Learn to run the Dryway with a skilled guide, and learn how to paddle confidently in this Class III-IV playground on the Deerfield River.
One-Day River Play
- Private (1 person)
- Semi-Private (2 people)
- Private Group (3+ people)
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.
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.
Zoar Outdoor will provide:
- paddle jacket
- life jacket
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 full day clinics.
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.
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:
- Retaining strap for glasses
- Nose plugs
- Required medications
- Extra money for snacks, T-shirts, or coin-operated showers
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.