Return to Boater Board

Kayak Course Recommendations?

Home Page Forums Boater Board Kayak Course Recommendations?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #1962

    Hey Everyone,

    My husband has a 15 year old daughter that is very new to kayaking. I’ve taken her to Palmers once and while she had fun, she got as far as a wet exit in terms of skill and was a bit scared of moving water.

    He’s looking to find either a 2, 3 or 5 day course that would be at her pace either on the Ottawa or the Rouge. He’d also like to take it with her – he’s got his roll, but it’s sketchy in WW. Both have gear, and they’d like a place with reasonable food, camping costs.

    Any suggestions? He’s good with both big and small schools, just as long as the instructors are good.

    I’d REALLY like to see them get into paddling – I’m totally hooked and I’m tired of the dirty looks when I disappear for the weekend.

    It would be SOO much more fun if they came out too!

    <img loading=” title=”Wink” />



    Tyler Durden

    Madawaska Kanu Centre [url:1udl1d6m][/url:1udl1d6m] would be a good choice. Personally, I think learning to paddle on a lower volume river like the Madawaska is less intimidating for most beginners.


    I agree. MKC would be the way to go… Make sure they get the meal plan!!!!


    MKC has a great program, as do the Ottawa Kayak School (OKS of Wilderness Tours) and Liquid Logic (out of River Run). MKC is run out of a beautiful resort like setting on the Madawaska River about 2 hours from Ottawa – great food too!

    OKS has a Teen Program which is run in tandem with adult courses. Teens learn with their peers which is best for them. Not certain about LS. Both OKS and LS run on the Ottawa River by Beachburg.

    The Paddler’s Co-op is running some great programs this year – primarily out of Palmers.

    In Ottawa, Down to Earth runs courses from Bates Island (Champlain), less costly. I believe they are doing a 1/2 and full day camp. Run by former national slalom kayak team member Jen Gratto.

    Local retailers Trail Head and Paddle Shack also have courses/instructors. Brendan of Paddle Shack has recently been guest instructor for the Keeners, a Wilderness Tours program for teens that are really into kayaking and want to get really good (3 week course minimum).

    Good Luck and happy paddling!



    The Wife and I signed up for MKC, I’ll let you know after July 28th. Heard nothing but good things.


    I took a 2-day course with Esprit Rafting up on the Ottawa ( and loved it. I had never paddled before and they hooked me right into the sport (bought my first boat last week). I brought my sisters up for the course (20 & 15 years old) and it was just us and their kayak instructor.

    We spent the morning of the first day in flat water learning T-rescues and various paddle strokes. In the afternoon we learned how to ferry and catch eddies in small moving water. We spent Day 2 on the Ottawa, the scariest rapid we ran being Butterfly.

    The instruction was great, the camping was cheap and their food was more than decent. The course itself was $200/person for Saturday/Sunday, VERY highly recommended!

    zack splaine

    if you want something on the ottawa i took the 5 day course with liquidskills and it was awsome by the second day we ran the middle and by the 3rd we ran the main, and now i have been paddling a little over a year and have only swam twice since lessons


    I did two weeks of Ottawa Kayak School the summer before last and loved it! Staying at WT is awesome and the instructors are great! Then, last summer, I was a Keener for the entire summer! What I would say is if the daughter likes kayaking and can roll, she should try a few weeks of the Keener program. It is hands down the best around with excellent instruction from people like Stephen Wright (head coach and US National Champion), Eric Jackson, Tyler Curtis, Clay Wright, Benoit Gauthier, etc. I had a blast with the Keeners last summer and learned a ton! Now this summer I work photo at WT. I can also recommend the Keener program not just for its excellence in kayaking but also in that it teaches numerous new skills and life lessons. Keeners learn Swift Water Rescue Training and learn photography and video. As someone looking to go into film/photography, it helped me out a lot as I got a ton of experience and shots in different places. I was able to get shots on the World Cup site, OKS and WT sites and brochures, Jackson Kayak site, 1 shot recently in Kayak Session, and I think some in the AT catalogue! For me, the best two things were gaining great kayaking experience and exposure for my photography! The Keeners are a great group and just total fun to hang around with. Hope that helps you!

    Cheers – Yash <img loading=” title=”Smile” />


    OutdoorsOriented has some good classes. I really enjoyed them, and now Im paddling weekly.


    My son just finished a 3 day course with MKC.
    He loved it! by the end of the course they had him running class 1-2 river.
    He had all his own gear so they gave us a great deal.
    Check them out.
    Talk to Sasha, she rocks!


    Hey Debbie,

    I would go with Esprit, they are a fantastic company. I have done kayaking courses with Esprit & Wilderness Tours and Esprit is much more superior. They have fantastic food, great service, friendly staff that enjoy paddling so they know what they are talking about. I did a week of rivers in Mexico with them this year and Jim Coffey (the owner) is so hands on and fantastic. IF you ever have a problem he will deal with it personally.

    I started paddling when I was 6 so I can understand your daughters apprehension. I also paddle with my dad (that’s why we were in Mexico to celebrate his 50th birthday). and it is a great sport to bond with. Its fantastic because if I ever get into trouble I know he is right there next to me. Wilderness Tours ran over my kayak 2 weeks ago, pinning me under it (another reason I don’t like WT, the rafters SAW me before they ran me over) and the paddlers got really lippy (yelling & swearing), by the time I got out my dad was already there telling them off! IT’s great to know you have someone with you who will defend you! I have a boyfriend now who just started paddling and its a great way that my dad and my BF bond together!

    Sorry it’s so long, I just wanted to say it’s great your daughter & hubby are paddling together, keep encouraging them and get them to take a course. It’s the best way to become confident.

    If you daughter ever need’s a female to chat with about paddling let me know!

    Good luck!


Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.