There are a number of awards that are possible for you to acheive to develop your paddling skills. These will help you progress from a beginner through to an intermediate standard. Below is a brief guide to understand the whats required for each award.

For Adults

  1. The BCU One Star is a flat water award that demonstrates an individual has basic boat control and foundation skills.The one star can be taken in any kind of paddlesport craft (e.g. sit-on-top, slalom C2, polo boat, sea kayak, racing canoe etc.)
  2. The BCU Two Star is an improvement award that helps paddlers develop fundamental paddlesport skills on flat water. The emphasis is on gaining a breadth of experience, creating the desired movement of the boat and developing an understanding into how the paddle, boat and water interact
  3. The three star paddler will be a competent performer in sheltered to moderate water environments and have the ability to paddle unsupervised, with similar standard paddlers on sheltered water. Successful performance at BCU Three Star level indicates that a candidate can consider themselves an intermediate paddler rather than a beginner.


A large number of clubs across the country offer the ability for paddlers to practice the skills required before taking these awards. Talk to your local club to gain more information plus how & where you can take them.

For Children/Young People

Paddlepower - this is an exciting scheme that has been designed to meet the needs of young people.

How is Paddlepower Different from the Star Awards?

Paddlepower has been designed to be fun, colourful and with easily identifiable progression mapped to the Long Term Paddler Development framework. The BCU recommend Paddlepower as most suitable for young people aged 14 or under and the Star Awards for most paddlers aged over 16.

It aims to:

  • Encourage more young people to come into and enjoy paddling for yeards to come
  • Provide progression and reward achievement in a wide range of topics
  • Show them all aspects of the sport – both competitive and adventurous
  • Provide signposts into Clubs where their skills and development can be nurtured
  • Provide a flexible structure for delivery according to venue/situation
  • Provide the opportunity of attaining 5 Awards to support a young paddler’s introduction and progress in Paddlesport.


The Paddlepower Awards

  1. Paddlepower Start - entry level award suitable for taster sessions or as part of a series of sessions.
  2. Paddlepower Passport - Four progressive levels based on 24 topics which can be grouped into Safety Awareness, Paddling Skills, Varied Experiences, and Supporting Knowledge. The award is equivalent to BAU 1 Star.
  3. Paddlepower Discover - This follows on from Passport with a further 4 levels to take the young paddler to equivalent of 2 star standard.
  4. Paddlepower Explore - Three different levels take the paddler on an extensive journey exploring the great variety Paddlesport, with topics focused on participation in events and journeys in the competitive and non-competitive disciplines.
  5. Paddlepower Excel - Three levels to test the paddler on all elements of paddlesport including being responsible for self and others, participation in journeys, coaching sessions, training, events/competitions in a variety of disciplines, background knowledge of the sport; access, rules, environmental, nutrition and goal setting.



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