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Learn to Whitewater Kayak

Feel the rapture of being alive as learn the skill of whitewater kayaking!

Join us at Wausau for their recreational dam releases, and let one of our instructors guide you through the basics of whitewater kayaking. Learn and practice your basic strokes, safety, and the start of play boat tricks. This is for people who want to get started in Whitewater or for those with some experience but want to learn more. Half-day lessons.


(This is a controlled setting; they release the dam about every 2 weeks in the summer. You can check out the schedule here.)

The Scoop

When they're not guiding a trip, many of our guides can be found sharpening their whitewater skills on the river at Wausau. And they'd love to teach you what they know! To sign up for a personal whitewater kayaking lesson, you'll be directed our friends at

The Schedule

  • Morning Session:  9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

  • Afternoon Session: 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

The dam open first opens for the summer on June 11 & 12 (2020), and usually runs every other week. Lesson are offered on most weekends, but do tend to fill up, so check the calendar and sign up as soon as you can!

General info for all classes

  • Advanced registration is required.  $40/lesson

  • All Classes will begin with boat and gear outfitting. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your session for check-in. Note your height and weight on registration forms so appropriate gear and boats can be selected. No refunds within 30 days of the training.

Kayaking Level 1

This class is designated for the person who has always wanted to try whitewater kayaking. A 2.5 hour introduction to whitewater kayaking instruction class begins with complete gear outfitting and basic safety instruction. The instructor will begin on flat water and progress to the whitewater course with instruction of paddling techniques, ferrying, and peel ins/outs. Classes will begin by fitting students for gear and boats.

Kayaking Level 2

Prerequisite: Kayaking Level I or previous whitewater kayaking experience including ferries and eddy turns on class I whitewater. In this 2.5 hour clinic we will introduce* and teach the roll in a step by step progression. Rolling your kayak will give you confidence in your paddling! Following rolling technique we will expand on techniques learned in the Level I course through practice in Class II current and you will learn the basics of river running, reading the current, and safety techniques. Classes will begin with boat and gear outfitting.

*Please note: Learning to roll takes time, patience, and is tiring. After you learn the basics in this course you will have the tools to be able to practice with a partner on your own, however for the majority of paddlers even the most experienced, it is unlikely you will successfully complete a roll on every attempt after this lesson.

Kayaking Level 3

Prerequisite: Kayaking Level II or similar whitewater experience AND ability to do a kayak roll. In this 2.5 hour clinic we will review previous techniques learned in level I & II classes and move into advanced river running from the top of the course down. We will also introduce the paddler to beginning playboating techniques such as surfing. Classes will begin with boat and gear outfitting.

Safety Requirements:

What we provide: Kayak, Spray skirt, Paddle, Personal flotation device, Helmet, ACA Instructors and water time. What to bring: Wear synthetic blend of clothing; Secure Footwear—tennis shoes, water shoes or river sandals (NO FLIP FLOPS!); Wear the basic swimsuit, shorts, shirt, and then build from there for the weather (100% Polyester or a wetsuit is best); Sunscreen; Hat or visor, Sunglasses with chums.  Level II and III students may want to bring a nose clip.

Whitewater Kayaking Lesson

$40 per lesson

To sign up, you'll need to register at Wausau Whitewater.  Click the button above to be redirected.

Apostle Island Kayaking Tours | Whitecap Kayaking
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