Chicago Whitewater Association

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

Dan Bowers     

Jeff Brown        

Kyle Christensen

Andy Cocallas  

Tom Costello    

Tam Fletcher   

Hannah Matzke

Dave McGovern

Wayne Minor  

Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin

Pat Rivers       

Link to all ACA Certified instructors by state by discipline

Upcoming events

    • 01/01/2016
    • 12/31/2020
    • everywhere

    You can start a new ACA Membership or renew your ACA membership using this page. For new ACA memberships you MUST download the waiver, sign it and return it to Tom Costello. If paying by PayPal, please create an invoice and continue with the payment process via PayPal. If you'd like to pay via cash or check, create an invoice and then send your payment to: Chicago Whitewater Association, 1160 Brighton Rd, Naperville, IL 60563


    • 11/02/2016
    • 10/04/2017
    • 11 sessions
    • 1455 W Lake St, Addison, IL 60101

    The CWA meets the first Wednesday of the month. Minutes and finances can be found on this website when logged in as a member. 

    • 04/08/2017
    • 9:00 AM
    • Shorewood IL
    • 11

    First CWA beginner trio of the year. Led by Hannah. This is a class I II river that will be the introductory to beginner paddlers.  Focus will be on river reading, boat control, strokes, catching and leaving eddies, surfing if levels permit.

    • 04/22/2017
    • 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Marge Cline Whitewater Course
    • 15
    Registration is closed

    Third CWA beginner trip of the year. Led by Tom. This is a class I, II river that will be the introductory to beginner paddlers.  Focus will be on, river reading, boat control, strokes, catching and leaving eddies, surfing if levels permit, self  and assisted rescue techniques.

    • 04/30/2017
    • 9:00 AM
    • 4600 Estabrook Parkway, Milwaukee, WI
    • 15
    Registration is closed

    Second CWA beginner trio of the year. Led by Pat. This is a class II river that will be the introductory to beginner paddlers. The Milwaukee River is a step up from the previous beginner trips. There are drops and large wave rapids. Focus will be on river reading, boat control, strokes, catching and leaving eddies, surfing if levels permit, self  and assisted rescue techniques.

    DIRECTIONS: Head north on route 94 towards Milwaukee get off at exit 77AUse the middle lane to turn left onto N Port Washington Road.Immediately get into the right lane (as you cross over Milwaukee river).Turn right onto W Hampton Avenue.After 0.3 mi, turn right onto Estabrook Parkway.After 0.3 mi, turn right into parking lot for Estabrook Park Biergarten.(Address is: 4600 Estabrook Park, Milwaukee)For most convenient carry to river, park in the North West corner of lot.(Use the first entrance to the lot, park in the end away from the BierGarten!). Look for vehicles with kayaks. Meet 9:30 am

    • 05/20/2017
    • 9:00 AM
    • 701-799 North 2249th Rd, Oglesby, IL
    • 12

    This is a Chicago Whitewater Association (CWA) Beginner II instructional trip. Eligibility: You MUST have completed a CWA Beginner I Level Trip. Others may be considered on a case-by-case basis. The lead instructor has the ultimate authority to accept students. The "verm" is a great river. I'm watching the weather forecasts and hope to have levels between 700 scfm and 2000 scfm, although we can paddle even lower and higher levels. It's just that this is the range that offers the best learning opportunity for beginners. If the level gets too low, we may have to find an alternative or cancel. Higher flows won't be dangerous, but there won't be much in the way of teaching; many features will be washed out. We may or may not run Wildcat (make sure you do some internet searching on the Vermillion and Wildcat), depending on the conditions, the support available on the day and the demonstrated ability of the students.

    • 06/10/2017
    • 9:00 AM
    • 06/11/2017
    • 5:00 PM
    • 3494 Hwy 55, White Lake, WI 54491
    Registration is closed

    This is the last Beginner Trip of 2016. It will be at the Wolf River section 2 and 3 depending on water levels. Location:   River Rating: II
    Type of Trip: A (CWA Beginner trip)
    Leader: Tom Costello
    Contact Info:
    Additional Info: This is the final instructor led beginner trip for the year. It is also the annual club meeting and time to vote in new board. 

    Please be prepared for this trip. We are camping at Bear Paw and the weather can turn nasty. You need to have provisions for eating and sleeping and adverse weather conditions. The river is a class 2-3 river and can be long days. We will be paddling both Saturday and Sunday.

    • 07/15/2017
    • 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    • Marge Cline Whitewater Course
    • 99

    Save the date for the 4rd annual IWF!! Cardboard Regatta provided by the Yorkville Chamber on Friday evening with the Buttercup Slalom Series & Boatercross sponsored by World Kayak on Saturday. Yorkville to provide the usual rib and beer festival along with adding a carnival with rides, games and more. Bring your boat, paddling skills, family & friends for a great weekend of paddling fun in your own backyard. 9:00am to 10:00am registration. Racers meeting at 9:45am and start at 10:00am

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

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