Kayak School Novice

Fluid Fundamentals

Skill Level: 01 Beginner

Designed for first time and novice kayakers, this course leads students from calm water to a moving river environment. Fundamental strokes, the “Eskimo Roll” and river navigation are integral components of this course.

This course can be taken as a 2, 3 or 5 day lesson. 

Course Description

Day 1 – Starting on calm, flat water at Dutch Lake, students are introduced and fitted into their whitewater kayaking equipment. Students then practice, in the water, getting in and out of their kayaks- called a “Wet Exit.”  From there, fundamental stokes – Forward, Backward, Sweep/Draw Strokes and edging the kayak are introduced.  As the morning continues students begin applying the “T-Rescue” and “Hip Flick” which leads to the “Eskimo Roll.” During the afternoon river currents are introduced.  Students will discuss and learn about river hydrology and river features on a Class I section of river. An introduction of Eddie Turns and Ferries, as well as the opportunity to swim the river will follow.

Day 2 – Beginning on the river, students will start with “Wet Exits,” “T-Rescues” and fundamental stokes. Then moving onto Class I, students will focus on proper technique and gradually move into easy Class II whitewater as the day progresses. The idea is to become comfortable making difficult moves on an easy section of river.  Everyone will practice a “Wet Exit” in the current and a self rescue to shore.  Different rescue techniques like “Throw Bagging” will be introduced later in the course.

Day 3 – Moving to a different section of the Clearwater River, students will continue to refine their fundamental skills.  Over the course of the day more difficult manoeuvres will be practiced, including linked “Eddie Turns” and “Ferries.” As skill level and comfort level increases, students will move to Class II+ and small Class III whitewater.  At this point, skill repetition is vital and a great deal of time will be spent simply executing linked manoeuvres on various rapid sections.

Day 4 – The focus on day four will shift from learning new strokes and paddling techniques to river running and reading.  It is important by the end of the course that students are able to effectively analyze various rapids and select lines that would be suitable for them to paddle.  Being able to select a desired route and execute the line will open the opportunity to apply their fundamental skills to a river running environment.

Day 5 – The fifth day is a complete collaboration of the previous week’s lessons.  Students will run a different section of the Clearwater River under the tutelage of their instructor.  Students will be encouraged to push their skills in a controlled environment while making river running decisions.  By the conclusion of the fifth day, students will have the necessary fundamental skills to go and explore the world of whitewater and feel comfortable kayaking Class II+ and are prepared to try the odd III- rapid.

 

We strongly recommend you review the waiver online before arriving for your kayaking lesson. It can be found here.