1-Day Steep Creekin' Clinic

1-Day Steep Creekin' Clinic

Spring runoff allows us to experience some of New England's best steep whitewater. This one-day clinic, for advanced closed canoe and kayak paddlers only, teaches the specific techniques of creeking including boofing, catching micro-eddies, and reading steep rapids on the fly. If you want to explore New England's best hidden whitewater, this clinic is for you.

This clinic is taught by top river runners who pass on their years of experience and in-depth knowledge of creeking technique. Our instructor to student ratio for this clinic is 1:3. We stress the use of good judgment in analyzing routes and minimizing risk.

tl_files/kayaklesson/galleries/kayak/west-branch-pov-for-web.gifFor 2017 we will be offering the 1-Day Steep Creekin' Clinic on April 1,2,8,9

Price: $135.00 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 teach the skills needed to run class III+ to class V steep creeks to advanced kayakers and closed canoeists..

Who should take the clinic:

To take this course you should be an advanced paddler capable of running class IIII+ rapids with skill and confidence and rolling consistently on class III+ whitewater.  Our minimum age for this clinic is 14

What will be covered:

After a short classroom session in which we discuss the basics of running steep narrow rivers, we will go to a local creek to practice route finding, boat- and shore-scouting, boofing, running drops at an angle, and water reading on the fly.

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 this clinic we run a local creek working on strategies for running individual rapids as well as overall strategies for supporting each other in a group.  In this advanced instruction clinic, your instructors will encourage 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 3:1 and a maximum clinic size of 6 students.

You will be spending somewhere between four to five hours in your boat.  You will be sitting in your boat for much of this time. 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. The book “Stretching” by Bob Anderson is an excellent reference for specific stretches.

Clothing/Gear

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 info@zoaroutdoor.com 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.