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Kayak & Canoe School and Classes

Rutabaga Outdoor Programs

Rutabaga Outdoor Programs
Our mission is: "We believe paddling improves the quality of life, enhances emotional and physical well-being, and increases awareness of the environment. Therefore, Rutabaga Outdoor Programs creates opportunities for all people to connect with nature, others and themselves through time on the water."

Canoe Classes

Solo Canoe: Whether you're interested in paddling tandem or solo, we think every canoeist will benefit from solo canoe instruction. In a solo canoe, you easily discover how your actions make the boat move, without another paddler to consider (or blame!). We'll cover a few key strokes including how to go straight without switching sides. We will also cover quick, sharp turns as well as gentle, carving turns, always with an eye on efficiency of motion and grace. We will also discuss what to do if you should tip.

Tandem Canoe Basics: Knowing a few simple strokes (and understanding how to effectively communicate with your partner) can help ensure a relaxed paddle. This introduction is the perfect way to learn a few basics of tandem canoeing and discover how easy it can be to paddle together. Come with a partner or by yourself.

Tandem Canoe Touring: Grab a partner or come by yourself and learn the fundamentals - strokes, maneuvers and rescues - you need to enjoy canoe travel in places such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area or the Wisconsin River. Whether you're new to canoeing or paddle dozens of days a year, this course is about paddling with your partner in smooth straight lines, making graceful turns, and practicing rescues to get out of soggy situations. We'll also cover communication between paddling partners, the key to successful tandem paddling

Kayak Classes

Recreational Kayak: Recreational kayaks are easy to paddle, hard to tip, and fit any body shape or type. They're built so anyone can experience kayaking. Join us and discover why paddling these kayaks is so popular and so much fun! You'll learn about proper boat fit, safe launching and landing, equipment and clothing, basic strokes, safety, and what to do if you tip over. After this class, you're all set to enjoy a peaceful, low-impact activity that you can share with others.

Sea Kayak: Get off to a fun and safe start with our six-hour Sea Kayak 1 class or our two day Sea Kayak 1 & 2 combo course. You'll learn wet exits, efficient forward and turning strokes, basic rescues, as well as strategies for dealing with wind, weather, and waves. You'll also learn the basics of boat fit and design, which will help you to understand why a kayak does the things it does. It all adds up to a day filled with physical activity and learning. Develop skill, build muscles and boost the confidence you need to enjoy protected waters!

Stand Up Paddling Classes

SUP Basics: Stand Up Paddling is becoming popular in the Midwest for good reasons because it's fun, a great workout, and easy to do! Learn about board types, basic strokes, proper technique and board recovery.


We also offer youth and family classes, group and individual private lessons, kayak rolling sessions, Wilderness First Aid, as well as ACA instructor certification programs.

Please visit our website for more information and dates for all the classes we offer.

Rutabaga Outdoor Programs
220 West Broadway
Madison, WI 53716
Phone: 800-472-3353
Fax: 608-223-9303


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