Whitewater Kayaking School - Classes & Private Instruction
Prices listed do not include 5% USFS/Land use fees.
Exciting, dynamic and rewarding, whitewater kayaking is the most challenging of all the various styles of kayaking available. With this class, we've successfully created river kayakers for 26 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 will 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 will 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.
You'll begin your second day with a review of the first day's progress and an introduction to river reading and more safety skills. We will 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 class, students will 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! Classes start at 8:30am. sharp and are usually over by 4pm. Included are paddling equipment, lunch & transportation once you get to Sierra South. Now you are ready for the next step, The Third Day or an AM Roll/PM Tune-up.
"If I just had one more day!" . . . We've heard our students say this time and again. A third day is often just what the River Gods ordered to make it all come together. Graduates of our three-day courses have described the third day as more valuable than the first two combined. Why? Everything seems to come together and just click. You'll get a dedicated introduction to the Eskimo roll, more river experience and extra time to practice new skills. And besides, it's a great way to spend a Monday! We understand that some people enjoy Monday morning traffic, so the third day is optional. All we need is at least three individuals from the class to sign up, and the third day is a go. Talk your classmates into blowing off work, and invest in a great sport. We'll write you a note.
Beginner - Minimum Age 14 yrs.
The Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking classis designed for those who want a taste of whitewater kayaking and may not want to commit to our 2 or 3 day classes. Instructors will help you learn some of the basic skills while introducing you to the exciting aspects of this sport. Instructor's will select the best boats for you, and gear, and then start you out on flat water to build better boat control. Lunch is included. Minimum number is 4 students.
Beginner - Minimum Age 14 yrs.
There is no better place to spend a week than on the river, enrolled in our comprehensive whitewater program. Five days allow a complete immersion in the sport of whitewater kayaking. We will guide you through a gradual progression with plenty of time to practice and master skills before moving on to new challenges every day. The personal growth from such an in-depth commitment to this sport will last a lifetime. Graduates of this class will develop the skills and judgment needed to practice on their own and become independent kayakers. Most will suffer a total addiction to kayaking.
Included are paddling equipment, lunch & transportation once you get to Sierra South. Classes start at 8:30am. sharp and are usually over by 4pm.
Advanced Beginner - Minimum Age 14 yrs.
A 201 is for those who have successfully completed a 101 class, or can boat comfortably in Class II water, competently self-rescue, and have a working knowledge of the Eskimo roll. The majority of the class is spent on moving water, with a morning at the lake as a refresher. Our river time starts with refining basic paddle strokes, eddy turns, and ferry angles. We then introduce advanced strokes, surfing, and more difficult eddy turns and peel-outs. If your 101 class did not include a third day, we recommend you take a 101 AM Lake Roll/PM Tune-Up, or repeat a 101 class before taking this class. Classes start at 8:30am. sharp and are usually over by 4pm. Included are paddling equipment, lunch & transportation once you get to Sierra South. If you need advice, please give us a call.
And On The Third Day...
"If I just had one more day!" . . . We've heard our students say this time and again. A third day is often just what the River Gods ordered to make it all come together. Graduates of our three-day courses have described the third day as more valuable than the first two combined. Why? Everything seems to come together and just click. You'll get a dedicated attention to your Eskimo roll, more river experience and extra time to practice new skills. And besides, it's a great way to spend a Monday! We understand that some people enjoy Monday morning traffic, so the third day is optional. All we need is at least three individuals from the class to sign up, and the third day is a go. Talk your classmates into blowing off work, and invest in a great sport. We'll write you a note.
Minimum Age: 14Yrs.- Trip Length: 1 hr.
Want the express track to enjoying the thrill of Whitewater Kayaking? Think of this as the equivalent of first-time tandem skydiving with an instructor; only on water. You get to feel the rush of paddling in the front of a two-person whitewater kayak with a skilled instructor at the controls in the back of the boat. We will help paddle you down the Lickety Split class 2-3 section of the Kern River for the sheer fun and excitement of the sport. You need no previous experience. Your guide will give you all the instruction you need as the two of you together will maneuver through the fun rapids of the Kern for an hour’s worth of pure whitewater pleasure. This is also a great trip to experience with a friend, spouse, or significant other in another Dynamic Duo with an instructor. It is a gas to watch them go through a rapid at the same time! If you simply want to experience the rush of kayaking before putting in the time and effort in acquiring the skills, this is the fast track, quickie way to go. Weight and age limits apply.
For anyone who wants a customized session of instruction or more than our group lessons offer. Nothing improves your skills faster than one-on-one instruction with our experienced staff. Your instructor will review your goals and structure your day around meeting them. That can mean anything from private instruction to a guided excursion. Prices include private group instruction for 1- 4 people. Included are paddling equipment, wetsuit package, lunch & transportation once you get to Sierra South. Call the reservation office for more information on our private instruction. Private group sizes are from 1 to 4 people. Group discount will be automatically applied on checkout:
1 person Full-day: $290/person Half-day: $190/person
people Full-day: $250/person Half-day: $170/person
3 people Full-day: $230/person Half-day: $160/person
4 people Full-day: $220/person Half-day: $150/person
Beginner-Adv. Beginner Minimum Age 14 yrs.
