2019 DemoFest Clinic Offerings

Reserve your spot in one of our DemoFest offerings. For descriptions click on the title of any clinic.  Mini-clinics are booked on a first come-first serve basis. Due to high demand, you may pre-register for one mini-clinic per day by registering online or calling Zoar Outdoor at 1-800-532-7483. Walk-ins are welcome but availability may be limited. All mini-clinics are subject to change. Please check in at registration each day to fill out a waiver and receive information.

Mini-clinics will have groups classified by ability level.

Group A= Novice thru Group D = Expert skills  (See below for more information on group abilities)

2019 Clinics


10:00 - 12 NOON 1st mini-clinic
Group: A-D Rolling Practice -for new or experienced paddlers
Group: A-C Cl II Skills Review
Group: A-B Novice Kayak Review
Group: C-D Component Skills of Freestyle - flatwater
12:30 - 4:00 PM 2nd mini-clinic - Dryway
Group: D Paddle with Team Z & Pros on the Dryway
Not appropriate for first timers on the Dryway or those that are new to Class IV water.
9:30 - 4:00 PM Boat demos at various locations
9:30 - 12:00 PM Free Playboat and Play River-runner Demos at Hurricane Hole on Fifebrook section. Registration is preferred at the Main Demofest location across from the Zoar Gap Picnic area, but walk-ins will be welcome.
10:00 - 3:30 PM Free Creek Boat Demos at Dunbar Brook on the Monroe Bridge section. Personal vehicles will be needed for boat transport. Registration is preferred at the Main Demofest location across from the Zoar Gap Picnic area, but walk-ins will be welcome.
12:30 - 4 PM Afternoon Fun
12:30 - 4 PM Playing Card Challenge
2 - 4 PM TBD
9:30 - 4:00 PM Boat Demos at various locations

Group Descriptions:

DemoFest is designed with the experience paddler in mind. If you have never been in a whitewater kayak before, you may want to try one of our 1-, 2-, 3- or 5-day clinics.

Group A = Novice kayakers who have received basic whitewater kayak instruction, know how to wet exit, and have an understanding of basic maneuvers, strokes, and edging.  Have had moving water experience and some river experience in class I rapids.

Group B= Basic ability looking for better boat control in whitewater kayaks, understands sweeps, forwards strokes, draws and bracing.  Class I-II river experience.  Masters of the self-rescue and ready to learn/perfect the roll.

Group C= Creative boaters with class II-III ability in whitewater rapids.  These boater have a roll but it may need refinement.  They are starting to apply fancy strokes for creative control.

Group D= Dryway caliber (ie. solid class III-IV) paddlers with excellent rolls and a plethora of strokes for style points.  They are smooth and efficient in all river maneuvers, but are still open to learning and refinement.  

SUP (Stand Up Paddling) Intro to playing on the River. 

Group: A-B

  • Join NRS and SUP instructor Danny Mongno for a whitewater stand up paddle session on the Deerfield. We will be working on skills before the water releases, so plenty of current to practice in but not a lot of risk.  We will work on foundation SUP strokes along with playing in current on our boards.  Prerequisite is being a proficient swimmer in moving water.  Boards and paddles will be provided by NRS.  PFD, helmet, footwear and clothing warm enough for potentially long swims must be provided by paddler.

SUP is a great way to enjoy the river, with its cool vantage point to see down into the river and its ability to make Class I so challenging again.  Join us for a look at what gear you need to get started and then hit the water to get build some essential skills.  We’ll focus on strokes, bracing, self rescues, breaking in and out of eddies and eventually work our way up to running some of the smaller rapids below Zoar Gap.  A comfort for swimming in current and basic paddling skills are required.  NRS SUP boards are provided, along with paddles.  Required from those who want to join is a helmet, PFD and appropriate river footwear.  Boards are limited, so sign up early at the DemoFest check in or pre-register.

