Chicago Whitewater Association

On June 5th and 6th the CWA will hold beginner lessons near Yorkville, IL. On Day One students will learn to enter and exit a kayak safely, learn how to get out of a flipped kayak (AKA Wet Exit) along with basic strokes and simple self rescues. On Day Two we will apply theses skills to easy whitewater and learn about eddy turns and ferries which form the fundamentals of whitewater kayaking. We will practice defensive swimming techniques and learn about various river features. We will get to try simple throw rope rescues both as a rescuer and as the one needing assistance.

During the cooler months, the CWA sponsors pool classes which introduce the students to whitewater kayaking. Strokes, braces, the eskimo roll and safety considerations are all taught in these classes, unless otherwise noted. The following locations currently sponsor these classes and anyone interested in taking a class should note the exact dates, registration, and contact information. Most classes start in October and again in January or February, but few are offered in the summer but we are hoping that will change soon. This page should show the most current pool sessions available.

Current CWA ACA Certified Instructors

Marlene Bertolozzi

Jeff Brown        

Kyle Christensen

Andy Cocallas  

Tom Costello    

Tam Fletcher   

Dave McGovern

Wayne Minor  

Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin

Pat Rivers       

Link to all ACA Certified instructors by state by discipline

Upcoming events

    • 12/04/2022
    • 03/19/2023
    • 13 sessions
    • Naperville North Swimming Pool

    The Naperville North High School open boating pool sessions will begin Sunday, December 4 from 2:30 to 4:30 and will cost $15. There will not be an open pool session on Christmas, New Year’s Day or January 8. It goes thru mid March.

    Please bring a CLEAN boat and be respectful of any classes happening before or afterwards.

    • 01/01/2023
    • 9:30 AM
    • Yorkville

    Happy holidays everyone! I hope you are all staying healthy and having some fun. It's time to dig out your cold water gear, because on New Years Day we'll start the year off on the river with our annual Chicago Whitewater Association Paddle With The Crazies. We won't be meeting in the west suburbs this year, instead we'll head to Yorkville and paddle on the Marge Cline Whitewater Course. Bring a treat to share in the pavilion after we get done paddling.

    I plan to meet at 9:30 AM for bacon breakfast at Southern Belles Pancake House nearby. If you don't want to eat, I'd estimate that we'll get to the river right around 11AM. For those who have never come out for it, Paddle With The Crazies goes on no matter what the weather is like. We've had brutally cold days where we slid into the water and got back out minutes later, but we've also had amazing days when we didn't want to get to the takeout. If you plan on meeting for bacon breakfast, shoot me an email or text so that I can give the restaurant a head count in advance.

    See you New Years Day!

    Dave McGovern

Past events

10/30/2022 West Cook (Oak Park) YMCA kayak class
09/09/2022 Gauley River trip
05/28/2022 Memorial Day Weekend at the Cheat
05/14/2022 Hickory Creek intro trip (moved to the DuPage)
03/20/2022 CWA Get together
01/01/2022 Paddle With The Crazies
06/05/2021 CWA Beginner classes
04/29/2020 CWA Social Event- Axe throwing
02/23/2020 Naperville Pool Session
02/16/2020 Naperville Pool Session
02/09/2020 Naperville Pool Session
02/05/2020 Club Meeting
02/02/2020 Naperville Pool Session
01/26/2020 Naperville Pool Session
01/01/2020 Paddle with the crazies- 2020
12/14/2019 CWA Annual Christmas Party
10/13/2019 Fox River Fall Paddle Changed to Des Plaines River
09/28/2019 2019 Weber Social
06/08/2019 Wolf section 4 group paddle
06/08/2019 Beginner Trip Level 3-Wolf River - Club Meeting & Elections
05/24/2019 Memorial Day Weekend Trip
05/18/2019 Beginner Trip Level 2- Vermilion
05/11/2019 Beginner Trip Level 2 Menomonee River
05/04/2019 Beginner Trip Level 1
04/28/2019 Beginner Trip Level 1
01/01/2019 Paddle with the Crazies
10/07/2018 2018 Weber Social
07/13/2018 2018 Illinois Whitewater Festival
06/09/2018 Annual CWA Meeting Dinner and Camping MOVED TO WAUSAU
06/09/2018 Wolf Section 4 group paddle
06/09/2018 Beginner Trip III - Wolf River
05/05/2018 Beginner Trip II, Vermilion 2018
04/21/2018 Beginner Trip I, Yorkville 2018
04/21/2018 2 Day Beginner Intro to Whitewater Kayaking Class
04/07/2018 Beginner Trip I 2018 DuPage River Shorewood
01/03/2018 Chicago Whitewater Association Club Meeting
01/01/2018 Paddle with the Crazies
12/09/2017 CWA Christmas Party
11/01/2017 Chicago Whitewater Association Club meeting
10/03/2017 Club meeting 10-3-17
09/23/2017 Weber Social
08/19/2017 Swift Water Rescue Clinic
07/15/2017 2017 Illinois Whitewater Festival
06/10/2017 Beginner Trip III - Wausau/Wolf River
06/04/2017 Beginner Trip II, Milwaukee 2017
05/21/2017 Beginner Trip II - Vermilion 2017
05/06/2017 CANCELLED: Second Beginner Trip I, DuPage 2017
04/22/2017 Beginner Trip I, Yorkville 2017
04/08/2017 Beginner Trip I 2017
01/01/2017 Paddle with the Crazies
12/03/2016 CWA Christmas Party
10/01/2016 Weber Social
09/02/2016 Ocoee River Labor Day Weekend 2016
07/16/2016 Illinois Whitewater Festival
06/11/2016 Annual CWA Meeting Dinner and Camping
05/21/2016 Quickstart-Intro to Kayaking Class
04/16/2016 Beginner Trip I
03/23/2016 Reel Paddling Film Fest
01/01/2016 ACA Membership and renewal

Chicago Whitewater Association is a 501(c) non-profit organization. Chicago, Illinois

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