River Kayaking

Whitewater kayaking starts here! Take winter pool clinics, then river kayaking lessons on the Bow and the Kananaskis Rivers.


View all river kayaking programs

ABC- Kayak Complete Beginner Weekend

Let's get Paddling! This popular weekend course begins with the ABC's of kayaking, and expands to include a kayak roll course, and wraps up with a exciting whitewater run on the Bow RIver outside of Calgary. You will have the bonus of two pool sessions during this course.

Weekends start Thursday or Friday evenings at 7pm.

A- Intro To Kayaking

Begin here. Get a taste of river kayaking during the off-season in the University of Calgary pool. In this evening course, learn how to wet exit and paddle in a kayak with fun games and expert instruction. 16 years and up. Prerequisite: none. Includes: instructor, all paddling gear.

B-Intro to River Kayaking

Learn how to identify features, hazards and safely negotiate a river run. Learn about eddy turns, ferry glides and the essential foundations of confident river running. End the day or the 2nd session with a down river run where you will continue developing your skills.

C- Intro to Whitewater Kayaking

After you have moved onto the river, take this great course and improve your river running skiils and maneuvering as you experience the rapids on the Bow River outside of Calgary. Gain confidence in whitewater under the watchful eye of our knowledgable and passionate instructiors.

D- Next Step- River Kayaking

After you have moved onto the river, take this course to improve your river running and maneuvering skills as you experience the rapids of the Kananaskis River. Gain confidence in whitewater under the watchful eye of our knowledgeable and passionate instructors.

Kayak Roll Introduction


A kayak roll is an essential skill to learn and will increase your confidence on the river. In this evening course, receive step-by-step instruction to help you complete your first roll in the safety of the University of Calgary pool. NOTE: A nose plug and wetsuit are recommended. Prerequisite: A- Intro to Kayaking or equivalent experience. Includes: instructor, all paddling gear.

Kayak Roll Clinics

Become a rolling super-star. Master or re-learn the kayak roll with practice and hands-on coaching in this evening session. Prerequisite: Kayak Roll Introduction. Includes: instructor, all paddling gear.

Kayak Whitewater Weekend

Challange your skills on these two day whitewater workshops on your choice of the Kananaskis RIver or the Upper Red Deer River. This is the next step for people with the basics who want to practice on a new river.

These weekend courses will help you build your confidence!

Custom Canoe/Kayak Program - Schools

Want to give your students the trip of the year? Let our experienced guides introduce the basics of canoe/kayak tripping on a variety of lakes and rivers across western Canada.

Programs are highly customizable, running from a single day trip to week long expeditions. Our instructors can cover all the paddling instruction needed along with the wilderness skills needed to spend time safely in the back country. All required gear can be provided by the Outdoor Centre.

To set up a program please contact Matthew Steele at (403)220-4205, swapple@ucalgary.ca

Intro to Pack Pack Rafting

Want a new way to explore the wilderness? Our pack rafts are 1-man inflatable kayaks weighing just 5 lbs! An experienced guide will teach you the basics of paddling a pack raft on the Bow River to get you feeling comfortable paddling on your own.

Brazeau River, AB

Hiking, paddling and camping all in one trip! The Brazeau River winds its way through steep rock walls and provides great places to play in the waves. We drive out camp-Friday evening, then on Saturday we hike to the put-in and paddle back down to camp. Saturday night can be spent in camp or you can head back into the city after the paddle.

Open Recreation Pool Session

Use our gear to practice and strengthen your paddling skills during this 1.5 hour session at the University of Calgary pool. Formal/paid instruction is not allowed. To reserve a spot, call Active Living Client Services at 403.220.7749. 14 years and up. Prerequisite: ability to do a braces entry and wet exit. Clean personal boats and solo canoes are welcome. Includes: river/sea kayaks, paddles, spraydecks.

WhiteWater Paddling Club

This non - instructional club was created to provide kayakers and solo canoers a way to progress their skills, meet new people and become apart of the paddling community. We'll meet once a week at the Outdoor Center, and from May to early winter, we'll head out to different sections of rivers. Over winter we'll use open pool sessions, at the U of C pool. Annual membership includes 30% discount on paddling gear rentals on club nights and 10% discounts on paddling courses.

Paddle Club Day Trips

These instructional, guided day trips to Southern Alberta rivers are an awesome way for WW Paddle Club members to gain experience and develop new skills on whitewater run that are not typically paddled on club nights. Possible locations include: Waiparous Creek, the Sheep, Highwood, and Upper Red Deer rivers. Must be a current member of WW Paddling Club.

Guided Multi Day Kayak Trips

These family-friendly, easy trips are great for first timers or for a group of mixed ages and abilities. Enjoy the trip from the comfort and security of a raft or paddle it in a kayak!