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Kayak & Canoe School and Classes

Rutabaga Outdoor Programs

Our mission is: "To provide students with top-quality paddlesport instruction and encourage personal growth and an understanding of our place within our natural environment."

Canoe Classes:

Solo Canoe: Think about your first bike. It probably wasn't a tandem was it? And just like bicycling, canoeing skills are best learned first in a solo canoe. This class is designed with this in mind and will teach you a lot about tandem paddling too!

We will cover quick, sharp turns as well as gentle, carving turns, always with an eye on efficiency of motion and grace. Oh, and one more thing – we'll cover how to go straight, without switching sides!

Tandem Canoe: You've been in a canoe before, maybe even done some trips, but we guarantee you'll be amazed at what you can learn in our Tandem Canoe course.

You'll learn how to paddle with your partner in smooth straight lines, or cut a graceful turn across a quiet pond. We'll also show you how to "brace", and keep on paddling in unexpected (or expected) rough water conditions. If all else fails, you’ll learn rescues to get you out of those soggy situations.

Kayak Classes

Introduction To Kayak: This program is designed for the person who has just purchased a general recreation kayak and wants to learn the basic paddling skills. These boats tend to be shorter with larger cockpits and have different challenges than touring kayaks. This four-hour course will give you the skills needed to paddle in calm environments in warmer tempuratures. This class is devoted to teaching a limited amount of basic skills. You'll walk away being comfortable in your boat on the water, and a more secure feeling as you paddle.

Kayak I: In our six-hour Kayak I course you'll learn efficient forward and turning strokes as well as braces to keep you upright in those sticky situations. With an emphasis on safety, we'll cover rescues for groups and solo paddlers, 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.

Kayak Progression: Whether you've done some kayaking, taken our Kayak One course in the past, or have no experience whatsoever, there's plenty to learn in our Kayak Progression course. Kayak Progression is nore than a two day basic class. It's two 5 1/2 -hour classes on the weekends that can take you from complete beginner to mastering the basic skills you need to paddle alone or in a group.

Session 1 covers basic concepts, strokes and rescues. Sessions 2 covers more advanced techniques such as paddling in wind and waves, group rescues and cold water paddling considerations. You'll also spend two days on the water - the experience that really counts!

We also offer free paddling clinics, one-hour mini clinics are designed to show you what sort of things are possible with a canoe or kayak, eskimo rolling sessions, first aid and safety training as well as 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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