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Whitewater Kayak Orientation (Lake Lesson)

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 (4:40 pm - 6:55 pm)

Leader: Caroline Rose

Event Information


Also titled "orientation to whitewater kayaks: flatwater fundamentals".  

Whether you've grown up with a paddle in hand or have never been in a boat before, this is the place to start for whitewater kayaks! Whitewater kayaks are designed for manuvering on moving rivers and navigating rapids. But first, we introduce students to the boats in a lake or pool. 



  • You must wear shoes that have a sole and will not fall off in the water. There are Zebra Mussels in the lake, and their shells are very sharp. I know of several instances where people have cut their feet in the lake outside the Union. 
  • Wear clothing that can get wet. We are definitely going to be completely immersed in the water. We will be swimming.  
  • Bring a glasses strap if you wear glasses 
  • Bring a full change of clothing and a towel. There are showers inside of the Union building. 



Participants do not need any prior experience and do not need any prior ratings at all to attend. 

Participants need to be a current member of the Hoofer Outing Club. 

Participants need to meet the first six essential eligibility requirements as specified by American Canoe Association: 



Please meet at the outer entrance to the Outdoor UW boathouse in the lower level of Memorial Union. It's a large garage door facing the lake, where the canoes and kayaks are kept. Meet at 4:40 pm. 



We will cover how to select a PFD and paddle, practice basic strokes for going in the direction you want to, practice getting out of a boat when it capsizes (wet exit), and introduce bow rescues. 

The most essential skill of this lesson is the Wet Exit. Here is a video showing the Wet Exit: 


I might be able to offer swim tests if we have sufficient time. 


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