New to Kayaking, Looking for tips - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-19-2012   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8
New to Kayaking, Looking for tips

Hey guys,

I'm new to the Whitewater Kayaking scene. I've done normal touring type kayaking before, but whitewater is a new thing to me. It's been something that I have wanted to get into for awhile.

I'm trying to find the right way to go about this. I've done some research online and it sounds like a good way to get into this is to find a group or club in my local down (Denver) That way I can get proper instruction before going out. Also perhaps meet a few people so I have someone to go with.

Does anyone know of a good group in Denver that offers good training and instruction?

My approach to this was to rent some of the gear, try it out see how I like it. Perhaps there is a better approach but this is where you guys come in. How did you start up?

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Old 06-19-2012   #2
 
kayakfreakus's Avatar
 
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,031
Your pretty spot on, check out CW for a good club:

Colorado Whitewater - Home

I think Confluence Kayaks and RA Guides both do a good job with teaching and taking an intro course is a good thing in my book:

Kayak and Avalanche Instruction in Denver, Colorado :: Renaissance Adventure Guides

Confluence Kayaks - Denver Kayak Instruction

Pool sessions are a good way to meet people as well, there used to be some at DU and I am sure other places around Denver.
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Old 06-19-2012   #3
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8
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Originally Posted by kayakfreakus View Post
Your pretty spot on, check out CW for a good club:

Colorado Whitewater - Home

I think Confluence Kayaks and RA Guides both do a good job with teaching and taking an intro course is a good thing in my book:

Kayak and Avalanche Instruction in Denver, Colorado :: Renaissance Adventure Guides

Confluence Kayaks - Denver Kayak Instruction

Pool sessions are a good way to meet people as well, there used to be some at DU and I am sure other places around Denver.
Thanks for the info mate!

I've heard of Confluence before. The Renaissance thing is new, I hadn't seen that one.

I had also seen the "Colorado Whitewater" website, but I was having trouble finding information on the organization. For instance... How do you know if an instructor is legit? Is there some kind of "Oh this person is X certified to teach you"? I'm not sure if something like that exists but I just want to make sure the person teaching me knows his stuff.
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Old 06-19-2012   #4
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
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Given the low water, this is a good year to go to the Ark and go on a tour with RMOC. They do what I would call "guided instruction" and afterwords usually you can hook up with the others and repeat the section you did with your own group at your own pace.

Colorado Whitewater is also an excellent group though they focus more on group paddling and river efforts than just instruction alone.

Do you have a kayak and all the gear for whitewater yet?
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Old 06-19-2012   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by hojo View Post
Given the low water, this is a good year to go to the Ark and go on a tour with RMOC. They do what I would call "guided instruction" and afterwords usually you can hook up with the others and repeat the section you did with your own group at your own pace.

Colorado Whitewater is also an excellent group though they focus more on group paddling and river efforts than just instruction alone.

Do you have a kayak and all the gear for whitewater yet?
What does lower water mean? Does it make the river harder to run?

I don't have any whitewater gear yet. I'm still early on in this. I figured I'd rent some gear first to see how things go. Perhaps some of the instructional courses offer gear to use.
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Old 06-19-2012   #6
 
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,553
Whitewater kayaking is more than an "occasional" hobby. You have to really want to do it. You have to commit to learn and push yourself.

Take a class.
Buy the gear (used) and get your butt on the water.

Do/did you own a sea kayak? If so, you should know how much of a pain it is to rent before every trip. If you own gear, you'll go out more often.

If your touring kayaking experience was only occasionally while on vacation, you need a lot more seat time. Take your new used boat out on a local pond and just spend a ton of time paddling around. Practice wet exits until you get sick of emptying your boat. Learn to roll because you now hate the hassle of wet exiting.

Practice braces (using good form learned in your classes) until you can get your torso wet and brace back up. Practice good sweeps, practice pries and draws just because.

Find some friends who have similar skills or are just a little better than you. You want someone who can both push you and also look after you, but you won't find a Class IV boater who will want to spend every weekend day with you on a I-II unless you're already friends.
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Old 06-19-2012   #7
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
Whitewater kayaking is more than an "occasional" hobby. You have to really want to do it. You have to commit to learn and push yourself.

Take a class.
Buy the gear (used) and get your butt on the water.

Do/did you own a sea kayak? If so, you should know how much of a pain it is to rent before every trip. If you own gear, you'll go out more often.

If your touring kayaking experience was only occasionally while on vacation, you need a lot more seat time. Take your new used boat out on a local pond and just spend a ton of time paddling around. Practice wet exits until you get sick of emptying your boat. Learn to roll because you now hate the hassle of wet exiting.

Practice braces (using good form learned in your classes) until you can get your torso wet and brace back up. Practice good sweeps, practice pries and draws just because.

Find some friends who have similar skills or are just a little better than you. You want someone who can both push you and also look after you, but you won't find a Class IV boater who will want to spend every weekend day with you on a I-II unless you're already friends.
My experience with touring kayaks is pretty good. I do it a lot when fishing so I have the basics of that down. Also I plan on investing in gear after I give it a go to see if it's something I can do. I figured taking a class and getting out on the water with some rental gear would be a better start before investing hard cash. If it's something I really enjoy it's something I'm going to invest in.

It's more so finding a group and proper training before going out on my own.
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Old 06-19-2012   #8
 
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,553
It is a blast--do take a class to see if you enjoy it.

Touring is something you can do on your own. Whitewater and rivers are unpredictable enough that it's a very social activity--it's something you'll want to do in a group, so you're unlikely to ever truly "go out on your own".

Renting an inflatable kayak, or taking a guided day trip in an IK is also a great way to see if you enjoy whitewater. If you do, you may choose to buy one, or you might decide to buy a hardshell. You can get into a bit bigger water with less training--you can't do as much with them once you get skilled, but the initial learning curve is a lot quicker.
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Old 06-19-2012   #9
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 15
Go get some initial lessons done first. I did mine with Renaissance Adventure Guides (www.raguides.com) in Golden and they are fantastic but believe Confluence does theirs at DU. That will get you familiar with the basics. I know that Renaissance also offers a 2 day beginner trip that would be great to do after/in connection with your pool sessions to get you on moving water.

Don't sweat the gear stuff yet. Do the lessons first, get on moving water, and then you can deal with that.
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