Intermediate Kayaking: 2-Day Class III Kayak Clinic

Intermediate Kayaking: 2-Day Class III Kayak Clinic

Learn the skills that will take your kayaking to an intermediate level on our two-day Class III clinic on the Deerfield River. Find out how to break class III whitewater down into smaller, less intimidating sections and practice planning and executing moves more consistently as you paddle the rapids of Zoar Gap. This clinic focuses on improving your precision kayaking and is appropriate for advanced beginner (class II) and intermediate kayakers.  Participants need to be able to cross challenging eddylines confidently and should have started practising the kayak roll.

We begin the first day with a review of strokes and clean up any rust from previous experiences.  Based on the knowledge of the participants instructors may focus on a variety of strokes to help those in attendance improve their paddling.  We create self-suffiecient paddlers by practicising the use of river signals, scouting techniques and assisted rescue techniques to help fellow paddling freinds after a swim.  We focus on challenging moves in class II whitewater that will be used to help push into the class III realm.

The second day allows paddlers to hone in the skills learned on the first day.  More time for coaching and guidence is provided.  For those with shaky rolls, time spent practicing the roll in current will be provided.  More time is also alloted for paddling class III rapids.

We will be offering this clinic once each month from April through October, except none in May and twice in July.  Use the availability widget below to find individual clinic dates.

Want to do this course as a private, semi-private or with your own group?  Check out our information on custom clinics and when you're ready we will help set-up a great course on your dates.

Price: $275.00 per person includes all equipment, instruction, catered, picnic-style lunch and transportation from our base to and from the paddling sites.

What To Expect & How to Prepare

Goal of the clinic

To help class II  whitewater kayakers move to the next level of the sport and begin to explore whitewater moves on a higher class of whitewater.  This clinic focuses on solidifying class II skills before building class III skills so students have a solid foundation for paddling more difficult whitewater.

Who should take the clinic

To take this clinic you must be able to perform eddy turns, peel outs and ferries in class II water, roll (50%) on class II water and perform self rescues. Our minimum age for this clinic is 14.

What will be covered

After a review of basic strokes and whitewater moves, we introduce or improve upon a few advanced strokes such as the Duffek, bracing strokes and gliding draw . We then head out to whitewater where we aggressively work on fine tuning eddy turns, peel outs and ferries, concentrating especially on entering micro-eddies, peeling out into fast current, and ferrying across difficult jets of water. We also introduce stern squirting, attaining drops, wave and hole surfing, and we work on teaching or improving the Eskimo roll and applying it to whitewater situations. Come prepared to discuss your specific goals or trouble spots in your paddling. The more information you can provide the better the instructor can tailor your clinic.

Trip Details

A Typical Paddling Day

Your clinic will meet at our base in Charlemont, Ma. at 9:00 AM.   The clinic will start on time, so please be prompt.  Complimentary hot drinks will be available upon your arrival. Your clinic will come to an end at about 5:00 PM.

On most clinics you will spend the morning on flatwater learning or fine tuning paddling strokes. In the afternoon, you will usually paddle a section of whitewater. Because these are instructional clinics, your instructors will be encouraging you to push your physical and mental limits.

The number of students in your clinic may vary.  We have a maximum student-to-instructor ratio of 4:1 and a maximum clinic size of 12 students.

You will be spending somewhere between four to five hours in your boat.  To prepare you will want to stretch your thighs hamstrings and torso (back, stomach, shoulders and neck). If you increase your flexibility, you will have more efficient strokes, and you will be more comfortable in your boat. 


What should I wear?

While some of the flatwater areas we use are quite warm in June, July and August, the Deerfield River is always cool, regardless of the time of year or air temperature. When packing your paddling clothes, please plan accordingly, especially if you are coming early or late in the season (April, May, September and October). Our clinics will run rain or shine.

Wear items such as :

  • synthetic long underwear, garments made of plypropylene, capilene, or some polyester/spandex blend.
  • fleece or wool socks
  • bathing suit
  • fleece or wool jacket/sweater (early/late season or if you tend to chill easily)

Other items to bring.

  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • retaining strap for glasses
  • nose plugs
  • towel
  • required medications
  • extra money for snacks, t-shirts, or coin operated showers.

Zoar Outdoor will provide:

  •  boat
  •  wetsuit
  •  paddle jacket
  •  booties
  •  life jacket
  •  helmet
  •  paddle
  •  sprayskirt

We provide a catered picnic-style lunch on all our clinics.  Typical lunches include homemade rolls, sliced turkey, ham or other meats, sliced cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, chips, salsa, hummus, pasta or other salad, cookies or other dessert and hot and cold drinks.  

The following statement is required by state law: "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy."

We do not use nuts in our food, but can not guarantee that the ingredients in our meals do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own bag lunch in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the other lunches on your trip. Please inform our office at 800 532-7483 or if you intend to do this.

(If you own your own equipment, we suggest you use it in the clinic to get used to its quirks.)

Getting Here

From Boston:

  • Take Route 2 west. Where Route 2 merges with Interstate 91 in Greenfield, take 91 south, but be sure to exit again onto Route 2 west at the next exit (exit 26).
  • Zoar Outdoor is about 17 miles west of this exit. We’re based in a red colonial on the north side of the road. Look for the blue, white and green sign.
  • Driving time from downtown approximately 2 1/2 hours.

From New York City:

  • Take Interstate 95 north to Interstate 91 north.
  • Take exit 26 in Massachusetts and follow Route 2 west for about 17 miles. We’re based in a red colonial on the north side of the road. Look for the blue, white and green sign.
  • Driving time from Manhattan approximately 3 1/2 - 4 hours, depending upon traffic.

From Albany, New York:

  • Take Route 2 east through North Adams.
  • Continue past North Adams and over the mountain, about 20 miles. Our base is the red house on the north side of Route 2 on the western outskirts of the town center. Look for the blue, white and green sign.
  • Driving time approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Additional Information

Shop Discount

At the start of your clinic you will get two shop discount cards good for two weeks from the date of your clinic. One card entitles you to 10% off accessories in our Outfitters Shop. The second card entitles you to a $50.00 discount off a boat purchase. All boat purchases come with free outfitting and 10% off accessories in the Outfitters Shop for the next year.

Book Now