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Whitewater Paddling Class

Whitewater Kayaking ClassesWhitewater kayaking Instruction

We offer several classes to learn the skills needed to safely enjoy whitewater kayaking.

Classes include:

  • basic padding strokes and skills
  • rolling clinics
  • eddy turns and ferrying
  • river running and reading water

We provide boats, paddles, spray skirts, pfds, helmets, and dry suits.

We offer classes by appointment. Call to schedule yourclass.

Learning Whitewater kayaking takes time and patients. We offer classes in a 3 part series:

  • Basic Paddle on the Lake …………………………………………….2 hrs
  • Eddy turns and ferry skills on the river…………………………. 2-3 hr
  • River Running and reading rapids………………………………… 3 hr
  • Rolling  is booked seperate and not included in this series…..see Rescue Class/kayak roll  for details on rolling

The series costs: $400

We recommend you book your series over a 3 day period. We will not take you on the River Running class if your instructor feels you have not mastered Eddy and Ferry skills. Running the river is easy, stopping when you want, moving from left to right, and staying up-right are the skills required to advance to class III water. We want you to “learn”, not swim; you learn little when you spend half of your time up-side-down swimming to shore. That is why we will delay your river running class; we want you to LEARN SKILLS, not just escort you down the river, and fetch your boat when you swim.

Normal progression is to complete your Basic Paddle Lake class one evening. Complete Eddy & Ferry on a Saturday morning, and River Running on  Saturday afternoon. But it is a fine idea to put off river running to a different day. Because we do so much guiding, it is common for whitewater kayak classes to be held on week days, or week day evenings during the summer.

Because most classes are private or no more than 4 students, you have the opportunity to advance at a speed tailored to your learning curve. If you are picking it up quickly; your instructor will move you along.

There is NO STANDARD CLASS or STUDENT: We have been teaching Whitewater Kayaking for 10 years, and Jim, the owner and an ACA certified whitewater instructor has been kayaking for over 35 years. Everyone learns at a different rate, and most students find whitewater kayaking to be one most challenging sports that they have attempted.

Our GOAL: That you Learn, have a GOOD TIME, and advance with each session

Schedule: private, scheduled on demand

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Rolling Class

The SAFEST place to be is IN your KAYAK:

Rolling classes are taught as a private. We do not schedule rolling. You need to call and schedule your private class.
We find the best success is working one-on-one or two-on-one. Therefore we only schedule private or semi private. Times and locations vary, we will let you know which pool we are using when you book.

Winter (Oct – May): Evening class 1.5 hr in pool
Summer (June – Aug): Wasilla Lake.
Price: $70 private…… $50/person shared

Rolling takes time: some pick it up in 30 min, most people require a second session. We have taught a lot of people to roll. We can help you get your roll, give us a call.

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30 Seconds with Jim – Video Series

Jim Gonski takes a few seconds to share his paddling tips and secrets in this series of short videos:

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Introduction to Alaska Kayak Academy

Alaska Kayak Academy offers a variety of trips, camps, lessons, and equipment.

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Cuda Fishing Kayak

Similar to the Coosa, the Jackson Kayak team has once again peppered slick, angler friendly features throughout the boat.  The Cuda will introduce for the first time Jackson’s rod tip cover, tackle stagers, mesh side pocket, pockets on the elite patent pending hi/low seat, fly rod stagers, safety flag, stand assist handle and a 26 inch center hatch that can have an insert to make it dry storage or a fish cooler big enough to fit a beautiful slot redfish!  The hatch insert can be removed for easy access to the interior of the boat and for easy rod storage while on the water.  Of course the previously introduced features are also there including the rod stagers/holders that are big enough for offshore rods!  Fans of the Jackson fishing line will also recognize the friendly paddle stagers and holders, as well as the popular removable skid plate, large bow and stern hatches and a new and improved beverage holder!

The new sleek, low profile, design will make fishing in the wind a breeze!  However, when things do get tough just drop the rudder and you’ll track even straighter on your way to a killer day on the water.  With all this, new colors and accessories, it should be a good 2012 for Jackson ‘Cuda anglers!

Some Key Features:

  • Elite patent pending hi/lo seat, with new rear and underside pockets.
  • Center storage hatch with removable inserts Optional cooler insert offered as an accessory Paddle holder and stager Multiple rod stagers, including fly rod stagers Rod tip cover on bow Both bow and stern hatches with injection molded hatch rims to ensure a solid, snug fit.
  • Rudder and non-rudder versions
  • 2 flush mount rod holders included.
  • Removable skid plate
  • Tackle box stagers on side and tankwell
  • Unique rear seating position which opens up the deck area.
  • Jackson Kayak long load safety flag
  • Beverage holder Flat area for mounting accessories
  • Large rear tank well Stand assist handle included
  • Locking bar Low profile to help be more friendly in the wind.

