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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


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.


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:


Introduction to Alaska Kayak Academy

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


Sea Kayak Deep Water Rescue

seakayak15Learn sea-kayaking rescue and safety skills with Alaska Kayak Academy

This 3 hour beginner-level class is held on Wasilla Lake. We teach multiple techniques to get into a capsized sea kayak and get the water out. We also spend the first portion discussion sea kayaking safety (reading maps, gear to bring, where to paddle, numbers to call) Boat, spray skirt, PFD, drysuit and paddle are all included in the class cost. Come dressed in long underwear NO JEANS. Bring a change of clothes.

Price: $150  private….$110 group…. includes drysuit 

By Reservation. Call to book



Check AK River Levels

this site allows you to find what level the rivers are running at. Keep checking so you know what is normal for different times of the season.

Check river level here!


Toaster (poogies) Stohlquist Gloves

Toaster (Poogies) Gloves Stohlquist

A paddler’s glove offering protection and warmth for those who prefer the feel of the paddle, helping you retain precise control. The skin-out allows water to roll off, reducing evaporative heart loss.

• 2mm neoprene skin-out for warmth and protection.
• Lightweight waterproof cuff.
• Webbing strap for rolling up and securing on paddle shaft, snapping together for drying, or for compact storage.

Size Available: One size fits all



MAW Stohlquist Gloves

MAW Stohlquist Gloves

The MAW is a 3mm 4-way stretch precise paddling glove. Pre-curved fingers provide grip and paddle control while reducing hand fatigue from squeezing. Super flexible 4-way stretch neoprene balances the perfect combination of warmth and comfort. Unique terry cloth brow-wipe absorbs water droplets.

• 1 1/8″ diameter finger pre-curved eliminates gripping fatigue.
• Grippy palm and finger surfaces provide better inherent paddle control and feel.
• Protective, warm and soft to the touch.
• Displaced seams eliminate irritation and pressure points.
• Absorbent terry cloth fabric on back of index finger for brow-wiping.
• Adjustable wrist closure secures glove in place.
• Glued and blind-stitched seams keep water out.
• “O”-ring seal at entry.
• 3mm 4-way stretch neoprene for comfort.

Sizes Available:

Unisex: SM, MD, LG, XL



Neptune Drypants

Neptune Drypants Stohlquist

Drypants made of TTL Eclipse waterproof/breathable base fabric provides the kind of additional warmth and protection you’ve come to enjoy from your drytop. Neptune Pants are especially designed for an elevated level of comfort and dryness over any traditional paddling pants.

  • Inside, bunji drawcord allows additional tension adjusting as desired
  • Below the waist, the fit is roomy with flexibility for sitting, standing, kneeling
  • Knees and shin padded with a slim barrier of PE foam
  • Dry Seal neoprene ankle gaskets for dryness and added comfort
  • Completely waterproofed, taped seams throughout
  • Zippered aquatic rubber mesh thigh pocket

Sizes Available:

Men: MD, L, XL



Shred Fiberglass 200cm

Shred Fiberglass- 200 cm

4 Part brakedown

Blade: Shred for power (abX II)

Shaft: Fiberglass

Weight: 38.50 oz

Makes this a great entry level paddle