Water Skills Academy for Teenagers

The first step in adventure sports for teenagers in Cork, Ireland. Get a taste for a new activity, or begin your journey towards becoming an Outdoor Education Instructor

What is it?

The water skills academy is a programme for teens between the ages of 13 to 17. It starts with the one week course which runs during the Summer season, Monday to Friday. If participants enjoy the course and wish to continue we run weekly classes in watersports training where they can learn to become advanced and certified sailors, windsurfers, kayakers, surfers, powerboaters and paddleboarders. The initial week costs €310 euro and runs from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday every week of Summer.

Once the initial week is completed they can gain valuable life skills and experiences with a no cost two week placement at Gecko Adventures as an assistant instructor. During the work placement participants are encouraged to take on leadership roles and can use the equipment for training at no cost.

Sunday Sessions (Year round)

Weekly sessions continue to run all year round, usually on Sundays, for those who have completed the week course. They are discounted for academy members and cost €25 for a session, €35 for a full day, €50 for trips. 


Once the 5 day course has been completed, students can take out membership. The annual cost is €50 per person. Membership includes:

  • Access to discounted academy Sunday sessions and trips (€25 for half day, €35 for full day, €50 for trips)
  • Use of training equipment for free
  • Access to discounted gear from our suppliers
  • Continued training, participation and support through the program

Instructor Training

As participants progress through the levels we arrange instructor training courses so they can become qualified instructors, opening up exciting job and career opportunities around Ireland and the world.

As well as becoming proficient at these exciting sports, participants will also learn self development skills such as how to work on a team, assume a leadership role and take responsibly for planning safety and rescue for themselves and others.

They will learn self awareness, group awareness and will be trained to develop their own skills, ability and knowledge through guided self reflection.

Being placed in leadership roles also helps youths develop self confidence and communication skills as well as self management and problem solving abilities.

group of kayakers in cork


Academy Kayaking begins with the Canoeing Ireland level 1 and 2 skills courses, before progressing on to river trips, kayak surfing, River Safety and Rescue courses, and more

Windsurf class in Courtmacsherry


Learn all the basics of windsurfing to get up and going, turning and in control while developing wind awareness, balance and the technical ability to become proficient

Man surfing at west cork beach owenahincha


Surf at various beaches in different conditions while developing the skills to ride to the waves


Irish Sailing syllabus centered course. This can be done either as part of the Academy, or as a full sailing course if a more focused course is desired

Teenager on sup board in Cork


Also referred to as SUPing, both on flat water and surfing the waves, Stand Up Paddleboarding can be peaceful and also thrilling


The Irish Sailing Level 1 Intro to Powerboating and Level 2 National Powerboat Certificate, once participants have reached the correct age