Charlemont, MA — This winter while most outdoor enthusiasts were on ski slopes, Janet Cowie, Director of Instruction at Zoar Outdoor was busy revamping the paddling school’s vision. Clinic offerings have been revised to give students an easier step-by step path into paddling for life. Whether you are on the fast track where money is not an obstacle and your time is open or if you have to squeeze learning a new sport in to discreet times and take longer to become proficient, Zoar’s new approach creates a life sport for everyone.
“The redesign will allow people to see more clearly how to move along levels or step-up to new levels in the sport. We’ve seen incredible growth in the sport over the last few years and this new approach should attract more interested outdoor enthusiasts to the sport”, states Cowie who is an American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer Educator and advisory member for the ACA/SEI River Kayaking Committee.
The change came about due to Zoar’s research, which found that many people don’t have the time or money to start in the sport with a multi-day clinic format – they have busy lives, limited resources but still want active past times that keep them in shape physically and mentally. Zoar sees paddling as a means to a green life sport that will create lasting memories, new skills, offer physical challenges and get people out of the consumer spending mode (i.e. mall shopping, couch potato life style). Once you learn the skills and get the gear, you can paddle for the rest of your life without having to buy a plane ticket or lift pass!! Rivers are free to use for everyone!
New this year, Zoar has two one-day classes for people who are starting out in the sport. The Recreational kayak clinic is for beginner paddlers who just want the basics in a recreational kayak to be able to paddle on flatwater or easy moving water (class 1). The day is shorter, less aggressive and cheaper than other courses. You may even already own a kayak, but not really know how to use it safely. By the end of the day you may be inspired to try more or just want to continue with self guided trips or tours. Either way you’ll have the tools to paddle flat water on your own, especially if you practice often.
The other new clinic is a 1-day Whitewater kayak clinic for those who want an overview to river kayaking, but need to maximize their time. It’s a first step in the paddling for life program and gets you ready to take other clinics over time. We cover the skills necessary to start you in whitewater kayaking including self rescue and river reading as well as basic paddling technique. This is a great way to get a taste of the sport and see if you want to proceed further with it. Both of these courses meet monthly throughout the summer when the water is warm and the weather beautiful.
Zoar still offers a full array of 2, 3 and 5-day courses starting weekends in May and continuing through October for those seeking more in-depth skill development and are not hindered by time. Some of these are at the novice level, others are for advanced paddlers. No other sport gives stimulates your mind and body as kayaking or canoeing does while allowing you to enjoy natural settings for little or no cost.
For more information see www.kayaklesson.com or call 800-532-7483. Photos and details are available upon request.
800-532-7483 x 107
7 Main St.
Charlemont, MA 01338