Courses Descriptions

General Information

Our courses emphasize safety and skill development. We start with basics on flat water and advance to moving water as you learn new skills. Each course builds upon the skills learned in the preceding courses, so you need to take courses in order, or get instructor permission to join an advanced course. Class size is limited to ten participants.

Classes are held regardless of the weather. In the event of lightning we will get off the water.

What to Bring & What to Expect

For more information call 907-371-4868 or 907-750-4902.


Individual and Small Group Lessons

We offer individualized instruction based on your skills and goals. We will work with you to schedule a time and select the appropriate venue. Our ACA certified instructors will tailor the time to your needs.

Lessons are a minimum of 3 hours.   The cost per participant is:
1 to 2 participants - $25/ person/ hour 
3 to 4 participants - $20/ person/ hour  
Call 907-750-4902 to schedule a time or email

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Course 1

Introduction to Canoeing


Length: 6 hours
Venue: Lake
Build a solid paddling foundation by learning a variety of entry level paddling skills. You’ll learn more strokes and maneuvers, practice rescues and learn about the paddling environment, equipment, and trip planning. At the end of this course you’ll feel much more comfortable in a canoe, and be able to show off some cool strokes and maneuvers. Some experience or Quick Start is helpful.

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Course 2

Essentials of River Canoeing


Length: 1 day
Venue: Chena River Downtown

Build on the skills and knowledge learned in previous courses and learn more advanced strokes and maneuvers to safely enjoy paddling on gently flowing rivers. Learn to recognize and avoid common river hazards, how to utilize the current to help you move the canoe where you want it to be, and how to respond to emergencies on moving water.

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Course 3

River Canoeing


Length: 1 day
Venue: Upper Chena

Our most advanced course moves to faster flowing waters, but it is not a whitewater paddling course. You will learn strategies in river running, group communication and group organization on a river, while honing skills and maneuvers from prior courses. The course emphasizes safety and you will practice rescues. Many of the rivers in Interior Alaska require good river running skills and sound judgment, but not advanced whitewater skills. This course will prepare you for them.

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Course 4

Special Topic Courses

Stroke and Maneuver Tune Up:
Length: Two 3-hour sessions
Cost: $85

This class is for you if you learned how to paddle in scouts or at camp, took a class with Canoe Alaska 20 years ago, or with us last year and you want to refine your skills, improve your paddling efficiency or weed out some bad habits you’ve developed over the years.

Tandem Canoeing Tune up
Length: Two 3 hour evening sessions and one full day session
Cost: $215.00

This is an ideal class for couples and others who paddle together and have some canoeing experience. Emphasis is on working as a team, communicating as well as strokes and maneuvers.

practicing in big water or rapids.
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Course 5

Canoe Camping


Length: 3 days
Venue: TBD

This course will include Course 2 and 3 paddling skills as well as other skills needed for a canoe-based camping trip. Topics will include loading your boat, camp site selection and set up, food planning and preparation, back country hygiene and more. Class will meet at the venue.

Contact us to schedule this class or your group.

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Course 6

ACA Instructor Certification Course L1 - L2


Length: 4 days
Venue: Chena River

This Instructor Certification Workshop is suited to those who instruct others (clients, campers, or staff members) in canoeing skills. Successful completion of the course will make you eligible to become an ACA Certified Instructor for River Canoeing Levels 1 & 2. A discount is available for members of the Fairbanks Paddlers Club.

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Course 7

Rescue Practice


Length: 8 hours
Venue: Lake or moving water

Discuss and practice rescue scenarios common on Interior Alaska lakes and rivers. You will practice self-rescue including defensive and offensive swimming. You will also rescue a capsized boat and its paddlers.

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