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Rough-Water Skills Trips

Our Rough-Water Skills Series is all about confidence in turbulent conditions. From the extreme currents of Woods Hole
Paddle in realistic ocean conditions under the watchful eye of our guides during our Rough-Water Skills series.
to the chaos of the surf zone and the excitement of a rock garden, these trips will give the experienced paddler the skills they need to be comfortable in any situation.
The Rough-Water Skills series of four separate trips is designed to prepare paddlers for their own ocean adventures. Experience the fun and excitement of learning to handle your kayak in realistic conditions with an expert guide alongside.
Our Rough-Water Skills series is a critical part of our
Recommended Progression for Aspiring Sea Kayakers.
Introduction to Rough Water
The New England coast, with its multitude of tidal rivers and bays, has no shortage of current. During this full-day trip,
you'll practice handling your boat in moderate current, where waves and eddylines will force you to use your bracing and rescue skills.
We will travel to Cohasset Harbor, where we will find ocean waves (weather permitting) and a tidal rip with moderate current (see video above), introducing you to conditions commonly encountered on the ocean. Our guides will help you test your limits while taking advantage of situations that are within your capabilities. We will cover a broad spectrum of topics including refining the forward stroke and practicing boat lean, bracing,
Realistic Conditions
If you haven't practiced rescues in the conditions of the day, you shouldn't paddle in those conditions. The prudent paddler learns and improves by experiencing realistic ocean conditions with a veteran guide alongside. Our Rough-Water Skills Clinics provide an environment in which to test your limits.
ferrying, and re-entries.
This trip is designed for those who have taken our Introduction to Kayaking and Ocean Skills. Paddlers should be able to perform assisted rescues and paddle 6 miles over the course of the day.
Intro. to Rough-Water Full-Day Trip meets at our Paddling Shop at 160 Riverview Ave in Waltham and travels by van to Cohasset. We plan to return to Waltham approximately 9 hours after the trip departs.
$139 includes full-day trip with expert guiding (max. 5:1 student:instructor ratio) using your own boat.
$155 with a composite or plastic sea kayak (model depends on availability).
Formal Ocean Paddling Instruction Required
Students who have not participated in our Introductory Classes and Ocean Skills must have previous ocean kayaking instruction, including a wet exit, self-rescue, and bracing skills, before participating in our Ocean Skills: Current.
If you have had no formal instruction (even if you've been paddling for a while), we strongly recommend that you take our Introduction to Kayaking course or its equivalent. While the name says "Introduction," this course covers many intermediate and advanced skills and will greatly benefit anyone who has never had formal instruction. We guarantee it!
If you have had no formal training and have questions about the pre-requisites for our Ocean Skills: Current, please contact us.
Wet Exit Practice Required
Students who have not performed a wet exit may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Current but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Current. If you have questions, please contact us.
Assisted Rescue Practice Required
Students who have not performed an assisted rescue may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Current but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Current. If you have questions, please contact us.
Paddle 6 Miles in an Outing
Students participating in our Ocean Skills: Current must be able to paddle 6 miles in an outing. For most people, spending more time kayaking will help them increase their endurance so they can fulfill this requirement. For a quick and easy way to spend more time on the water, visit one of our rental locations! If you have questions, please contact us.
Registration & Cancellation Policies for Paddling Classes and Trips
  • Full payment is due upon registration for a class, clinic, or trip.
  • For cancellations received 7 days or more before your scheduled activity, we will issue a refund less a 10% registration fee.
  • For cancellations received fewer than 7 days before your scheduled activity, we are unable to offer any refunds.
  • Classes, clinics, and trips always run unless the weather is extreme.
  • A minimum number of registrants is required for any event to run. If we cancel an event due to low enrollment, we will provide a full refund.
  • Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability. To save time, you can download this waiver and bring it with you.
Pre-Requisites & Requirements. Before signing up, you must have:
  • Formal instruction in bracing and rescue skills on the ocean, like our Ocean Skills or equivalent.
  • Previous practice of a wet exit, where you flipped a kayak, removed the sprayskirt, and exited the kayak while underwater.
  • Previous practice of an assisted rescue, where you wet-exited the kayak in deep water and were rescued by another kayaker.
  • Ability to paddle 6 miles in an outing.
