Tandem Canoe Clinic

Quick Details

Canoe with a Partner 

Canoeing is a terrific sport for paddlers of all ages and abilities. Tandem canoeing combines the subtlety of canoe strokes with the excitement of surfing waves, catching high-speed eddies, and spinning on a dime in the midst of a rapid. In these fast-paced canoeing clinics for novices, Zoar Outdoor’s expert playboaters start by teaching you fundamental canoe strokes, leans and maneuvers on flatwater and progress to moving water and finally to class II whitewater canoeing.

Your clinic meets at our base in Charlemont, MA promptly at 9 a.m. Complimentary hot drinks are available upon your arrival.

After introducing the sport and the equipment, we will get our first taste of the boats in the security of a pond where we can practice exiting and leaning the canoe, and learn the basic strokes, including sweep strokes, forward strokes, draws, and braces. Once people are comfortable in the boats, we will head to moving water where we will introduce river maneuvers such as the eddy turn, peel out, and ferry. On the second day, we will continue to work on river maneuvers, and we will end by running a several-mile-long, class I-II section of the river.

For this season, clinic dates are on the 2nd weekend of each month May through September. We are offering both tandem and solo canoe instruction on these dates.

More Information

  • Chevron down Class Prerequisites
  • To take this course you should be in reasonable physical condition, be comfortable in the water, and have an interest in paddling.

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

  • Chevron down What to Wear & Bring
  • 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 polypropylene, 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
  • Chevron down What We Provide
  • Zoar Outdoor will provide:

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

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

    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 [email protected] if you intend to do this.