Our mission is to help you improve your time on the water. We have a range of services available including an online store, gear hires, and premier kayak school. Specialising in beginner whitewater and Coast to Coast multisport training, we are the professionals you can trust.

Why Choose us

Our Team

Sam Milne
Multisport Coach

Canterbury Kayaking’s founder. Sam has earned and maintained a solid reputation as one of New Zealand’s most effective kayaking skills coaches. The Coast to Coast Multisport Race has since become his speciality. Sam’s professional training in kayak instruction, plus locality to the Waimakariri River, formed a comprehensive understanding of Coast to Coast kayaking techniques. Sam coaches both beginners to the finish line, and elite level athletes to the podium. Most recently, professional multisport athlete Jess Simson, who won the Women’s 2-Day Race in 2013, then the Longest Day race in 2014 & 2015. Living in Christchurch, Canterbury’s rivers are Sam’s home. Travelling during the off-season to North America, Sam is always in pursuit of his own personal whitewater kayaking goals.

Rata Lovell-Smith
Whitewater Coach

Coach Rata is one of New Zealand’s top female paddlers and outdoor professionals. Paddling grade V+ whitewater for several years now. Back-to-back seasons both here in New Zealand and North America. Whitewater is Rata’s speciality and she has the qualifications to back it up. Each year Rata is heavily involved with the Coast to Coast Multisport Race as part of the river safety crew. Rata is also a highly effective communicator and kayak coach, making seemingly complex techniques easy to learn and understand. No matter what your current ability, Rata will help improve your paddling in no time and you’ll really enjoy paddling with her.

Rata's Qualifications
  • Diploma in Outdoor Leadership & Guiding
  • NZOIA Kayak 1
  • Pre-Hospital First Aid
  • Kayaking Grade: V+

Phil Palzer
Whitewater Coach

Coach Phil is our advanced whitewater specialist. Phil is consistently kayaking more difficult whitewater – and with more style – than any of us here at Canterbury Kayaking. Phil’s level of control in a kayak is inspiring to watch, and makes for perfect images for you to learn from. He is also an experienced rafting guide, and emits high levels safety awareness at all times on the water. Fully trained and qualified as a kayak instructor, Phil makes learning to kayak a smooth process that supports your full potential. Phil has a unique and effective way of delivering his skills programs that will have you improving quickly, feeling safe, and loving kayaking.

Phil's Qualifications
  • Diploma in Outdoor Leadership & Guiding
  • NZOIA Kayak 1
  • Comprehensive First Aid
  • Kayaking Grade: V+