  • No Dates Are Currently Scheduled
    Advanced Rough-Water Skills
    Come with us to beautiful Woods Hole on Cape Cod to play in some of the strongest tidal currents in New England. The turbulent conditions
    Paddle in very challenging ocean conditions in Woods Hole during our Advanced Rough-Water Skills.
    found here provide the opportunity to both test and refine your boat handling skills.
    During this clinic students will have the opportunity to work on boat lean, ferrying, eddy turns, bracing, and rescues in challenging conditions of wind, waves, and strong current. The emphasis will be on capsize prevention and recovery. Our experienced instructors will help you improve your kayaking skills and learn your capabilities.
    Advanced Rough-Water Skills requires previous ocean paddling instruction in current (like our Intro. to Rough-Water Skills) including the ability to perform re-entries, boat leans, braces, ferrying, catching eddies, and paddle at least 10 miles.
    Advanced Rough-Water Skills Full-Day Trip meets at our Waltham Paddling Shop and travels by van to Woods Hole. We plan to return to Waltham approximately 11 hours after the trip departs.
    $139 includes full-day trip with expert guiding (max. 5:1 student:instructor ratio) using your own boat.
    $155 with a composite or plastic sea kayak (model depends on availability).
    Formal Instruction in Current Required
    Students must have previous ocean kayaking instruction in waves and current, such as our Intro. to Rough-Water Skills full-day trip, before participating in our Ocean Skills: Advanced. The conditions we expect to encounter during our Ocean Skills: Advanced are very challenging, and students must have strong bracing skills, excellent boat lean, and be very comfortable performing wet exits and assisted rescues.
    If you have had no formal instruction (even if you've been paddling for a while), we strongly recommend that you take our Introduction to Kayaking course or its equivalent. While the name says "Introduction," this course covers many intermediate and advanced skills and will greatly benefit anyone who has never had formal instruction. We guarantee it!
    If you have taken introductory instruction but are not comfortable performing skills like boat lean, braces, assisted rescues, and self-rescues in waves and strong current, you should take our Ocean Skills trip.
    If you have had no formal training and have questions about the pre-requisites for our Ocean Skills: Advanced, please contact us.
    Wet Exit Practice Required
    Students who have not performed a wet exit may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Advanced but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Advanced. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Assisted Rescue Practice Required
    Students who have not performed an assisted rescue may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Advanced but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Advanced. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Be Prepared to Paddle in Challenging Conditions
    Students must be prepared to experience challenging conditions during our Ocean Skills: Advanced. We will hold this trip in conditions of 10- to 15-knot winds and 2- to 3-foot (head-high) waves, if necessary.
    If you are not yet comfortable paddling in significant wind and waves, we recommend building your skills in our Ocean Skills trip. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Paddle 10 Miles in an Outing
    Students participating in our Ocean Skills: Advanced must be able to paddle 10 miles in an outing. For most people, spending more time kayaking will help them increase their endurance so they can fulfill this requirement. For a quick and easy way to spend more time on the water, visit one of our rental locations! If you have questions, please contact us.
    Registration & Cancellation Policies for Paddling Classes and Trips
    • Full payment is due upon registration for a class, clinic, or trip.
    • For cancellations received 7 days or more before your scheduled activity, we will issue a refund less a 10% registration fee.
    • For cancellations received fewer than 7 days before your scheduled activity, we are unable to offer any refunds.
    • Classes, clinics, and trips always run unless the weather is extreme.
    • A minimum number of registrants is required for any event to run. If we cancel an event due to low enrollment, we will provide a full refund.
    • Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability. To save time, you can download this waiver and bring it with you.
    Pre-Requisites & Requirements. Before signing up, you must have:
  • Formal ocean paddling instruction in turbulent conditions, like our Intro. to Rough-Water Skills.
  • Previous practice of a wet exit, where you flipped a kayak, removed the sprayskirt, and exited the kayak while underwater.
  • Previous practice of an assisted rescue, where you wet-exited the kayak in deep water and were rescued by another kayaker.
  • Skills to paddle in challenging conditions of 10-15 knot winds and 2-3 foot waves.
  • Ability to paddle 10 miles in an outing.
  • No Dates Are Currently Scheduled
     
    Surf Launching & Landing
    Eventually, all sea kayakers will encounter waves and surf during an outing. Wouldn't it be nice to face these adverse conditions with confidence?
