Do you often bring others out on the water in canoes or kayaks?
Want to improve your skills to better demonstrate to others how to paddle efficiently, elegantly, and safely?

These intensive courses follow the American Canoe Association’s “Intro” and “Moving Water” curriculum, and are targeted to those who teach others paddling skills, from lakes to rivers. These courses will be instrumental for students who plan to enroll in an ACA instructor certification course. Class sizes are limited, and they fill up fast, so don’t delay and sign up today!


Paddling Schools and Events

[May 2018] 2-Day Swift Water Rescue

2-Day Swift Water Rescue
Date(s): Saturday and Sunday, May 19 & 20, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: dependent on water levels
Directions: N/A
Oriented toward:

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to perform swift water rescues. The course will focus on using rescue equipment such as throw ropes and the rescue pfd. There will be an emphasis on swimming in current, tethered rope rescues, rescue wading and boat rescues. Main emphasis: To provide the knowledge to perform swift water rescues as well as decision making skills during a swift water rescue. Rescue swimming and rope management are integral to this course. This class is for kayak or canoe paddlers who paddle on Class 2 and above.

Equipment needed: your own food (snacks, lunch, liquids), suitable paddling gear for air and water temperatures (dress for getting wet, have towels and dry clothes for after), helmet, rescue pfd, throw rope, kayak or canoe paddle suitable for moving water use (possible rocks), whitewater kayak or whitewater useable canoe, air bags/flotation in kayak or canoe, spray skirt for whitewater kayak unless a sit-on-top whitewater kayak. Any other rescue equipment that you might use such as carabiners and pulleys.

Skills needed to take the class: This is not a whitewater kayak or canoe skills course, so individuals should have the ability to kayak or canoe independent of the class with the ability to self -rescue. Boating skills that are highly desirable is the ability to ferry in current, perform eddy turns and peel outs. If using a kayak with a spray skirt a kayak role is highly desirable, wet exiting is required. The ability to swim is also required.

Main goal of this course: is to make no more victims so having basic rescue knowledge is essential. This course will introduce new techniques for those unfamiliar with swift water rescue and provide a re-fresher for those experienced rescuers.

Class Length: 2 Day
Cost: $25, sponsored by the Iowa DNR
Full refunds if class canceled due to weather or water levels.
Maximum # participants: 10
Registration: ** Class is Full - please continue to register and in the event of a cancellation registrants will be taken on a first come first serve basis. **

Register Online for the Swift Water Rescue Course
For additional questions contact Glenn Harman, glenn.harman@dnr.iowa.gov

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Basics

1-day Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Basics (3 different classes offered)
Dates: SUP Basics: Sunday, June 3, 2018, 12-4pm
SUP Intro: Saturday, July 14, 2018, 8am - 12pm
SUP Basics: Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 5:30pm - 8pm
Locations: Grays Lake in Des Moines
Oriented toward:

Beginner classes.

Registration: Contact todd.robertson@dnr.iowa.gov

Canoe/Kayak Schools - What's included:
  • 2 day course including  (includes 1 day flat water course) (Lake environment and on river)
  • Experience in tandem canoes, recreational kayaks, whitewater crossover kayaks and SUP
  • Classroom and on-water hands-on training
  • Improved efficiency for skills on the water
  • Improved leadership skills
  • Increase safety, lower stress, have fun and pay knowledge forward based on ACA instructional foundations.
  • You will receive an Iowa DNR certificate of completion.
  • FUN!
Canoe/Kayak Schools - What to bring:
  • Rain gear, brimmed hat for sun, sunscreen
  • A small cooler with a lunch to bring during instruction days; you’ll be on your own for breakfast and dinner – there are restaurants in Webster City if you prefer, or bring your own food.
  • At least 2 liters of drinking water per instruction day.
  • Water shoes or old tennis shoes that can get wet (Flip-flops or bare feet are not allowed)
  • Swimming suit and/or clothing that can get wet
  • If you have a preferred life jacket (Type III paddlers’ life jacket), bring it; otherwise a life jacket will be provided.
  • Sleeping bag & personal effects if staying in a cabin; otherwise bring your own tent and camping gear
[May 2018] 2-Day Canoe School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders

2-Day Canoe School for Naturalists
Date(s): Wednesday and Thursday, May 23 & 24, 2018
Location: Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River)
Oriented toward:

Naturalists who take groups on trips or who are expected to conduct kayak instruction. About 1/3 classroom, and 2/3 on-water, the focus is on skills, hazard and river feature identification, teaching to different learning styles, and risk management.

Class Length: 2 Day
Cost: $25 (you can camp, rent a cabin or stay in town at a motel)
Maximum # participants: 12 (6 tandem canoes)
Registration: Submit the Online Registration Form

[June 2018] 2-Day Stand-Up-Paddleboard (SUP) for Train the Trainer

2-Day Stand-Up-Paddleboard (SUP) for Train the Trainer
Date(s): Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, 2018
10:00am - 4:00pm (approx)
Location: Gray’s Lake and Raccoon River
Directions: N/A
Oriented toward: This class will be for those who will be leading groups and who need a basic understanding of SUP basics for teaching. Much of the same risk and group management that are included with canoe/kayak classes will also be taught here. This class will be taught in Des Moines, Iowa.
Class Length: 2 Day
Cost: $25
Maximum # participants: 10
Registration: Submit the Online Registration Form

[June 2018] 2-Day Kayak School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders

2-Day Kayak School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders
Date(s): Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 & 27, 2018
Location: Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River)
Oriented toward:

naturalists who take groups on trips or who are expected to conduct kayak instruction. About 1/3 classroom, and 2/3 on-water, the focus is on skills, hazard and river feature identification, teaching to different learning styles, and risk management. This is for kayak only.

Class Length: 2 Day
Cost: $25 (you can camp, rent a cabin or stay in town at a motel)
Maximum # participants: 10 kayaks
Registration: Submit the Online Registration Form

[August 2018] 2-Day Canoe School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders

2-Day Canoe School for Naturalists
Date(s): Wednesday and Thursday, August 8 & 9, 2018
Location: Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River)
Oriented toward:

Naturalists who take groups on trips or who are expected to conduct kayak instruction. About 1/3 classroom, and 2/3 on-water, the focus is on skills, hazard and river feature identification, teaching to different learning styles, and risk management.

Class Length: 2 Day
Cost: $25 (you can camp, rent a cabin or stay in town at a motel)
Maximum # participants: 12 (6 tandem canoes)
Registration: Submit the Online Registration Form

[September 2018] 2-Day Kayak School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders

2-Day Kayak School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders
Date(s): Tuesday and Wednesday, September 18 & 19, 2018
Location: Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River)
Oriented toward:

naturalists who take groups on trips or who are expected to conduct kayak instruction. About 1/3 classroom, and 2/3 on-water, the focus is on skills, hazard and river feature identification, teaching to different learning styles, and risk management. This is for kayak only.

Class Length: 2 Day
Cost: $25 (you can camp, rent a cabin or stay in town at a motel)
Maximum # participants: 10 kayaks
Registration: Submit the Online Registration Form