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   marlenab@earthlink.net

Jeff Brown                  carpadium@hotmail.com

Kyle Christensen       kchrist2@gmail.com

Andy Cocallas            acocallas@sbcglobal.net

Tom Costello              tcostello@wideopenwest.com

Tam Fletcher             tamfletcher@att.net

Dave McGovern         davemcgov@gmail.com

Wayne Minor            wayneminor@comcast.net

Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin   kayak.bp@gmail.com

Pat Rivers                 patrickrivers@sbcglobal.net

Link to all ACA Certified instructors by state by discipline


Upcoming events

    • 10/30/2022
    • 6:30 PM
    • 12/04/2022
    • 8:00 PM
    • West Cook YMCA

    KAYAKING: BEGINNER AND BEYOND (AGES 13+) If you are new to kayaking, this class will provide you with the skills for paddling on moving water: strokes, braces, rolls and other boat-handling skills. If you've been paddling awhile, you can work on skills and get tips from certified coaches. Upon successful completion of this course, participants are qualified to join the Chicago Whitewater Association on its Spring river trips. All equipment for this class is provided, but  you can bring your own boat if it is less than 10 feet long. Club membership costs $15 per year and is required before the first day of class. Join at https://cwa.wildapricot.org/join-us  

    Date: Sundays, October 30 through December 4

     Time: 6:30pm - 8pm

     Cost: Members $100   Program Members $120 – (cost does not include the $15 club membership, which is required by the first day of class)

     Max enrollment: 8

    Registration for this class is through the West Cook YMCA. You can not register through the CWA website.

Past events

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
05/19/2018 Beginner Trip II - Vermilion 2018 UNFORTUNATELY THE "BEGINNER" CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF REGISTRATION.
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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