    Experience the ultimate in confidence when you conquer the surf zone. Our Launching & Landing in Surf will help!
    A few simple techniques, along with a lot of practice in realistic conditions, will allow you to reliably launch and land in surf.
    Surf Launching & Landing covers these techniques and provides for ample practice time under the watchful eye of an expert guide. Most importantly, the bracing skills you learn and practice in the surf zone will improve your stability and decrease your risk of capsize under whatever conditions Mother Nature throws at you.
    In addition to sea kayakers, Surf Launching & Landing is a perfect introduction for those who focus on kayak surfing,
    In The Surf
    Once you feel confident in the surf zone, you feel more confident everywhere. The bracing and capsize-prevention skills learned there enhance your stability no matter where you paddle. Our expert guides will help you gain that confidence.
    as we cover surf etiquette and the proper outfitting of a kayak for surf work. Plus, you spend a wonderful day along the Massachusetts coast.
    Surf Launching & Landing requires previous ocean paddling instruction in turbulence (like our Intro. to Rough-Water Skills), including knowledge of bracing, assisted-rescue techniques, and handling a kayak in current. The sand spit at the mouth of the North River in Scituate is our primary destination, but if conditions require we may travel to Rhode Island or New Hampshire to find good surf.
    To ensure that each student receives highly personalized attention, this trip is limited to a student-to-instructor ratio of 4:1.
    Surf Launching & Landing Full-Day Trip meets at our Paddling Shop at 160 Riverview Ave. in Waltham and travels by van to our destination. We plan to return to Waltham approximately 9 hours after the trip departs.
    $175 includes full-day trip with expert guiding (maximum 4:1 student:instructor ratio) and complimentary use of a composite or plastic sea kayak (model depends on availability). Sorry, no discounts are available with your own boat.
    Formal Instruction in Current Required
    Students must have previous ocean kayaking instruction in waves and current, such as our Intro. to Rough-Water Skills full-day trip, before participating in our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing. The conditions we expect to encounter during our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing are very challenging, and students must have strong bracing skills, excellent boat lean, and be very comfortable performing wet exits and assisted rescues.
    If you have had no formal instruction (even if you've been paddling for a while), we strongly recommend that you take our Introduction to Kayaking course or its equivalent. While the name says "Introduction," this course covers many intermediate and advanced skills and will greatly benefit anyone who has never had formal instruction. We guarantee it!
    If you have taken introductory instruction but are not comfortable performing skills like boat lean, braces, assisted rescues, and self-rescues in waves and strong current, you should take our Ocean Skills trip.
    If you have had no formal training and have questions about the pre-requisites for our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing, please contact us.
    Wet Exit Practice Required
    Students who have not performed a wet exit may sign up for our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Assisted Rescue Practice Required
    Students who have not performed an assisted rescue may sign up for our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Be Prepared to Paddle in Challenging Conditions
    Students must be prepared to experience challenging conditions during our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing. We will hold this trip in conditions of 10- to 15-knot winds and 2- to 3-foot (head-high) waves, if necessary.
    If you are not yet comfortable paddling in significant wind and waves, we recommend building your skills in our Ocean Skills trip. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Paddle 10 Miles in an Outing
    Students participating in our Ocean Skills Surf Launching and Landing must be able to paddle 10 miles in an outing. For most people, spending more time kayaking will help them increase their endurance so they can fulfill this requirement. For a quick and easy way to spend more time on the water, visit one of our rental locations! If you have questions, please contact us.
    Registration & Cancellation Policies for Paddling Classes and Trips
    • Full payment is due upon registration for a class, clinic, or trip.
    • For cancellations received 7 days or more before your scheduled activity, we will issue a refund less a 10% registration fee.
    • For cancellations received fewer than 7 days before your scheduled activity, we are unable to offer any refunds.
    • Classes, clinics, and trips always run unless the weather is extreme.
    • A minimum number of registrants is required for any event to run. If we cancel an event due to low enrollment, we will provide a full refund.
    • Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability. To save time, you can download this waiver and bring it with you.
    Pre-Requisites & Requirements. Before signing up, you must have:
  • Formal ocean paddling instruction in turbulent conditions, like our Intro. to Rough-Water Skills.
