Beginner Instruction

Our beginner kayaking river classes are structured into five progressive lessons, giving you all the skills you need to feel confident and competent on the river. We recommend that you take classes in order. Boat and equipment is provided. Just show up, prepared to get wet!

  • Introduction (Level 1): Introduction- equipment and strokes, forward, backward and turning (2 hours)
  • Level 2: Foundations- wet exiting, strokes for turns and directional control, intro to whitewater (2 hours)
  • Level 3: Maneuvers- peel outs, eddy turns, ferries, t-rescue (4 hours)
  • Level 4: River Running- river dynamics, stroke technique, introduction to rolling (4 hours)
  • Level 5: Rescue Essentials- river signals, safety equipment and ropes, self-rescue, boat-to-boat rescue, rapid swimming (4 hours)

Classes are generally held at Anglers Inn in Potomac, MD or Riley’s Lock in Poolesville, MD on Saturday or Sunday mornings.

Rolling on the River: the technique of rolling your kayak, available Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons in the summer.
Pool Rolling: learn to roll during the winter in an indoor pool!

Each class is available to you one at a time or in a package of three

Zero to Hero (Our Beginner PLP): Awesome, month-long program, including all five river classes, three rolling classes, and more – all in a fun, group environment. Students rave about these intensive, cost-effective programs.

Open Practice: Free to students who are signed up for a package of at least three lessons of any sort – at Lock 6 on Tuesday evenings. We supply the boats. You can get an evening of practice and hang out with paddling friends.