Open Group Classes

Individuals and groups may register for open group training sessions. Boat, paddle, spray skirt, helmet and personal floatation device provided. All classes are led by American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructors, and all classes registered with the ACA. See course description and scheduled dates below.

Private Groups

Private group training sessions may be arranged by contacting outfitter Jeff Brown (https://yakshackonline.com/) or instructor Dan Murphy (murfsturf56@gmail.com).


Intro to Whitewater Group Class

Prerequiste: Ability to swim.

Location: Marge Cline Memorial Whitewater Park, 301 EAST Hydraulic, Yorkville, IL

The Intro to Whitewater class is intended for those with no or very little whitewater kayak experience, including those who have paddled flat water and want to improve their kayaking knowledge and skill.  The course begins on dry land. Students will learn how to fit out a whitewater kayak, the proper way to don and doff a personal floatation device (PFD), how to fit head protection (helmet), and how to hold a paddle correctly. The dry land portion will also include demonstrations of basic paddle strokes, how to perform an assisted roll and how to exit the boat while inverted (wet exit.)

Upon entering the water the student will demonstrate the ability to perform a wet exit, followed by assisted roll practice. On flat water, students will practice basic paddle strokes, while gaining comfort and balance in the kayak.

A lunch break is provided. Students are responsible for their own lunch. There are several places to eat within walking distance for those that don't bring food.

Students will "walk the river", learning about whitewater features, after which they will "run the river." During the moving water portion of class students will put into practice what they've learned.  Students will also be shown defensive and assertive swimming techniques, and will be encouraged to "swim the river".

Throughout the entire class, water safety will be trained and practiced. Students will learn hazard recognition and avoidance.

The class will provde a boat, paddle, helmet, PFD and skirt. The student is responsible to bring wet and dry clothing, drinking water, sunscreen and provide for their own lunch. Footwear that will not come off the foot (e.g. securely laces) is required throughout the class; "bulky" sandals, that making entering and exiting the boat difficult, are to be avoided.

The "Intro to Whitewater" classes are currently scheduled on the following Saturdays at the Marge Cline Memorial Whitewater Park located at 301 EAST Hydraulic, Yorkville, IL, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, with a break for lunch (for which the student is responsible):

 July 27

   August 10, August 24 and August 31

Class size is limited to eight students. Classes will be cancelled due to river flooding, lightning or insufficient registration.

Roll Clinic (new for 2019)

Prerequisites: None. Ability to swim is preferred.

Location: Marge Cline Memorial Whitewater Park, 301 EAST Hydraulic, Yorkville, IL

The roll clinic is intended to introduce the student to the "eskimo roll", the ability to upright oneself unassisted after having flipped upside down. Flipping over, whether intentional or unintentional, is an inherent part of whitewater kayaking. The ability to self-right one's boat saves time and energy for both the individual boater and her paddling partners.

One does NOT need to have participated in the Intro class in order to participate in a roll clinic. The ability to swim is helpful. The class will provde a boat, paddle, helmet, PFD and skirt. The student is responsible to bring wet and dry clothing, drinking water, and sunscreen. Footwear is required.

Class size is limited to five students. Classes will be cancelled due to river flooding, lightning or insufficient registration.

Roll clinics have been scheduled on the follow Sundays from 1:00pm to 3:00pm:

July 21, July 28

August 11

River Trip (New for 2019)

Prerequisite: Successfull completion of Intro to Whitewater, or consent of instructor.

Preferred: Ability to roll unassisted.

Location: TBD (see below)

This year we are planning two river trips. Unlike Yorkville, which is considered a "park-and-play" venue, river trips add the challenges of transporting equipment, shuttling between put-ins and take-outs, and ensuring everything one might reasonably need is brought.

River trips are all-day events, typically requiring the paddler to awaken early to arrive at the designated meeting spot on time, and not returning home until evening. Paddling groups typically share a post-paddle meal and drink at a local establishment to recount the day's enjoyment.

The prime paddle season in Illinois is March through May, when snow melt and spring rains ensure the rivers have water. By late spring through summer, many streams become too low to paddle. Accordingly, the actual venue will not be determined until a few days before the date. Possible venues include the Illinois rivers DuPage, Des Plaines, Vermilion, and Hickory Creek, or in Wisconsin the Red, Wolf or Milwaukee Rivers.

Dates:

August 18 (Sunday)

September 15 (Sunday)

The class will provde a boat, paddle, helmet, PFD and skirt. The student is responsible to bring wet and dry clothing, drinking water, food & snacks, and sunscreen. Footwear is required.

Class size will be determined based on instructor availability. Classes will be cancelled due to river flooding, lightning or insufficient registration.

 


Sea Kayaking Instruction
Available from our friends at Open Side Up.



 Swimming
Lessons

We recommend lessons from great instructors like the ones at Coach Eve Learn to Swim.