One-Day River Play

Quick Details

Learn Basic Freestyle Kayak Moves

Have you ever watched other kayakers surfing waves and holes or squirting on eddylines and wished you had a coach to help you learn these moves yourself? This one-day clinic is ideal for intermediate kayakers who want to learn the basic fun moves to “play” their way down the river and to progress beyond their skill plateau by polishing up on fundamentals and progressing to basic freestyle moves.

Your clinic meets at our base in Charlemont, MA promptly at 9 a.m. Enjoy some complimentary hot drinks before hitting the water.

After reviewing fundamentals on flatwater, we work on basic surfing and playboating techniques in waves and holes. There are a lot of different tricks to experiment with and we’ll take folks through a fun progression based on their boat design and ability, from stern squirts, enders, bow and stern initiations, to beginning cartwheels and bow stalls. We emphasize a logical progression of skills from edging the boat to shifting weight to using the paddle for double pumps.

River play is also all about using natural river features to play too; rocks, eddy lines, wave trains, etc. Many tricks involve recognizing what river features are friendly and which should be avoided. Then you can rock, spin, splat, wavewheel, and kickflip your way down the river, too!

This clinic is held at local playspots such as Hartland Rapid on the Connecticut River and Tariffville Gorge on the Farmington River or stays local on the Deerfield River.

More Information

  • Chevron down Class Prerequisites
  • Participants should have a solid Class II-III roll and the ability to catch eddies, ferry, and peel out in the powerful current. Our minimum age for this clinic is 14.

  • Chevron down How to Prepare
  • You will spend somewhere between four to five hours in your boat. To prepare, it’s helpful to 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.