Whitewater ready


This story featured in the 2013 Beginner’s Guide issue. By Jeff Kinney Learning to kayak whitewater is a long process. You can’t simply master a few skills and tackle a Class V monster. But according to Jerry McAward, a veteran instructor at Northeast PA Kayak School, these five essential skills form the backbone of any […]



Canoeing is how this whole paddling business got started, and as they navigated their bark craft through the boreal forest, early paddlers faced the same challenge you did at summer camp: sharing the canoe with another paddler.

Though solo canoeing is always an option, nothing moves a canoe better than a well-matched tandem team. The trick is good communication and knowing your job. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Beginner’s Luck


A first-time sea kayaker needs just a handful of skills and about a half-day of practice to get a basic foundation in the sport. Veteran instructor Ray Boucher introduces countless people to sea kayaking each summer at Naturally Superior Adventures’ paddling center on Lake Superior’s Canadian shore. Here are his top five skills for starters.

Rescue for River Runners Recognized


A year ago, open-boat expert Jim Coffey—founder of Quebec-based outfitter Esprit Whitewater Worldwide—and Mike McKay from Five2Nine Productions started a series of whitewater rescue lesson videos called R3: Rescue for River Runners, which aired on the Canoe & Kayak website. Last week, the series won the National Association of Search & Rescue Special Commendation Award for contribution to search & rescue.

C&K staff got in touch with Coffey and McKay to talk about the series and what winning the award meant to them. Here’s what they had to say:

Rescue for River Runners


In Episode Ten of the R3: Rescue for River Runners video lesson series debuting on, Jim Coffey delves further into the topic of foot entrapment by going through the first, basic, and vital assessments any rescuer should consider and practice.

Pushing Past the Plateau


By: Thomas Hall I thought I would begin this series of tips by sharing my secrets for dealing with one of the fundamental, and insanely frustrating, features of skill development: the plateau. The plateau is something I wrestled with throughout my athletic career. In trying to master the vagaries of the sprint canoe stroke, I […]

Let’s Boof


After rolling, boofing may be the most sought-after skill for whitewater paddlers. Nailing the boof means getting some air, clearing the hole at the bottom and hitting that perfect landing without compromising the spine.

There are a lot of pieces to the boof and many nuances to keep in mind. We have compiled all the tips and tricks we know on how, when and where to the boof.

Rescue for River Runners


In Episode Nine of the R3: Rescue for River Runners video lesson series debuting on, Jim Coffey covers a topic as relevant as ever: how to mitigate the risks of a foot entrapment situation.

Mayday Mayday Mayday


For those who enjoy ocean paddling, safety may not always be the first thing on their minds when setting up for the day. However, things don’t always go as planned. In the event that a well-planned day of fun and adventure takes a turn for the worse, having an emergency signal kit and knowing how to use a marine-band radio can keep a bad situation from turning into a dangerous one.

What to do if a Great White Attacks the Boat


An estimated 15- to 17-foot-long great white shark bit down on the front bulkhead of Strosaker’s homemade wood and fiberglass sea kayak, puncturing the hull in several places and “gently gumming” the boat for about 15 seconds. Shocked, Strosaker says he “screamed like a little girl,” but had the presence of mind not to hit the shark, splash wildly or otherwise act like the apex predator’s typical quarry. Finally the shark released and appeared to circle back. Strosaker braced himself for another strike, but the shark abruptly dove deep and disappeared.

2012′s Top 10 Stories


Once again, The Google has spoken. We crunched the analytics from the all-knowing search engine to find out which stories were the most read. Here’s our top 10 original stories for 2012 plus our top video and photo gallery of the year as well as the top gear review, top skills piece, and top multimedia story from the magazine, as chosen by reader pageviews.

Storm Riders


A C&K exclusive video looking inside the gear that British Columbia’s hard-charging Hurricane Riders crew has tailored for their specific paddling needs pushing the edge of sea kayak performance.

The live-bait rescue


In Episode Seven of the R3: Rescue for River Runners video lesson series debuting on, Jim Coffey covers the downstream live-bait rescue.

Club Mend: Build Your Own Kayak


Turning a box of wood into a kayak.

Learning the ropes, with Jim Coffey


In Episode 4 of the R3: Rescue for River Runners whitewater safety video lesson series debuting on, Jim Coffey provides throw-rope tips and principles, as well as a two-swimmer, one-rope exercise to put to use.

Dogs are Paddlers too


Tips to river-ready your dog, from Lorraine Wakely, who’s taught her German shepherd and Lab-Doberman cross to run the shore on command as she paddles the Class IV creeks that flow into Lake Superior.

Rescue for River Runners


Canoe & Kayak has teamed up with open-boat badass Jim Coffey—founder of Quebec-based outfitter Esprit Whitewater Worldwide as well as R3: Rescue for River Runners—and Mike McKay from Five2Nine Productions for a series of whitewater rescue lesson videos debuting exclusively on Here in Episode Three, Coffey covers safe swimming principles.

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Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide