Beginner Courses

Beginner Course, Intro to Whitewater


Half day $199 / Full day $340

(Multi-day courses available on request)

  • LOCATIONS
  • Kaituna River (below Trout Pool Falls)/ Reid’s Farm (Waikato River)/ Lake Rotoiti/ Tarawera River/ Rangitaiki River (Aniwhenua section)
  • INTRO
  • Brief overview of NZWA, who we are and what we plan to achieve.
  • Description of the basic equipment and river gear, how to wear it and how to fit it to yourself.
  • Dos and don’ts of wearing gear, how to be comfortable and safe. 
  • Picking the right kayak and paddle for you.
  • How to outfit a kayak; hip pads, foot rest, seat pad, back band.
  • Sitting in a kayak.
  • Exiting your kayak on dry ground and in the water.
  • How to hold your paddle correctly and the basics of paddling dynamics.
  • Walking to the river/carrying your kayak.
  • River and whistle signals.
  • Instructor gives an in-detail safety briefing before entering the water.
  • ON THE RIVER
  • We talk about how to identify hazards and important features, such as trees, rocks, main current, eddy-lines, boils, shallow water, including how to identify underwater hazards. 
  • Entering a river safely.
  • Flat water paddling.
  • How to ‘wet exit’ safely.
  • How to be barrel rolled rescued by instructor.
  • How to T-rescue in pairs.
  • How to be rescued in the water, holding the grab handles of rescuer’s kayak .
  • Emptying water from a kayak, by yourself and in pairs.
  • Paddling techniques; forward paddling, back paddling, sweep strokes (front and back).
  • Edge control.
  • Intro to rolling.
  • Intro to moving water, eddy turns, navigating on moving water.
  • Exiting a river safely.
  • Swimming with your equipment.
  • Throw bags and how to use them, practicing rescues as a team on slow moving water. 
  • Teamwork on a river trip.
  • Review all content covered.
  • Packing your gear (gear baby).
  • Transporting kayaks safely (using tie downs, basic knots).
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