01690 720214

White Water Sea & Surf

Course Overview

You've decided you like kayaking. Now it's time to experience racing down the face of a surf wave, bouncing down a rapid and running a tide race. These five days of white water fun will give you an introduction to all the techniques you need to handle a boat in the exciting wild water of British rivers and sea. You'll also be introduced to Eskimo rolling and we guarantee you'll have plenty of opportunity to develop your cold water roll!!

Experience Required

Confident flat water paddler with the ability to manoeuvre your craft with ease

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who is it for?

This course is for kayakers who have mastered the basics and would like to broaden their experience. White water, sea kayaking and surf kayaking each demand different skills and techniques, which we will introduce. You should have basic kayak control skills, and be able to paddle a kayak round a predetermined route on flat water.

Course Content

The week starts with consolidation of your existing skills, making use of our heated training pool and local venues. After an induction session, students may use the training pool without staff supervision for extra practice during any spare time. Later we will travel to canoeing locations around North Wales for coaching and training on white water, sea and surf skills. The following is a list of the canoeing techniques we aim to cover:

  • Revision of the foundation skills and preparation for more challenging environments

  • Eskimo roll

  • Trip preparation, coaching and planning

  • Kayak equipment and clothing

White Water

  • High crosses

  • Eddying in and out

  • Surfing waves and stoppers

  • White water safety and rescue procedures

  • White water grading

Sea Touring

  • Running tidal white water

  • Coping with wind and waves

  • Strategy on coastal trips / navigation

  • Rescues, safety and security at sea


  • Paddling out

  • Catching waves

  • Diagonal runs

  • Bottom turns

  • Rides and turns

Useful Books

Kayak by W. Nealy
White Water, Safety and Rescue by Franco Ferrero
Sea Kayaking by Nigel Foster
White Water Kayaking by Ray Rowe

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Kayak or canoe hire
    Secure boat storage (if you choose to bring your own boat)
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Thin fleeces/thermals/rash vest for going under a wetsuit

  • Swimming costume/trunks

  • Wetsuit boots (or training shoes you're happy to get wet)

  • Wetsuit socks to wear with wetsuit boots/training shoes if cold

  • Warm clothes for when you get off the water

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Towel

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • High factor sun screen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores free of charge so you don't need to rush out and buy them.

  • Wetsuit

  • Paddling cag

  • Buoyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Dry bag

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

Our equipment stores stock wetsuits socks which you can purchase if you find you need them during your course

Customer Reviews For This Course

Great Guide and Course

Dave Bolton

Chris our guide did a great job on skills transfer he also made the course more enjoyable by lending me a left handed kayak paddle. Food was very good and plenty of it. Only comment would be that it should be easier to book a room for single occupancy. Not being able to do this would be the only reason why I would not attend further courses.

Great week with plenty of variety


Fantastic week showcasing the best of north Wales - we packed in 3 days of river fun and 2 days in sea kayaks. All days were really enjoyable and I learnt loads from our instructor (Karl). Would recommend this week to anyone looking for fun in a boat!

Fun and Skill developing

Julian Briggs

Our excellent instructor, Glen, was able to keep each of us on our learning edge throughout the week.
I enjoyed the White Water and Sea.
Sadly no Surf. I hear the right Surf conditions are rather rare in N Wales.

Another great week

Wayne Kilborn

Yet another great course completed at Plas y Brenin. Well done Dan for looking after us so well, and making it a really enjoyable week. That tricky White Eagle "rapid" trip at the end of one of the days was particularly pleasant. We were really lucky with the weather during the week, and it was a real shame there weren't enough waves on the day we had hoped to surf. The white water was fantastic, and the outings on the sea when the weather's nice are always good.

White Water, Sea & Lots of Fun!

Penny Newton

I'd highly recommend this course to anyone interested in sampling the delights of taking to moving water in a kayak. You get to try different boats in a variety of settings, building your skills throughout the week from flat water revision sessions through to paddling the Menai Straights in all its full-on manic glory! Shame we didn't get to do our surf day, but that's the unpredictable Welsh weather for you.

The centre itself has a nice, relaxed atmosphere and is warm and welcoming at the end of each tiring day. The catering is also particularly noteworthy and Vegetarians are unusually well catered-for, with plenty of delicious options available for all mealtimes. You will never go hungry at Plas y Brenin, that's for sure!

A big thank you to our instructors, Lou, Sally and Pete for top notch instruction and to everyone else on the course who helped make it such an enjoyable experience.

Varied introduction to kayaking

Esther Ford

I'm basically a newcomer to the kayaking, having previously only done enough sea kayaking to know that I was likely to enjoy the sport and to be interested in also trying white water. The instructors (Dave, Pete) both gave very clear instruction and made sure all levels of ability were catered for; they also looked after the group's safety very well (particularly when the river was in flood and flowing very fast!). Everything else was great too - particularly the excellent home-cooked food. I had a terrific week and definitely recommend PYB and the Kayaking course.


