2 Day Intro Clinic

Kayak icon

This 2-day introductory kayak clinic is taught by certified ACA (American Canoe Association)
instructors. Our goal is to provide you with a solid foundation for the sport of whitewater
kayaking, and to make you a self-sufficient paddler.

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$250 per student

2022 Dates
June 11/12
July 2/3
July 23/24

Minimum Age



Adventure Level

  • Beginner


2 Day Intro Clinic 1

Our whitewater kayak clinics begin at Harper’s Lake, which is three miles north of Clearwater Junction up on the Blackfoot River. Our clinics start with an equipment overview and boat outfitting. We then move to the water to develop a sense of underwater comfort. We introduce basic whitewater kayaking skills, such as the wet exit, stern draw, reverse and forward sweeps, rudder, forward stroke, hip snaps, and T-rescues. Focusing on the wet exit is one of the most important skills in kayaking as it can really help people feel more comfortable underwater, and it’s an important safety precaution as well. In the afternoon, we head to the river and paddle a Class I/II – mellow, moving water – section of either the Blackfoot or Clark Fork River. (Our choice here is dependent on water levels.) On the river we focus on river safety and awareness, boat control, eddy turns, ferries, and the Eskimo roll. Each student will challenge themselves in their own, unique way and every student learns differently.

The following day we start with some stretching, and review everything we learning the first day. From there, we progress from slow moving water to class II whitewater where we practice eddy-turns and peel outs, ferrying, self-rescue techniques, basic boat handling, water reading, scouting, and safe paddling techniques. and paddle a section of the Clark Fork or Blackfoot Rivers.

Missoula, Montana offers some of the best instructional rivers in the world, making it the perfect place to learn to kayak! We also offer private instruction and scenic kayak tours. Quality kayak instruction is the key to success for learning how to kayak. Our passion for kayaking and teaching shows in all of our kayak instruction. Our instructors understand that everyone learns differently and our ability to adapt to different learning styles and adapt our crucial to our students success. We will also provide you with the resources to continue paddling after our class, in hopes we can create more lifelong paddlers. For local river information go to American Whitewater.

This foundational clinic includes the following skills:

  • Kayak outfitting
  • Wet exits
  • Body positioning
  • Beginner stroke progression
  • Boat control and edging
  • Hip snaps
  • T-rescues, swimming, and self-rescue
  • Reading rivers and hydrology
  • Basic safety and awareness
  • Eddy turns, peel-outs, and ferrying
  • Scouting rapids
  • Paddling through class I-II whitewater

Quick Facts

2 Day Intro Clinic 1
  • No experience necessary.
  • You will be spending time upside down, underwater in a kayak.
  • Good attitude and overall health required.
  • All clinics start in flat water (typically Harpers Lake).
  • Nose plugs and Macs Silicone Ear Plugs recommended.
  • Private clinics are available anytime (with a minimum of 4 people) for all ages.
  • ZTS provides our students with the most progressive equipment in the industry.
  • All clinics include: Helmet, wetsuit, neoprene coat, splash jacket, lifejacket, sprayskirt, boat, paddle, booties.
  • We maintain a teacher to student ratio of 1:4 or less. 

2022 Dates: June 11/12, July 2/3, July 23/24

What You Bring

  • Sturdy footwear (Chaco, Keen-style sandals, or old tennis shoes. Anything but flip-flops!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit
  • Quick-drying or breathable clothing (No cotton!)
  • Dry clothes for after
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunglasses with retention straps
  • Ear plugs
  • Snacks
  • Lunch
  • Towel

What We Provide

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • Helmet
  • PFD
  • Spray Skirt
  • Wetsuit (if needed)
  • Neoprene coat (if needed)
  • Noselugs
  • Booties (if needed)

Photo Gallery

2 Day Intro Clinic 1