An in-depth approach to beginner river running dedicated to turning never before kayakers into a competent class III boater in only one months time.
Welcome to the Water!
Dive right into the wonderful world of Whitewater Kayaking, a sport originally thought to be accessible only to a select few. At RVA Paddlesports, it is our goal to craft unique outdoor experiences catered to each individual that walks through our doors. With our intensive beginner whitewater training program, in only one months time you can go from never before sitting in a kayak to confidently running class III rapids!
What you get out of this package:
When you sign up, you will receive 30 hours of professional instruction geared towards proper stroke technique, advanced technical maneuvers, proper safety precautions, and developing skills associated with reading moving whitewater. You will be given instruction 2 to 3 times a week. This includes our weekly lessons on how to roll a kayak which focuses on essential self-rescue techniques if your boat becomes capsized within a rapid.
With our unique position in downtown Richmond, we have a very intimate relationship with the James River. Only 10 minutes from the nearest river entry, we get more time for instruction than driving for the shuttle! The 6 mile stretch of river that flows through downtown is divided into 2 parts; The Upper and The Lower. We start off on the Upper, comprised of Class I and II rapids. This section is a perfect difficulty for developing foundational skills. After a few runs down the Upper you will graduate to The Lower, comprised mainly of Class III rapids with regards to summer flows. We will start with the easier ones and work our way up the chain as your technical maneuvering skills develop throughout the program.
*A quick look at what to expect for the schedule structure:
|Saturday March 6th||Foundations Day 1||8am to 12 noon|
|Sunday March 7th||Foundations Day 2||8am to 12 noon|
|Wednesday March 10th||Roll Session 1||6pm to 8pm|
|Saturday March 13th||Intermediate Techniques Day 1||8am to 12 noon|
|Sunday March 14th||Intermediate Techniques Day 2||8am to 12 noon|
|Wednesday March 17th||Roll Session 2||6pm to 8pm|
|Saturday March 20th||Intermediate Whitewater Intro||8am to 12 noon|
|Wednesday March 24th||Roll Session 3||6pm to 8 pm|
|Saturday March 27th||Overall Skill Development||8am to 12 noon|
*Subject to change with rise and fall of water levels. Dates are subject to your particular session. All session dates are included below:
- March 6th – March 31st
- April 10th – May 5th
- May 8th – June 2nd
- June 5th – June 30th
- July 3rd – July 28th
- July 31st – August 25th
- August 28th – September 22nd
If you bring the stoke, we’ll bring the boats! As a part of the beginner course you have full access to our fleet of whitewater kayaks. You can demo as many of our boats as you like during the course in order to pinpoint which style works best for you. All required gear will also be included. All you need to do is show up dressed to swim. We’ve got the rest covered!
Why choose RVA Paddlesports?
We love the water, that’s why we’ve devoted our lives to this profession. Getting into watersports isn’t easy in terms of finding a community, locating all the essential pieces of gear, and having someone to show you the ropes. We believe in sharing our passions with anyone who is willing to learn, discover new possibilities, and push personal boundaries.
Being a paddler means so much more than getting rad out on the water. While we love to fuel the stoke, we are also environmentalists, activists, and centered towards community. We want to bring you a meaningful outdoor experience that has the potential to change your life in ways you may have never thought possible.
Physical and Mental requirements:
Whitewater Kayaking is an inherently dangerous activity. We operate on a strict 1:4 instructor to participant ratio. While all of our guides are professionally trained in kayak instruction, swiftwater rescue, and wilderness first aid, moving currents will always be a dangerous place. All participants should be able to remain calm under pressure, be comfortable with making last minute decisions, and be physically able to carry 50 pounds on their shoulder for a minimum distance of 100 feet.