Beginning whitewater kayaking at Yorkville

Saturday, Oct 16, 2021 (8:00 am - 7:00 pm)

In Progress / Completed
Leaders: Dan York
Caroline Rose
Joshua Faessler

Event Information


Here's a chance for beginning kayakers to get on whitewater yet this year. We'll be heading south a bit over 2 hours to Yorkville, Illinois, where there is a whitewater course created in a channel of the Fox River. It is very beginner-friendly --- well defined river features that make it a great place to learn and practice fundamental paddling skills, like ferrying, eddy turns, peel outs, and overall boat control in mild rapids (easy Class 2). There's a few places to try surfing as well.

You'll need to have taken the kayak lake lesson and have an R1 rating (meaning you've kayaked on moving water at least once, like the Black Earth Creek trip that happened recently). The trip will be initially capped at 6 participants; if we can get another co-leader who can drive and carry boats we will increase this up to 8 or maybe even 10.

Since the water will be getting cooler, you'll need to bring a wetsuit (the club has some) and a splash jacket. After each run you have to carry your boat back up to the top of the course, but there usually is a boat cart available to make this easier. The emphasis will be practicing skills at selected river features, so we may only do a total of 3 or 4 runs. 

You'll need suitable footwear (wetsuit/river booties or other aquatic shoes recommended; sports sandals aren't so great, but can work if you're paddling a bigger boat and have a model that will stay securely on your feet in the event of a swim. You also should bring a water bottle, some snacks/lunch, and a change of dry clothes (and possibly extra layers to wear while paddling --- an under layer (beneath your wet suit) is highly recommended --- some lightweight fleece, rash-guard, synthetic long-john top, or lightweight wool (merino wool is great stuff). A nose-plug is also good, especially if you want to work on rolling (buy a nose-plug designed for whitewater paddling at Rutabaga).

After paddling we're likely to gather as a group for some food --- there are a couple of Culver's there but we might opt for something else.

This will be weather dependent. If it turns out to be a cold, rainy day, we'd probably cancel. And if for some reason the water level gets too low, we also would consider canceling --- a plan B may be  possible just to stay in the Madison area and do some flatwater practice somewhere (possibly with a mild current).

Cost? Probably $10-15/person for gas. No other costs.








Event Type
Trip (off-site, ratings may be achieved)
Accommodation Information
Day trip
Driving or Travel Details
Drive in private vehicles (3 - 4) from Memorial Union to Yorkville and back (almost all interstate highways)
Food and Equipment Information
Paddling essentials: club boats, skirts, paddles, PFDs, helmets, and flotation bags. Leaders responsible for bringing safety and 1st aid gear. Food: snacks/lunch and water
Trip Cancellation, Reschedule, and Refund Information
If we cancel the trip, it's unlikely to be rescheduled. No up-front payments needed.
Trip Purpose/Goals
Offer instruction to beginning whitewater paddlers to learn and practice fundamental skills

Registration Count

Registrations Remaining
All Participants 8 1