$1199  – $1399 with rudder


Length (ft, in) 14′ 3″
Width (in) 30.5″
Height (in) 11″ (seat area)
Weight (Pounds) 74 lbs (w/o seat)
Seat Type (WW, Elite, Mold) Elite Seat
Front Hatch (Y/N), Dimensions (in) Yes, 16 1/4″ X 11 3/8″
Day Hatch (Y/N), Dimensions (in) Yes, 5 1/2″
Rear Hatch (Y/N), Dimensions (in) Yes, 9 3/8″
Deck Rigging (Y/N, Bow, Stern, Both) Yes, Both
Rudder (Yes/No, Optional) Yes, Optional
Rudder Type (Smart, Peg) Smart
Footrest Type (Peg, Foam, WW, Mold, etc) Peg
Opt. Overall (lbs) 135-225 lbs
Capacity (lbs) 400 lbs
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4 Fun

Above picture of Fun, not 4 Fun, but it is the exact same style boat just a little bit bigger

The Paddler’s Advantage: Expect to be blown away with the combination of ease of paddling, lightweight construction, and comfort during your river run, and the high performance feel for surfing, and all playboating. This is a “go to” boat for kayak schools and beginners as well.

  • Beginners: ideal boat for learning the roll, and for a steep learning curve. Learn river running and playboating in one boat, have more fun on smaller water and be comfortable out there.
  • Intermediate paddlers: Watch your playboating skills develop quickly as this boat is a joy to play in. Hit up harder rivers and feel confident.
  • Expert boaters: First choice among Team JK hitting up the Niagra Gorge and other big water runs. The Fun series has also been used to win World Cup and USA Team Trials events!

New Fun- Version 2010:

  • The new Hull shape keeps the bow from pearling for better surfing and river running.
  • New sidewalls and deck improves cartwheels, loops, and other playboating moves.
  • Rolls easier with new cockpit and sidewall shape.
  • More footroom- fits a larger range of people.
  • Lighter weight in 2011

4 Fun – $999

Color: Blue

  • Length: 6′ 8″
  • Width: 26.75″
  • Height: 14.375″
  • Volume: 63 gallons
  • Cockpit: 36″ x 20.75″
  • Weight:  34 lbs
  • Target Weight Range: 165 – 220 lbs
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Hero

The Paddler’s Advantage: If you want a feel for how the boat will paddle….   Think sporty- the Hero is short and stable, yet super fast for the length.    This will become a staple for anyone wanting to teach or learn the roll as well.

  • For beginners look for easier to roll, easier to steer and stay on line, and much easier to keep on the surface going through waves or holes.
  • For intermediate paddlers, you’ll get the same, plus the best boofing you can imagine, and stability in harder rapids, and a much more friendly/fun surfing machine.
  • For Expert boaters, the creeking and big water capibilities is greatly improved, along with the simple stability which keeps you right side up in harder stuff.

Vers. 2011: Specific improvements over the last version are:

  • Faster, better boofing,
  • easier to control,
  • better surfing,
  • greatly improved creeking ability,
  • lighter weight
  • Narrower knee profile for more comfortable ergonomics

Hero – $1,149

Color: Yellow

  • Length: 88” (or 7’ 4”)-  223cm
  • Width: 26″- 66cm
  • Height: 15.0” – 38 cm
  • Volume: 76.5 gallons- 289 liters
  • Cockpit: 35″ x 20.5″-  89cm X 52cm
  • Weight:  41 pounds – 18.6 KGs
  • Target weight range: 115-190 pounds-   52KGs-86 KGs
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Hero Lil

Why the Little Hero?: Just because you aren’t as big as some of the other people out on the river, doesn’t mean you can go as big! The Little Hero is sized to allow you to run the rivers that challenge you, without the boat being a challenge.

What you can expect: Uber stable, easy to roll, easy to paddle, boat that keeps you upright and paddling downstream. A boat that fits well is easier to paddle, and the Little Hero completes the kids packages for the Hero series. Little Hero is for 80-150 pounds.

The Paddler’s Advantage:

You can use these boats as your workhorse for your kayak school and your staple “go
to” boats for beginners and river runners.

  • Super Comfortable
  • Makes everyone feel like rolling champs
  • Makes rivers feel a class easier
  • Safe, durable, and great looking
  • Length: 7’ 1”
  • Width: 24”
  • Height: 14”
  • Weight: 34 lbs
  • Paddler Size: 80 – 135 lbs

Price: $ 899