  • Previous practice of a wet exit, where you flipped a kayak, removed the sprayskirt, and exited the kayak while underwater.
  • Previous practice of an assisted rescue, where you wet-exited the kayak in deep water and were rescued by another kayaker.
  • Skills to paddle in challenging conditions of 10-15 knot winds and 2-3 foot waves.
  • Ability to paddle 10 miles in an outing.
  • No Dates Are Currently Scheduled
    Playing in Surf
    Once you've experienced the joy of paddling in surf, why not dive in headfirst? Playing in Surf
    There's nothing like the feeling of surfing a kayak! Playing in Surf will introduce you to this exciting sport.
    is a full-day trip for the sole purpose of surfing in whitewater/surf kayaks. While the primary goal of Surf Launching & Landing is controlled launchings and landings, Playing in Surf is for those who want to ride waves for fun.
    Playing in Surf introduces paddlers to surf kayak technique with an emphasis on fun. Your instructor will expose you to the essentials of surf kayaking, including strokes, surf etiquette, surf zone safety, self/assisted rescues, and ocean safety considerations. Experience the inherent enjoyment and reward of paddling in the surf zone!
    Playing in Surf requires previous surf paddling instruction (like our Surf Launching & Landing) and skills, including command of bracing, assisted-rescue techniques, and basic handling of a kayak in surf. A reliable roll, while not required, is recommended.
    To ensure that each student receives highly personalized attention, this trip is limited to a student-to-instructor ratio of 4:1.
    Playing in Surf Full-Day Trip meets at our Paddling Shop at 160 Riverview Ave. in Waltham and travels by van to our destination. We plan to return to Waltham approximately 9 hours after the trip departs.
    $175 includes full-day trip with expert guiding (maximum 4:1 student:instructor ratio) and complimentary use of a composite or plastic sea kayak (model depends on availability). Sorry, no discounts are available with your own boat.
    Formal Surf Paddling Instruction Required
    Students must have previous kayaking instruction in surf, such as our Surf Launching & Landing full-day trip, before participating in our Ocean Skills: Playing in Surf. The conditions we expect to encounter during our Ocean Skills: Playing in Surf are very challenging, and students must have strong bracing skills, excellent boat lean, and be very comfortable performing wet exits and assisted rescues.

    If you have taken introductory instruction but are not comfortable performing skills like boat lean, braces, assisted rescues, and self-rescues in waves, you should take our Intro. to Rough-Water Skills trip.

    If you have questions, please contact us.
    Wet Exit Practice Required
    Students who have not performed a wet exit may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Playing in Surf but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Playing in Surf. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Assisted Rescue Practice Required
    Students who have not performed an assisted rescue may sign up for our Ocean Skills: Playing in Surf but must complete the Introduction to Kayaking course, an Introductory Trip, or a private lesson before participating in our Ocean Skills: Playing in Surf. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Reliable Roll Recommended
    While we do not require a reliable roll, it will certainly make you more comfortable during our Ocean Skills: Playing in Surf (not to mention significantly decrease your boat-bailing time). We recommend working on your roll in our Rolling Class or a private lesson. If you have questions, please contact us.
    Registration & Cancellation Policies for Paddling Classes and Trips
    • Full payment is due upon registration for a class, clinic, or trip.
    • For cancellations received 7 days or more before your scheduled activity, we will issue a refund less a 10% registration fee.
    • For cancellations received fewer than 7 days before your scheduled activity, we are unable to offer any refunds.
    • Classes, clinics, and trips always run unless the weather is extreme.
    • A minimum number of registrants is required for any event to run. If we cancel an event due to low enrollment, we will provide a full refund.
    • Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability. To save time, you can download this waiver and bring it with you.
    Pre-Requisites & Requirements. Before signing up, you must have:
  • Formal paddling instruction in surf, like our Surf Launching & Landing.
  • Previous practice of a wet exit, where you flipped a kayak, removed the sprayskirt, and exited the kayak while underwater.
  • Previous practice of an assisted rescue, where you wet-exited the kayak in deep water and were rescued by another kayaker.
  • A reliable roll is recommended, as it will increase your enjoyment and decrease your boat-bailing time.
  • No Dates Are Currently Scheduled
    Not Quite Ready for Rough Water? Go To Our
    Ocean Skills Series
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    (617) 965-5110
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