Learn basic kayak rolling skills under the guidance of ACA-certified instructors!
Most 3 & 5 day clinic start on Wednesday and 1 & 2 day start on Wednesday & Saturday
Learn Beginner Kayaking in Massachusetts
The clinic meets at our base in Charlemont, MA promptly at 9 a.m. Complimentary hot drinks will be provided upon your arrival.
So you’re curious about beginner whitewater kayaking, but don’t want to commit the time if it’s not the sport for you? This is the perfect place to find out. Our river time will focus on fundamental river skills such as leans, setting angles, and performing eddy turns and peel outs to set you on a path toward confidently paddling on your own. Our games-based learning approach makes kayaking fun right from the start and has helped bring thousands of new paddlers into the sport. We emphasize fun on the river while teaching proper stroke techniques and responsible whitewater kayaking practices.
A whitewater kayak is just like an extension of your body. It fits snugly to give you maximum control and maneuverability. After introducing you to the sport of kayaking and to your equipment, we get our first taste of paddling in the security of a pond. We start by teaching you to safely exit the kayak when upside down. Then we move on to learning basic strokes, including sweep strokes, forward strokes, draws, and braces. Once everyone is comfortable in their boats, we head to moving water where we introduce river maneuvers such as the eddy turn, peel out and ferry.
On the second day, our whitewater kayaking lessons continue to work on river maneuvers and we end the day by running a several-mile-long, Class I-II section of the river.
Our third day is spent on basic surfing, rolling and continuing to practice your techniques as you gain increasing confidence paddling the rapids of the Deerfield River or other local rivers.
- Who Should Take the Clinic
People who want to try out the sport of whitewater kayaking and learn some of the basic skills of river kayaking in whitewater kayaks. Our minimum age for these clinics is 14.
- 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:
- Retaining strap for glasses
- Nose plugs
- Required medications
- Extra money for snacks, T-shirts, or coin-operated showers
- What We Provide
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 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.