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 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: Rough Water.
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: Rough Water, please contact us
Paddle 6 Miles in an Outing
Students participating in our Ocean Skills: Rough Water 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
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.
Release and Waiver of Liability -- Complete Before Arrival
Please read the release over carefully and give us a call or e-mail if you have any questions.
Directions and Check-In
Your tour will meet at Charles River Canoe & Kayak's location at 160 Riverview Ave in Waltham, MA. Please follow this link
for a map and directions.
What To Wear and Bring
Food & Water
Pack a hearty brown-bag lunch, power snacks, and plenty of water. It is easy to become dehydrated while kayaking, especially on hot days when you will experience a lot of sun exposure. Drink plenty of fluids the day before your trip, and bring at least 32 ounces of water the day of the trip.
The purpose of our Ocean Skills trips is to practice skills, including rescues, in realistic conditions. Plan to get wet, and dress accordingly.
Wear clothing that retains its insulative properties when wet. Clothing made of synthetic materials such as capilene, polypro, nylon, or fleece are ideal. Avoid cotton (especially blue jeans) as it is uncomfortable and looses all insulating qualities when it gets wet.
The goal is to adjust your clothing choice for the weather conditions of the day. Bring clothing in thin layers that you can add and remove throughout the day as conditions and your activity levels change.
On very warm days you may want to wear a swimsuit. On cooler days, bring warm clothing for both your legs and torso and a lightweight nylon shell. For rainy days, a hooded rain jacket and wide-brimmed, waterproof hat are recommended.
All participants are also welcome to use our Farmer John wetsuits and waterproof paddling jackets at no charge. These are especially good for rainy days, colder days, practicing rescues, or if you do not own synthetic clothing. During early- or late-season kayak trips, wetsuits and paddling jackets may be required. We also have a limited selection of drysuits (the ultimate in cold-water or cold-weather comfort -- much nicer than a wetsuit) available for a fee, and you can reserve one during the reservation process.
On your feet, wear neoprene booties, aqua socks, water sports sandals (e.g. Tevas), or old sneakers. Booties are available for sale in our Paddling Store.
On your head, wear a hat with a brim. If it's cold, bring a warm hat. We also have warm skullcaps designed for paddlesports available in our Paddling Store. If you wear glasses, a retaining strap is required.
There's little shade on the water, so wear sunglasses with a retaining strap and sunscreen, even if it's cloudy.
Be sure to bring a towel and a change of clothes you can put on at the trip's end.
What Is Included
If you select "with Boat Rental," we provide a kayak and paddle. We provide all participants with a spray skirt, life jacket, Farmer John wet suit, paddling jacket and dry bag (for your lunch). Please feel free to bring any paddling equipment of your own.
If you have a kayak preference, please include a note with your reservation or e-mail us. In most cases, we are able to accommodate personal boat choices. If your first choice is unavailable, we will try to provide a comparable alternative.
Sea kayaking, even in protected waters, can induce motion sickness. If you are prone to motion sickness or seasickness, please address the problem before your trip. There are very effective over-the-counter medications, such as Dramamine, Bonine, or Dramamine II/Non-Drowsy formula, that can prevent motion sickness and relieve the symptoms. Please consult your physician.
Restrooms and Facilities
There are no restrooms available from the time we paddle from the launch site until we return. Please plan accordingly.
If there are no restroom facilities available at the launch site, we will stop for a bathroom break during the van ride to and from the launch. You will be able to change your clothes in the van if no facilities are available.
Kayaking can be done in almost any weather, so trips run rain or shine. On rare occasions, your guide may need to change the location of your trip due to wind, rain, or thunderstorms. Only in the case of extreme conditions would we cancel a trip. We will notify you by 8pm the night before should a cancellation occur.
As mentioned above, we can provide you a wetsuit and paddling jacket at no charge, which will keep you much more comfortable in inclement weather.
Cell Phones and Smoking
Charles River Canoe & Kayak operates all of our events in a smoke-free environment. We also ask that all of our participants refrain from cell phone use during their event. Your cooperation is appreciated and will contribute to the comfort of all our guests.