Chicago Whitewater Association
Chicago Whitewater Association beginner trips
2021 Beginner classes will be Quick Start style instead of swimming pool classes. The dates will be picked once the water warms up a bit, as they will be outdoors on ponds and rivers. Once they are posted, go to EVENTS to register participate in trips: You must be a CWA member! ($15 per year). A parent must accompany anyone under 18 on the trip, the cost for kids 12 and under is $15 per trip. The cost for age 13 and over is $30 per trip. You can pay all these fees online.
Quick start classes are a one day intro to kayaking course. During the class you will learn to enter and exit a kayak safely, perform a wet exit, basic strokes, edging and bracing. If time permits we might give a brief introduction to the Eskimo roll or if we are in a river we might practice eddy turns or ferries in gentle current.
If you are a current ACA member the cost is $30. If you do not have a current ACA number, you must either join the ACA or get a single event membership. If you select to have an event (one or two days depending on the event) ACA membership select the appropriate button and it will add $5 for the ACA event membership. The ACA is how we obtain insurance for our events.
Also print out and bring along the ACA waiver (if you submitted it online). If you are a member of the ACA, there is no charge, but you must include your ACA number and sign and turn in this form. If you are not an ACA member, you must pay a $5 event fee (or become a full member, which you can do through the CWA and you will get a discount), which you can pay for when you pay for the trip (see above).
This trips are listed in the events sections of our site. Please contact the instructor for additional information and with any questions.
What you will need that day:
What you can potentially rent and from whom
The Chicago Whitewater Association can provide you with a boat, flotation, paddle and skirt, helmet and PFD if you arrange this in advance. The cost is free for members and $10 for non-members. If using a boat from the Club fleet, you are responsible for arranging transport of them to and from the venue yourself.
Jeff Brown, who owns the YakShackOnline.com can rent boats, flotation, paddles, skirts, wetsuits, splash jackets, PDFs (life vests) and helmets. We cannot promise what boat you will get from him, but he has a decent selection. Call him in advance to ensure that he sets aside the items you need! 630.479.8074. He is at the park, so you don't have to transport anything. Boat, flotation, paddle and skirt are $30; wetsuit, PFD and helmet are $15.
Questions? First look online and see if you find the answers: