Over the years I’ve been kayaking I always get questions like “where did you learn to kayak”, “how did you get into the sport”,” how can I get into kayaking” etc… My first experience was memorable but not at all the right way to get into the sport.
I asked a friend who was fairly new to kayaking to teach me how to kayak. We lived near the Slippery Rock Creek but my friend said we should go to the lower yough. So one day we drove to the lower yough took our boats to the put in and geared up. Up to this point I still had never even held a paddle nor did I know how to get into a kayak or whether I was supposed to kneel or sit inside the boat. Once we got that figured out it was on to trying to wrap my head around the mechanics of a roll. We never talked about a wet exit or a bow rescue instead it was straight to ok try to roll. Needless to say my first roll attempt was a disaster but we were burning daylight and needed to get going. My teachers words were “eh lets go maybe you’ll figure it out down the river” and with that we went. I swam every ripple and rapid on the lower yough.
I wasn’t turned off from the sport completely but I didn’t try again until I was in my 20’s. Luckily the college I was at offered a whitewater kayak class and I learned the right way the second time around. Personally I think taking a formally class is the best way to learn kayaking.
You don’t need to enroll in a college just to take a 1 credit kayak class. All you need to do is come to Ohiopyle and enroll in a Kayak Clinic at Wilderness Voyageurs.
Whether your just starting out or looking to step your game up and run some more difficult rivers there is a group or private clinic for your skill level.