Our Kayaking Classes
Charles River Canoe & Kayak offers a natural progression of kayaking classes designed to expand, enhance, and develop your skills, from the
basic strokes and rescues to serious ocean adventures. Our expert instructors and guides have been paddling for years, and will help you take your paddling skills to the next level.
If you've never taken formal instruction, start with one of our Introductory Classes. The basic skills learned there are the foundation for all our other classes and trips. Even if you've been paddling for years, the class will open your eyes!
For your children, we offer Kids' Paddling Camps and Classes. They'll start on a quiet lake or river and work up to true ocean exploration. We know that kids learn best when they're having fun, so we teach through games and other activities to ensure that they love it!
Introductory Classes :: Safety & Rescues :: Rolling
Ocean Paddling :: Navigation :: Private Instruction
ACA Instructor Certification :: Special Paddling Clinics
The Basics — Introductory Courses
Introduction to Kayaking (four hours of instruction)
The foundation for your paddling skills. Covers basic strokes and maneuvering, assisted rescues, paddle braces, and more.
Held on the Charles River in Newton.
Introductory Sea Kayaking Trips (full-day trip)
Learn the basics while enjoying the beauty of the Massachusetts coast. Covers basic strokes and maneuvering, assisted rescues, paddle-braces, plus topics specific to kayaking on the ocean. Focuses on skills but includes time for coastal touring.
Introductory Private Lesson (1.5-2 hours of instruction)
Learn the basic paddling strokes and rescues in a one-on-one session with an expert instructor. This class moves at your pace, spending more time when you need it, and covers the topics you want to learn about.
Introduction to Navigation (two-hour classroom session)
Navigation and trip-planning skills are required for anyone who plans to paddle on the ocean. This hands-on clinic covers the use of a nautical chart, compass, and tide and current tables. Only $ with enrollment in another 2015 class or trip, including Ocean Skills: Navigation!
Ocean Skills: Navigation (full-day trip)
Practice your navigational skills on the water. We cover nautical charts and compass use, tides and currents, trip planning, and various techniques of navigation, with plenty of hands-on exercises to give you real-world experience.
For Kids & Teens
Recommended Class Progression
for Aspiring Sea Kayakers
Intro. to Kayaking / Intro. Trip → Ocean Skills →
Ocean Paddling Skills
Take your paddling to the next level in this full-day trip which will introduce you to ocean paddling. Dial in your forward stroke, build your bracing skills, and practice self- and assisted rescues in a realistic ocean environment.
Rolling (three hours of instruction)
The Eskimo roll is the ultimate rescue: quick and unassisted. Students progress through a series of exercises designed to make rolling as easy as possible. Also great for paddlers looking to improve the reliability of their roll.
Rough-Water Paddling Skills
Intro. to Rough-Water Skills (full-day trip)
New England's coast, with all its tidal rivers, offers plenty of current, so you'd better be ready! This full-day trip covers boat handling, capsize prevention, and rescues in currents and guaranteed adverse conditions.
Advanced Rough-Water Skills (full-day trip)
Experience some of the strongest currents in New England during this full-day trip to Woods Hole, where you'll practice and play while improving your boat lean, bracing, and rescues in challenging conditions.
Surf Launching & Landing (full-day trip)
The surf zone is often feared by kayakers, but with appropriate skills and practice one can feel at home there. This clinic provides an opportunity to learn and practice launching and landing in waves and surf alongside an expert guide. The capsize-prevention skills you'll learn are invaluable!
Playing in Surf (full-day trip)
While the goal of Surf Launching & Landing is controlled launchings and landings, Ocean Skills: Advanced Surf is for experienced paddlers who want to ride waves in whitewater/surf kayaks for fun.
Sea Kayaking Trips (full-day trip)
Gain experience on the water while seeing some of the most spectacular sections of the Massachusetts coast, from Cape Ann to Cape Cod and more. Our guides are instructors, too, and they will help improve your skills during the trip.
Private Instruction (instruction customized to your taste)
Cover any skills you want, at your pace. We offer one-on-one or group private lessons, always with an expert instructor.
American Canoe Association Courses
ACA Certification is a nationally recognized standard for kayak instructors. The Instructor Development Workshop covers material tested during the Instructor Certification Exam.