White Water Kayak Instruction – Beginner

Learn to Kayak

We have a passion for kayaking and would love to share it with you! The Youghiogheny River runs from Class I-V, providing the ultimate classroom. You can start with your first paddle stroke, and progress to your first drop over a waterfall.  During our beginner whitewater kayak instruction, we’ll help you to build a solid foundation of proper technique, confidence and control while enjoying the scenic river valley of the Laurel Highlands.


We offer a number of ways to get into the sport, easily and economically.

  • Pre-scheduled Learn to Kayak weekends
  • Private Lessons
  • Group Lessons


Learn to Kayak Weekend

This is our most popular option for beginner whitewater kayak instruction. Spending a weekend immersed in kayaking is the perfect way to learn for new paddlers. Offered regularly throughout the summer, this 2-day group session will teach you the basics and give you the chance to spend time with other kayak students. The instruction includes:

2 days of instruction with our experienced instructors to launch your paddling career.

All equipment necessary (latest model kayak, paddle, skirt, helmet, PFD, wetsuit, etc.)

2 lunches on the banks of the river

Transportation to/from the river.

Breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning

One night of camping at Tall Oaks Campground

What will I learn?

A typical clinic begins by introducing you to the kayak and all your gear. Moving onto the water—either on nearby Youghiogheny Lake or right in our backyard on the Middle Yough—we will learn safety procedures and break down the different strokes. With edge control exercises and lots of paddling practice, your comfort level in the kayak will soar. Later in the day you’ll get to paddle through gentle currents learning techniques such as ferrying, eddy turns, peel outs and basic river reading.


Day two will reinforce your new skills. If water levels cooperate, this day is spent running the scenic Middle Youghiogheny, navigating through Class I and II whitewater. We’ll introduce you to the bow rescue and bracing techniques, which will help you execute the Eskimo Roll. From here, days three, four and five will find you building upon your skills by running sections of rivers such as the Loop or even the whole Lower Yough. The longer your clinic, the more comfortable you will be to venture out on your own!

Private Instruction

Here’s another option. Get one-on-one instruction with our private kayaking instruction, for yourself or a small group of friends. You can book private and group instruction at any time. Here’s what you get:

1 to 5 day clinics covering whitewater basics.

One-on-one time with an experienced kayak instructor.

Beginner or intermediate classes on the Lower Yough and other surrounding rivers

Perfect your roll and gain the confidence to paddle on your own.

Deli style lunch halfway through your day.

We recommend the 2 or 3 day clinic to get a better feel for the sport and begin to build your skill set with more consecutive days on the river. Give us a call at 800-272-4141 to book private instruction.


What next?

Upon the completion of your clinic, your instructor will be happy to discuss options for continuing your pursuit of whitewater kayaking, from getting your own gear to getting you out on the river. We’ve created a handy Ohiopyle kayak progression guide. The guide includes how to take advantage of our kayak demo program, Middle Yough shuttles, continuing instruction and other benefits we offer here in Ohiopyle.

Trip Information

Check In Times

8:30 for Breakfast

Check In Location
Ohiopyle, PA

Daily Trips
April - October


Deli Style and Riverside (weather permitting).


Minimum Age

Suggested Items to Bring

Quick Dry Clothing
Wetsuits are available to rent

River Classification
Class I – II
Group Instruction
  • Beginner Weekend Clinic


(not including taxes and State Park Fee)