Lower Fife Brook River Run - below Gap to Zoar Outdoor

Group: A-B

Join us on a class I - II river run to improve your river awareness and boat control.  Great for families and kids!  We will cover basic maneuvers such as eddy turns and peel-outs. You will gain comfort in crossing gentle currents while learning about river features such as eddies, eddy lines and downstream V’s.  All paddlers need to have basic comfort with wet-exits and have a basic set of stroke skills to turn and edge the boat.

For more information about whitewater kayak river runs, please visit these pages: river runs

Rescue Run - scenario practice for boaters

Group: B-C

We’ll show you some of our tricks for helping capsized paddlers get back to shore quickly with their equipment.  After a basic rescue is reviewed we'll up the anti based on the skills of the group.  We’ll be discussing concerns like group management, rescue priorities and strategies for increasing your sphere of awareness during a rescue.

Check out our Rescue Skills for Boaters page to see our full day option.

Component Skills of Freestyle - flatwater 

Group: C-D

Start freestyle paddling by learning the proper timing and core components needed to execute the hottest new paddling maneuvers.  We will be focusing on pivot turns, bow and stern initiations, rotation and timing, and will demonstrate how these basics link into more advanced maneuvers.  If you have been at freestyle for a while use this time block to freshen up your skills and warm up for the day.  

Full day instruction clinics are available throughout the summer, check out our Freestyle Kayak Clinics

Freestyle Kayaking at Hurricane Hole

Group: C-D

Play boating warm-up and surfing at "Hurricane Hole" Try out all the new freestyle boats and learn how much fun play boating is.  This clinic may likely start before the release is on in the flatwater below the first rapid on the Fifebrook section.  Once the release begins a strong class II rapid forms several fun features.  Participants need to have a solid roll.  While this clinic will run from 10:00 -12:00 the instructors will be heading to the teaching site early to bring play-boat demos to the first rapid.  Participates may have to transport themselves to the teaching site, we may be able to help co-ordinate rides if needed.  Registration check-in is still at the DemoFest site first.

Full day instruction clinics are available throughout the summer, check out our Freestyle Kayak Clinics

Novice Kayak Review

Group: A-B

We love being geeks when it comes to stroke technique. We'll warm-up for the day with a review of on-water basics.  We'll help look for holes in your technique and strengthen your paddling with a review of the fundamentals.  This clinic is perfect for those that have taken a novice paddling clinic but are still feeling pretty green to whitewater kayaking.  Lets get you some paddling friends this weekend!

For more info on our full day courses check out http://www.kayaklesson.com/

Paddling with Finesse

Group: B-C

Learn to paddle smarter not harder.  Loosen your grip, breath, look up!  If these sound familiar this clinic may be for you.  These tips and more will be incorporated into helping you become a more relaxed and fluid paddler.  We'll practice some balance and edging drills, under water composure, and flexibility drills to help stretch the most out of your paddling.

We would love to further help you paddle efficiently in any of our full day Essential Kayak Courses, check 'em out.

Class II Skill Development

Group: B-C


Getting yourself a shiny new toy, let our experts show you how to get the most enjoyment out of the latest kayak designs.  We'll evaluate your current skills and discuss your paddling goals.  Together we'll formulate a plan to help you reach your potential as a paddler.  Our depth of knowledge is expansive so come on out and pick our brains on anything that may be of interest to you... related to kayaking of course.  

Shop the newest kayaks!

Class II Skills Review

Group: B-C

If you've had a chance to develop your basic river paddling and you've begun to work those class II rapids this is a perfect review of the necessary skills to keep you interested in learning and improving.  This is a faster paced skills review of basic paddling strokes.  Got some rust in a few areas, no problem, our instructors are great at recognizing individual needs and spending time on improvement where its needed most.

When you're ready for more here is a link to our Class II Clinics.

