Kayak School Advice? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-22-2006   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7
Kayak School Advice?

I need your help!

So I'm looking into a kayak school for late winter/early spring. Doing a little research - I found some schools in Cali, NC and Mexico - but I don't really know what I should do. I'm basically a first season boater - just got my roll (though fairly weak) and I'm looking to take my skills to the next level by the 2007 season. I'm thinking I would want a low intermediate clinic.

Has anyone done one of these schools? Any suggestions?

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Old 08-22-2006   #2
pnw, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,408
Yes, I highly recommend Otterbar. Amazing place, food and instruction.
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Old 08-22-2006   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
If you have the time, money, and motivation, I'd go for it. Good instruction early on can pay good dividends and get you up to speed with good paddling technique. I took some classes at NOC in N.C. and learned a great deal.
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Old 08-22-2006   #4
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
It's almost always money well spent. I too have heard nothing but good about Otterbar. You might also look at Ken Whiting's operation up on the Ottawa.

I personally love NOC. I went there growing up in the 80s and then in the 90s did a clinic there and then spend my grad school summers working in the outiftters store and chasing rain on my days off. The instructors, facility and gear are all top-notch. I know and have run many rivers with many of the intstructors and they are great people, very skilled at what they do. NOC is the mecca for whitewater instruction and retail on the east coast, and maybe in the whole country. They have everything from lake to V+ right in the backyard, so whatever your level is, they have rivers for it - and pretty much all but the Nanny have warm water, but even the Nanny is about 55 degrees (warm for a CO boater).

Bottom line, you probably can't go wrong with any of those three schools.
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Old 08-22-2006   #5
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 674

We went out to NOC early May this year and it was awesome. It definitely kick-started my season. We are talking about putting another trip together for May '07. Give me a call and we can chat...

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Old 08-23-2006   #6
holley's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 186
Check out Anna Levesque's Girls At Play course in Mexico:


She has a beginner course that might suit you. Her teaching style is fantastic...and the meals, accommodations, support staff, and logistics at the Mexico location are hard to beat.
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Old 08-24-2006   #7
pnw, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,408
I havent been to where you are talking about in Mexico but when it comes to locations, Otterbars is incredible. Beautiful canyon on an incredible river. I have never been to a better place. Sitting in the hottub looking over the ponds consuming your favorite beverage or whatever. Man it doesnt get much better. Oh and the paddling is nice as well.

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