorge Waterway with confidence.
  • Daytime Outrigger (V12): This program has 2x per week practices for the casual and recreational paddler in a double hull 12-seater outrigger, and always welcomes new paddlers. The program is very popular and almost always sells out.
  • Evening Outrigger (V12 and OC6): This program is designed for those who work during the day and is offered up to 2x evenings per week and is similar to the daytime program, welcoming new paddlers.
  • Weekend Outrigger (V12 and OC6): For those who are not available during the week and love paddling in the daylight, this is the recreational paddling for you.

Dragon Boat

For beginner dragon boat paddlers, there are many options:

  • FGPC’s Greenhorn Dragons is the perfect program for brand new paddlers of all ages and abilities who want to dip their paddles in the water over a 5-6-week series of practices culminating in one of Vancouver Island’s three signature dragon boat races.
  • Our Dragon Boat training program meets twice weekly on Saturdays (9:30am) and Wednesdays (11am) all year round and is a great place for beginners to learn all the basics and make some great new friends.
  • FGPC offers dragon boat open house events every Spring to introduce new paddlers to the fun and camaraderie of dragon boat paddling.

Dragon Boat Open Houses for 2024:

  • Saturday 30 March
  • Saturday 20 April
  • (no Open House in May)
  • Saturday 22 June
  • Saturday 27 July

Once you get the paddling bug and want to get involved with more competitive programs, we have loads of opportunities for both outrigger and dragon boat! See our Paddling Program Guide for more details.

Kayak/SUP Access Membership

Lastly, we offer a non-coached Kayak and SUP access membership that offers up to 90 minutes per day of access to a kayak or a stand up paddle board (SUP) for the cost of $77.50+GST per month. We require each kayak paddler to undergo a one hour orientation which provides the basics needed to take our docile kayaks out on the usually calm water of the Gorge. It’s a great deal compared to renting a kayak. There is a 3 month commitment minimum for this membership.

Please feel free to get back to us if you have any other questions.