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 CanoeSport canoe buyers receive this class for free! If you are interested in signing up for your free class please contact the store and we can take your reservation over the phone. Store: (515) 961-6117


After signing up for the class you will receive a confirmation email with details about location, gear, expectations, etc. 



- Sunday June 13 at Lake Ahquabi Stat Park

- Sunday August 8 at Raccoon River Park

Canoeing Fundamentals I

  • Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel. We prefer if you let us know at least 7 days in advance.We often have a waiting list of people eager to come. If we know at least 7 days in advance we can apply 100% of your money toward a future lesson or if needed we can refund you the money. If you don't show up the day of the lesson and we have no prior arrangement we will not refund your money. We work hard to put together great lessons and most of our instructors volunteer their time so please be considerate.


  • We offer a selection of dry suits from Kokatat and wet suits from NRS. If your class is early in the spring or late in the fall considering staying a little warmer by renting a suit. Please call for details or learn more here