This is a women's-only class taught by our best women instructors. We cover the same material as our regular 101 or 201 classes, but tailor it to the needs of the group. This is a great opportunity for women to enjoy kayaking without the concern or competition that sometimes comes along when taking a class with a spouse or boyfriend. This is also a great way to network with future paddling partners Classes start at 8:30am sharp and are usually over by 4:00 p.m. Included is paddling equipment, lunch & transportation once you get to Sierra South.
Beginner Minimum Age "How old do you feel?"
This class is taught at a more laid-back pace than the regular 101 class. Kayaking calls on muscles to move in new and different ways, and tends to push your flexibility. If you have the enthusiasm but it's been a while since you worked out the cobwebs, this is the class for you. Classes start at 8:30am. sharp and are usually over by 4pm. Included are paddling equipment, lunch & transportation once you get to Sierra South. Some discounts may apply please ask.
Beginner Ages 11 to 16 yrs.
These are special three-day classes just for teenagers. The classes arestructured to appeal to the different learning styles of young adults. We still teach the same basic paddling skills as in our regular three day 101 & 201 classes. Let us help introduce the excitement of kayaking at an impressionable age.
The majority of the 201 class is spent on the river, with an initial morning refresher on the lake. On the river, we start by refining basic paddle strokes, eddy turns, and ferry angles. Next, we introduce advanced strokes, surfing, and more challenging eddy turns & peel-outs, and whitewater navigation skills.
Classes start at 8:30 a.m. sharp and are usually over by 4:00 p.m. Included is paddling equipment, lunch & transportation once you get to Sierra South.
Beginner-Adv. Beginner Minimum Age 14 yrs.
There is no doubt about it. To excel in river kayaking requires instruction. A tune-up is a fantastic way to go paddle in the afternoon with an instructor and keep moving up the learning curve. Spend a single run fine-tuning the skills you've learned so far, as well as trying new challenges. Take this chance to try some tighter lines or tougher moves. You'll have a solid partner to show you the way, and back you up if you need a hand. Gear and river shuttles are included. No lunch is provided. Class starts at 1:30pm. Prerequisite: A 101 or 201 class or equivalent.
Beginner-Adv. Beginner Minimum Age 14 yrs.
How does more river time under the watchful eye of an instructor sound? How reliable is your roll? We've designed a course combining a rolling session in the morning with a river run in the afternoon for a great one-day continuing ed/refresher course. The morning will be dedicated to learning and refining the Eskimo roll in the calm waters of Isabella Lake, or on the river, depending on the class level. In the afternoon, we will do a river run on the Kern while your instructor reviews basic skills and offers new challenges. Paddling gear, river shuttles, and lunch are included. This is not for first-timers. Class starts at 9am. Prerequisite: A 101 or 201 class or equivalent.
Intermediate Minimum Age 14 yrs.
Glide across the eddy line, back pry, and drive the stern down into the water: BANG, you’re looking at sky and pinging the redline on the fun meter. Welcome to the world of freestyle playboating. New boat designs make complex moves easy. Use the hot new boat of your choice to learn maneuvers, such as squirts, flat spins, bow stalls, cartwheels, and wave wheels. Plan on rolling a lot! Nose plugs are recommended and can be purchased at the store After paddling with some of the best freestyle playboaters on the Kern, you’ll be trying things in class III water you never dreamed possible. Classes start at 8:30am. Included are paddling equipment, lunch for full days & transportation once you get to Sierra South.
Advanced Intermediate/Expert Minimum Age 14 yrs.
Sierra South is proud to offer Class IV and V kayaking classes on the Upper Kern. Here is your chance to take the skills you have learned on the Class III River Kayaking 101, River Kayaking 201, and Freestyle classes, and under the watchful eye of your Sierra South instructor, tackle the challenges of running Class IV-V. These classes will be offered according to availability around our rafting trips and water levels. Emphasis will be on Class IV-V river reading and river running skills. A reliable river roll, self-rescue and portaging skills are needed to take advantage of this class. Call for more details on availability. Saturday starts will be very limited due to the high volume of rafting on this day. Kayaks and paddling gear not included. Kayaks are available for rent on a first come basis.
Expert Minimum Age 16 yrs.
Sierra South will be offering elite kayakers the chance to join our Forks of the Kern rafting trips on a limited space available status. We will supply a kayaking instructor to show you the lines and particular challenges of the Forks on our 2 and 3 day trips. Overnight gear will be carried on the rafts. This trip is for expert kayakers only. You must have considerable Class IV or better kayaking experiences, a solid river roll and excellent self-rescue and portaging skills. This is for the avid kayaker looking for some pointers in reading and running one of the best Class V sections of whitewater in California. Call for more details and availability. Kayaks and paddling gear not included. Kayaks are available for rent on a first come basis.
Advanced Beginner Minimum Age 16 yrs.
This two-day comprehensive course is designed for Class II and above kayakers, rafters, canoeists, and open-toppers that want to learn specifics of river rescue. The class starts indoors; however, most of our time will be spent “hands-on” in Riverside Park learning many first responder techniques, such as how to set up zip lines, effective throwbag use, knot-tying practice, real-life rescue management, Z-Drags and more. The course includes lunches, Saturday night dinner, videos, and use of major rescue gear. Some gear is required. Space is limited. Please call for more details.
Store: 760-376-3745 Mail Order: 800-376-7303 Reservations: 800-457-2082
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