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Cardiff International White Water
Watkiss Way
Cardiff Bay
CF11 0SY

Social boating!

The purpose of the CIWW Youth Academy is to offer a group of young kayakers (aged 10-17) the opportunity to kayak at varied destinations. We are developing safe, independent and skilful paddlers. CIWW hosts numerous competitive disciplines, the Academy is all about social boating!

What is the Kids Academy?

The ‘Kids Academy’ was founded in 2011, to help up skill and encourage the future white water kayakers. We couldn’t have put it better than our title sponsor Palm Equipment “The Cardiff Kids’ Academy aims to inspire and push on the new generation of paddlers, offering the chance to go from complete beginner to whitewater hero”.

We offer a range of trip lengths, for a range of abilities. We have made the infographic below to help you make sure you know that you’re booking onto the right length and for the right ability. You don’t have to go through the whole process with us, we welcome new faces just as warmly as returning rippers. We love to help push everyone to progress and experience new environments as much as possible but please be honest when booking these trips so the whole group can progress the most*.

Our trips are roughly aimed at the following;
Beginner - completed a Zero to Hero course/ paddle at CIWW on 4 cumecs/ paddled grade 1 river/ no need to be able to roll
Intermediate - completed a Hero to Pro or Kids Academy day trip/ paddle at CIWW comfortably on 6 cumecs/ paddled grade 2/3 rivers/ have an understanding of rolling
Advanced - completed a Kids Adacemy weekend intermediate trip/ paddle at CIWW comfortably on 8&10 cumecs/ paddle grade 3 rivers/ have a solid roll, ideally on both sides

*If you’re not sure if your booking onto the right trip please get in contact and we can help you make the best decision for you. 

Trips designed around you

We work our trips dynamically from the get-go, from choice of coaches, venue and coaching lessons are adapted to the group and conditions to maximise learning and enjoyment. We accept 10-17 year olds who are looking to get some top coaching, to challenge themselves and make friends on the water! 

Due to the nature of water levels in the UK a river will be chosen in the week leading up to the trip, everybody booked on the trip will be contacted with a meet time and river to be paddled, as well as any special requirements or kit needed for the day. Times for the trip may vary depending on location and length of trip. Accommodation and transport are always included from CIWW, food is included on our week-long trips*. 

*We aim to eat at a local restaurant on the last day of the trip, snacks and extras are not included. 

2024 Kids Academy Programme

Dates Trip Day(s) Coach(s)* Theme/ Aim Ability Level Spaces** Cost
6 April South Wales  Ciaran + TBC  Down river play  Intermediate  6 £70 
7 April South Wales  Ciaran + TBC  Down river play  Beginner   6 £70 
25 May - 1 June Scotland  Lyndon + Ciaran  Dam release river running + safety  Intermediate/ Advanced  6 £750
15-16 June North Wales  Ciaran + John  River play  Intermediate  6 £200 
19-20 August Bitches Tidal Race (St Davids)  Jon + TBC  Soul surfin' + trip planning  Advanced  6 £200 
14 September South Wales TBC  Getting ready for winter + safety  Intermediate  6 £70 
15 September South Wales  TBC  Getting ready for winter paddling  Beginner  6 £70 
26 October - 2 November  Scotland (TBC)  Lyndon + TBC  Winter river running in Scotland  Intermediate/ Advanced   6 £750 
16 November Hurley (Back up CIWW/ HPP)  Craig + John  Freestyle progression  Intermediate/ Advanced  6 £100 
17 November South Wales (Back up CIWW)  Craig + John  Intro to freestyle  Beginner  6 £70 
December TBC  TBC  River running  Intermediate  6 TBC 
December  TBC  TBC  River running  Beginner  6 TBC 

*Coaches are subject to change, we always use qualified and DBS-checked coaches.
**Total number of spaces, you can find live 
availability on the booking page for each activity.

Meet the CIWW coaching team

Lyndon Williams After starting kayaking at the age of 21 in Swansea, Lyndon quickly became hooked and focused all his energy on being the best paddler he could be. Starting in white water he quickly made incredible progress to be one of the best kayakers in South Wales, recent years have brought Lyndon into coaching and racing, once again making a positive impact on everyone he meets along his journey.
Ciaran Worcester One of the biggest shredders around, you'll have probably have seen Ciaran ripping it up here either doing race laps or hand paddling surfing some waves. Ciaran grew to love kayaking with a highly motivated group of friends who created an amazing enviorment to develop in. Although a brilliant coach, Ciaran always instils so much confidence within everyone he paddles with.
John Russell Hosting the fastest hair cut at the centre, a mullet, John is a master of most types of kayaking all the way from throwing huge front loops in a freestyle boat, dabbling at racing and kayaking off waterfalls. Having also travelled to some amazing parts of the world with his kayak John really knows his stuff and is one of the smoothest out there.  
Jon Haylock A true salty sea dog, Jon is one of the finest paddlers ever to hit the Pembroke coast, his knowledge travels far beyond the sea and all the way to the mountains. Although his passion for white water rivers has developed to a love of the sea, Jon will be sure to throw down moves to make the jaws of even the most experienced river paddlers drop. 

Andy Kettlewell

Andy, aka 'Chips', comes from a competitive slalom background and although competitive enjoys spending any time he can on the water no matter the weather, location or type of kayak. We're delighted to have Chips on board not only as one of our advanced coaches but he's also a dab hand behind the scenes taking photos and documenting some of our trip. 
Matthew 'Pod' Houghton Since day one of being in a kayak (and probably before) 'Pod' has always been the first to bring the hype on the river! Pod, one of the best coaches around really knows how to inspire the next generation to love every minute on the water. Aside from just the love, Pod is the first to try and nail new techniques and be the best kayaker he can be.

 Are you interested in joining the CIWW coaching team? Check out our page all about joining the team

Check out the fun we've had in the past