Whitewater Kayaking 101
Beginner | Ages 14 & up
Exciting, dynamic, and rewarding, whitewater kayaking is the most challenging of all the various styles of kayaking available.
Multi-Day Whitewater Kayaking Class
With this class, we’ve successfully created river kayakers for 30+ years. Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We’ve designed our beginning class for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. Take this class if you are a sea kayaker or surf kayaker paddling on the river for the first time.
The 101 class starts on the flatwater of Isabella Lake, where you learn essential boating skills such as the wet-exit, self-rescue, partner-assisted rolls, and efficient stroke technique. At the end of the morning session, we break for a hearty lunch and preview the afternoon’s challenges. We spend the afternoon on the lake developing more of the steering and balancing skills needed to do river maneuvers such as peel-outs, ferries, and eddy turns. These and other techniques are required to become a safe, efficient whitewater kayaker.
Begin your second day with a review of the first day’s progress and an introduction to river reading and more safety skills. We progress to the river to practice our new techniques on moving water. After lunch, the two-day class graduates take an exciting run down a class II-III whitewater section of the Kern. Upon completion of this Sierra South kayaking class, students receive a free kayak package rental and be eligible to rent a kayak in the future. What are you waiting for? Come out and learn a great new way to play!
Schedule & Duration
- Months of operation: March – September
- Classes start at 8:30 a.m. sharp and are usually over by 4 p.m.
- Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your class
- Two to three days; six to seven hours per day
- Must be at least 14 years old
- Must weigh between 50 and 275 lbs.
- Please wear shoes that will stay on your feet in the water, such as tennis shoes, water shoes, or sandals that have a heel strap. No flip-flops or bare-feet!
- Upon completion of this river kayaking class, students receive a Certificate of Completion, plus a free kayak package rental and be eligible to rent a kayak in the future
- Included are paddling equipment, lunch, and transportation once you get to Sierra South
- All classes require a minimum number of guests. If participant numbers are not met we will notify you and provide various options for your class to go on
- All of our kayaking trips may be adjusted based on water levels and/or other conditions
Responsibility & Liability
All Sierra South trips and classes involve physical activity and include certain elements of risk. We make every effort to run trips and classes in the finest, most fun-filled manner as possible. However, we cannot guarantee your safety. It is your responsibility to evaluate your level of fitness and to select a trip or class which is appropriate for you. Seek medical advice before your trip if you question your physical condition. It is your responsibility to follow our instructions.
Everyone will be required to sign a release of liability/assumption of risk form and photography/video waiver form before departure. Minors under 18 not accompanied by their parents must bring a release form signed by their parent or legal guardian. Click here to download the Release Form.
Sierra South operates under permits issued by: Sequoia National Forest, Klamath National Forest, and the National Park Service/Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Sierra South is an equal opportunity recreation service provider.
Hours of Operation
Store: 9am – 5pm, Mon-Sun
Reservations: 9am – 5pm, Mon-Fri