WHITEWATER KAYAK BEGINNER COURSE - LEVEL 1
Our Level 1 River Kayaking course is a perfect course for anyone who is willing to learn the fundamental skills of Whitewater Kayaking in order to be able to navigate themselves safely down smaller rapids on – Grade II – rivers.
The aim of this course is to provide beginner Whitewater Kayakers with a fun two days on the river building a solid foundation of basic whitewater kayaking skills.
SKILLS TO LEARN
- Basic Strokes Leaning & turning
- Simple rescue – self & others
- River etiquette
- Grade 1-2 whitewater
- Scouting & river hazards
- Reading water
- Breaking in & out of the current
- Ferry glides
OUR KAYAK COURSE PROGRAM EVOLUTION:
RIVER KAYAK COURSE CONTENT
You will usually be in a group of four with one instructor. Meeting your instructor on the first morning provides an opportunity to discuss people’s experience and aspirations, which along with the weather forecast and water levels will enable us to plan the day’s activity with you.
Day one we will start on flat water or in a river pool before moving onto a Grade 1 river section so we can start learning the essential skills and develop your confidence in a controlled environment.
On day two we will paddle a river that offers us the best water and at the appropriate grade for the group’s needs, this should include some Grade 2.
Whilst on the river we will be able to spend time coaching and developing your personal paddling skills. In addition to this we will be looking at developing your safe river running skills to help you leave the course feeling confident to safely paddle a similar grade of river with friends.
As part of this whitewater safety and rescue is essential, there may be an opportunity to look at a variety of aspects of this during the day as well.
Do I need prior experience for the basic course?
No, you do not.
The majority of our guests are beginners, and our river kayak course is crafted to be safe and welcoming. We prioritize quality equipment, effective teaching methods, and thorough briefings to ensure beginners feel comfortable. Our experienced coach will conduct a safety orientation before you begin, guiding you to the safest spots for kayaking and offering recommendations to navigate the waters with confidence.
Do I need to have basic swimming skills to take part in the course?
Yes, absolutely. For safety purposes in all our whitewater programs at Outdoor Norway, swimming proficiency is necessary.
You don't need to be an expert swimmer, but during the course, there's a possibility of your kayak overturning, requiring you to exit it. In such instances, confidence in swimming is vital. You should be capable of swimming approximately 50 meters to reach the shoreline or move toward the instructor's kayak.
What are the health requirements for whitewater courses?
Your medical condition is crucial information for us when you join our whitewater kayak course. This enables us to offer better care and prevent accidents. Should any issues arise, our well-prepared guides can swiftly address them.
All our guides are certified whitewater rescuers, consistently renewing their licenses every 2-3 years, and boasting extensive experience.
Unfortunately, participation in any of our whitewater programs is not possible if you:
- Are unable to swim
- Are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Are blind
If you have the following conditions, please consult with us so we can evaluate possibilities together:
- Physical or mental disabilities
I have a medical condition. Can I still participate in the course?
You might be eligible to join our whitewater courses despite a medical condition. Please consult with us specifically if you have:
- Asthma, epilepsy, or diabetes
- Heart conditions
- Spinal problems (such as spinal hernia or issues with discs)
- Undergone surgery in the last 2 years
- Blood clotting issues
- Any recent injuries (like broken bones or dislocated shoulders)
- Serious allergies
- Any other medical condition not listed above
Let us know if you require medication during the tour; you can bring it along, and our instructors have a waterproof first aid kit where your medication can be stored. Lastly, it's essential to inform your instructor about your medical condition beforehand!
When does your season start and end?
We kick off our whitewater season once the river is free of ice, continuing until the snow starts to fall! Typically, this runs from early May to late October, but it's all in the hands of Mother Nature! You can find our current opening dates and times on our webpage.
Do I need to sign a waiver?
Upon joining any activity, a waiver acknowledging risks must be read and signed. For minors, a parent or guardian is required to sign the waiver.
Should I tip my guide?
Tipping isn't customary in Norway, as it is e.g. in the USA. Our guides put in considerable effort to ensure your experience is both enjoyable and safe, maintaining the high standards set by Outdoor Norway.
While tipping is recognized as a standard practice in the industry and is always welcomed, it's never an obligation. It's entirely up to your discretion whether you choose to leave a tip. Your appreciation for the service provided is greatly valued either way.