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Old 08-13-2013   #1
roseburg, Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1
need advice on how too get started on whitewater kayaking

So I want too get into whitewater kayaking but before I do I want to take lessons but there isnt a place close too where I live to take them. So i was wondering if anyone had any advice on if i should drive too the place and take lessons or just go out and teach my self. the river I live by is probably class 1 rapids if that.

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Old 08-13-2013   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
You can't really teach yourself.

Whitewater in general (and especially kayaking) is a social/team sport.

Find the local paddle shop and ask about lessons.
Find a crew with some other beginners (maybe a year or three more experienced than yourself) and go out and practice rolls in a local pond or lake. Start running that class I and look out for each other.

Take a swiftwater rescue class.

have fun!

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Old 08-13-2013   #3
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
If there are any frequented class 1-2 runs, hang out at the take out on a busy day and try to find some people willing to let you join. Chances are they are beginners or taking beginners and won't mind you coming along.

If you can figure out how to roll in a local flat water spot (pool, lake, pond, etc.) that would be very helpful for both learning and joining with people. If they don't have to deal with you swimming they won't mind you tagging along either. And even if you do swim, they can help you perfect your roll on the river, in eddies, etc. But having some skills is more encouraging to you and others you join up with than having none and them having to show you everything.

Watch a lot of youtube videos about techniques and how to roll and things, and then practice them in flat water as well.
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Old 08-14-2013   #4
Kayak & SUP Lessons
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 15
Make a trip out of it ?

If you have to travel any way, why not make it a vacation? If you find yourself ready to come explore the Southwest Rockies and get some great instruction while you are here, give us a shout (Paddle Board (SUP) Rental & Lessons | Private Kayak Instruction, Durango, CO), we would love to get you learning on the Animas.
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Old 08-15-2013   #5
West Jordan, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 32
If you dont get your roll down fast.. don't fret. I'm on year 4 of kayaking and am quite lazy when it comes to learning my roll. it works about 50% of the time. I rarely swim on class II because my brace has gotten good. which also took a few years go learn by instinct on how your boat feels. I won't ever get up to class 4 though if I don't get a 90% success rate on the roll. so its on my to-do list get out there and have fun!
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Old 08-15-2013   #6
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 678
i basically taught myself... learned to roll from youtube. Ran a lot of class II/III and swam a bit. That was last year. This year I've ran V-. The key is to get in your boat a lot. I've meet a few "kayakers" who paddle once a month and are. frustrated that they aren't getting it. I paddle 3-4x a week April to present this year. Playboating helps a lot too

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