Rolling Practice - for new or experienced paddlers

Group: A-D

Learn to Roll!  It's the coolest trick in all of kayaking.  Over our 30 years teaching at Zoar Outdoor we've helped so many paddlers learn to roll and our excitement of watching someone get their first never fades.  We have lots of tips and tricks to help make your learning a fun and comfortable experience.  

If you’re just about there, this is a great course to help you learn some tricks that might just get your roll the rest of the way. If you are their we’ll help clean up any weakness with your roll so it’ll be ready for the river.  If you have a solid roll on only one side we'll help you practice on the other side or challenge you to learn handrolls or back deck rolls so you can be ready for any situation in the river.

Visit our rolling courses.

Open Paddling with Team Z, Pro Paddlers, and You – Dryway

Group D  The Dryway is a hard section of river and this course is inappropriate for those without proper experience in hard class III-IV water, a solid roll is required.

Advanced paddlers, do you just want to get out there and paddle with the best in the business?  Here’s your opportunity to get to know pro paddlers and get feedback on your own paddling.  This is also a great chance to paddle and get expert advice on a variety of boats. Plus, have some time to meet and socialize with other area paddlers.  Advanced teens this is a great chance to meet your role models. Maybe you’re new to our area, if so this is also a great opportunity for a guided run down. If you are unsure if you are ready or have not paddled class III-IV yet, this is not the best course for stepping up to the Dryway.  If you are looking to step up to the Dryway please check out our full day River Runs where you would have more time for scouting and guidance.

The Two Most Essential Strokes - getting the most of your sweeps and forward stroke

Group: A-B

For those looking for a quick morning session to get loosened up and ready for the day.  After this course your engine will be all rev'd up and excited for the rest of DemoFest. We'll especially focus on posture, vision, rotation and the paddle to work towards efficient turning and propulsion.  This is a great course for building your fundamental skills.   

Looking to learn more join our full day courses.

Novice Kayak Skill Builder

Group: A-B

A great way to start your morning and meet paddling friends. We'll do some dryland exercises, and then set a flatwater warm-up routine customized to your current skill level that can be repeated on your own to build your skills.  We'll wrap-up the course with some discussion on setting paddling goals.

For a complete list of all our clinics check out this link at Clinics at a Glance.

Rolling in Rapids

Group: B-C

So you are looking to improve your roll in rapids?  Join us as we lead a tour down the Deerfield River, ending below Zoar Gap, to work on your rolling skills when they count.  As we paddle down river we will make stops and run exercises for both beginner and intermediate rollers.  Challenging you, while keeping you under our watch, will allow you to push your limits.  Participants should have a flat-water roll as well as all of their boating gear to head down river.

Visit our rolling courses.

The Draw Stroke- uses, variations and perfection

Group: B-C

The Draw Stroke is like having an arsenal of brand new shiny strokes to choose from.  Bow Draw, Knifing Draw, Compound Draws and more will all help you slice, dice and shoot your way through the raging rapids!  

Here is a link to our 2-Day Class II full day courses

Learning to Stern Squirt - Freestyle Kayaking Skills - Flatwater

Group C-D

New boat designs have reopened a world of river playing that had started to be lost!  The stern squirt is one of those tricks that opens up paddling to the vertical dimension.  With these new boats you don't have to give up river running to perform it!  Stern squirting is a great show of a paddlers balance, timing and edge control to sink the boats stern into a river feature like an eddyline and pivot around with the current.  Fun for days, months, years and a lifetime!

Zoar Gap with a Plan

Group: C-D

The Zoar Gap rapid is a great test piece of class III whitewater. We’ll examine different options for both the paddler that is looking to step up to the Gap and the paddler that is getting ready to go beyond the Gap. Watch and try different lines multiple times to really master the Gap and push your comfort level in harder whitewater.

Check out our full 2-Day Class III Clinics

If you would like to demo a new kayak or canoe and get some free instruction from some of the best paddlers in the country, join us for DemoFest!