Paddle Canada announces huge price drop for sanctioned course fees. Canadian instructors will be happy.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Paddle Canada LogoPaddle Canada has just announced a major reduction of participation course fees for 2009. Under the old system, if you wanted to run a sanctioned Paddle Course, you had to pay a fee for each person who attended your course. The fees ranged from around $6 to $10.50 per person. That system was very difficult to manage for both instructors and office administrative staff.

For 2009, they have scrapped the individual fee in favour of a set course fee of only $20 per instructor. So for example, under the old system, if I had 12 students it would cost me $126 ($10.50x12) to run the course. Under the new system, it would only cost me $40 ($20x2 instructors). That's a huge cost savings!

So why the change? Paddle Canada is in a much better financial position then they have been over the past number of years so they can afford to lower the fees. They discovered that plenty of instructors were not offering certification due to the high costs and by lowering the fees; more people will offer the Paddle Canada program.

The other thing they realized is that some course providers were only offering the certification as an additional charge for students. By not building the cost of certification into the over all course price, it makes Paddle Canada look like the fee bad guys in the eyes of the students. Certification in a sanctioned course should be set up as an "opt-out" rather then and "opt-in" and this should help put an end to that problem.

It will be very interesting to see how the new price structure will be received by the instructor community. I think that it looks like a very positive step forward and will be welcomed especially by those paddling schools with razor thin profit margins.

Of course, this will make some Provincial paddling associations really upset. Some are not members of Paddle Canada and offer their own paddling certification program. They clearly see Paddle Canada as a competitor in their territory.

It will be interesting to watch and I'm sure these Associations have already begin drafting letters to their membership touting the evils of the new pricing structure that Paddle Canada is imposing on Canada... Maybe I have gone to far already...

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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