Paddling Instruction
Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to register is to sign up online. Visit our shop page here. You can also call our store and we can register you over the phone. To register for your Free Boat Buyer Class you will need to call the store. 515-961-6117

How do I register?

What do I need to bring to class?

We recommend you bring plenty of water, sun screen, a change of clothes (yes you will get you wet), sandals or shoes that can get wet, towel, hat, wind jacket in case of cooler weather and food/lunch if class goes all day.

What if I don't have a paddle, boat, or lifejacket?

We can provide all the basic gear required for classes boat/board, paddle, and PFD. However for some classes there is gear that is required. You will need to either buy this gear or arrange rental. Please call us for details or check your pre-instruction email to see what is gear is required.

Where are lessons at?

All lessons, unless noted, are held at Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines. As you enter the main entrance of the park the boat rental building is right in front of you. Classes will meet on the lower level near the dock. Bathrooms are upstairs. Gear/lunch can be left in the building during class.

What if the weather is bad?

We hold lessons rain or shine. If weather looks iffy still plan on coming! The only time we'll postpone parts of our lesson is due to lightening. Please review our weather policy here.

Will I get wet?



Our favorite question! YES!! Paddle sports are water sports and we love to have fun! At least once during every class your head will hopefully end up under water! Our belief is that if everyones hair is dry at the end of class we haven't done our job. Getting wet is part of learning how to be a better paddler. Please bring an extra change of clothes or two! If you are nervous about getting wet please let us know and we can help you decide how to enjoy paddle sports.

I'm a beginner. Where do I start?



We recommend starting at the beginning with either canoeing, stand up paddling, or kayaking. Depending on what type of boating you want to do we would recommend Canoe Fundamental I, Stand Up Paddling Fundamentals I, or Kayak Fundamental I. You can also rent a canoe or SUP at Raccoon River Park Boat Rental and Concession during the summer. 

Help! I registered but I can't come!

We work hard to put together great lessons and most of our instructors volunteer their time so please be considerate. Our Cancellation and Reschedule Policy can be found here.

Why do you need to know my height and weight?

We ask everyone their approximate height and weight so we can bring you gear that will fit you properly. SInce a lot of paddling is about balance your boat or board will be either very tippy or very sluggish if you don't fit correctly. For example, when buying shoes its good to know your size so you can find something that fits comfortably, same with boats/boards and gear!

I have a group, can we paddle?

Absolutely! Groups vary depending on what you want to learn. We can cater classes to fit your needs and wants. Please give us a call to tell us about your group and for pricing. 

Can my kids come?

Definitely! Kids often pick up on skills very quickly! We don't put an age minimum on any classes but we do ask that any kid under 14 have an adult attend the same class. It's best to talk with your kids before hand about the class and expectations. Feel free to contact us with any questions. 

Private Instruction

We understand that sometimes people prefer a little one-on-one! Whether you need to work on a specific skill,  prefer a quieter learning environment, or can't fit into our scheduled classes we can help! Generally we prefer to set up private instruction on weekdays as our weekends are full with scheduled events. Please call to arrange a specific time and so we can learn more about what you need. 

* 1 person = $40/hour each paddler

* 2 people = $30/hour each paddler

* 3 people = $25/hour each paddler

* 4 people = $20/hour each paddler

* 5+ people = $15/hour each paddler