Canoe lessons

There are atleast four good places in North Carolina to get kayaking lessons, but I don’t know of anyplace to get canoe lessons.

How is it in your state? It seems like there are more folks canoeing than ever, but there is less instruction available. Is there a market for canoe lessons or am I the only one in NC who would pay to get them?

Sign me and my wife up
I am in NC also and would love to get some lessons. Chris

what kind of canoeing?
NOC offers whitewater canoeing lessons on the Nanty, from half day to a full week. Their competitors like ERA probably do, too. I would bet some of the paddling clubs probably offer courses for both WW and flatwater, too. Of course, you have to be into the club experience to enjoy those.

i teach canoeing …
make the trip to me and i’ll teach you … i can’t kayak much yet, but i can canoe.

Carolina Canoe Club
Frank, it’s interesting that you mention this now. This morning, I mailed off my membership to Carolina Canoe Club, specifically because I was interested in what they might have to offer canoeists. Despite the name, it looks like they’re really a lot more focused on white water kayaking. But, maybe if enough of us decide we want canoe instruction and canoe trips, maybe we can get them. Anyway, if you find out about any NC or SC canoe classes and/or fieldtrips, let me know.


I belonged for a year
I was a member for a year. For that year they were almost totally focused on White water kayaking. They had one beginner trip and on that trip my wife and I felt very unwelcome even though we collected trash along the way. I don’t think we had the right kind of boats or the right clothes to fit it with the group.

I signed up to lead clean up of put in spot for the Haw river hoping to meet some more of the group and maybe get to set up to run a trip on that river. No one showed up but me so I cleaned the put in area.

I’ve still not found anyone from the club that would set up a shuttle on that river with me, so naturally I let my membership lapse after the first year.

I think it would be a great club for young urban skilled whitewater kayakers, but I don’t think they want the average canoer looking to build skiils there. To me the name is very misleading but it’s an old club and perhaps they had more canoeing in the past.

Frank, that’s depressing to hear. I wondered about that, given what I saw on the website, but figured it might be a chance to meet people. Oh well, the discount at GOPC is probably worth the twenty bucks.

Anyway, sounds like you’re close, so I’ll shoot you an email, and maybe we can start our own canoe club for slow 40 somethings. :wink:

I don’t think NC is alone in this. In my state, Iowa, we’ve got a number of ACA coastal kayak and ww kayak instructors and a total of 4 (!) canoe instructors acording to the regional ACA website. I’m one of them, and I know 2 others, but the fourth one is MIA. I’m the only one that does exclusively flatwater, though at least one other is certified in flatwater too.

The bigger paddling clubs around here are heavy into whitewater (yes, there actually is some in this mostly flat state :slight_smile: ), but some of them do a good job of instruction and are very inviting. However, they’re primarily into kayaks with a few canoes.

In the midwest, folks grow up with a canoe. They canoe at summer camp, canoe at the neighbor’s cabin at the lake, etc. Few people think there is anything to learn about canoeing, so there isn’t much demand. Not much demand means fewer instructors.


Getting together with fellow canoeists can be VERY instructional. I recommend that you try to hook up with some like minded paddlers via the “Getting Together” forum. Even if you have to travel a state or two to get to a gathering I’m sure you’d find it well worth the time and effort.

Learning from another paddler is of course the best method, but there are a few books on the topic that are well worth their cover prices. I always recommend “Paddle Your Own Canoe” by the McGuffins and “Path of the Paddle” by Bill Mason.

Attending a Freestyle symposium sponsored by the American Canoe Association is also very worth while. I know Freestyle sounds like advanced canoeing – and it is. But in the few years that I’ve been attending FS gatherings I’ve seen some absolute rank beginners take the entry level classes and learn a lot – they always seemed pleased that they “jumped in over the heads” a bit. There are 3 or 4 FS symposiums across the country each year (Ohio, New York, Louisiana and perhaps Texas?). Yes, it would be a drive, but well worth it.

There are also canoeing videos to learn from. Look for vids by Mark Molina, Bill Mason, Becky Mason.

Just some ideas, hope some of it helped. Randall

" I always recommend “Paddle Your Own Canoe” by the McGuffins and “Path of the Paddle” by Bill Mason. "

Glad to hear it. I ordered both of those from Amazon yesterday. And, a few of us are working on the getting together with other p.netters aspect.

I took
two canoeing courses from the local college, and sat through several meritbadge classes with the boy scouts. I learned the most by having my tail whipped in races with the canunut yelling at me to paddle faster…

Instruction source…
Check with the American Canoe Assoc. (ACA) for instructors in your area. I am a canoe instructor in Ohio. I used to live in NC and go back often to paddle and visit family (Just spent 5 days on the Nantahala last week). Check with local shops also. Or contact me directly and maybe we can get together a class the next time I am in NC.


You’ll like those books. I have them both. They are the kind of books that I’ll lend out but always plan to keep. Most other books get given away after a while.

Coastal kayaking instructors from Iowa? I’m sorry but that just sort of made me laugh.