Louise Heather

As a K1 Marathon paddler strapping myself into a kayak was somewhat challenging and revealed an unknown demon (entrapment fear), However the instructors were fantastic, hugely supportive, not pushing me more than I wanted to push myself, and always with a number of options to keep me participating. Mega thanks to Pete, Dave and (Sally) for their patience, persistence and to the rest of the group who made it a fantastic week

Boosting the confidence!!

Brian Coward

Day 1 - Sea Kayaking off Anglesey with an amazing view of seals
Day 2 - Stunning views and building up important skills in the currents of the Menai Straits
Day 3 - First experience of white water of the River Dee at Llangollen
Day 4 - More white water on the Dee including the exhilaration of the Serpent's Tail
Day 5 - The National White Water Centre near Bala

I think the itinerary of our week says it all!!! The big box I needed ticking was to build up my confidence and the plan our instructor Adam came up with each day was spot on for this. Heaps of thanks to him and the rest of the group for a fabulous week. If you feel a bit edgy about going upside in fast moving or white water I thoroughly recommend this course. I achieved several dunkings during the week and it went from being scary to just being annoying. Exactly what I wanted!

Now. What to do next????????

plas y brenin rocks


I really injoyed my 5 day trip a pyb it really helped my kayaking a lot . I wasn't even using a neoprem deck before and now I am . I'm goin back again to learn eskimo role next year

Wonderful white water and super sea kayaking!

Steph Long

What a fantastic course!

It was great having the chance to experience different types of paddling and I found out that I absolutely love white water kayaking as well as sea kayaking. There was no chance of surfing as there was a lack of wind, but a high swell when sea kayaking around Anglesey created so really high waves, which were was just as exciting! I was a bit nervous about white water kayaking but once I had paddled my first huge rapid, I was so happy and couldn't stop smiling-it was a lot of fun!!!

Thanks so much to Loel for awesome instruction and for giving me a lot confidence while white water kayaking and also for helping me to perfect my roll. Thanks also to Deano for his help and advice out on the water.

I can't wait to go back to Plas Y Brenin to do some more white water kayaking and also eat some more tasty cakes!!

White Water, White Knuckles, White Two Sugars

Mike Gower-Fox

A brilliant course. Thank you to Spike, Pete & Dino for showing us so much. My boat control developed significantly during the week & I learnt so much I am worried that I wont retain all of it now!
The week was an ideal way to decide which of the three disciplines I preferred & due to the weather & democratic process we had a slight bias towards my favourite - White Water Rivers. Other courses would be different.
At the end of a full day the Excellent hospitality staff at PYB would nurture our spirits (and our stomachs) ready for the next days' exertions.
Using the experience of the instructors in reading the weather & selecting appropriate venues, we were able to maximise our opportunity to learn and progress throughout the week.

Tremendous fun, Tremendously useful & Tremendous value.

PS Thank You to Jack, both for the Cappuccinos' and the rescue ;¬)


an exhausting week

Craig Fordham

Was a bit nervous especially as this wasn't originally the course I opted for, however I found the place to be great, the facilities and food were superb. High winds prevented us from doing a sea trip but the river running and surfing were fantastic fun and I even managed a couple of rolls on the last day in the pool. A HUGE thank you to Spike for putting up with me all week and really helping build my confidence levels I hope to take the skills I was shown on this course and develop them further but I am in no doubt that I will return to PYB for another course in the future : )

A great week - of course

Wayne Kilborn

Being a regular at Plas y Brenin, I knew I was in for a good week. Plas y Brenin is ideally located, and the instructors are just the best!
I had sort of hoped that Deano would be the instructor for my week, since my early helicopter exit from his course in May this year. Once again, thanks Deano, Loel & Rob for your help and support - luckily the problem wasn't as serious as we all thought at that time.

Anyway, back to this latest completed course. Spike was great; looked after us superbly all week, helping us to enjoy the week. The weather conditions were such that we didn't do a sea trip, although we did get to experience the sea kayaks on a lake in somewhat windy conditions. The white water, and particulary the surfing were great fun, and I look forward to my next visit.

Great course

Pete Evans

The white water, sea and surf course delivered on all points. This is the second Kayak course I have attended at PYB and have really enjoyed every aspect.
Would like to thank Dino for the instruction which made the course very worthwhile and for some great days out on the surf and rivers.
Also to thank all the other centre staff who make the stay comfortable and that you will never go hungry.
Looking forward to boking another course soon.

Every expectation met

david law

Every time I come to PyB I have every expectation met. I have never been disappointed & wasn't this time. Sid & Ben set just the right amount of guidance & motivation to keep me going even though I was well out of my comfort zone a lot of the time. I have gained the experience & much of the knowledge I need to make decisions about what gear & boats to buy & to get me started on the water.
The white water was fantastic & I will definately be doing more of that as well as surfing which is one of the few watersports we can do in Kent. As for sea kayaking, I am sure I will overcome my terror as I want to do some multiday trips in due course. Maybe with a commercial co, even PyB.
I haven't looked for faults & even if I did wouldn't find anythingf to complain of. On my rec my son & his girlfriend are there with you now on an intro to kayaking course & I am sure they will be equally pleased.
All the best & many thanks to Sid & Ben & every one at PyB..
David Law

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

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