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TRy  Learn  Explore

Try Learn Explore is a fun and safe way to start paddling.

Introducing new paddlers to fundamental paddling knowledge and skills and with a strong focus on building water safety skills and confidence, Try Learn Explore is delivered by accredited paddling providers in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Try Learn Explore is a structured framework that consists of three progressive levels to inspire a life-long love of paddling through games and activities:

TRY PAddling
This is your introduction to paddling of a craft. It gives the paddler the basic essential information and skills needed to have a go paddling.

Learn PAddling
The Learn program develops paddlers’ skills to effectively paddle their craft. The program educates participants in water safety and helps develop the participants water confidence. 

Explore Paddling
This program encourages paddlers to experience different types of paddling crafts and/or further develop their skills in a specific craft of choice.




Try Learn Explore is an entry point to paddling for participants of all ages. Providers will typically deliver TLE tailored to the following groups:

  • Young paddlers 10-13 years old

  • Youth paddlers 14-17 years old

  • Adults 18+ year old

Participants should be able to swim 50metres wearing a lifejacket to take part in Try Learn Explore.



Try Learn Explore has been developed by Canoe Racing New Zealand based on the latest sport and education research to ensure new paddlers receive high quality learning experiences, develop confidence, wellbeing and skills and, most importantly, have fun!

Participants will learn and achieve skills/competencies around all aspects of paddling including equipment, understanding the environment and conditions and paddling technique, as well as water safety and confidence. This will all be taught and developed through games and activities with a focus on fun and wellbeing.

Try Learn Explore providers are accredited by Canoe Racing NZ so participants can rest assured that they will enjoy positive early paddling experiences, whatever their needs or motivations.

  • Lead coaches must have achieved the Try Learn Explore Coach Award, meaning they have undergone training and demonstrated they possess the knowledge and ability to safely and effectively deliver Try Learn Explore.

  • Providers must have approved Safety Management plans and procedures to ensure all TLE activities comply with the HSWA 2015.

Where Can I do Try Learn EXPLORE?


The following clubs/organisations/venues are accredited Try Learn Explore providers:



Waikato/Bay of Plenty


Hawkes Bay

  • Hawkes Bay Kayak Racing Club



What equipment do I need to take part in Try Learn Explore?

Your local TLE provider will provide suitable paddling craft, paddles and PFDs (lifejackets). Paddlers need to bring suitable clothing to wear paddling (that you are able to get wet and swim in) and will keep you warm and sun protected. Your provider will give you more information before your first session.

I/my child am/is living with an impairment, am I able to do Try Learn Explore?
Some Try Learn Explore providers have a PaddleAble endorsement, which means they can cater for and provide positive paddling opportunities to disabled participants.


Find your nearest PaddleAble provider here​.

We are a club or paddling organisation – how do we become accredited and able to offer Try Learn Explore?

We would love to have your club or organisation delivering Try Learn Explore and giving more kiwis opportunities to have positive paddling experiences!

Contact Danika at Canoe Racing NZ for more information and support in becoming a Try Learn Explore accredited provider.

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