Canoeing Classes

** Schedule will be announced January 2021**

All classes are held at Lake Ahquabi State Park unless otherwise noted. 
Wet Suit and Dry Suit Rentals available for cold weather classes!
Learn more here!

Canoe Fundamentals I

Prerequisite: None

$53.50 (FREE! to CanoeSport Canoe Buyers)

Learn the essential skills for canoeing calm bodies of water while staying within 100 yards of shore. We’ll teach basic strokes for the stern and bow paddler including draws, sweeps, and the J-Stroke. Students will learn why the bow paddler is more than just an engine and in fact can steer the canoe without assistance from the stern paddler. Paddlers will learn how to communicate with their partner to better understand what strokes to use and how to work together to reach a destination. Everyone will experience a controlled swamp and swim their canoe back to shore from 50 – 100 yards from shore.  We’ll also discuss a variety of basic safety topics.

All classes will run 8:30-1pm

Register here!

Canoe Fundamentals II

Prerequisite: Canoeing Fundamentals I

This course will teach you how to rescue canoes when they are too far away from shore to swim them in. You’ll learn how to get another canoe emptied, upright, and the paddlers back inside without going to shore.  You’ll also learn how to handle a multiple canoe rescue.  We’ll help you refine your basic strokes and introduce heeling to improve your control and speed up your turns. Also discover how kneeling can increase your control and improve your balance in rough conditions.

- Private Instruction Only - please call 515-961-6117 to arrangement a lesson

- Typcially class will be 4 hours but can be adapted to individual needs. 

Canoeing Fundamentals Refresher

Prerequisite: Canoeing Fundamentals I or II


FREE to any CSO Canoeing Fundamentals Instruction Student!! (Registration is required please) This course is customized to the students taking it on a particular day. We’ll review a variety of fundamental skills and present everyone with a variety of challenges allowing the instructor to assess your skills. Afterwards, the class will be customized to focus on those skills needing attention. All participants should have previously completed Canoeing Fundamentals I or II

- Saturday May 16 1:00pm-3pm

**Does not include boat and gear. Rental fee of $10.70 for boat, lifejacket, paddle, and safety gear. 

River Canoeing Fundamentals I

Prerequisite: Canoeing Fundamentals I


This class will meet at Puckerbrush Access 1 mile north of the Van Meter Exit off I 80.


Learn how to apply the flatwater skills you’ve learned during Fundamentals I to moving water. As you enjoy a casual trip down the Raccoon River, we’ll show you how to identify the faster current and deeper water on the river. You’ll also be introduced to upriver and downriver V’s, eddies, and strainers so you can avoid hazards as you paddle. We’ll help you develop a better understanding of the current and how to apply well-timed strokes to allow the river to move you effortlessly and safely. 

Classes will run 8:30-5:00

Register here!

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© 2020 by CanoeSport America Inc. *Indianola, Iowa *  Toll-Free: 1-800-257-6080

Hours: Sunday-Monday - Closed

Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday - 10am-5pm

Thursday - 10am-8pm

We will be closed November 7-30

Store Stats​​

28 Years in Business

Original Owner!

*  Kayaks, Canoes, SUPS Sold = 5908

*  Hours of Instruction = 3600+

*  Days of Guided Trips = 325+