Structure of the Whitewater School:
Classes are divided into whitewater kayak, solo whitewater canoe, tandem whitewater canoe, and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). Classes are small and generally have 4 to 8 participants and two instructors. Normal classes start with a brief, dry land meeting on Friday evening, then strenuous river days on both Saturday and Sunday.
Class Assignments:A very important factor in making this a good school is how closely people within each class are matched in experience, previous training, and certain other characteristics. Please, do not misrepresent yourself when filling out the school application! We use the information you provide to form compatible groups for each class, then each instructor adapts to best fit the needs of those grouped into the class. Special requests for class assignment with a particular person are discouraged because those special assignments often do not fit well with the rest of the class.
In the past, we have been able to offer classes for Women Only and Teens Only. Please use the space provided during Registration for Special Request for a specialty class or other good reason, with the understanding that we are willing to work with applicants, but we might not be able to honor those requests. These special requests are at the discretion of the School Director. If you want to be in a paddling class with a particular person, we recommend either a tandem canoe class or private instruction. Classes work best if everyone in the class has similar river experience, physical condition, and recent training.
The tandem whitewater canoe application has a place to name your tandem partner. You must have a partner to enter a tandem canoe class. The Arkansas Canoe Club does not provide tandem partners. A solo canoe class is an excellent way to start, even if you wish to paddle tandem canoe or kayak after learning some basics.
Arkansas Canoe Club school instructors use American Canoe Association course outlines to help you discover what skills and knowledge you have and don't have. Small classes of compatible participants allow instructors to teach to your needs. Classes are not arranged by "levels" but are custom fit to participants as much as possible.
Progression of paddle skills and river maneuvers is very closely tied to basic principles of body, paddle, and boat. All classes spend time on these basics while alternating between dry land, flatwater, and whitewater. Raising your awareness of the various hazards present in the river and practical options for those hazards is an objective in every class.
The instructors receive the information from the participants’ applications and will normally contact all class members about two weeks after enrollment closes. Everyone must check-in on arrival at Turner Bend and be approved on the school roster before joining a class.