Looking for a club

I live in the middle of the Connecticut River Valley and I am looking for a club and also a good source for lessons. I have done a bunch of searches online and the only flat water club I cam up with in the area is Connyak. They seem to be oriented more towards the shoreline of CT and RI which isn’t out of the question further down the line but for now I am looking for a club with an inland water orientation. I also can’t seem to get people from paddling schools to give me the time of day. Can someboby point on the correct path? Everybody wanted to sell me a kayak but now they don’t want to talk to me when I come looking for lessons. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


How about?
I live near Springfield MA and can understand where you are coming from. Have you tried Westfield Water Sports in Southwick? They have a pool but I believe they are more geared to Whitewater, I know that they do have lessons on touring and Rolling or at least they did. Also on Route 9 in Hadley is a Kayak Shop they deal in Kayaking, rockclimbing, hiking etc… I do not know if they offer any classes. Also the Sportsmans Marina on the CT River may be worth a shot. Unfortunately the kayak guy who knew his stuff has moved on the guy that replaced him didn’t seem too knowledgable but I haven’t gone their in awhile.

I cannot vouch for any of the above companies since I have never taken lessons but it may be worth a shot. Where have you tried so far?

Yes I have
talked to both those places. I bought the boat from Sportsmans because he really worked with me to get my business and was honest about not being able to provide lessons because his expert had moved out west. Great service and prices there though. The people down the road at Adventure outfitters offer limited group classes on various topics but they don’t start offering them unitl mid May. I have been looking for one on one type lessons. White water instruction is really easy to obtain in this area. I will check with the people in Westfield as I hadn’t yet. They also seem ww oriented. Usually waving cash at people will get results but as of yet I have had no luck with even some shop owner/instructors,

the website is
The website is www.weu.com. I don’t know exactly what you are looking for but they used to offer touring classes and trips occasionally. Though I quickly scanned the website and couldn’t find any mention of it. Good luck and maybe I’ll see you on the water sometime.

Try Collinsville …
Collinsville Canoe & Kayak east of Hartford, CT. Big spring demo this weekend (closed Friday), but they normally give lessons right at the shop on the Farmington River. http://www.cckstore.com/


Believe it or not
An introductory whitewater class will teach you the basic strokes and skills (wet exits, bracing etc) and give you the confidence to handle moving water and give you better boat control. If that’s all that is available I would do it.

CT AMC Flatwater Paddlers



– Last Updated: Apr-18-06 9:21 AM EST –

north cove outfitters in old saybrook? Main St.They are doing demos 5/6 and 5/7 cedar lake in Chester.

I will check these suggestions out
today. I will just clarify for everyone that when I said in the middle of the CT. River Valley I was speaking about Ma. Specifically the Northampton area. I am checking out all leads but I figure that if I can find a group (club) or lessons close to my home location I will be more involved. All my other hobbies include a very long commute to participate and I tend to lose interest in them (or at least the drive to get there) after a while. This seems to be fairly enjoyable so I would like to prolong the experience. Thanks to everyone so far.


Mass. flatwater kayak club
We belong to the RICKA kayak group, which operates in conjunction with the Blackstone Valley Paddlers in eastern Mass. This may be a bit far away from you, but you can always pick and choose the trips that interest you. If nothing else, they may be able to steer you to someplace for lessons. To check it out go to:


then click on “Flatwater” in the left column, then click on “Blackstone Paddlers”

Northhampton is lovely.

You have access to areas sch as on this thread. I am from Athol-Orange area, and that is really interstsing to me that an area so replete with great inlad lakes and rivers has such a paucity of classes and groups.

I could have sworn that, when there was the frappr.com posting with all the pnetters names and locations – you know the famous one, sing? Anyone have a link-- there was a pnetter who had a pic and little red dot in Northhampton, or very close. A paddling buddy right there, if anyone can find the thread.

Anyhow, push comes to shove, you can always give up kayaking and just spend your summer tobogganing down that concrete dohickie at Mt Tom. :slight_smile:


Look at link, let it load, then use the left side bar to zero in and pull map to MA; hold over little red tags and see pictures of pnetters.

Man, I amaze myself. This photographic memory – trust me it’s a blessing and a curse, guys. I can remember helpful stuff such as this, but waking up in the middle of the night, sweaty, recalling the time when I was three years old and the babysitter laid a can of whoop-ass on me – now there’s an instance when I’d just assume turn it off.

Gnomon is in Northhampton. Search him on pnet and then email for possibly more local info.

A couple of thoughts
If you live in Northmapton and aren’t interested in driving to the CT and RI shore every other weekend, then you’re right, there aren’t many clubs local to you.

Here’s a thought, though: There are lots of inland paddlers in your area that would probably like to have a group to paddle with. Why not start an informal group of your own? All you need is some webspace to post a schedule and some pictures and contact info. There is a group in SE CT called the Tuesday Night Paddlers that did just that, and they’re now one of the biggest and most active groups in CT. And they’re still informal — no dues, no memberships, no responsibilites. Most of the active members of ConnYak that can make it to the weeknight paddles are TNP’ers as well.

For instruction, try your local paddle shops. Is wildwater outfitters in Hadley still in business? I think they either offerred instruction, or would know where to find it in your area. Eastern Mountain Sports might be another good resource, too.


two commercial outfits
both EMS and L.L.Bean offer somesort of instruction for flatwater. You may have to drive up to Lebanon NH for the L.L.Bean store, EMS I’m not sure. REI, I think< may (or did) offer some flat water stuff. Even if you have to travel a bit to get started it would be worth while. I belonged to NorthShore Paddlers for a while, the lure of WHitewater has got me firmly in its grasp however and the club I belong to is generally geared in that direction.

Big believer in “build it and they will come” philosophy. Don’t wait for something to happen. Make it happen. I drive through that area a lot in the summer to get to the Deerfield ww run. See plenty of boaters on the lakes and rivers a long the way. Gotta be enough folks interested in getting together to paddle.


Concrete doohickey
is now closed and maybe even dimantled at this point. The owners of that property decided they could make a lot more money digging up and selling the mountain than selling recreational opportunities on it.

Thanks email sent

Mt Tom, dismantled.
Oh for the love of God. That istragic. Not that Mt Tom was a Mt Monadnock or anything, but jeez.


Gnomon seems like a righteous doode, based on his frppr pic and his profile. Hang ten with him at some backwater in central MA and see how it feels. Ciao and mahalo.