committee / paddling / training

Paddling - River Paddling Schools and Instruction

Approximate schedule of training sessions
Wilderness Expedition Planning Usually Jan
Leadership Training April 2
Spring Whitewater School Late March or April
Touring Training May or June
Basic Whitewater Rescue June
Class II+ Skills May or June
Advanced Swiftwater Safety July
Safety for Recreational Paddlers August
Wilderness First Aid (SOLO) November
CPR November

Watch the trip schedule and weekly notices for the exact dates and registration details.
See the schedule for more information.

Spring Class II Whitewater School

Whitewater class II instruction for flatwater and quickwater paddlers.  Students can select instruction in tandem or solo open canoe or whitewater kayak.  Held over several days, the main session is held in Henniker, NH and on a selected nearby river.  These schools draw from our experienced membership to give individual instruction in safety, river reading, equipment, and paddling skills.

Basic Whitewater Rescue

For paddlers with Class II skills and above.  Included in the course is instruction and practice of throw ropes, self rescue, rescue of others, braces, and boat recovery; first in flatwater and then in whitewater.  The skills learned are part of those required for a class III rating.

Advanced Swift Water Safety

For paddlers with Class III skills and above.

Other Safety Training

Click here to review our general Safety Curriculum.

Watch trip postings for our regularly scheduled safety classes, and watch the weekly notices for other posted club-sponsored classes like SOLO and CPR.

Class II+ Skills

This workshop is aimed at class II paddlers who are interested in improving their skills to become class III paddlers.  The class (water permitting) will be held on a class III section of a river and will provide opportunities to develop your skills.  Please call a week or two prior if possible to sign-up and give us time to line up the appropriate number of instructors.  There is no charge for this workshop but it will have a limited enrollment.

Leadership Training

Opportunities to improve your leadership skills and become a qualified trip leader.

Touring Instruction

Touring trips are usually run on moving water with occasional class 1 or 2 rapids.  These can usually be lined, portaged or run with an instructor.  The other classes of trips try to find a river with a consistent difficulty.  In touring we choose an attractive river and run it as it comes.

Touring is a good way for people to practice for whitewater where the current is slower and the difficulties shorter and easier.  This is often a good place to bring a child or friend.  Since not all trips are the same, discuss the river you are considering with the leader to find out what it is like.  We schedule touring trips as soon in the Spring as the rivers are free of dangerous ice.

Although we offer some limited instruction on all our trips when asked, we run specific Touring instruction trips where the focus is on instruction and practice, while enjoying the river.

Touring Instruction Course

In our Touring Instruction Course we teach the whitewater strokes and practice them in a less demanding stretch of river.  Usually this trip is in warmer weather.

In Touring Instruction we teach bow and stern strokes, ferrying, back-ferrying (backwater), and later in the day, sometimes eddy turns.  Also we talk about reading water.  Equipment is usually somewhat similar to the class 2 standard with suitable clothing, dry pack, boats, and gear.  In warmer weather we capsize canoes, and demonstrate rescue and boat recovery.  Often we practice with throw bags.  Frequently some of these things are discussed or demonstrated during rest breaks.

During the River Talk at the start of the trip we go over safety procedures and explain in detail how we shuttle cars from the put in to the take out.  Courteous paddlers should always remember that the first priority at the take out is to immediately drive the shuttle driver back to pick up their car at the put in.

Watch our trip listings and weekly email notices for these and other classes as they're offered.

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