Advanced Skill Development

The Advanced Skills Development Program is a season long program focused on paddlers with existing formal instruction under their belts and are now looking to push their skill set to the next level. This program is targeted at sea kayakers with Paddle Canada Level-2 Skills and above or equivalent skill set.

The program will be limited to a minimum of 4 students and a maximum of 6 students. We use small group sizes as this helps in creating an optimal learning environment. This will ensure a customized and tailored experience that allows every student to have appropriate attention and focus on their personal development. 

This will also allow the program to cater to a variety of learning goals and needs. This small group approach for adult learning is also supported by research to increase learning curve and skill acquisition in students.

The program will follow a progression with a pre-determined overarching plan. This plan is broken down into a series of “modules” throughout the season where we come together for a weekend. Between these modules there will be tailored learning objectives for each paddler based on the module just completed, the next module coming and each students learning goals. 

As mentioned, this is meant to be an overarching guide as opposed to being “set-in-stone”. This program is designed to be customized for each paddler and the goal setting session at the start as well as the small group approach allow for flexibility to ensure everyone works towards their personal goals as well as the groups goals.

The program consists of the following:

  • 4 x virtual theory sessions in the late winter & early spring
  • 11 x on-water days working on skills
  • 6 x 30 minute private one-on-one post-weekend debrief sessions. The intention is that after each on-water weekend we will develop a customized learning plan for the next month, before our next get together

Program will return with an intake for 2024

  • Does not include travel to and from venues, any required accommodations or food. 
  • Group houses can be arranged for Deer Island, NB & Tusket Islands, NS and entire cost split evenly, including Cloud 9 Adventures. 

The participants will also work with multiple high level instructors to improve development by exposure to a variety of learning/teaching styles. We have also developed this program to focus on the strengths of some of our guests instructors to provide value to the program. There will be coordination between the lead facilitator (Jarrod) and guest instructors to ensure the progression and continuum of each paddler is carried throughout the program.

Our lead instructors for weekends will be all high level instructors and instructor trainers and includes Jarrod Gunn McQuillan, Lee Richardson and Karl Vollmer. We will also have supporting instructors that will join the leads to provide an enriched learning environment for our participants.

Program Schedule

Below is the 2022 Schedule. We will be updating 2023 schedule soon

Virtual Sessions

  1. Late March – Goal Setting (45mins)
  2. Early April – Tides & Currents Theory (1.5hrs)
  3. Late April – Navigation Theory (1.5hrs)
  4. Early May – Leadership & Decision Making Theory (1.5hrs)


May 14-15 – New Brunswick – Deer Island

  • Flat Water Boat Handling & Stroke Refinement
  • On-water Navigation
  • Trip Planning in Currents
  • Leadership

June 11-12 – Prince Edward Island – multiple locations

  • Edging, Leaning, Balance & Bracing
  • Rough Water Rescues
  • Rolling in Rough Water
  • Paddling in Currents

July 17-18 – Nova Scotia – West Dover/Lower Prospect Area

  • On-Water Navigation 
  • Incident Management & Safety
  • Leadership
  • Paddling in Swell & Rocks or Surf

August 20-21 – Prince Edward Island – Multiple Locations

  • Linking strokes into Boat Handling Maneuvers
  • Paddling & Fitness – Longer Endurance Paddle with Tempo
  • Boat Handling in Rough Water
  • Night Navigation

September 26-28 – Nova Scotia – Tusket Islands

  • Trip Planning in the Tidal Environment
  • On Water Navigation
  • Decision Making & Leadership
  • Boat Handling in Rough Water
  • Rescues in Rough Water
  • Surf (if available)