Introduction to Kayaking

Introduction to Kayaking

  
The Introduction to Kayaking course is designed as a short program emphasizing safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry-level individuals. This course is appropriate for all kayak craft, including traditional decked kayaks, inflatables and sit on tops. Presentations include dressing to paddle safely and potential paddling hazards. Simple rescues are demonstrated by the instructor combined with paddling skills practiced by students to maneuver safely and comfortably on still water.
 
This course is presented in two sections; the first (about an hour) takes place on-site at Kenco and includes safety and equipment instruction.  The second section (about 5 hours) takes place on local waters and the location will be announced during the first section of the course based on local conditions.
 
Introduction to Kayaking: Detailed Course Outline from the American Canoe Association (ACA)
 
Our instructor, Gunter Spilhaus, is a member of the American Canoe Association (ACA) with a Level 3 Coastal Kayak instructor certification, and is also a U.S. Coast Guard Captain. Gunter was born and raised in Africa and spent many years paddling sea kayaks and surf skis on the coastal waters around Cape Town. He started his paddling career as a guide on the major rivers in Southern Africa. He led multi-day expedition canoe trips on the Orange River in Namibia, led whitewater rafting trips and also worked as safety kayak guide on grade 3/4 water of the Doring and Tugela rivers in South Africa. While working on the rivers he also had the opportunity to paddle the mighty Zambezi in Zimbabwe.
 
Eight years ago Gunter moved to the U.S. with his wife and daughter and they settled in the Hudson Valley. He spends his winters running the events team at Hunter Mountain and his summers running his adventure-based event management company, which includes mountain biking, kayaking, teambuilding events and sailing.
 
Required Equipment:  Each participant will need to bring their own properly outfitted kayak, PFD (personal floatation device) and paddle.  Please also bring your sense of adventure and a willingness to learn and be prepared to step out our of your comfort zone to gain a new set of skills.  We will have paddle floats and pumps for loan during the course, but we recommend that you have your own if possible so you can practice with it.
 
Personal Equipment:  We recommend clothing suitable for immersion, as you will be getting wet during the rescue skills portion of the course. A dry wick shirt (no cotton or synthetics) and water shoes ( no open sandals) are required. If you prefer to use nose-clips or swim goggles while underwater please bring them along. You should also bring along sunglasses (with straps), a hat with a visor, bug repellant, sunscreen and a spare set of clothes to change into after the course. Also be sure to bring a windbreaker in case it is chilly.
 
You should speak with your instructor before the course starts about any medical issues or concerns you may have about the course, so we can accommodate your needs during the lesson.
 
Please speak with our kayaking department staff if you are looking to purchase equipment.
 
Minimum age:  10 (children 10 - 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian)
 
Cost for the class: $75.00 per person
 
Class capacity: 5
 
Please note that Kenco is not offering kayak lessons for the 2016 season.
 
If you have already completed the Introduction to Kayaking course (or already have the basic skills) please take a look at our Essentials of Kayak Touring.  Please also take a look at some of the top brands we carry and learn more about our extensive Boating Department.
  
Kenco. Come in here to go outside.
  

 

 


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