Kayak Center Instructional Programs

Kayak Basics

This two hour program is designed to give new and intermediate kayakers a jump start in kayak skills emphasizing safety, basic skill and stroke development and basic recovery technique. Participants will receive an overview of on-water safety, equipment use, forward, reverse and sweep strokes and recoveries. For those with limited time, or looking to try something new, this is the program for you! Be ready to get wet!

Kayaks are a great fun and allow users to get out in many conditions! Most kayaks have decked hulls, meaning you sit inside the kayak and it is closed around your waist/knees. Some of our kayaks are sit-on-top, which can feel more stable. Kayaks are great for many conditions and uses, especially a river like the Merrimack. Kayak paddlers use a double-bladed paddle, meaning they alternate between the right and left sides as they paddle. (Canoes typically use single-bladed paddles.) We have both solo kayaks and tandem kayaks, so you can go on your own or with a friend or family member. Our kayaks are generally longer and quite stable, so they are good for practice on flat water like the Merrimack or more open water. If you are interested in just having fun or starting to do some more kayaking, we can help you get the basics down! 


All necessary program equipment is provided.

Please see the plan your visit page for online waivers and what to bring and wear.

Physical Exertion

Easy: Participants will paddle 0-2 mi. / 0-4 km. on flat water conditions with minimal wind. No previous experience is required. Participant must be able to keep head up while wearing a life jacket in deep water. Paddle times usually run 1-2 hours.


Appropriate for adults and children 14 and older when accompanied by a parent.

Must be able to independently keep head above water while wearing in a life jacket/pfd.

No previous experience required.

Cost $25

Dates and TimesOnline Registration Link
Thursday, June 2, 2022: 7-9 p.m.Kayak Basics Registration - June 2
Thursday, June 23, 2022: 7-9 p.m.Kayak Basics Registration - June 23
Thursday, June 30, 2022: 7-9 p.m.Kayak Basics Registration - June 30
Thursday, July 21, 2022: 7-9 p.m.Kayak Basics Registration - July 21
Thursday, July 28, 2022No Kayak Basics this night - Join our New Moon Stargaze Paddle this night instead! 
Thursday, August 11, 2022: 7-9 p.m.Kayak Basics Registration - August 11

Contact us to schedule a custom group time.