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Course Requirements: Good health and a positive attitude. This 3-day whitewater kayak instruction course is designed to introduce beginner paddlers to the sport of whitewater kayaking. Our goal is to provide beginner kayakers with a solid foundation of basic kayaking skills necessary to kayak in Class I and II whitewater.
Please refer to our kayaking skills overview to determine if this is the appropriate course for you.
The course is based out of our riverside headquarters in the Columbia River Gorge. On the first day, we will introduce students to the gear necessary for kayaking and assist them with equipment selection and boat fitting. We will then spend time in our private pool learning the basics of safe boat exit and practicing the fundamentals for the Eskimo roll progression. We will also begin exploring edge control and balance through exercises and drills. After the pool session, we are off to the lake to work on the basics of kayak handling and maneuvering. We spend time covering different strokes, bracing and the four keys to running rivers. The second day of the course is spent on one of the rivers of the Columbia River Gorge developing fundamental paddling skills. Progressing from slow moving water to class II whitewater, we will practice basic boat handling, eddy-turns and peel-outs, ferrying, water reading, self-rescue techniques, scouting and safe paddling techniques. All this in one of the country’s top paddling destinations, we won’t forget to remind you how incredible it is to be able to kayak through the most spectacular places on earth. Your third day will be spent on either the same stretch of river, or a new one, depending on the needs of the group. With a third day for practice, techniques begin to flow naturally as your instructor provides more detailed suggestions and exercises. We believe that consecutive days in a kayak makes for better knowledge retention, making the third day a turning point for many new kayakers.
Quality instruction is the key to success for new kayakers. We maintain a teacher to student ratio of 1:4, or less, to allow for plenty of individualized attention. Our passion for teaching and sharing the love for kayaking shows in our classes. We are proud of our instructors’ ability to pinpoint troubles new students face and find solutions in a variety of learning styles. We believe that an instructor can make or break a beginning kayaker’s experience and hire only the best. Our instructors conclude the course with a personal summary of your progression over the 2 days. He or she will review skills learned and highlight areas to work on in the future. We will also provide you with resources to continue this incredible sport on your own, including coupons for gear and lists of local clubs and organizations. Mostly, we want to share our passion and enthusiasm for whitewater kayaking with you. This course includes all equipment necessary (unless you want to bring your own), lunch and transportation.
We have used many other companies and rivers in the past, but think you are the best! We are planning another trip this summer
We had several wonderful trips. Thanks for all your help. Staff is wonderful, congenial, competent, just great. Even the weather was fantastic! I will put together more trips with you guys. Many, many thanks!
What a rush. Your guides are the best. Professional and friendly staff. Keep up the great job!
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