Kayak in Cork, Ireland


Brand New: Sea Safety for kayakers course Designed for newcomers to kayaking or any watersport around the various skills, techniques and knowledge you need to keep you and your loved ones safe when making use of the water.


Kayak Skills Courses Level 1 and Level 2 will be added to the booking calendar soon, and will begin running around March/April. If you are interested in a course in the meantime, please get in touch!

The level 2 Kayak skills award has grown, and Canoeing Ireland have added an increased number of skills, techniques and rescues as well as additional theory and knowledge on weather and tides. This is to give the level 2 paddler a higher level of skill and competence in order to kayak safely and independently as part of a peer group. Because of this additional training requirement we now require that the level 1 course is completed as a prerequisite before doing the Level 2 Course, bringing the total number of training days to 3.

Level 3 kayak trips are running on Sundays at the moment for anyone who has completed Level 2 Skills training. If you’d like to join us please get in touch to join our WhatsApp group.

Coastal Kayak Tours will run as normal throughout the Summer, and can be found on our booking calendar, or booked privately through us. The Coastal Kayak tour is a 2 hour tour around the headland and exploring the coastline and Courtmacsherry’s hidden sea caves beneath the cliff walk. Suitable for total beginners, all equipment is provided and included.

group of kayakers in cork

Sea Safety for kayakers

Just bought a Kayak?

If you’re new to the water, or are looking to grow your knowledge of:

Safety at sea – Weather reading and prediction – Tides and their affect on you – Self rescue and peer rescue – Cold shock – Basic Kayak Skills – Equipment selection

…then this is the course for you. Designed for those who may have bought their first kayak, or those who have been paddling for years but feel there may be some gaps in their knowledge. It’s always worth taking that extra step to ensure you’re not caught off guard, and you have the skills, knowledge and confidence to paddle safely.

group of kayakers in cork

Level 1 Kayak Skills

Introduction to Kayaking

This is the starting point for kayak skills training and is a prerequisite for our Level 2 Skills Course. Includes basic flatwater strokes and skills, self rescue, equipment management and weather and tides.

Skills include:

kayak skills course on the river in cork, ireland

Level 2 Kayak Skills

Beginner Weekend Course

Building on the skills learned on the level 1 course, here we focus on the more advanced flatwater strokes and work on rescues as a team as well as more advanced self rescues, weather and tides and more.

Skills include:

Level 3 Kayak Skills

Man kayaking

Moving water and River Skills

Level 3 River Kayak Skills training brings us to moving water as we begin training on white water environments. We run various river trips, kayak surf sessions and more throughout the year as we work towards Level 3 skills such as the Eskimo Roll, various new strokes, rescues and techniques.

Coastal Kayak Tour

valentines couple kayaking in cork

Guided Kayak Tour

A scenic tour around the beautiful headland of Courtmacsherry Bay and exploring the sea caves hidden beneath the cliffs

kids kayaking on the sea, watersports in cork

Kids Kayak

1hr Kids Kayak Session

A guided fun session including some basic skills and safety followed by exciting kayak games

Kayak Rental

Sit On Top Rental

A brief skills demo and safety instruction and you can rent our single and double kayaks

Coastal Kayak Tours

Join us and explore the beautiful Courtmacsherry coastline from your kayak. A truly unique perspective of the Wild Atlantic Way. Our expert instructors will teach you the basics and keep you safe while we show you the cliffs and hidden caves along the way.

Kids Kayak

One hour fun session for 6-16 year olds. Our instructors will demonstrate the basic skills and safety procedures before bringing everyone on the water for some fun and kayak games!

Learn To Kayak Course

Canoeing Ireland Certified Level 2 Skills course

The Level 2 Kayak Skills Award enables participants to kayak safely and competently on flat water and grade 1 rivers. It is the first step in becoming a competent paddler, for both sea kayaking and river kayaking, and teaches the necessary skills to safely paddle a kayak.

Upon successful completion the participant will be able to demonstrate the following skills and techniques:

  • Kayak safely and competently on Grade 1 as part of a peer group
  • Have an understanding of the safety rules of kayaking
  • Assist in and perform basic rescues
  • Be able to enter and exit a kayak correctly
  • Forward stroke, reverse stroke, and stopping
  • Forward sweep, reverse sweep and a combined sweep stroke
  • Draw stroke, low brace, edging, edging on the move and turning on the move
  • Capsize drill
  • Have a good understanding of weather and tide conditions and their affect on water sessions

This course has grown to include new skills as led by Canoeing Ireland and so is now run over two weekends.

Weekend one focuses on strokes, techniques, weather, tides and safety. This weekend can also be done on it’s own if you are just looking for some beginner skills but aren’t interested in the Level 2 Skills Award Certificate. There is no assessment during this weekend.

Weekend two includes additional skills and techniques, peer rescues, and assessment. Depending on the available conditions and group level there may also be an introduction to moving water and level 3 skills, but this is not guaranteed.

The price is €160 per weekend, or €300 for both weekends.

Kayaking in Cork, Ireland

Ireland is the perfect setting to learn and develop kayak skills. From the beautifully scenic rivers and coastline, to the perfect technical white water rivers to develop more advanced skills. Our kayak tours are the perfect way to truly experience the outdoors, no matter what your level of experience.

If you want to develop those skills and bring them to the next level then our learn to kayak courses are the way to go! Rental is also available at the centre, as well as focused rolling sessions.

Is kayaking dangerous?

With the proper training and understanding of how to safely choose the correct equipment, use it the right way, and interpret the weather and water conditions for your ability, kayaking is safer than ever! We strongly recommend that you undertake a Canoeing Ireland certified kayak skills course if you intend to go kayaking unsupervised (or to purchase a kayak of your own), particularly in a "sit in" kayak. You can enroll in one of these courses here at Gecko Adventures in Courtmacsherry, Cork, or with one of the many centres and clubs around the country.

I can't swim, can I go kayaking?

Yes! Kayaking is a great way to build water confidence and with modern "sit-on-top" kayaks it is more accessible and safe than ever, when the appropriate Personal Floatation Devices are worn and fitted correctly. However if you would like to take up kayaking as a sport, either sea kayaking or white water kayaking, we would strongly recommend that you learn to swim.

Kayaking is easy, is there really much more to learn?

Absoloutely! It doesn't take much for a beginner to be able to hop into a sit on top and go, which is fantastic! However if you want to become a kayaker then there is much to learn, progressing through a wide range of strokes, boat control, rescues, rolls, different rivers and conditions, white water and more!

So what's the first step to become a kayaker?

The first step are the "Learn to Kayak" classes, or the full weekend course, which progress you towards the Canoeing Ireland level 2 skills award. These classes and courses teach you all of the flatwater skills so that you can safely and confidently paddle your kayak before progressing on to moving water. From here you can begin your white water skills training with regular level 3 skills classes.

Book now!

Kayak Tour €40.00
Kids Kayak
2 Day Learn to Kayak Course €160.00
Weekend Two of Learn to Kayak Course €160.00
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